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Russian Alphabet - Cyrillic alphabet

Modern Russian alphabet pronunciation. Russian alphabet transliteration

The modern Russian alphabet is a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet and contains 33 letters.

Capital Small Name pronunciation Vowel English example
A a ah * a in father
Б б beh b in bit
B в veh v in vine
Г г geh g in go, or h in hot
Д д deh d in do
E e yeh * ye in yet
Ё ё yo * yo in yolk
Ж ж zheh g in genre, s in pleasure, j in Jean-Jacques or zh in Dr Zhivago
З з zeh z in zoo
И и ee * e in me
Й й ee kratkoyeh * y in yes
К к kah k in kitten
Л л ehl l in lamp
М м ehm m in map
Н н ehn n in not
О о o * o in more
П п peh p in pet
Р р ehr thrilled (like Scottish r)
С с ehs s in see
Т т teh t in tip
У у oo * oo in boot
ф Ф ehf f in face
Х х khah ch in Scottich loch
Ц ц tseh ts in sits
Ч ч chyah ch in chip
Ш ш shah sh in shut
Щ щ shchyah sh in shut
Ъ ъ tvyordiy zhak symbol - makes preceding consonat soft
Ы ы i * i in ill
Ь ь myakhkey zhak symbol - used to separate two words
Э э eh * e in met
Ю ю yoo * u in use
Я я yah * ya in yard

·hard sign (<ъ>), when put after a consonant, acts like a "silent back vowel" that separates a succeeding iotated vowel from the consonant, making that sound with a distinct /j/ glide. Today is used mostly to separate a prefix from the following root.

·soft sign (<ь>) acts like a "silent front vowel" and indicates that the preceding consonant is palatalized. This is important as palatalization is phonemic in Russian. For example, брат [brat] (brother) contrasts with брать [brat'] 'to take).

·The vowels ‹е, ё, и, ю, я› indicate a preceding palatal consonant and with the exception of ‹и› are iotated (pronounced with a preceding /j/) when written at the beginning of a word or following another vowel.

·<э> is the non-iotated/non-palatalizing vowel sound. In native Russian words, ‹э› is found only at the beginnings of words, but otherwise it may be found elsewhere, such as when spelling out English or other foreign names, or in words of foreign origin such as the brand-name Aeroflot (Аэрофлот).

·‹ё› marks a /jo/ sound that has historically developed from /je/ under stress, a process that continues today. The letter ‹ё› is optional (in writing, not in pronunciation): it is formally correct to write ‹e› for both /je/ and /jo/.

· In Russian, the word stress is occasionally indicated with an acute accent on a syllable's vowel (called 'znak udareniya' in Russian). The symbol is inserted after the stressed vowel but it appears above it. Although the word stress in Russian is mostly unpredictable and can fall on different syllables in different forms of the same word or on the ending, it's generally not used but can be used for disambiguation: e.g. "зАмок" (castle) and "замОк" (lock), on rare or foreign words, poems where stress is different from standard but is used in order to fit the meter, to indicate foreign or unusual pronunciation, also in certain educational texts for foreign learners or children as a pronunciation guide.

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