Memorizing the Russian Alphabet Isn't Actually Impossible
It’s true: Learning to read and write in Russian can be just as hard as grammar. Use these mnemonic devices to help you read and write effortlessly.
А – Just like English: ah.
Б – Sounds like English B; looks like the logo of the band Front Bottoms (combined capital F, lowercase b). B is the bottom letter in this combination.
В – Sounds like English V, though it looks like a B; you can think of the word Beaver.
Г – Sounds like English G; it looks like the scythe of the Grim reaper.
Д – Sounds like English D; it looks like an upside-down Deer head.
E – sounds like “yeh” in English; you could think of “hear ye, hear ye”.
Ё – Sounds like “yo” in English; it looks just like E, but has two round dots. You could think of the dots as looking like two yo-yos.
Ж – Sounds like “zh” in English (as in the word ‘massage’); it looks like a bug; bugs sound like “zh” when flying.
З – Sounds like z in English; it looks like the number three; three rhymes with z.
И – Sounds like “ee” in English (literally the letter i); it looks like a sideways ski slope.
Й – Functions as “sometimes y” as we use in English; you can think of it as similar to И, just like y is similar to i.
К – Sounds just like English K.
Л – Sounds like English L; you can think of it as an animal with very long legs.
М – Sounds just like English M.
Н – Sounds like English N; you could think of the word “Hen,” to remind you it is pronounced as “n”.
О – Sounds just like English O.
П – Sounds like English P; you could think of it as looking like a table. You set the table with plates.
Р – Sounds like English R; you could think of the Power Rangers to remind you this is an R.
С – Sounds like English S; you could think of the c in the word “faces” to remind you how this is pronounced.
Т – Sounds just like English T.
У – Pronounced as English “oo”; you could think of this as looking like a bird’s Foot.
Ф – Pronounced as English F; this letter slightly resembles a Football.
Х – Pronounced like the “ch” in “loch”; you can think of the Spanish pronounciation of “Mexico.” This letter makes the hard h sound.
Ц – This letter sounds like “ts” in English; it looks kind of like a pizza pan with a handle. You can think of the “ts” sound in the word “pizza.”
Ч – This letter sounds like “ch” in English; it looks like an upside down chair.
Ш, Щ – These letters sound very similarly, “sh” in English. You could think of these as looking like ships.
Ъ – This is a modifying symbol that has no English equivalent, used to harden the preceding letter.
Ы – This is a letter that has no English equivalent. You could think of it as the i in “ill”
Ь – This is a modifying symbol that has no English equivalent, used to soften the preceding letter.
Э – This letter sounds like “eh” in English; try to think of “et tu, brute?”
Ю – This letter sounds like “yoo” in English. It looks like a head and shoulders turned on its side. Hey, it kind of looks like you!
Я – This letter sounds like “ya” in English; It looks like a backwards R, you could think of the word yard.
About The Author
|Pittsburgh English / Russian Tutor/Instructor|
|Hi, My name is Kali. I am a language tutor/enthusiast in the Greater Pittsburgh area. I love language, and helping others utilize it to help them reach success is a priority and a love of mine. My approach is to utilize my students’ skills and apply principles from concepts he may already grasp...|