Russian Alphabet

Not all languages use the same character set. The Russian language uses a character set known as Cyrillic. Many of the letters are similar to those used in English, but you will notice that not all of them are the same. The Russian alphabet contains thirty-three characters as shown below.


Don't assume that just because a Russian letter looks the same as an English letter, that it makes the same sound. There are some Russian letters that sound the same as English letters (for instance, K, T, and M), but many don't sound the same (for instance, P, B, and X). To further complicate things, there are several characters used in Russian that are not used in English. So, pronunciation of a word in Russian can be a little tricky until you become familiar with Cyrillic.

Russian Numbers

First ten counting numbers:

Common Russian Words:

A few common words:
пожалуйста please
воду water
парк park
нет no
да yes
брат brother
собака dog
рыба fish
глаз eye

Russian Sounds

This chart shows the basic sounds made by the letters in the Russian alphabet. Some of the symbols may be confusing.

Russian Letter Names
А а [a]
Б б [be]
В в [ve]
Г г [ge]
Д д [de]
Е е [ye]
Ё ё [yo]
Ж ж [zhe]
З з [ze]
И и [ee]
Й й [ee krat-ka-ye]
К к [ka]
Л л [el]
М м [em]
Н н [en]
О о [o]
П п [pe]
Р р [er]
С с [es]
Т т [te]
У у [oo]
Ф ф [ef]
Х х [ha]
Ц ц [tse]
Ч ч [che]
Ш ш [sha]
Щ щ [shsha]
Ъ ъ [tvyor-di znak]
Ы ы [yeri]
Ь ь [myah-kee znak]
Э э [e]
Ю ю [yoo]
Я я [ya]