АБВ? Understand the Russian alphabet

It’s always hard learning a new language, particularly when it has a completely different alphabet! If you’re from Europe you’re used to Latin letters and so things can certainly get a little challenging when you make the transition to Cyrillic. But, don’t worry! With the following hints you’ll be able to read the Russian alphabet in no time.

Similarity

Upon closer inspection, you see that certain Cyrillic letters often match their Latin counterparts. Take the letters T or M, for example, they are essentially the same letter as the Russian т or м. Equally, some letters may look quite similar; like how the Russian Д looks a bit like an upside-down Latin D. So really, when you apply this logic, there are only a handful of new letters that need memorising.

Think international

If you don’t yet feel comfortable using Cyrillic letters, it’s good practice reading international words. These words are very similar in many different languages, like такси or метро, for example. When you read over these words you will find that they are incredibly easy to spell because you already know them in your native language.

 Time for fairy tales

If you already understand the basics of the alphabet and can read at a reasonable level, you should try reading comics or children’s books. Even if you have problems with the spelling of words, don’t worry about making mistakes. This technique works well because our brain is able to learn new letters faster when put in context. You could even buy a dual-language book, which makes it easy to look up news words if you didn’t know the meaning already.

Modern technology is on your side

Switch the keyboard on your phone to the Russian alphabet so you can learn anytime, anyplace. If you do this, you can also use language-learning apps such as Duolino or Memrise. According to reviews and some recommendations these two apps are user-friendly and the best to learn with.

If you use at least two of my tips it will really improve your language skills. Of course, you also have to spend some time practising…But now, let’s see if you are able to read these two words: Алло! Такси!

How did you learn the Russian alphabet? Have you already tried some of my tricks? What tips can you recommend for learning a new language? Write your comments below.

Philip Forstinger

Posted by Philip Forstinger

Hello! I'm Philip, the new Austrian intern of Liden & Denz. The next few weeks I'll provide you some cool facts about Saint Petersburg and Russia itself. I hope you'll enjoy my blogs.

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