Learn the Russian alphabet in ten minutes


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/04/learn-the-russian-alphabet-in.html


If you can teach me to roll my Rs, I’ll forever be in your debt. I’ve been trying various methods on and off for 20 years with absolutely no success.


Try making a machine gun noise with your mouth.

This is 100% the way I learned to roll r’s.


Много лучше. Теперь все знают читать по-русски.

I’ve been hitting my head against Russian for a shortish while now to (as the inevitable errors in the above will show) no great effect. Seven cases, it so transpires, may just be too many cases. Anyway, the pronunciation is relatively easy though it does shift quite a bit: о and ы, especially, tend to shift with stress and phases of the moon and other occult influences.

Protip: if you want to celebrate your newfound Cyrillic literacy by writing some out, do note that Russian keyboards look nothing at all like QWERTY. Windows 10, for instance, has a mnemonic keyboard layout which is QWERTY-based and which allows you to type, essentially, transliterated Russian (In which the above is Mnogo luchshe. Teper’ vse znajut chitat’ po-russki) and get Cyrillic back. It’s exceptionally useful unless you feel like learning a whole new layout.


Alert readers will also learn from this video that unstressed ‘o’ is always pronounced ‘a’.


Now, how do you handle pre revolutionary characters? Google Translate chokes on them.

Ideally, in the form of a script, please?


My #1 rule for sounding out words in Russian is that whatever english letter the cyrillic one reminds you of, it doesn’t sound like that.


Nyet, comrade.


yapp, MNP is pronounced Mir (the only Cyrillic letters I know, because of the the space station media coverage)


Similarly, I can pronounce most sounds as needed. I can even roll my R’s.

I cannot, for the life of me, daisy-chain the two together.


And when you’re done with that, start in on Russian cursive. It’s easy:


Next, learn Hangeul (Korean). It’s the coolest written language ever.


I have a soft spot for Georgian script


I have the same disability


I can read the alphabet but not speak the language


Here’s my favorite example. I’m assuming it was written by the Russian version of Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining.


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