Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Russian Alphabet

One of my pet projects during the past week or so is learning how to learn to read the Russian alphabet. The Russian alphabet is written in the Cyrillic script, which at first seems daunting to learn, but it is actually really easy to figure out.

Indeed, several letters in the Russian alphabet correspond to the same letter in English and make the same sound as English. For example, the letters K and T are the same in the English alphabet and Russian alphabet. Other letters in Russian alphabet, however, while they look like letters in the English, make entirely different sounds from what they sound in English. For example, the letter that looks like a backwards "R" actually makes a ya sound (like in "yacht"). Indeed, the equivalent Russian letter for "R" is actually the English letter P. Then there are the letters in Russian that don't look like any English letter. For instance, the letter ะค in Russian corresponds to the letter in F in Russian.

For actually learning the Russian alphabet, go to a basic English-Russian alphabet or go here. After spending a hour or two, you should be reading Russian like a pro.

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Anonymous said...

I dated a Bulgarian girl for several years - same alphabet, very similar language actually. After a couple of weeks, I could read everything written in block print. Like English, written script is different and threw me off, but she was proud of me nonetheless. Funny thing is, she hated the Cyrillic spelling of her name so she used the Latin version (Maria, not Mariya) - she was a linguistics major so I took her word for it.

Matthew Avitabile said...

Excellent work, Joe. I learned most of the Cyrillic alphabet earlier this summer. It wasn't too hard and was kinda fun. Learning Russian on the other hand might be difficult.

And Javan-- are you Persian, because Javan means 'young' in Farsi (which I studied)

Yuriy said...