Teach yourself to read Russian in 33 minutes

Preface | Before you go on | Origin of Russian Alphabet | Introduction | Table | Comments | Conclusion | Exercises

Alphabetic Table

The following table and the comments to it allow correct reading of Russian words right after you learn this material.

 No   Greek   Russian  Pronunciation Latin transliteration
of Russian letters
  1 alpha a   a   in car   A   a
  2 mu pi b   b   in bit   B   b
  3 v   v   in vine   V   v
  W   w   German variant  
  4 gamma g   g   in go   G   g
  5 gamma d   d   in do   D   d
  6 epsilon e   e   in men - in the middle or the end of a syllable
  ye   in yet - the beginning of a syllable
  E   e   or  Ye   ye
  Je   je 
  7     jo   German - middle, end of a syllable
  yo   in yonder or York - the beginning of a syllable
  Yo  yo   English
  Jo  jo   German accent
  8     zh   s   in pleasure   Zh   zh
  9 zeta z   z   in zoo,   compare with   Z   z
10 eta i   ee   in see   I   i
11 iota j   short I: y   in boy ,   German j   I   i   or  Y   y
12 kappa k   k   in kitten   K   k
13 lambda L   l   in lamp   L   l
14 mu m   m   in my   M   m
15 nu n   n   in not   N   n
16 omicron o   o   in pot   O   o
17 pi p   p   in pot   P   p
18 rho r   r   in trilled ( or Scottish r)   R   r
19 sigma s   c   in cell or s in see   S   s
20 tau t   t   in tip   T   t
21 ipsilon  oo   in boot   U   u
22 phi f   f   in face or ph   in phone (phone was borrowed from Greek, and ph is Latin transliteration for ph)   F   f
23 chi h  ch   like in Scottish loch any other h is also OK   H   h
  Kh   kh
24     ts   ts   in sits or German z   Ts   ts
25     ch   ch   in chip   Ch   ch
26     sh   sh   in shut   Sh   sh   or
  Sch   sch
27     shch   sh followed by soft ch or a soft variant of sh   Shch   shch
28     soft sign   Soft sign: no sound, softens the preceding consonant and forces a subsequent vowel to sound as in the beginning of a syllable   '   apostrophe
29     y   hard i : i   in ill   Y   y
30     hard sign   Hard sign: no sound, hardens the preceding consonant and forces a subsequent vowel to sound as in the beginning of a syllable   '   apostrophe: e.g. podyom (lift, rise) -> pod'yom
31     open e  e   in met   E   e
32     ju   German  -  in the middle or the end of a syllable
u   in duke  -  in the beginning of a syllable
  Yu   yu   English
  Ju   ju   German
33     ja   soft consonant + a  -  in the middle or in the end of a syllable (e.g. la = French  la ; nja = Spanish  ña)
  ya   in yard  -  in the beginning of a syllable
  Ya   ya   English accent
  Ja   ja   German
34 theta      
35 ksi      
36 psi      
37 omega      

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