Unicode to ASCII transliteration

ascii, cldr, icu, slug, transliteration, unicode
gem install any_ascii -v 0.1.2



jitpack pypi npm

Unicode to ASCII transliteration

Table of Contents


Converts Unicode text to a reasonable representation using only ASCII.

Unicode is the universal character set, a global standard to support all the world's languages. It consists of 130,000+ characters used by 150 writing systems. Along with characters used in language, it also contains various technical symbols, emojis, and other symbolic characters. The String type in programming languages usually corresponds to Unicode text. Whenever text is used digitally on computers or the internet it is almost always represented using Unicode characters. Unicode characters are not stored directly but instead encoded into bytes using an encoding, typically UTF-8.

ASCII is the most compatible character set, established in 1967. It is a subset of Unicode and UTF-8 consisting of 128 characters using 7-bits in the range 0x00 - 0x7F. The printable characters are English letters, digits, and punctuation in the range 0x20 - 0x7E, with the remaining being control characters. All of the characters found on a standard US keyboard correspond to the printable ASCII characters.

Conversion into the Latin script used by English and ASCII is called romanization.

When converting between writing systems there are multiple properties that can be preserved:

  • Meaning: Translation replaces text with an equivalent in the target language with the same meaning. This relies heavily on context and automatic translation is extremely complicated.
  • Appearance: Preserving the visual appearance of a character when converting between languages is rarely possible and requires readers to have knowledge of the source language.
  • Sound: Orthographic transcription uses the spelling and pronunciation rules of the target language to produce text that a speaker of the target language will pronounce as accurately as possible to the original.
  • Spelling: Transliteration converts each letter individually using predictable rules. An unambiguous transliteration allows for reconstruction of the original text by using unique mappings for each letter. A phonetic transliteration instead uses the most phonetically accurate mappings which may result in duplicates or ambiguity.

Any-Ascii is a transliteration, it converts text character-by-character without considering the context. Characters used in language are converted using the most popular already existing transliteration scheme for each language, with small modifications. Symbolic characters are instead converted based on their meaning or appearance.


Language Script Input Output Actual
French Latin René François Lacôte Rene Francois Lacote Rene Francois Lacote
German Latin Großer Hörselberg Grosser Horselberg Grosser Hoerselberg
Vietnamese Latin Trần Hưng Đạo Tran Hung Dao Tran Hung Dao
Norwegian Latin Nærøy Naeroy Naroy
Ancient Greek Greek Φειδιππίδης Feidippidis Pheidippides
Modern Greek Greek Δημήτρης Φωτόπουλος Dimitris Fotopoylos Dimitris Fotopoulos
Russian Cyrillic Борис Николаевич Ельцин Boris Nikolaevich El'tsin Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin
Hebrew Hebrew אברהם הלוי פרנקל 'vrhm hlvy frnkl Abraham Halevi Fraenkel
Mandarin Chinese Han 深圳 ShenZhen Shenzhen
Cantonese Chinese Han 深水埗 ShenShuiBu Sham Shui Po
Korean Hangul 화성시 hwaseongsi Hwaseong-si
Korean Han 華城市 HuaChengShi Hwaseong-si
Japanese Hiragana さいたま saitama Saitama
Japanese Han 埼玉県 QiYuXian Saitama-ken
Japanese Katakana トヨタ toyota Toyota
Unified English Braille Braille ⠠⠎⠁⠽⠀⠭⠀⠁⠛ ^say x ag Say it again



$ anyascii άνθρωποι

Use cd rust && cargo build --release to build a native executable to rust/target/release/anyascii


package main

import (

func main() {
    s := anyascii.Transliterate("άνθρωποι")
    // anthropoi


String s = AnyAscii.transliterate("άνθρωποι");
// anthropoi

Java 6+ compatible

Available through JitPack

repositories {
    maven { url '' }
dependencies {
    implementation 'com.hunterwb:any-ascii:0.1.1'


const anyAscii = require('any-ascii');

const s = anyAscii('άνθρωποι');
// anthropoi

Node.js 4+ compatible

Install latest release: npm install any-ascii

Install pre-release: npm install hunterwb/any-ascii


from anyascii import anyascii

s = anyascii('άνθρωποι')
#  anthropoi

Python 3.3+ compatible

Install latest release: pip install anyascii

Install pre-release: pip install


require 'any_ascii'

s = AnyAscii.transliterate('άνθρωποι')
# anthropoi

Use pre-release:

# Gemfile
gem 'any_ascii', git: '', glob: 'ruby/any_ascii.gemspec'


use any_ascii::any_ascii;

let s = any_ascii("άνθρωποι");
// anthropoi

Use pre-release:

any_ascii = { git = "" }

See Also

ALA-LC Romanization
BGN/PCGN Romanization
Compart: Unicode Charts
ICAO 9303: Machine Readable Passports
ISO 9: Cyrillic Romanization
KNAB Romanization Systems
Sean M. Burke: Unidecode
Sean M. Burke: Unidecode, Perl Journal
Thomas T. Pedersen: Transliteration of Non-Roman Scripts
UNGEGN Romanization
Unicode CLDR: Transliteration Guidelines
Unicode Unihan Database
Unified English Braille
Wikipedia: Romanization of Arabic
Wikipedia: Romanization of Georgian
Wikipedia: Romanization of Greek
Wikipedia: Romanization of Hebrew
Wikipedia: Romanization of Russian