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The Russian alphabet


The Russian language makes use of the Cyrillic alphabet. This alphabet wat created in the ninth century by missionaries Cyril and Methodius. They left Greece to preach the gospel to the Slavic tribes. The problem was that most of the Slavic people were illiterate, although some some sort of Greek-derived alphabet might have been in use by the Slavic people before their mission. In order to read the stories of the Bible, they needed an alphabet. At first they created the Glagolithic alphabet, which was quite different from Cyrillic. Later on, they or their disciples created the Cyrillic alphabet.
The Cyrillic alphabet is based on the Greek alphabet. This alphabet was changed and expanded to suit the phonological needs of the Slavic languages. In the course of centuries, the Cyrllic alphabet underwent some changes. There exist several different Cyrillic alphabets, just as there exist several different Roman alphabets (The Spanish alphabet is different from the Norwegian alphabet, for example). The Russian alphabet contains 33 letters.


Fable: Russian is a difficult language, just because it has another alphabet.
This is definitely not true. After some initial difficulties with mastering a new alphabet, Russian is actually easier to read in the Cyrillic alphabet. This alphabet suits the phonological needs of the Slavic languages.


Nr. Capital letter Lower case Listen Pronunciation Remarks
1 А а a As in father or long as in the German city Aachen.
2 Б б b As in bed.
3 В в v As in view.
4 Г г g As in good.
5 Д д d As in dark.
6 Е е ye As in yes.
7 Ё ё yo As in yoghurt.
8 Ж ж zj As in pleasure.
9 З з z As in zoo.
10 И и i As in he
11 Й й j As in York.
12 К к k As in key.
13 Л л l As in left.
14 М м m As in mother.
15 Н н n As in next.
16 О о o When an o is not stressed, it sounds like an a.
17 П п p As in post.
18 Р р r As in rock.
19 С с s As in size.
20 Т т t As in table.
21 У у u As in mood.
22 Ф ф f As in father.
23 Х х ch As in German Bach, or
as in Scottish loch
24 Ц ц ts As in bits.
25 Ч ч tsj As in cheese
26 Ш ш sj As in sheep
27 Щ щ sjsj As in Spanish ship
28 Ъ ъ silent Makes the preceding consonant hard.
29 Ы ы i As in bit
30 Ь ь silent Makes the preceding consonant soft.
31 Э э e As in bet.
32 Ю ю ju As in universe.
33 Я я ja As in yard.





Quote of the day


"Iedere taal geeft een unieke kijk op het leven.
Другой язык - это другой взгляд на жизнь. "
- Federico Fellini / Федерико Феллини -

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