Index of Russian Date and Calendar Terms
In order to find and use specific types of Russian records, researchers need to be able to identify and understand some key terms in the Russian language. The following index contains terms relating to time, dates and calendars transliterated from Russian (left column) and their English translations (right column). The terms included here are those that you are likely to find in Russian genealogical sources. If the term you are looking for is not on this list, please consult a Russian-English dictionary. Compiled by Jonathan J. Kalmakoff.
Units of Time
Time of Day
Days of the Week
Months of the Year
Imperial Russia operated on the ‘old-style’ Julian calendar (staryi stil'), which was in common use in Europe after it was authorized by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. However, after 1582, most Western European countries adopted the ‘new-style’ Gregorian calendar (novyi stil') proclaimed by Pope Gregory XIII, which abolished the leap year for centenary years not exactly divisible by 400. By the 19th century, the old-style calendar was 12 days behind the new-style calendar (13 days behind in a leap-year). In February 1918, the Soviet Union adopted the new-style calendar; however, the Russian Orthodox Church still used the old-style calendar. In the calculation of any historical dates, therefore, one must take into account whether the old-style or new-style calendar was in use.
Other Russian Terms