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Russian Alphabet

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Russian Alphabet

The Russian alphabet is easy to learn! Learning the alphabet is the first step to learning the Russian language. Even if you don’t plan to learn the language, knowing the alphabet is great for travelling because you can read all the street and shop signs. It may seem daunting to learn a new alphabet, but it is relatively easy. In fact, the great thing about Russian is that almost all words can be sounded out as they are written. Unlike English where the pronunciation of a word may not be clear from its written form. Russian also has one letter to one sound, unlike English where two letters often make one sound. (Example “sh”).

Either before or after this lesson we recommend you print the alphabet table, and stick it up next to the computer (or around the house), to help you with the following lessons.

The Russian alphabet is also known as the Cyrillic alphabet. There are 33 letters in the Russian alphabet. 11 vowels, 20 consonants, and 2 pronunciation signs. Here is what the Russian alphabet looks like (in dictionary order).

А, Б, В, Г, Д, Е, Ё, Ж, З, И, Й, К, Л, М, Н, О, П, Р, С, Т, У, Ф, Х, Ц, Ч, Ш, Щ, Ъ, Ы, Ь, Э, Ю, Я

Now let’s have a look at these letters in detail. For your reference we will make some notes about unusual hand-written forms, however this will be covered in another lesson so don’t worry too much yet.

Russian letters that are (almost) the same.
А а – Pronounced like the “a” in the word “father” or “car”. It is not the ‘flat’ “a” sound you sometimes hear in words like “cat” or “flat”.

К к – Pronounced like the “k” in “kitten” or “kangaroo”. This letter replaces the english “c” sound in words like “cat”.

М м – Pronounced like the “m” in man. (Note: Unlike english, the hand-written “м” should always start from the bottom)

O o – When stressed, it is pronounced like the “o” in “bore”. When un-stressed it is pronounced more like the letter “a”. (See later notes.)

Т т – Pronounced like the “t” in “tap”. (Note: The hand-written (and italic) form is “т”. It should always start from the top, as it looks quite similar to the letter “м”)

Russian letters that look like english letters but sound different.
(These are the most important to learn so you don’t get them mixed up.)
В в – Pronounced like the “v” in “vet”. (Equivalent to the english letter “v”).

Е е – Pronounced like the “ye” in “yes”.

Н н – Pronounced like the “n” in “no”. (Equivalent to the english letter “n”).

Р р – Pronounced like the “r” in “run”, but it is rolled. (Equivalent to the english letter “r”).

С с – Pronounced like the “s” in “see”. (Equivalent to the english letter “s”). (It might help to remember that it’s used like the “s” sound in the english words “centre” and “cent”.)

У у – Pronounced like the “oo” in “boot” or “root”.

Х х – Pronounced like the “h” in “hello”. However, this is often pronounced more like the “ch” in the Scottish “Loch” or German “Bach”, or the mexican pronunciation of “x” in “Mexico”.

GET RUSSIAN TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS. CALL 080-3753-1249, 081-1445-6164
E-mail: hello@novatiatranslations.com.ng

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