Russian Alphabet

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Author:
AndrewComeau
ID:
275639
Filename:
Russian Alphabet
Updated:
2014-07-09 07:26:58
Tags:
russian cyrillic alphabet
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Description:
The 33 letters from the Russian cyrillic alphabet with upper and lowercase representations, letter names and pronunciations. Sources: http://www.russianforeveryone.com/ and "The New Penguin Russian Course" by Nicholas J. Brown
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  1. Definition: Voiced consonants
    • Б (be) В (ve) Г (ge) Д (de) Ж (zhe) З (ze)
    • Consonants that cause a vibration in the vocal cords when pronounced.
    • All other consonants such as Т (te) and Ф (ef) are 'unvoiced' as their sounds are made with only the mouth.
    • Distinctions of 'voiced' and 'unvoiced' sounds mainly affect a speaker's perceived accent. Speaking words as written will not prevent understanding but will project a 'foreign' accent.
  2. Definition: Soft consonants
    • When followed by е ё и ю or я, most consonants are softened, picking up a 'y' (as in yet) sound that is pronounced simultaneously with the consonant.
    • Example: нет is pronounced 'nyet' but with a slightly nasal sound on the 'n' as it's being combined with the 'y' rather than being a separate letter as English speakers would treat it.
    • Example: совет (savyet) - As far as possible, 'vy' is pronounced as one sound.
    • ж ц and ш are not softened in this way.
  3. А а
    • Name:  a
    • Sounds like: a in far or father
    • Presence at the end of a noun often indicates feminine gender, except for nouns referring to males.
  4. Б б
    • Name:  be
    • Voiced consonant
    • Sounds like: b in bottom
    • Unvoiced: p as in pear at end of word or before another unvoiced consonant.
    • Unvoiced consonants can become voiced when preceding this letter.
  5. В в
    • Name:  ve
    • Voiced consonant
    • Sounds like: v in Victor
    • Unvoiced: f as in Friday at end of word or before another unvoiced consonant.
  6. Г г
    • Name:  ge
    • Voiced consonant
    • Sounds like: g in golf
    • Unvoiced: k as in kite at end of word or before another unvoiced consonant.
    • Unvoiced consonants can become voiced when preceding this letter.
  7. Д д
    • Name:  de
    • Voiced consonant
    • Sounds like: d in dog
    • Unvoiced: t as in time at end of word or before another unvoiced consonant.
    • Unvoiced consonants can become voiced when preceding this letter.
  8. Е е
    • Name:  ye
    • Sounds like: ye in yell or e in end
    • Softens preceding consonant with simultaneous y sound.
    • Presence at the end of a noun often indicates neuter gender.
  9. Ё ё
    • Name:  yo
    • Sounds like: yo in your
    • Softens preceding consonant with simultaneous y sound.
  10. Ж ж
    • Name:  zhe
    • Voiced consonant
    • Sounds like: s in pleasure or treasure
    • Always pronounced as a hard sound. Not softened by е ё и ю or я.
    • Unvoiced: sh as in shed at end of word or before another unvoiced consonant.
    • Unvoiced consonants can become voiced when preceding this letter.
  11. З з
    • Name:  ze
    • Voiced consonant
    • Sounds like: z in zip
    • Unvoiced: s as in strong at end of word or before another unvoiced consonant.
    • Unvoiced consonants can become voiced when preceding this letter.
  12. И и
    • Name:  ee
    • Sounds like: ee in meet
    • Softens preceding consonant with simultaneous y sound.
    • Presence at the end of a noun often indicates a foreign borrowed word and the neuter gender.
  13. Й й
    • Name:  ee kratkoye (short i)
    • Sounds like: y in boy
    • Presence at the end of a noun often indicates masculine gender.
  14. К к
    • Name:  ka
    • Sounds like: like k in key or c in cat
  15. Л л
    • Name:  el
    • Sounds like: like l in lemon
  16. М м
    • Name:  em
    • Sounds like: like m in mend
  17. Н н
    • Name:  en
    • Sounds like: like n in Nancy
  18. О о
    • Name:  o
    • Sounds like: like o in notice
    • Unstressed syllable: like a in father
    • Presence at the end of a noun often indicates neuter gender.
  19. П п
    • Name:  pe
    • Sounds like: like p in pet
  20. Р р
    • Name:  er
    • Sounds like: like r in random (rolled)
  21. С с
    • Name:  es
    • Sounds like: like s in soon
  22. Т т
    • Name:  te
    • Sounds like: like t in tremor
  23. У у
    • Name:  oo
    • Sounds like: like oo in moon
    • Presence at the end of a noun often indicates a foreign borrowed word and the neuter gender.
  24. Ф  ф
    • Name:  ef
    • Sounds like: f as in fancy
  25. Х х
    • Name:  kha
    • Sounds like: ch in loch (aspirated)
  26. Ц ц
    • Name:  tse
    • Sounds like: ts in boots
  27. Ч ч
    • Name:  che
    • Sounds like: ch in chips
    • Always pronounced as a hard sound. Not softened by е ё и ю or я.
  28. Ш ш
    • Name:  sha
    • Sounds like: sh in short
    • Always pronounced as a hard sound. Not softened by е ё и ю or я.
  29. Щ щ
    • Name:  shcha
    • Sounds like: sh_ch in fresh cheese
    • Alternate sound: sh_sh as in British ship
  30. ъ
    • Name:  tviordiy znak (hard sign)
    • Sounds like: No sound - short pause between syllables
  31. ы
    • Name:  ih
    • Sounds like: i in ill
  32. ь
    • Name:  myagkiy znak (soft sign)
    • Sounds like: No sound on its own. Can be like the y in yet but combined with the letter before it.
    • Presence at the end of a noun often indicates feminine gender, although not always.
  33. Э э
    • Name:  e
    • Sounds like: e in end
  34. Ю ю
    • Name:  yoo
    • Sounds like: u in use
    • Softens preceding consonant with simultaneous y sound.
    • Presence at the end of a noun often indicates a foreign borrowed word and the neuter gender.
  35. Я я
    • Name:  ya
    • Sounds like: ya in yard
    • Softens preceding consonant with simultaneous y sound.
    • Presence at the end of a noun often indicates feminine gender, except for nouns referring to males.

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