# single-letter translation from Greek letters to English letters?

Is there a well accepted way to represent each Greek letter using only one English letter?

I'm asking because I often needed to use English to represent Greek letters, e.g., when Greek font is absent. Of course, we have LaTex, and can use:

\alpha, \beta, ..., and so on

But that is rather long to write down. Is there a good single letter translation? For example

\alpha  -->   /a
\beta   -->   /b
\gamma  -->   /g
...


Of course, this translation should respect the lineage between alphabets as much as possible. Searching about this, I found the ESL question Is there a reason behind the ordering of letters in the English alphabet?. The answers there do suggest that there is some correspondence/heritage between the two alphabets, and English alphabet has added letters such as W, U, J.

Also, there seems to be an ISO standard 843 for such translation, but certain Greek letters such as \psi require two English ones (ps).

Is there a standard for one-letter translation/representation from Greek to English letters?

• I think you've answered your own question there. You could use the mapping used in Windows' symbol font but that's illogical (q=theta). Or you could write in unicode and set up an appropriate input method. – Chris H Oct 24 '16 at 6:00
• Apart from Chris’ suggestion, I'm not aware of any transliteration scheme that doesn't require a digraph for ψ, ξ/χ, and θ at the least. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 24 '16 at 8:32
• S. A. Fulling wrote an article "Where's The Greek Shift Key?" for TUGboat in 1985, the journal of the TeX User's Group: tug.org/TUGboat/tb11-3/tb29fulling.pdf . One possible encoding is given there, although things get awkward towards the end - $\psi$ gets mapped to c. – Michael Lugo Sep 16 '17 at 16:16