HOW TO READ RUSSIAN
Course in 7 lessons with audio

Lesson 1: THE RUSSIAN ALPHABET

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Is it important to know how to read? The answer to this question can only be yes. When you learn a new language (Spanish, German, French,…), you always learn new words, how to read them and how to pronounce them, with the alphabet used in that language. Then, if you want to learn Russian, you should learn its abc, right? Learning the Russian alphabet (русский алфавит) and knowing how to read its letters, is the first step in the path to speak this language. Besides, this is much easier than you might think. This short course is divided in 7 lesson and you can complete all of them in just one or two days. So, don’t rush and finish this course before visiting other resources from our website. The time you spend learning how to read is well invested time.

Russian uses a special set of letters: the Cyrillic alphabet. They are 33 letters which are very easy to learn. Below you will find every letter of the Russian alphabet:

Step 1

Click the play button and listen to the name of the letter and its sound.

Step 2

Click any letter and you will go to the lesson that shows how to pronounce it properly.

Step 3

Under each letter you’ll find examples of words in English that have the same or a very similar sound.
Relax: This course has 7 lessons.
Don’t memorize the whole alphabet now!
In the following lessons we will learn each letter little by little.

А а  Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-01a

Alligator, car, after

Б б   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-02b

bit, bat, blue

В в   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-03v

vine, vet, voice

Г г   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-04g

go, guard, good

Д д   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-05d

do, dog, double

Е е   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-06ye

yet, yes

Ё ё  

York, yolk, yonder

Ж ж   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-08zh

measure, pleasure

З з   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-09zh

zoo, zodiac

И и   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-10i

me, see, meet

Й й   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-11j

boy, oyster, yes

К к   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-12k

kitten, kite

Л л   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-13L

lamp, lock (only similar)

М м  Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-14m

map, my, moon

Н н   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-15n

not, nose, nine

О о   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-16o

more, audio

П п   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-17p

pet, pot, point

Р р   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-18r

thriller (rolling the “r”)

С с   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-19s

see, sun, soft

Т т   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-20t

tip, task, time

У у    Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-21u

book, booth

Ф ф   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-22f

face, fact, force

Х х  Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-23h

loch (as pronunced in Scotland)

Ц ц   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-24ts

sits, that’s

Ч ч   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-25ch

chip, chair

Ш ш   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-26sh

ship, shut, she

Щ щ   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-27sch

sh+ch: fresh chicken (similar)

Ы ы  Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-29y

Explained in lesson 4

Э э   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-31e

met, bet

Ю ю   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-32yu

you, use

Я я   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-33ya

yard, yummy

These two letters on the right are not sounded. Their role is to modify the sound of other letters.

They are called “soft sign” (Ь)
and “hard sign” (Ъ).

Ь ь  Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-30myahkyiznak

Modifies the sound of the previous consonant. Explained in lesson 6.

Ъ ъ   Leer-Ruso-Leccion1-28tvyordyiznak

Modifies the sound of the previous consonant. Explained in lesson 6.

What should you call this alphabet: Cyrillic or Russian? These are two different concepts. The Cyrillic alphabet is a writing system developed in the 10th Century in Bulgaria. This writing system is the source used to create the alphabets of different languages such as Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bulgarian or Russian. The Russian alphabet (that’s the one you learn in these lessons) is a form of the Cyrillic alphabet and is the script used to write the Russian language.

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