Learn Russian

Russian Alphabet

The Russian alphabet was created by the 9th century monk St. Cyril. After a couple of changes along the way it became was it is today in 1918. There are a total of 33 letters in the Russian alphabet. Below in the table is the block printing of the Cyrillic alphabet, followed by the Cursive Version, then how to pronounce the sound, and then a short audio clip of the sound(coming soon).

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Block Cursive Sound Audio Block Cursive Sound Audio Block Cursive Sound Audio
A Cursive A a in father N/A Be Cursive Be b in bed N/A Ve Cursive Ve v in visit N/A
Ghe Cursive Ghe g in goat N/A De Cursive De d in day N/A Ye Cursive Ye ye in yet N/A
Yo Cursive Yo yo in yolk N/A Zhe Cursive Zhe s in pleasure N/A Ze Cursive Ze z in zoo N/A
I Cursive I e in eel N/A Short I Cursive Short I i in voice N/A Ka Cursive Ka k in kite N/A
El Cursive El l in let N/A Em Cursive Em m in man N/A En Cursive En n in no N/A
O Cursive O o in nor N/A Pe Cursive Pe p in pay N/A Er Cursive Er r in error N/A
Es Cursive Es s in say N/A Te Cursive Te t in to N/A U Cursive U oo in boot N/A
Ef Cursive Ef f in feet N/A Ha Cursive Ha ch in Bach N/A Tse Cursive Tse ts in cats N/A
Che Cursive Che ch in check N/A Sha Cursive Sha sh in shoe N/A Shcha Cursive Shcha shch in fresh cheese N/A
Hard Sign Cursive Hard Sign no sound N/A Yeru Cursive Yeru i in bit N/A Soft Sign Cursive Soft Sign no sound N/A
E Cursive E e in met N/A Yu Cursive Yu u in universe N/A Ya Cursive Ya ya in yak N/A

Russian pronunciation is fairly straight forward and phonetic. There are some exceptions in Russian pronunciation like что which is pronounced "shto" not "chto" and его pronounced "yevo" not "yego." Overall, don't worry about the exceptions too much if you have an audio program or speaker at your side it will be easily taken care of. Also words in Russian never begin with the letters ъ, ы, and ь.

Also in learning materials and dictionaries there are stress mark above that letter that gets stressed. However, that is the only place you will find stress marks. If you pick up a russian newspaper you will not find stress marks on any of the words. You'll also find the umlauts (two dots) above ë left out frequently also.

Russian Cursive

All Russians in grade school learn to write Russian in cursive. Pretty much every Russian when writing will use cursive to write. It's best to learn the cursive form of the alphabet because it will make writing easier and quicker than using standard block writing.

There are some rules to remember when writing in cursive though, not much. The Л, М, and Я cursive letters always begin with a small hook. Also sometimes the cursive verison of T might have a line above it and the cursive version of Ш might have a line below it too, depends on the writer though. Similarly to leaving the umlauts out in block printing for ë also in cursive russian many writers will leave out the umlauts too.

Capitalization Rules

There are some capitalization rules that are in Russian. Like English, Russian capitalizes proper nouns, however Russian does not capitalize....

Spelling Rules

There are only three spelling rules in Russian. Learning these rules will help you spell the end of nouns, adjectives, and verbs correctly.

Rule 1:
Write и, never ы after к г х ж ч ш щ

Rule 2:
Write а, never я and write у, never ю after г ж к х ц ч ш щ

Rule 3:
Write unstressed е, but stressed о after ж х ц ч ш щ

Vowels and Consonants

In Russian there are 10 vowels and and 20 consonants.

Vowels: А Э О У Ы Я Е Ё Ю И

Consonants: Б В Г Д Ж З К Л М Н П Р С Т Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ