Is the Ukrainian alphabet the same as the Russian alphabet? Where can I find examples?
They are both Cyrillic but not equal.
Letters which are the same in the both alphabets, but they mean different sounds:
Russian e sounds like [ye] and wide [e] in words dare, where. Ukrainians use letter є for this sound.
Russian и sounds like [ee], [ea] in sweet, mean, dream, meal. Ukrainians use letter i for this sound.
Ukrainian и sounds like a very short [i] in dig, will, grill. Russians use letter ы for this sound.
Russian г sounds like [g] in graduate. Ukrainians use letter ґ for this sound.
Letters which are different but are used for the same sounds in both languages:
Russian и = Ukrainian і
Russian е = Ukrainian є
Russian э = Ukrainian е
Russian г = Ukrainian ґ
Letters present only in Russian:
ъ - is used for dividing some consonant letters from the vowel ones. It's like h in Italian (ghetto)
ё - [yo] like in yoga, your. This letter is mostly used in books for small children, but normally gets substituted by letter e
Letters and signs present only in Ukrainian:
ї - is used for a sound like [yee] in year (it isn't an exact match) or Yiddish (I mean the word itself, not the language!)
These are the most obvious differences, I tried to explain them as simply as possible.
You can also look in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_alphabet
There is a good table on the Russian version of this page (with international symbols) http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A3%D0%BA%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9_%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%84%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%82
and Ukrainian version http://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A3%D0%BA%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%97%D0%BD%D1%81%D1%8C%D0%BA%D0%B0_%D0%B0%D0%B1%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%BA%D0%B0
Bible in Russian - Библия, in Ukrainian - Біблія [b'ee-blee-yah]
The differences in spelling are very clear in geographic names, when they sound the same way:
Estonia in Russian - Эстония, in Ukrainian - Естонія
Yemen in Russian - Йемен, in Ukrainian - Ємен
Italy in Russian - Италия, in Ukrainian - Італія
Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet.
This website : http://www.masterrussian.com/blalphabet.shtml
has the block (printed) letters, the written letters, and the pronunciation of each letter as well.
Just to warn you, no Russian I've ever met uses the block letters, so you'll have to learn both forms if you want to write in Russian. Some of the letters look completely different in handwriting, but it looks more intimidating than it is :)
where to get Russian alphabet laptop little stickers for the keyboard?
I have bought them here:
http://www.russianeditor.com/russian-keyboard-stickers.htm and they are pretty good quality.
They are also available from:
Because they are "removable", they tend to fall off after a while, but they are a bit cheaper.
33 letters in Russia. 8 letters were already in disuse by the 18th century, and 4 more letters were eliminated during a spelling reform after the Russian Revolution. But some Russian emigrants don't recognize these communist reforms, and still insist on using the old Cyrillic alphabet from Old Church Slavonic.
Looking for what it is you - if you are passionate about the Russian language you want to learn to speak and write.
But if you want only speaking, this is not necessarily to study writting.
If you often in Russia, if you have Russian friends or work in a Russian company that usually people quickly learn to speak (with an accent), but they do not know the Alphabet.
it's just memorizing by ear
Can this help me learn the Russian alphabet better?
What this will help you learn is a better approximation of the pronounciation of the Russian words, as the Latin letters and sounds will be more familiar to you. It will also help you learn to properly transliterate the Cyrilic to Latin better.
But if the real question is learning to read Russian, you should simply spend time reading the Cyrillic. It will help you much more in the long run.
The Russian alphabet is one of the easiest thing I've had to learn. Russian is only really difficult when it comes to declensions and the kind of verbs (perfective vs imperfective) you have to use (remembering the vocabulary is pretty hard too). I suggest you learn it as a 3rd or 4th language like I am because it will be much easier.
Oh and to answer your question: Yeah it is worth your time. One of my favorite languages.
where should i go from after i learn the russian alphabet?
Learning the alphabet wouldn't be much help if that's the only thing you know right now.
Because if you're learning on your own you'll have to read book and listen to audio recordings.
Most books at a beginner level will have Russian words transliterated ( Не Жалей would be Ne Zhaley in a book) then as you progress, with at least a conversational level of Russian will you start using Cyrillic.
This youtube video tutorial teaches you how to write in cursive (both capital and lowercase letters)
I find it really useful. Basically handwritten Russian is mostly cursive, because Russians find it more comfortable to write like that, it has a more natural flow to it.
Also check this out -
Insight on origins of Russian Language and alphabet?
The sixth century AD saw the migration of the Slav people from old Poland. The Slavs expanded westwards to the river Elbe and southwards to the Adriatic sea where they gradually occupied much of the Balkans. By the tenth century, three Slavonic language groups had emerged: Western, Southern and Eastern. Eastern Slavonic gave rise to the modern languages known as Ukranian, Belorussian and Russian. The Slavonic languages retained many features in common especially in grammatical structure, therefore the separate groups were able to use one common written language. This language was known as Old Slavonic or Old Church Slavonic (the language was used in its written form only). In the ninth century, two missionaries - Constantine (who on his deathbed took the monastic name Cyril) and Methodius - were required to write down the scriptures in Old Church Slavonic and to preach Christianity to the people of Moravia. Before they set out for Moravia, Constantine invented a Slavonic, now known as the Cyrillic alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet is closely based on the Greek alphabet, with about a dozen additional letters invented to represent Slavic sounds not found in Greek .
also u can get info on this web site:
You can try out this cool site http://www.oddcast.com/home/demos/tts/tts_example.php
Works in many languages.
You should select Russian language, and type your letters or words in Russian to hear them pronounced. Have fun.
Should I learn Russian or Hindi, what's the easiest?
Well, the Russian alphabet will be easier for you to learn since you know the Greek and Roman ones. Hindi has strange grammar and is a verb final language (verbs are usually at end of a sentence.) Hindi also has some ergativity, which is not present in any European languages derived from PIE, even though Hindi is also a PIE langauage
But I think both are difficult for English speakers ,with Hindi maybe being a little bit more weird because of ergativity and post positions and verb finality. Hindi also has something called compound verbs which are also a cause of great misery for non-native speakers. They are very tricky and in themselves can take years to figure out.
The Devanagari alphabet is a pain in the neck because it accounts for apsirated and non-aspirated consonants and also dental and retro flex T's and D's, so there are four T's and D's essentially that you will have to learn to distinguish properly when you hear them. That is a major pain in the neck.
Another thing is that there are over 56 different characters, but consonant blends or conjuncts are combined in writing and so you have to get used to seeing consonants alone or as part of a conjunct.
for example st = स्त = स + त
k + Sh = क + ष = क्ष
vowels too take on different forms from their stand alone forms when they follow a consonant. Thus so = सो = स + ओ (s + o)
but you have ओवल = oval since the "o" starts the word.
There are certainly a lot of annoying points about Hindi and how Urdu words are spelled in it. For example, in Hindi there is no letter "z", so they use "j" with a dot under it, but most Hindi publications leave out the dot and it gets annoying, thus the word "busy" is spelled bijii, बिजी
instead of बिज़ी bizii and that is annoying.
I have found russian alphabet songs but they were for poeple that already know the russian alphabet already.
try this site:
it might help a bit
but if you want the 'song' anyway here it is:
First of all, there is no such thing as "English letters". They are called either Latin letters or Roman letters. The Latin alphabet is not some miraculous discovery that the English stumbled upon - it was developed from the Greek alphabet, as was Cyrillic ("Russian alphabet" in your terminology). What upside down letters are you talking about? The only ones that might seem odd to you are seemingly mirror images of Latin letters - Я, И, Э.
What should I do to type using the Russian alphabet?
In order for you to read the Russian text you would have to change coding. Highlight content of your e-mail. Go to "view" > encoding>"more" and change coding. You’ll find several options of Cyrillic coding there. Try them and see which one works.
Regarding typing in Russian: If you do know how to use standard keyboard you can just add it by Going to control Panel>Regional and Language settings>Languages>Details. It is the same as yandex.ru keyboard.
My assumption is that it would be rather hard for you to use this keyboard since you are already familiar with an English keyboard. Therefore you can install a transliterated keyboard.
Check out this:
How do you pronounce the Russian Alphabet? any good sites?
I sifted through few sites that describe Russian alphabet. There are many that explain how to pronounce letters, but this one also offers audio:
Just click on a letter and you'll hear the recording - it's pretty close to native pronunciation.
The only thing they could do better is the letter "Й" - the official name of the letter is "И краткое" (Short E) - not the way they pronounce it. All other letters are rendered correctly.
is the russian alphabet the same order as the english alphabet?
No, the russian alphabet has 33 letters in it, some look like those in english but sound different, some sound like english letters but look completely different and others are totally new to english speakers. I suggest you type in russian alphabet in google it, it will give you the russian alphabet in Cyrillic script and then how to sound out the letters. Also there are two pronunciation signs in their alphabet which look like letters but change the sounds of the letters before or after them in a word.
I studied russian years ago and once you get it, you've got it! It's really a fun language to learn once you get past the cyrillic alphabet. The link I'm providing has the alphabet in order (top to bottom) with the pronunciation. I didn't test it but they say that if you click on any row you can hear the pronunciation of the letter. Good luck!
There are a lot of audio , where you can hear any Russian letter.
By the way, there are a lot of web sites, when you can study Russian.
However, there isn't assurance that you could learn Russian since Russian is a very difficult language!
Can someone translate these into Russian? (English alphabet?)?
"I'm with him again/I'm with Antonio again" - Ya snova s nim/Ya snova s Antonio
"What?" - Shto
"Precisely." - Tochno
"He's being clingy." - On navyaschivyi
"In English, please?" - Na angliyskom, pozhaluista
"Sorry." - Prosti
"I'm speaking Russian so he can't see what I'm saying." - Ya razgovarivayu na russkom, poetomu on ne poimet, chto ya govoryu
"Thanks" - Spasibo
"I love you." - Ya lyublyu tebya
"I want to go home." - Ya hochu poiti domoy
Omg, I am 12 and I am teaching my self Russian. First thing to do is to get organized: get some notebooks, find some good videos on YouTube, and some good Russian websites like www.funrussian.com. Second: don't memorize it gets way to complicated, instead for example say thing to family like Mozhno pencil? Mozhno is a Russian word that means can I or may I it depends on the context. Or you would say to a classmate "My pen dried out, Mozhno if I borrow yours?" By doing this often you won't have to memorize all you have to do is get used to saying these Russian words, and don't only say Mozhno!
My third thing I leared is the S.L.T. Which prevents you from making serious mistakes in your speech. Take for example Minya Zovut Sydney. A lot of people think Minya mean my, and Zovut mean name is, but that is incorrect. My name is Sydney does not make much sense in the Russian language but Me they call Sydney does which is what Minya Zovut means. Minya-me, Zovut-they call, Sydney-ur name. So really instead of saying my name is Sydney. You are actually saying "me, they call Sydney. Make sense? If not check out my sources that should help out. Good Luck with Russian!
Agree with Jared T and steiner1....
I'd like to make a parallel. Cyrillic is a script as well as Latin. For example, English, Spanish, French, German, Swedish and so on all use the Latin script, only with some slight differences like, for example, German umlaut. The same applies to the Cyrillic script and many Eastern European languages. But each language has its own alphabet, so I'd say - the Russian alphabet.
HELP!!! why can't i copy texts written in russian alphabets?
No, in Notepad you will see the same 'gibberish' - Notepad in XP is also Unicode program (as MS Word or wordpad).
It's because your Windows is not Russian. There are some work-around methods - listed in the section
"Unicode and Cyrillic" here: http://RusWin.net
and here are just two of them:
1) To convert gibberish in MS Word to readable Russian - use MS-provided macro (after you activate it, you will have
"Fix broken text" option in Word's Tools menu):
2) If you copy from a non-Unicode program to a Unicode program (such as say browser) - before you select and copy, switch your keyboard to Russian/"RU"
As Blonde A says, there IS no concept. Each letter represents a sound. Just learn it, practise it, and within a couple of weeks at most you'll be completely OK with it.
Get yourself a simple Russian grammar book, and START. Don't fret about 'concepts'.
What does "Siberian" have to do with anything, BTW?
Make flashcards! That's what I did. On the front it said the Russian letter, and on the back the letter in English and an example English word the letter was pronounced as. For example, one of my cards read: (Front) д (Back) D - Dog. Once you're okay with the letters, practice by trying to read sentences from the internet.
why is the cursive russian alphabet different from the keyboard one?
Russian cursive letters are different than the printed ones for the same reason that English cursive letters are different than the printed ones, because they are easier to write quickly. Russian children are first taught to block-print the Cyrillic letters, just like children learnign English. Before the typewriter, most Russian was handwritten using cursive letters.
Learning Russian alphabet just in 2 days is already a success, so don't give up because Russian may seem hard at the beginning.
Here are some advices from me:
1) Watch movies in Russian (with English subtitles) - Russians have many sayings used daily that have no "literal meaning" in English, you will able to understand them if you watch the conversation fully.
2) Listen to Russian songs - Russians spell the words very clearly (unlike English lol...) in their songs, so you will be able to pronounce the words correctly like the native speakers
3) Enter Russian sites - Try to read some words and use a dictionary. You will learn a lot (I did that when I was learning German,it helped a lot)
4) After "knowing" enough, talk to Russians - They will help you even more when they see you talking Russian
5) After all 4 - Try to read some books/articles and translate them yourself
Hope this helps. Good luck :)
What alphabet does the Russian alphabet come from?
@Possum above me is wrong,the Russians use Cyrillic alphabet,which was created by Saint Cyril in Bulgaria,many times people say that Bulgarians look allot like Russians and that we have the same alphabet as theirs but the truth is that Russians took their alphabet from us.It is not a 100% the same,it changed with time,but 93% of the letters are the same,and the same things go for every Other country that uses Cyrillic alphabet.(Macedonia,Serbia,Ukraina...)IN the link bellow u can find more info hope i helped... :) Cheers...
А а Й й У у Э э
Б б К к Ф ф Ю ю
В в Л л Х х Я я
Г г М м Ц ц
Д д Н н Ч ч
Е е О о Ш ш
Ё ё П п Щ щ
Ж ж Р р ъ
З з С с ы
И и Т т ь
What you see in the section above is the 'standard' Cyrillic Alphabet, which all Russian is written in. It'll take a while to get use to it, but eventually you'll learn it.
Examples of grammatical Russian subjects:
Prefixes/Suffixes: Adding something to the end or beginning of a noun or verb to change its meaning - 'go in' becomes 'ingo [войти]'. 'I like the house' becomes 'I like the dog [я собаку люблю]' due to case declensions
Case declension: The suffixes of the nouns change due to case [nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental, prepositional]
Two counting systems: In plural, Russian nouns either enter the nominative- or genitive plural form due to number [1, 2, 3... 77, 78, 79, 80...]
Extra adjective declension: Genders have influence in the declension of adjectives; adjectives will also inflect due to the way you use them - the is a difference between ''she is blue [oна синая], he is blue [он синий], she likes the blue color [она синюю собаку любит].''
Croatian - Russian comparison
The Croatian and Russian languages are both part of the Balto-Slavic language family, so besides the alphabet and vocabulary, there are not many differences.
what? who told you that crap,there's only one alphabet in russia!
it's not difficult to master: with the help of a teacher you can learn to read ANY RUSSIAN WORD in less than 2 weeks...well, you won't know what that word means, but you'll be able to read it (try that with chinese, spanish or arabic!)
there are a lot of difficulties in learning russian, but the alphabet is NOT one of them, глаголы движения (glagoly dveejenia), verbs of motion, THAT'S difficult!
Russian aphabets are very similar to Bulgarian by the way. They are easy.
Try these websites:
here you will find russian greetings and 8 more lessons for beginners with audio ! just click GO .
Аа - Бб - Вв - Гг - Дд - Ее - Ёё* - Жж - Ии - Йй - Кк - Лл - Мм - Нн - Оо - Пп - Рр** - Сс - Тт - Уу - Фф - Хх - Цц - Чч - Шш - Щщ - Ъъ - Ыы - Ьь - Ээ - Юю - Яя
Better pronunciation guide:
A - Bay - Vay - Gay - Day - Yeh - Yo - Zh - Zay - "ee" - "ee" krat-ko-yeh - ka - el - em - en - oh - pay - airr - ess - tay - uu - eff - kha*** - tsay - chay - sha - shcha**** - tv-yor-dee znahk - "ehh"***** - m-yag-kee znak - eh - you - ya
* Rarely ever written with the accents over the E, so you gotta learn pronunciation from context.
** - R's in Russian are often rolled, keep that in mind.
*** - Pronounced like a very gutteral "ha"
**** - Similar to the Ш but a little softer. Like saying "Fre-sh ch-eese" really fast.
***** - Hard for us English speakers to pick up the difference between this and the И but they are different. Like the "E" in Roses or the "i" in Silly.
Keep in mind also that the Ъ/Ь (hard sign/soft sign), while part of the alphabet, are not so much letters as they are pronunciation modifiers in words.
And finally... Each vowel in the Russian language has a Soft and Hard pronunciation to it. I'll make a quick chart for ya (if interested):
SOFT - HARD
У - Ю (uu - yu)
Э - Е (eh - yeh)
О - Ё (oh - yo)
А - Я (ah - ya)
И - Ы (ee - ery)
Try sayin' it out loud, you'll notice the difference :)
how many vowels in the russian(cyrillic) alphabet?
Firstly, in standard Russian Cyrillic there are only 10 letters that contain vocalic sounds: А Е И О У Э Ю Я Ё and Ы. The 11th might be the Belorussian letter І, which is also used in Ukrainian and many Turkic languages, but then this would also warrant the inclusion of the Ukrainian letter Ї and the Belorussian Ў. It is more likely that some websites erroneously list Й as a vowel, though it tends to make the consonant sound [j] rather than a vocalic sound.
According to this chart on Russian phonology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:IPA_for_Russian there are 14 individual vowel sounds existent in the standard Russian language.
If you want to discuss the Cyrillic alphabet as a whole, there are ten or eleven additional vowels used in the writing of non-Slavic languages. I'm only familiar with Tajik, amongst these, which contains Ӯ and Ӣ.
There is no need (and even no reason) for any download - starting from Windows 2000, that is, more than 10 years ago, Russian fonts are included into any version of MS Windows, being it US English version or German or Japanese.
Moreover, modern software (like MS Office or another application that does printing) would NOT work with those old (made 10+ years ago) fonts that one can still find on the Web and download.
Since Windows 2000, most fonts included into MS Windows, are multi-lingual (Unicode) fonts that contain several sets of national symbols:
- Western (English, German,...)
- Central European (Polish,...)
- Cyrillic (Russian, Ukrainian,...)
Fonts in MS Windows that support Russian (Cyrillic):
- Times New Roman
- Courier New
- and more
How to get Russian text to print it later:
easiest way is to use Virtual Keyboard and input Russian (using mouse or regular keyboard):
and then copy the text from there to say MS Word and then print (or give .doc file to t-shirt guys)
P.S. If you'd like to read more detailed explanation regarding "Russian fonts" please see a novice-oriented instruction on the site devoted to Russian usage under US English Windows:
and specifically, these sections (second is optional - one needs it only if types Russian often):
- Russian fonts
- Typing Russian on any keyboard
Correction: the Polish alphabet has never BECOME Romanized, it has always BEEN Roman. Connected with the fact that Poland adopted Roman (Western) Christianity (966 AD). Prior to that, Polish was spoken only.
Russia adopted Eastern Christianity (Byzantine), and their Cyrillic alphabet is based on Greek rather than Roman.
I don't see any reason Russians would want to Romanize their writing. First, the Cyrillic is connected with a thousand years of history. Second, it's more suited for Russian, as the script was developed for Slavic languages - so there are special letters to represent Russian sounds - Polish has to use special marks and combinations of letters.
So unless Russians wanted to copy the West (which would surprise me for many reasons!), the Russian alphabet will always remain Cyrillic.
In the Russian alphabet, what is the purpose of...?
й is a glide, which is a shortened version of a vowel. The English equivalent is the letter y, which makes the same sound as i, but more briefly.
ъ and ь are the hard and soft signs, and their functions are interesting...
Every consonant in Russian is, by default, "hard". However, you can "soften", or "palatize", a consonant by following it with a soft-sign. When you soften a consonant, you place your tongue on the palate of your mouth, and breath out a short fast burst of air while making the sound. This is generally accompanied by sort of "smiling" mouth position.
The ability to soften a consonant effectively doubles the Russian alphabet, because now you have т and ть, л and ль, etc. However, adding soft signs everywhere would make words really big and ugly, so the easier solution is to create softened vowels. Thus, you get я, е, и, ё, and ю, which are the functional equivalents of ьа, ьэ, ьы, ьо, and ьу. When you see a consonant followed by a soft vowel, it is really a short-hand for the soft sign... for instance те is really тьэ.
This makes everything much easier, except for the rare occasion where you want to have a hard consonant followed by a soft vowel. It becomes necessary to add a "hard" sign, whose sole job is to proceed a soften vowel. For instance, сесть (pronounced s'ect') is different from the word съесть (pronounced syect').
Palatization is a strange concept for English speakers when they first learn Russian, but once you understand it, it's not that hard.
And finally, yes. When you are naming the letters of the alphabet, you do need to use the long names for these three letters.
My Russian reading skills are okay, but unfortunately I don't know what I am saying. Well this is how I learned it:
http://masterrussian.com/blalphabet.shtml Shows you the alphabet and what it's called
You can also check Wikipedia and youtube for the sounds they make
If you really want to practice reading you could get the lyrics to a Russian, once you get a hold of the alphabet, and practice.
Why does the Russian alphabet include numbers and emoticons?
The Russian alphabet does NOT include neither numbers nor emoticons.
The letters just happen to be a bit different from the ones in the alphabet we use.
12 of them are more or less the same as in our Latin alphabet (even though the pronunciation might be different), 5 are more or less straight from the Greek alphabet, and the others are inventions by the creator Cyril and the subsequent tradition.
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
what you might see as a 4 is "ch" as in China, what might look like a 3 is an "z" like in zero and what you might see as an emoticon, the e with two dots on it, is "yo" like in Yorrick.
Russian alphabet has 33 letters, English as you know - 26. Russian alphabet can not be translated to English, but it has but similar letters. For example: English "A" [ei] - Russian "A" [а], English "B" [bi:] - Russian "Б" [бэ:].
Danya - Даня - it's mans name.
Ya ne ponimayu - Я не понимаю - I dont understand.
Da -Да -Yes.
Tovarish - Товарищ - Comrade or Friend)
What are the letters of the Russian alphabet, and their sound?
Russian alphabets are called Cyrillic. Named after St. Cyril , the Greek Monk who created the alphabets.
А а [a] a as in Father
Б б [be] b as in Bet
В в [ve] v as in Very
Г г [ge] g as in Get
Д д [de] d as in Dog
Е е [ye] ye as in Yes
Ё ё [yo] Yo as in York
Ж ж [zhe] Z as in Azure (Kinda like dj- Jewel in J)
З з [za] z as in Zoo
И и [i] i as in Visa
Й й [i Kratkoye/Short i] y as in Boy
К к [ka] k as Skate
Л л [el] l as in Lot
М м [em] m as in Mike
Н н [en] n as in Net
О о [o] o as in Ought
П п [pe] p as in Span
Р р [er] r as in Better
С с [es[ s as in Sun
Т т [te] t as in Tanya
У у [u] u as in Flu
Ф ф [ef] f as in Fun
Х х [kha] Ch as in Bach
Ц ц [tse] ts as in Cats
Ч ч [che] ch as in Cheese
Ш ш [sha] sh as in Shoe
Щ щ [shcha] shsh as in Fresh Sheen
ъ [Tvoyrdiy Znak/Hard sign] No sound value
ы [yeri] i as in Vigor
ь [Myagkiy Znak/Soft sign] no sound value
Э э [e oborotnoye/Reveresed e] e as in echo
Ю ю [yu] Yu as in yukon
Я я [ya] ya as in Yacht
Can someone explain the Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet to me?
The Cyrillic alphabet is based on the Roman and Greek alphabets..it is used in the identical way..one phoneme per letter, just like in Latin or Greek or the most part...I know the Russian alphabet; it did not take me long to learn it as I know the Roman and Greek alphabets as well
It's quite easy.
I have written how the letters are pronounced in WORDS, and how they are pronounced on their own. (in capitals)
А, а - "a(r)h" as in the first "a" in "marmelade" = "AH"
Б б - as in bit, bake, boys = "BEH"
В в - as in the English "vet", "veranda" = "VEH"
Г г - as in get, go, girls = "GEH"
Д д - as in the "d" of "door" = "DEH"
Е е - ye as in yesterday= "YEH"
Ё ё - yo as in yonder= "YO"
Ж ж - zh as in pleasure= "zheh"
З з - as in zoo "ZEH"
И и - as in pip or kiss; ee as in eel "EE"
Й й - as in boy; y as in bay (this letter usually modifies a vowel) = 'EE krAtkayeh' (И краткое: ee short)
К к - as in kitten = "KAH"
Л л- as in lamp = "EL"
М м- as in milk = "EM"
Н н - as in night, neat = "EN"
О о as in born; aw as in lawn (the Russian o is very strong and usually pronounced as though there is bit of an 'r' following it) - "OH"
П п - as in poke "PEH"
Р р - as in run. However, this is a 'rolled r' that is common to many European languages "EHR"
С с - as in single, send, see = "ES"
Т т - as in take, tip = "TEH
У у- as in fool, pool = "OO"
Ф ф - as in face, fish "EF"
Х х- ch as in Scottish loch "KHAH"
Ц ц - ts as in sits "TSEH"
Ч ч - ch as in chair "CHEH"
Ш ш - sh as in shop, shut "SHEH"
Щ щ officially 'SHCH', but sh as in sheep (when Russians speak it sounds like they just use ш). Don't worry too much about the difference between ш and щ 'scheh'
ъ the 'hard sign' has no sound of its own, but adds a slight pause. Very rare to see this in a word. 'tvYOrdi znak' (твёрдый знак: hard sign)
ы most difficult Russian vowel sound, with no equivalent in English. Closest sound is ei as in being, but vocalised from the back of the throat with the lips pulled back like a smile to show the front teeth 'eigh'
ь the 'soft sign' has no sound of its own, but softens (modifies) the preceding letter, adding a soft y sound 'mYAkee znak' (мягкий знак: soft sign)
Э э - as in peg, met "EH"
Ю ю - yoo as universe, duke "YU"
Я я - ya as in yarn "YA"
the Russian alphabet is not "phonetic," meaning, there is not an exact one-to-one correspondence between the Russian version of the Cyrillic alphabet and the Russian sound system. It's close, but it's not phonetic. The relationship between the Russian sound sytem and the Russian alphabet and spelling system is best described as morphophonemic.
The Russian sound system, like the English, has 5 basic vowel sounds or phonemes.
The 5 basic vowel sounds are represented in the Russian writing system by 10 vowel letters. The letters are paired into "soft" vowel letters and "hard" vowel letters, meaning each of the basic vowel phonemes is represented by two letters:
phoneme: /i/ /e/ /a/ /o/ /u/
"hard" letter: ы э а о у
"soft" letter: и е я е* ю
(Тhe RLM's fonts don't provide for a e with two dots over it - phonetically an /o/ following a "soft" consonant or "jot" /j/. So that e* stands for e with two dots. While we're at it, in our phonetic transcription system: ж = /zh/, ш = /sh/, щ = /shch/, ч = /ch/, х = /kh/, ц = /ts/. Stress, when indicated, will be marked by capital letters, for example, хорошО or /khoroshO/.)
Why does Russian need 10 letters for 5 vowel sounds? Because in the Russian writing system, vowel letters depend on the phonetic properties of the preceding consonant. In other words, we need to discuss the phonetics of the Russian consonant system before we can return to the story of the 10 vowel letters.
It is important to note that palatalization is phonetic in Russian: it can distinguish meaning between two words - гол ("goal") ~ голь ("the poor"). Therefore, in the above system, many Russian consonants are "paired" into "hard" and "soft" variants - both of which are distinct "phonemes." There are also consonants that are always "hard" or always "soft," but these need not concern us right now.
What does concern us is: How do we distinguish paired "hard" and "soft" consonants orthographically in the Russian writing system?
The answer is by the vowel letters and by the "soft" and "hard" signs (ь and ъ).
That's why there are 10 vowel letters for the 5 basic vowel phonemes of Russian! Whether you use а or я for /a/ has nothing to do with the vowel - it's a constant /a/. Rather, within a word, the "soft" vowel letters indicate that the preceding consonant is "soft" or palatalized; the "hard" vowel letters indicate that it's "hard" or unpalatalized. In other words, the vowel letters tell us how to pronounce the consonants:
бить /b'it'/ ("to beat") ~ быть /bit'/ ("to be")
дядя /d'ad'a/ ("uncle") ~ да да /dada/ ("yes yes")
тек /t'ok/ ("flowed") ~ ток /tok/ ("current")
When paired "soft" consonant phonemes occur in word final position or in a consonant cluster, the "soft sign" ь is used to indicate that the consonant is palatalized. Note that the consonant remains "soft" throughout its paradigm:
конь /kon'/ ~ коня /kon'a/ ~ коню /kon'u/ ...
письмо /pis'mo/ ~ писем /pis'em/...
What does the "hard sign" ъ do? It used to stand in opposition to the ь, that is, all Russian words that ended in "hard" consonants used to have a ъ at the end, so стол was written столъ, дом was written домъ, and so on. Now the ъ is only used in consonant clusters to indicate the presence of a jot or /j/ phoneme between a "hard" consonant and a vowel: съел /sjel/ ("he ate (something)") ~ сел /s'el/ ("he sat down"). Hear the difference? съел ~ сел, /sjel/ ~ /s'el/. Say it out loud a couple of times. (This is an interactive course!)
The "soft" vowel letters serve one additional function: when they begin a word, or when they follow another vowel, they also indicate the presence of a jot phoneme:
Ялта /jalta/ "Yalta," Ерeван /jer'evan/ "Yerevan," Югославия /jugoslav'ija/ "Yugoslavia,"
город [gOrat] - "city" nom. sing.
города [gOrada] - "city" gen. sing.
города [garadA] - "cities" nom. plr.
огород [agarOt] - "garden" nom. sing.
за город [zAgarat] - "(to) the country, out of town"
(In the above examples we did not use phonetic transcription, where there is a letter-for-letter rendering of the Cyrillic alphabet, but phonemic transcription, where "the actual sounds produced" are rendered. To indicate phonemic transcription, we'll use brackets [ ].)
so, the word or root город is spelled the same way, but it's pronounced differently
RULE 1. Concerning vowels
"The vowel letters o and e are pronounced [O] and [E] only when they are stressed. When not stressed o is pronounced [a] and e is pronounced [i]."
Thus, the genitive singular of город is distinguished from the nominative plural by stress: ~ города [gOrada] ~ города [garadA]. In phonemic transcription, the nominative singular of the Russian word for "heart" сердце is [s'Erttsi], the nominative plural is сердца [s'irttsA]. (There are a few other phonemic rules that concern the pronunciation of vowels, but this one suffices for now.)
RULE 2. Concerning consonants
A number of Russian consonants are paired by a feature called voiced ~ voice