Russian video course by Red Kalinka

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Russian alphabet - Russian course

How to read Russian
Course for beginners: learn how to read Russian letters and words

Lesson 1: The Russian alphabet


In this lesson you will learn:

  • A short introduction to the Russian alphabet
  • The sound of each Russian letter

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:

  1. Click the play button and listen to the name of the letter and its sound.
  2. Click any letter and you will go to the lesson that shows how to pronounce it properly.
  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

Alligator, car, after

letter b

Б б

bit, bat, blue

letter v

В в

vine, vet, voice

letter g

Г г

go, guard, good

letter d

Д д

do, dog, double

letter ye

Е е

yet, yes

letter yo

Ё ё

York, yolk, yonder

letter zh

Ж ж

measure, pleasure

letter z

З з

zoo, zodiac

letter i

И и

me, see, meet

letter j

Й й

boy, oyster, yes

letter k

К к

kitten, kite

letter l

Л л

lamp, lock (only similar)

letter m

М м

map, my, moon

letter n

Н н

not, nose, nine

letter o

О о

more, audio

letter p

П п

pet, pot, point

letter r

Р р

thriller (rolling the "r")

letter s

С с

see, sun, soft

letter t

Т т

tip, task, time

letter u

У у

book, booth

letter f

Ф ф

face, fact, force

letter h

Х х

loch (as pronunced in Scotland)

letter ts

Ц ц

sits, that's

letter ch

Ч ч

chip, chair

letter sh

Ш ш

ship, shut, she

letter sch

Щ щ

sh + ch: fresh chicken (similar)

letter y

Ы ы

Explained in lesson 4.

letter e

Э э

met, bet

letter yu

Ю ю

you, use

letter ya

Я я

yard, yummy

Two Russian letters without any sound

These two letters below are not sounded. Their role is to modify the sound of other letters. They are called "soft sign" (Ь) and "hard sign" (Ъ).

soft sign

Ь ь

Explained in lesson 6.

hard sign

Ъ ъ

Explained in lesson 6.

Do you want to learn Russian with the best courses and books?

We recommend you the best Russian course, with 160 videos and personal tutor.
If you love reading, have a look at these books with stories in easy Russian with audio.
If you want to practice your Russian, here you can find exercise books, with key and grammar tables.

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What should you call this alphabet: Cyrillic or Russian?
They 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.

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.

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Russian video course from Red Kalinka