Russian Alphabet & Pronunciation

The table russian alphabet contains interactive elements. To hear audio pronunciation of the letters, hover the pointer or click the letter in the second column headed “Letters”.

LetterName of letterEnglish equivalentExample of sound
1
"ah"(a)

Above

2"beh"(b)

Beautiful

3"veh"(v)

Very

4"geh"(g)

Good

5"deh"(d)

Delicious

6"yeh"(ye)

Yellow


7"yo"(yo)

Your

8"zheh"(zh) / (j)

Measure

9"zeh"(z)

Zoo

10"ee"(i) / (ee)

Eagle

11"ee kratkoyeh"(iy)

Boy

12"kah"(k)

King

13"el"(l)

Like

14"em"(m)

Moscow

15"en"(n)

New York

16"o"(o)

Or

17"peh"(p)

Perfect

18"er"(r)

Rare

19"es"(s)

See

20"teh"(t)

Team

21"oo"(u) / (oo)

Cartoon

22"ef"(f)

Fancy

23"ha"(h) /(kh)

Hot

24"tseh"(ts)

Boots

25"cheh"(ch)

Chair

26"sha"(sh)

She

27"shcha"(shch)

Scottish-cheese

28"tvoyrdiy znak"-No sound - indicates
hardness of previous letter
29"iy"(iy) / (ay)No similar English sound
30"myagkee znak"(e)No sound - indicates
softness of previous letter
31"eh"(e)

Egg

32"yoo"(yu) / (yoo)

You

33"ya"(ya)

Yarn

All letters of the Russian alphabet can be divided into vowels and consonants. There are 10 vowels and 21 consonants; there are also two signs that show soft or hard letters, they don’t stand for any sounds and are called the “ъ” and “ь” signs.
Vowels are the drawling letters that are pronounced easily without any obstacles. They head a syllable that they form together with consonant letters. Words and whole sentences can be made up from the resulting syllables.
The letters А, Я, О, Ё, У, Ю, И, Ы, Э, Е vowels of the Russian alphabet. Some of them form no sounds; therefore, there are 10 vowels and only 6 sounds – А, О, У, Ы, И, Э.
Consonants are the letters that don’t form the syllabic peak and are paired with syllable consonants or vowels. These letters are harder and shorter; when pronouncing them, the tongue hits a barrier.
The letters Б, В, Г, Д, Ж, З, Й, К, Л, М, Н, П, Р, С, Т, Ф, Х, Ц, Ч, Ш, Щ are the consonants.
Depending on the pronunciation, consonants can be soft or hard, voiceless and voiced, therefore there are several times more consonant sounds than vowel sounds. In total, there are 21 consonant letters and 37 consonant sounds.
The letters Б, В, Г, Д, З, К, Л, М, Н, П, Р, С, Т, Ф, Х are paired, they have a double sound and form two sounds – a soft and a hard one.
The letters Й, Ч, Щ – are soft and form only one sound.
The letters Ж, Ш, Ц – are hard and they also form only one sound. In some cases, the letter Ж may be soft, but this rule is an exception. In this case, another 37th sound appears – soft [ж’].
The ABC is the basis of the Russian language and grammar; therefore, a journey to the fascinating world of knowledge starts with studying letters.
Despite the fact that Russian is considered to be one of the most complicated languages ​​in the world, studies may be turned into a game and help your to learn the alphabet quickly.