What is Duolingo's latinate alphabet for Russian based on?
Only having done the Cyrillic version of Russian so far, I decided to try the latinate version purely to see what it looks like. The most common transliteration schemes are Scientific Russian Cyrillic (used specifically for Russian) and ISO 9 (used for all Cyrillic languages), so I was wondering how Duolingo compared to those.
Мужчины едят хлеб.</pre>
Mužčiny edjat xleb.</pre>
Mužčiny edât hleb.</pre>
Muzhchiny edyat khleb.</pre>
I'm wondering why they have chosen the scheme as it is, because they did more than just removing the letters with accents. If one is going to learn Russian with a transliteration scheme instead of the actual alphabet, then in my opinion a pre-existing and commonly used scheme would be preferable.
Who knows. It might simply be a case of someone just making it up based on what he thinks a Russian letter sounds like. Х = 'kh'? Are they using 'h' for something else? And are they transcribing stressed and unstressed 'о's the same or differently? I gleaned from some comments that it turns Щ into 'sht', which is bizarre if correct.
I personally think that if Duo feels it needs to support people who, for some reason, can't install some form of Cyrillic input themselves, it should come up with a transliteration system in which a local script will convert a particular Latin letter or letter combination into Cyrillic on the website. I've seen this done with pinyin (where, for example, one types 'he2' into a box and it automatically changes to 'hé'; there's no reason why people shouldn't type 'zh' and it changes to 'ж').
It's not what I'd've chosen from these many options, but it appears to be British Standard 2979:1958, "the main system of the Oxford University Press" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Russian#Transliteration_table
I imagine that one design consideration was that it has to be typable using only the 26 letters of the English alphabet, without any accents or diacritics such as the háček on š.
Since part of the point was to enable people who just have a standard US keyboard to type in Russian.
I'm more familiar with the Library of Congress system (http://loc.gov/catdir/cpso/romanization/russian.pdf), which would render it 'Muzhchiny ediat khleb'. The only difference is the use of 'ya' rather than 'ia', which is not an uncommon change to make (you see it a lot when transliterating Russian names and loanwords).