Richie: It's in Russian.In a lot of Western posters, you see something that could be called "Faux Cyrillic" — replacing Latin characters with visually similar Cyrillic ones, to make something look more Russian. Don't expect them to be consistent with it, though. This is because Cyrillic is based on medieval Greek completed with Glagolitic (sometimes inspired by Hebrew — ц, ш) letters, but due to reforms by Peter the Great it has the same basic design principles as the Latin alphabet (stroke thickness and placement, etc.). This has resulted in an alphabet with letters that range from deceptively familiar to the strikingly different. The Latin alphabet itself is based — via the Etruscan/Old Italic one — on the archaic (pre-classical) Greek one, and Hebrew and Greek scripts are based on Phoenician script, so they are all related. Where the (English form of the) Latin alphabet has twenty-six letters, the (Russian form of the) Cyrillic alphabet has thirty-three. The perpetrators ignore the fact that these letters are, in actual Russian, pronounced completely differently from the Latin characters they are supposed to represent, which results in unintended hilarity for members of the audience who can read Cyrillic script. Below is a list of popular letters used with this trope, and their proper pronunciations: Latin letters and the Cyrillic letters incorrectly substituted for them:
Eddie: You just put the Rs the wrong way round?!
Richie: THAT'S WHAT RUSSIAN IS!
Eddie: You just put the Rs the wrong way round?!
Richie: THAT'S WHAT RUSSIAN IS!
- R: 'Я' (ya). The Trope Namer.
- r : 'Г' (g) (as in Gamma)
- N: 'И' (i)
- n: 'П' (p)
- A: 'Д' (d)note
- O: 'Ф' (f)
- W: 'Ш' (sh), 'Щ' (shch)
- X: 'Ж' (zh) (pronounced like 'pleasure')
- B: 'В' (v), 'Б' (b), 'Ь' (soft sign), 'Ъ' (hard sign)
- E: 'Э' (æ), 'З' (z), 'е' (ye/e)
- U: 'Ц' (ts)
- Y: 'Ч' (ch)
- 'А': (always short a, as in father)
- 'В': (v)
- 'Н': (n)
- 'Р': (rolled R)
- 'С': (s)
- 'У': (oo)
- 'Х': (kh, like ch in 'loch')
- 'Ъ': (hard sign 'yer' slurs the previous (consonant) and following (iotized vowel) letter — the sound between the k and y in "thank you" is a good comparison.)
- 'Ы': (no solid equivalent, roses comes close)
- 'Ь': (soft sign 'yer' makes previous consonant soft. Also slurs the previous and following letter like hard sign if following letter is a iotized vowel — in this case difference between them is subtle or maybe just spelling.)
- 'б': (b)
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- There's a UK insurance ad featuring a Backwards R and Socialist Realism style art.
- A 2013 ad for Clorox features Bud, DiЯectoЯ of KitcheИ SaИitatioИ who has a stereotypical faux-Russian accent.
- A 2009 Polish commercial for Raiffeisen Bank plays it straight and subverts it at the same time; the "revolutionary deposit" slogan is rendered into "Лokata Яewolucyjna" with the first word featuring the rather obscure (yet fitting in terms of pronunciation) "Л" character and the second one beginning with the Trope Namer.
- Dr. Jon's Shaving Soap Company has a fragrance called Propaganda. The label looks like a stereotypical Soviet propaganda poster and the product name has the backwards R as well as several faux-Cyrillic letters.
Anime & Manga
- The Firesign Theatre's LP How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere zt All, with its "All Hail Marx and Lennon" poster, as seen above.
- Letterer Ken Bruzenak frequently used this trope on American Flagg! — particularly in the second series (formally, Howard Chaykin's American Flagg!). In that series, set mostly in a wildly capitalistic future Russia, the series logo itself is in a Faux Cyrillic font.
- Superman: Red Son has this all over the place on the titles and the chapter headings (and the initial letter of Narrator!Superman's text boxes). But Cyrillic is used correctly in the background of scenes set in the Soviet Union; one popular image in the second and third books is Superman's face with ДOBEPИE (an actual Russian word meaning "trust" and pronounced approximately "doverie") written underneath.
- Spirou and Fantasio had this in "Spirou à Moscou". One character even explained that he spoke French pretty well, except for sometimes still reversing the R and the N.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Chernobyl Diaries: Or, as a person who can read Cyrillic would see, Sneyapovul Diayaies.note
- Borat provides a particularly well-known use of the Cyrillic Д ('D') in place of A. ("Vordt"?) With the Я, it becomes more "Voyadt." That was just the poster art. The titles in the movie itself used (mostly) correct Cyrillic. As opposed to the original TV show where the Cyrillic subtitles were nonsense ("Borat" was rendered as "Ishfke" for example) and made by simply typing on a Russian keyboard setting (which have a completely different layout than QWERTY).
- The opening credits of Red Heat, where Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a Soviet cop.
- The Hunt for Red October displays this, including a mislabeling of the sub itself.
- Some of the signs in Repo! The Genetic Opera use the 'Я' and the 'Д'.
- The History Channel's documentary Russia: Land of the Tsars◊.
- The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, a satirical film about the comic hijinks that ensue after a Russian sub runs aground on an island in New England, uses the "backwards R" and the "backwards I" for the title in both the poster art and the title card in the credits.
- As the film is set in Russia, this trope is used in the end credits of Devil's Pass. One example is presenting the director credit as "Diяected by Reииy Harliи".
- In an episode of MacGyver we see a bottle labeled in Cyrillic: it's supposed to say "Etil Alkogol" ( = "Ethyl Alcohol"); what it actually says is "Ztil Alkogop". If it was supposed to be Russian, then it should've said "Этиловый спирт" (Etilovyy spirt).
- And "Alkogop" means something like "drunken gang banger", which adds an extra dose of Narm into the scene.
- From an episode of Bottom, where Eddie mocks the unconvincing nature of the fake birthday cards Richie sends himself every year:
Eddie: ...And this one's from "The Peoples of the Soviet Union in grateful thanks to Comrade Richie"!
Richie: It's in Russian!
Eddie: You just put the R's the wrong way round!
Richie: That's what Russian is!
- The Discovery Channel program Wild Russia uses backwards R's when displaying the title.
- The 2013 Doctor Who episode "Cold War", set on a Russian submarine in 1983, is called "COLD WAЯ" on the promotional poster.
- TV show Borat did the in-show titles by simply selecting Russian keyboard setting while still using a regular QWERTY keyboard. Since the keyboard layout is completely different the result is nonsense - for example Borat is rendered as "Ishfke". The latter movie subverts it by using correct Cyrillic titles.
- The Forever episode "The King of Columbus Circle" features the Russian-speaking Ruritanian country of "Urkesh". The signs in its consulate are in actual Russian, but on its passports the country's name is written as "Цркесч" ("Tsrkestch").
- One Cold War-themed episode of The Time Tunnel includes several signs in fake Cyrillic. Most are a nonsensical mix of Latin and Cyrillic letters, including a backwards У, an upside-down Q, and even a backwards 4. These are for flavor; the one sign meant to be comprehended reads РЯОᒐEꓘꓕ А-13, with a flat-topped A probably meant to suggest a Д.
- Type O Negative's final album Dead Again has all of the lyrics and liner notes written in Faux Cyrillic for absolutely no good reason at all (there is a picture of Rasputin on the cover, but other than that...). Just as an example, the band's name and album title are written as "TЧРЕ O ИЭGАТIѴЭ : DЭДD ДGДIИ," which— because Cyrillic doesn't have a letter shaped like "D" or "G"; "I" replaces "И" in Ukrainian and "Ѵ" is an archaic letter translatable as either "i" or "v" depending on the context— would read "TCHRYE O IE-ATIVE : -ED- D-DII."
- The band ¡Forward, Russia! are in love with this trope.
- So are the Leningrad Cowboys a.k.a. Lɘиiиɢяad Cowʙoys who aren't even from Russia. The covers of their album Happy Together and their Total Balalaika Show live video take this Up to Eleven by mimicking a Pravda frontpage complete with a font which borrows a lot from the Cyrillic and Greek alphabets plus some mirrored or upside-down letters and the German ß (sharp s) in lieu of the capital B. Only "Pravda" itself is written in real Cyrillic.
- The Welsh band Manic Street Preachers had all of the R's backwards for their album The Holy Bible◊, perfectly fitting with the flavour of the release - this went back to normal for a few albums, then made a return for Send Away The Tigers◊ and follow up Journal For Plague Lovers◊.
- Franz Ferdinand did this very consciously in the video for "This Fire" off their self-titled first album. That whole album they were going for a Soviet Constructivist look, which goes remarkably well with their sound.
- BT's sixth album is titled THЭSЭ HOPЭFUL MACHINЭS. The song titles also have their E's reversed.
- Angelic Upstarts (or ДИ☭eLIC UФSTДRTS, which woud read as "DI*hammer and sickle*eLIC UFSTDRTS") did this on their Anthems Against Scum◊ album.
- Norther, a Finnish band (Finnish uses the Roman alphabet, FYI, despite being part of Russia up until WWI), uses the Д as an A on their album N.
- Feind Hört Mit◊ ("Enemy Eavesdropping") by Austrian band Stahlhammer uses this too: The title (keeping in mind each "M" is a flipped "Ш," "І" replaces "И" in Ukrainian and "Ѕ" is an archaic letter translatable as "dz," now only used in Macedonian) turns into "DZTDN-NASHSHYEYA : -YEIP- NFYAT SHIT" when transcribed.
- Linkin Park, or LIИKIИ PARK, in most of their early material.
- Nine Inch Nails is often written as ИIИE IИCH ИAILS in different media.
- DJ Vadim's name is usually written with a Д for the A and an inverted Щ for the M.
- In the Romanian band TNT's video "Vodka, Vodka" has the words "Vodka Дямач" in the around a red star in the back throughout the video. This is a good example, because the sound for the actual Russian word for armies, армии, is basically like the English word army (though it refers to the plural in Russian), and even the singular word for army, армия (armiya) would be easily recognizable for English-speakers as referring to an army, whereas Дямч would sound like Dyamch (that is, if the word "army" is being used at all instead of "land forces". Of course, given the Soviet-styled emblem, "army" makes a lot of sense in this context). Obviously, with reading a different alphabet the cognates often won't work for non-Cyrillic readers, so unless you want it to be meaningless for most people, you need to do use this trope if you want to use Cyrillic in this case.
- Also, the TИT in the middle of the emblem, for the band's name, TNT. TИT said out loud would sound like "teat" or "tit".
- The Bemani J-pop band TЁЯRA ("Tyoyara").
- The Finnish Doom Metal band Курск, although their name is correct Cyrillic for Kursk, uses faux Cyrillic text on their website.
- The cover for KMFDM's Opium has the band's name written KMFДM. F doesn't exist in Cyrillic, the equivalent would be Ф. Also, XTOЯT.
- Reina Tanaka's rock band has the somewhat bizarre name of LoVendoЯ.
- One recording of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is by an orchestra conducted by "SIMOИ RATTLE". What kind of a name is "Simoi"?
- Caparezza's 2014 video "Avrai ragione tu" is a tongue-in-cheek spoof of Soviet Russia and as such is all about this trope (it also substitutes U with V, which is more a Latin type of thing).
- Future Perfect's ДFTЗЯ THЗ FДLL.
- Front 242 write the song title "KOMMДИdO ЯЭMЖ" this way. Interestingly, they also use correct Gratuitous Russian at times.
- The game supplement GURPS Russia features the TS and D characters for U and A respectively, plus several others◊. For a Splat Book that's supposed to educate about the place.
- In Cardfight!! Vanguard, there are a series of cards that have been subjected to The Corruption, known as Reverse units. On the card, it is spelled out as Яeverse.
- The logo for the computer game DEFCON, which would actually be "DEFCOI" if the backwards N was read properly.
- Tetris was styled as "TETЯIS" in several Western releases, particularly those by Mirrorsoft and Atari Games/Tengen, just to advertise that the game was developed by a Russian. If the Я were pronounced as in Russian, that would be "Tetyais". The early computer versions published by Spectrum Holobyte used the proper Cyrillic spelling "ТЕТРИС", though with the C replaced with the Soviet hammer and sickle. Averted since the late 1990s, when Roger Dean designed a new logo for the newly formed Tetris Company.
- A faux propaganda poster featuring Tetris also invoked this with backwards R's and N's and the Cyrillic letter "er" for the p in "place".
- Republic: The Revolution in addition to speaking pseudo-Russian has all in-game signs and posters written in pseudo-Cyrillic. It also uses other symbols, such as the German "ß".
- The Iron Grip: The Oppression Game Mod had a typical backwards R in its promotional logo.
- The Backwards R has gained notoriety on the Discovery (Freelancer Game Mod) forums features this through Memetic Mutation, as in 'ШHAT SIЯ?'
- Shnat Siya?
- Singularity heavily used this trope, including in its logo. Almost excused, when they started using real Russian at the end credits. Infamous examples include: the game's title, which is written as SIИGULДЯITУ (Siiguldyaitu) and Katorga-12 being written as KДTФЯGД-12 (Kdtfyagd-12).
- The fourth game in the Deception series, Trapt, spells the title on the cover art as TЯAPT purely for cosmetic reasons, to achieve a mirrored look that the P partially fudges.
- The 1997 version of Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego? includes a scene where you meet Yuri Gagarin. The rocket carrying him has the letters CCCP on it, and your helpful friend indicates that it's an acronym... in English. The instruction book for the game includes a section detailing all the historical inaccuracies introduced to the game in order to make it easier to understand and tells what it really stands for. (Isn't this game supposed to be educational, though?)
- The Krivorozhstal Mill in Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain has its name written on the smokestacks in faux Cyrillic, with Д for R and a reversed Г for T.
- Blatantly featured in the Hearts of Iron series, including the upcoming East Vs West. Nations part of the Comintern (Soviet bloc) would feature faux Cyrillic names, which remains a source of much agony for Cyrillic-reading fans. However, there are mods that allow users to change the typeset.
- The logo of Red Alert 3: Paradox, a mod for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, switches the English letters of "paradox" with visually similar Cyrillic letters (including the backwards 'R'). The result is, obviously, gibberish, but hey, it looks cool.
- In the U.S. Gold-published computer ports of Strider, the title screens display the name as STЯIDER. The game's first stages take place in Russia.
- Inverted with the title of KOHCTPYKTOP: Engineer of the People: the first word is a Latin-alphabet approximation to "КОНСТРУКТОР", a sequence of Cyrillic-alphabet characters that would be pronounced "constructor".
- In Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, the main antagonist, Grandmaster Nizmo, has dialogue in faux Cyrillic.
- Adventure game The Big Red Adventure is set in a parody/satire of The New Russia and of various Russian tropes, and all of the in-game messages are written in a faux-Cyrillic alphabet. Example.
- Mid-1990s British computer game publisher Rasputin Software had a logo which spelled out its name ЯASPUTIN.
- This game is a rather weird example, as while its title is officially Myha, its logo is written as Лyнa (which is, in fact, the Russian word for "Moon", pronounced as "Woona"). The game's plot, appropriately, is set on the moon of an Earth-like planet.
- TV Tropes: The image◊ that currently illustrates the Red Scare trope. Literally, it reads: "d— uftsya -yazz-fm dyaz ^e-fi- tf ts-" ("-" means "gobbledygook", i.e. not a Cyrillic letter, and "^" is an accent).
- The USSR speaks like this in World War Two: Simple Version. It's dropped in Cold War: Simple Version because the author was sick of it.
- Parodied in SF Debris when Chuck comments on the U.S.S. Tsiolkovsky`s Cyrillic dedication plaque and, noting a letter that looks like 3 (the Russian Z), accuses Russia of being so poor they have to use numbers when they run out of letters. In a Genius Bonus he later subtly reveals he knows what it really means by spelling the word 'spaz' out loud as 'S, P, A, three!'
- There is actually a web page that will give you fake Cyrillic. http://www.theworldofstuff.com/other/cyrillic.html
- In the Yogscast Civilization V challenge, Lewis Brindley is LЗЩІ? note of РОLДЙD, or Lzeshchi? of Roldyd. This is in spite of Polish using the Latin alphabet.
- This trope is inverted by Russian gamers, most notoriously in CS:GO. The notorious phrase "cyka blyat" is an illiterate transliteration of "сука блядь" (suka blyad`) which has the meaning of "fucking bitch".
- The American Dad! episode "Red October Sky" contains an odd inversion: close-ups of a propaganda poster containing the Gratuitous Russian phrase ВЕАИКИХ РАБОТ (roughly, "the great work") render it in lookalike Latin letters: BEANKNX PAGOT. Wider shots of the same poster show the phrase in Cyrillic letters.
- The pre-reform orthography for Cuengh (pronounced "Shweng", but more commonly known by the Chinese name Zhuang), a language spoken in Guangxi, China, used a combination of the Latin alphabet, IPA symbols, and Cyrillic and pseudo-Cyrillic letters, including five "tone letters" whose shapes are based on Arabic numerals. The result looks a lot like mock Cyrillic. For example, Cuengh was written as "Cueŋƅ" and the full official name of Guangxi was written as "Gvaŋзsiƅ Bouчcueŋƅ Sɯcigiƅ."
- Other Real Life example: The Cherokee syllabary, which looks like the illegitimate child of the Latin, Cyrillic, Greek and Georgian alphabet and l33tsp33k. Sequoyah didn't know the Latin alphabet, so when he assigned sounds to symbols, he had no idea what these symbols meant, which probably explains the occurrence of a 4 (the syllable “se”).
- Inverted with Volapuk encoding: to write their language using ASCII computers, some Russians used a "faux Latin" transliteration. And yes, this included R as The Backwards Я.*
- Avoided by post-1993 Russian license plates, which use only the letters common to the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets.
- There are several words in Russian languages which look exactly the same both in Cyrillic and Latin alphabets, the most notable being KOMETA (comet).
- Since so many early Soviet consumer electronics were direct ripoffs of Western designs, Russian-language pocket calculators (most notably the programmable Elektronika B3-34) would frequently put "Error" in English if the calculator couldn't make a calculation. Because the letters looked so similar to Cyrillic equivalents with different values* , Russians would read the word as "yeggog", and the art of calculator hacking became known as "yeggogologiya"* in Russian.
- Ironically, this precise series of calculators had exactly nothing to do with any western designs. The designers probably did this out of habit and because the Russian word for error, "ошибка", is nigh impossible to represent on a calculator's 7-segment display.
- "Khyber Pass Specials", hand-made guns (of sometimes dubious quality, due to a lack of quality materials) generally modeled after mass-produced weapons such as Lee-Enfields or AK-47s (both notably used by countries that previously fought in Afghanistan, the British Empire and the Soviet Union), will often feature engravings with Latin-Cyrilic character switches. This isn't so much that they can't tell the difference, but that they often work with incomplete engraving sets and use the closest match they can find.
- British diplomats in Moscow had a running joke among themselves, based on the Russian spelling of the universal word "Restaurant". In Cyrillic letters, this is pronounced much the same way but written "PECTOPAH". The diplomats would amuse themselves by pronouncing it as it was apparently spelt and using it as verb and noun for "evening meal" , ie Shall we pectopah tonight? or I wonder what's for pectopah this evening.
- Some CIA employee thought the cafeteria "substituting a backward R, a 'Ya', for an R" was tacky.
- The February 1990 issue of Playboy magazine featured a pictorial on "The Women of Russia", and the cover displayed the magazine's title as PLAYᗺOY with a backwards letter B — although that character does not actually correspond to any letter of the Russian alphabet.
- Game Revolution's latest logo is a red backwards R circumscribed by a 5-point star.
- The VID mask; according to Wikipedia, the actual Russian spelling of "VID" is not "BИD". As we know and as even Wikipedia noted, that's not exactly what that logo is famous for. While no, this isn't the proper uppercase "D" (it's "Д"), this might be the most acceptable deviation on this page. This two (deceptively different) ways of writing represent the same letter (and it's quite apparent from the way proper handwritten "Д" looks, uppercase letter in the upper-right corner here).
Anime & Manga
- The language used by the countries of Anatoray and Disith in Last Exile consists of transliterations of English words with Greek and some Cyrillic letters, i.e. the text on the book on the opening screen reads "λαστ εξιλε ιν τηε βοττλε" - "last exile in the bottle". Justified in that it's supposed to be a distant descendant of the languages of Earth rather than an a modern language. And letters are used correctly if you take into account that Latin H comes from Archaic Greek (h)eta.
- In The Books of Magic, Ancient Greeks talk like this "IN THΣ LДNDS ΘF ΘLIVΣ ДND LДURΣL, WHΣRΣ THΣ GΘDS WДLK"* . David Langford was scathing about this, and especially Roger Zelazny's admiration for it in the introduction:
Maybe it slips by an awful lot of the audience, but how can a savvy chap like Zelazny read this nonsense as other than, roughly, 'In ths ldnds thf thlivs dnd ldursl, whsrs ths gthds wdlk'?
- Another Vertigo Comics book has a logo that reads GRΣΣK STRΣΣT. Grssk strsst?
- In Astérix and the Great Crossing, Viking speech uses Å and Ø instead of A and O. Asterix tries to speak it, but since the Vikings don't understand, he wonders if he put his strikes and little circles over the wrong letters (he put them over E and U instead). Dogmatix, however, has little trouble understanding the "WØØF!" of a Great Dane, who also learns to bark without the accent marks.
- In Finnish translation of Asterix, the Viking speech uses Å, Æ, and Ø according to the letters' phonetic values instead merely replacing A and O. The corresponding Finnish letters would be O, Ä and Ö. Most Finns know perfectly well which phonems the Danish and Norwegian letters Å, Æ and Ø do represent and how to pronounce them.
- Pat Lee earned his "Funana" nickname by trying to spell out "Patrick Lee" with Japanese characters that vaguely resemble the English letters therein, resulting in the mess of a name that his detractors use.
Films — Live-Action
- The poster for My Big Fat Greek Wedding says "GRΣΣK" instead of "GREEK".
- The Elektra film has a severe case of fake Greek. You try pronouncing "SLSKTRL".
- Airplane II: The Sequel's "ГrаηѕсεηδεηГаζ аіr".
- Graisseideigaz Air?
- The Enemy of the State title swaps a few assorted symbols for English letters.
- Alexander had some advertising posters where the title was written as "ΛLΣXΛNDΣR", i.e. "LLSXLNDSR". Moreover, "Alexander" is the Latinized version of the name, which was originally "Alexandros" (AΛEΞANΔΡOΣ).
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians sprinkles text in the credits with Greek letters for added effect. This includes replacing A with Λ (lamda, sound "ll"), O with Θ (theta, sound soft "th"), and E with Σ (sigma, sound "ss") although in actual Greek the letters for A, O, and E are A, O, and E respectively. Some letters also get random crossbars, and € and ¥ (euro and yen signs) are even used for E and Y in other instances.
- Cloud Castles by Michael Scott Rohan has fake Greek: "Βυγγερ οφφ. Γετ τηισ φαρτινγ χλοχxωορx ηαρπψ οφφ μψ φυχxινγ δεχx. Γυεσσ τηε ωορδ Ι ωανθ ωιτη ψωυ.note . Not so bad but what has Psi to do with Y? It didn't get translated (it was left as is, English written with Greek letters) in Polish translation...
- Democritus in The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? sometimes speaks "Greek" or English in Greek letters.
- The Doctor Who episode "The Eleventh Hour" has a laptop with a logo that looks like "MΨTH". Again, presumably we're supposed to read this as MYTH, not MPSTÊ.
- The official name of the college show on ABC Family is GRΣΣK. Of course, in the Greek alphabet, the sigma represents S, not an E. How do you pronounce "Grssk" anyway?
- Stargate uses the Scandinavian letter Å instead of A. Gåte is Norwegian for riddle.
- The title card of Kamen Rider Agito reads KAMEN RIDER AGITΩ, with an Omega instead of the O. Presumably as a reference to "Alpha and Omega" (Agito begins with an A, that could be read as an Alpha, and in each episode's closing shot, only the A and the Ω appear at first before morphing into AGITΩ), since the series is chockful of religious symbolism.
- Dream Theater's logo, which looks almost like this: DREΛM·THEλTER
- The cover for Noxious Emotion's Symbols depicts the band name and album title in faux Greek letters.
- The poster for Madonna's "Can't Stop Esther" tour was filled with faux-Hebrew, with many letters turned around or mangled in order to stand for latin characters.
- µThunder, which according to his channel URL, is short for Uncharged Thunder.
- The Half-Life logo uses the Greek letter lambda instead of an A. The lambda represents "L", so it would be read as "HLLF LIFE". Justified, as this isn't done merely for visual resemblance, but for lambda's use in science to represent the radioactivity decay constant. (Or it could also be a reference to the Lambda Complex.) It also doesn't hurt that (as many fans have noted) it also looks like an arm holding a crowbar, though this may not have been intentional.
- The Wii allows Greek letters when naming a Mii. Many players use the Greek letters for this trope. For example, a Mii going online for Mario Kart Wii might be named "ρlαγεr" (rlager) rather than "player". The Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U allow both Greek and Cyrillic letters, though fewer players seem to be using them.
- Tachyon: The Fringe's cover art replaced the 'o' in 'tachyon' with the Greek letter omega (Ω).
- Blood Stone has Greek letters interchanged for English ones. For example, the opening sequences lists the city you're in as "ΛTHΣNδ", which would actually read "LTESNd" instead of "ATHENS." note
- In The Banner Saga a mix of fake and real runes on the map to make it look Norse. The real runes are often misused, however, such as Ur (ᚢ) being used as an N and Lögr (ᛚ) being reversed. This makes the text more readable without knowledge of Germanic runes than with it.
- Red vs. Blue uses Ξ (Xi) in place of "e" for the title card of Reconstruction. The series has AIs named after Greek letters throughout, but none of the ones mentioned are named Xi
- Used with tongue firmly planted in cheek at Kiotr.net, a fansite devoted to the X-Men's canon pairing of Kitty Pryde and Peter Rasputin.
- The Amazing World of Gumball, in the episode "The Refund", attempts to do an Asian version with a Fictional Video Game titled something similar to "Cyberground 丹太丁丁乚モ* II", somewhat beyond a mere Foreign-Looking Font. Unsurprisingly, nonsense when taken at face value.
- In case anyone's still interested in what the said font actually said, Google Translate sez: Dan too Tintin Yin holds an
- 丹 (Mandarin: dān, Japanese: tan/ni) = (medicine) tablet, pellet or pill; (color) red; (mineral) cinnabar
- 太 (tài, tai/ta/futo) = big, great, grand; extremely; too, too much
- 丁 (dīng, chou/tei/chin/tou/chi/hinoto) = man; population, members of a family; cube; the fourth of the ten Heavenly stems; a surname; fourth
- 乚 (yǐn, in/on/kaku) = hidden, mysterious, secret; to conceal; small, minute; variant form of the Kang Xi radical 乙
- モ (mo) = Japanese katakana for the syllable "mo"
- In case anyone's still interested in what the said font actually said, Google Translate sez: Dan too Tintin Yin holds an
- Monsters University combines this with Fun with Acronyms, with some Puns mixed in, for several fraternities and sororities' names. Examples include RΩR (Roar Omega Roar), JΘX (Jaws Theta Chi) and ΣΣK (Slugma Slugma Kappa).
- Similarly, you can◊ find a number of frat-themed t-shirts out there which use Greek letters this way.
- There is a beauty parlour on Wandsworth Road, London, which has rendered part of its sign in pseudo-Greek as "Ναιλσ" (Nails). However, whoever did this clearly doesn't know about Greek sigma cases; even if this is a Greek word, it should in any case be "Ναιλς".note
- The logo of electronics maker Rapoo. It barely looks like Latin script and more like Greek, in which case it reads "GLROO".
- Some "Greek yogurt" products do this. Cue amusement at seeing "Peach" spelled as "PSLCH".
- The torrent client µtorrent is placed in folders called uTorrent. µ is a 'mju' and would correctly be pronounced m.
- The norm ISO 2955 allows using u in place of µ for metric prefix micro- (one millionth).
- Sequoyah invented the Cherokee syllabry partially based on the English alphabet, but as he couldn’t actually read it, it has characters such as Ꭰ (read "a"), Ꮋ (read "mi"), and Ꮪ (read "du").