Guide to the Russian Alphabet

Hello! This post is a little late, but I wanted to share with you some of the things we have been learning as we prepare for our trip to Russia in less than a week! When looking at the Cyrillic alphabet for the first time, it can seem like a confusing bunch of symbols, but it gets easier once you know how each symbol compares to the English alphabet. Here is a peek at our “cheat sheet” for how to sound out letters in Russian. I ordered the letters how you might logically order the English alphabet. Good luck! 😉

А       “ah”       a

Б       “beh”     b

Ч       “cheh”   ch

Д       “deh”      d

И       “ee”        e (long)

Э       “eh”        e (short)

Ф       “ehf”       f

Г        “geh”      g

Х       “khah”     h

Ы       “i”            i (short, with a short u sound)

К       “kah”       k

Л       “ehl”        l

М       “ehm”     m

Н       “ehn”      n

О       “oh”        o (short)

У       “oo”        o (long)

П       “peh”      p

Р       “ehr”       r

С       “ehs”      s

Ж       “zheh”    s (s as in pleasure)

Ш       “shah”    s (shu as in shut)

Щ       “schyah”     s (she as in sheep)

Т       “teh”        t

Ц       “tseh”      t (ts as in sits)

Ю      “yoo”      u

В       “veh”       v

Е       “yeh”       y

Ё       “yo”         y

Я      “yah”       y

Й       “ee kratkoyeh”        y (oy as in boy)

З       “zeh”       z

Two other “silent” letters: Ь (makes preceding consonant soft) and Ъ (makes consonant hard).

So there you have it! Even though you may not know the correct spelling, it’s fun to try and spell out English words in Russian–or vice versa. Have fun! 🙂


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