Russian Business Seminars. Issue #SE-03  [13Feb06]
LEARN RUSSIAN ALPHABET IN TWO HOURS

     The first step in learning something about Russia and Russians is to learn their alphabet. Alphabet is not difficult and many letters are already familiar to an English speaking person. Russian alphabet can be easily learned in one hour.
     Russian alphabet is actually a subset of Cyrillic alphabet which was created by two Greek brothers, monks, St.Cyril and Methodius, missionaries to the Slavs. They devised the alphabet for the use by Slavic peoples. At present, basic Cyrillic alphabet is used by several languages. Each language also has some letters which are specific to that particular language. Cyrillic alphabet ia used by following Slavic nations: Russians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians and Serbians. Many languages that are spoken by non-slavic peoples, who live close to the Russians, also use Cyrillic alphabet, eg. Mongols.
     Russian alphabet is phonetic, or nearly phonetic. This means that every SOUND in Russian language has a corresponding LETTER in the alphabet. In most of the languages the writing is phonetic, the exception is English.
     This means that once we learn how to pronounce Russian letters we can read all Russian. We might not understand, but we will be able to read. If we can read, we can understand already a lot. First they use a lot of foreign words and by being able to read it, we will be able to understand what are they talking about. There is no subject called "spelling", there is no need for it. Children start reading very early.
     As it was said above, Russian alphabet is not difficult and many letters are already familiar to an English speaking person. In Russian alphabet there are 33 letters and in English 26. Upon examination of Russian alphabet, we will notice that the letters can be divided in 4 groups:

          Group 1:  5 Letters are same as English,
          Group 2:  6 Letters are similar to Greek, 
          Group 3:  6 Letters are same as English, 
                   but pronounced differently,
          Group 4: 16 Letters are distinctly Russian.
                   33 Letters total.

     This means that there are only 16 (group 4) completely new letters to be learned and 6 (group 3) letters to learn new pronounciation. This is not too difficult and one can learn this in one hour.
FOUR GROUPS OF LETTERS

     Group 1: 5 Letters are same as English
          01    - A  (America)
          12    - K  (Ken)
          14    - M  (Mary)
          16    - O  (Olga)
          20    - T  (Tom)

     Group 2: 6 Letters are similar to Greek 
          04    - G  (Gloria)
          05    - D  (Don)
          09    - Z  (Zebra)
          13    - L  (Linda)
          17    - P  (Peter)
          22    - F  (Fred)     

     Group 3: 6 Letters are same as English, 
              but pronounced differently
          03    - V  (Victor)
          06    - YE (Yeah)
          15    - N  (Nancy)
          18    - R  (Russ)
          19    - S  (Sam)
          23    - H  (Herb)

     Group 4: 16 Letters are distinctly Russian 
          02    - B  (Ben)
          07    - YO (Yolk)
          08    - ZH (Vision)
          10    - I  (Italy)
          11    - Y  (Boy) (Short I)
          21    - U  (Moon)
          24    - TS (Science)
          25    - CH (Charles)
          26    - SH (Short)
          27    - SHCH (SH + CH)
          28    - Hard sign
          29    - Hard I
          30    - Soft sign
          31    - E  (Emma)
          32    - YU (Yukon)
          33    - YA (Yard)

RUSSIAN ALPHABET

     Below is given Russian alphabet in the order that it occurs in disctionaries and other places.
01    - A  (America)      21    - U  (Moon)

02    - B  (Ben)          22    - F  (Fred) 

03    - V  (Victor)       23    - H  (Herb)

04    - G  (Gloria)       24    - TS (Science)

05    - D  (Don)          25    - CH (Charles)

06    - YE (Yeah)         26    - SH (Short)

07    - YO (Yolk)         27    - SHCH (SH + CH)

08    - ZH (Vision)       28    - Hard sign 

09    - Z  (Zebra)        29    - Hard I

10    - I  (Italy)        30    - Soft sign

11    - Y  (Boy) (Short I)31    - E  (Emma)

12    - K  (Ken)          32    - YU (Yukon)

13    - L  (Linda)        33    - YA (Yard)

14    - M  (Mary)

15    - N  (Nancy)

16    - O  (Olga)

17    - P  (Peter)

18    - R  (Russ)

19    - S  (Sam)

20    - T  (Tom)

PRACTICE READING

     Practice reading following Russian words. Most of them should sound familiar.
01                                   
02                                
03                               
04                                
05                      
06                       
07                      
08                             
09                             
10                              

11                                 
12                                 
13                                    
14                            ˨
15                                 
16                             
17                              
18                           
19                            
20                           

21                            
22                       
23                                   
24                             
25                             
26                             
27                                
28                             
29                               
30                             

31                            
32                                 
33                              
34                              
35                           
36                         
37                              
38                          
39                                
40                                  

References
Spelling of Russian Names (SE-02)


Russian Business Seminars. Issue #SE-03 -
"Learn Russian Alphabet in Two Hours"
. .: http://www.dorogadomoj.com/
se03abv.html,  (06Feb79),  13Feb06
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