< Alphabet 1—Instructions for Learning the Russian Alphabet

Alphabet 1—Instructions for Learning the Russian Alphabet

Learning the Russian Alphabet

TVQR Code for this handoutThere is a seven-minute video supplement to these instructions entitled Learning the Russian Alphabet. To play it, go to ReadyRussian.org and find the on-line version of this handout in the section The Russian Alphabet. (The QR code at right will take you directly there.) Then click on the TV at left the play the video.

Materials for Learning the Russian Alphabet

With these instructions you should have received the following handouts:

If not, you can find them at ReadyRussian.org under the heading The Russian Alphabet. There you will also find these helpful materials:

About the Russian Alphabet

The Russian alphabet and phonics are much simpler than their English counterparts. In two weeks most people can learn them well enough to sound out words. Note of the following:

  1. Some letters make pretty much the same sounds as in English. For example, А, Б, К, М, О, and Т have sounds that will not surprise you.
  2. Watch out though! Other letters look like English letters but make very different sounds. For example, the Russian Р is pronounced R and the Russian В is pronounced V.
  3. Some Russian letters make sounds which require two or more letters in English. For example, Ч is CH and Ш is SH.
  4. There are no silent letters in the English sense. Even if two vowels come together, both must be pronounced. (The symbols ъ and ь do not have sounds of there own, so they are silent letters in a different sense.)
  5. Unlike English, Russian is written almost completely phonetically. There are only three or four exceptions, which we will learn them in the first weeks of class.

How to Study the Russian Alphabet


Practice every day. Sound out words. Draw the letter shapes. This will prepare you to learn a short dialog during the first class.