Russian alphabet (aka the Cyrillic alphabet) consists of 33 letters: 11 vowels, 20 consonants, and 2 pronunciation signs. Here is what they look like: 

А Б В Г Д Е Ё Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю Я.

In this short article, I’m going to show you 3 easy steps to learn the Russian ABCs quickly and deeply!

Surround yourself with the alphabet.
It’s not going to work if you spend just a couple minutes per day learning it. The more often you see Russian letters, the faster you’ll remember them. Here are my suggestions:

  • use post-it notes (on each note write the letter and a couple of words with it). Put them everywhere around you.
  • print the whole alphabet on A4 and carry it with you. CLICK HERE to download the PDF with the alphabet table. And after that, every time you’re having lunch, or you’re waiting for a bus, or having a minute to spare – take this sheet of paper and look at it.
  • download apps on your phone. There are dozens of them. And from now on instead of playing games or reading news – practice the alphabet!
Write by hand. According to scientific research, when we write something by hand, we activate the  so-called RAS (Reticular Activating System) in our brain. It helps to remember information deeper. So, make sure you spend a few days writing the Russian alphabet by hand. Start from the first one – A – and go to the last one – Я. Then backwards. Then try to write only vowels or only consonants. Keep doing it as long as you need to feel comfortable with all the 33 characters.
Try my new Russian alphabet practice paper to master your skills:)
Practice with words. It’s absolutely not enough to recognize the isolated characters. You need to learn how to combine them into words as soon as you can. Start writing the words! At the beginning it seems that you don’t know any of the Russian vocabulary, but it’s not true. There are hundreds of foreign words that Russian adopted – you can start with sports (basketball, hockey, polo – баскетбол, хоккей, поло) and go on with dishes (pasta, pizza, hotdog – паста, пицца, хотдог).
If you’re still not feeling comfortable in guessing how to spell words, try names. It’s a great way of learning You don’t need to know the particular language to spell the names. Start with your family and friends (for example, John, Jane, Emily, Bob – Джон, Джейн, Эмили, Боб).
Or movie characters! For example, if you like Game of Thrones, try to write down the Arya’s list in Russian. Or maybe you prefer Disney? Try to recall all the names from Aladdin.
One of the most important parts of learning the alphabet and the Russian language in general is getting used to typing on a Russian keyboard. I recommend starting to use the Cyrillic alphabet on your computer as soon as possible.
Here are a couple suggestions for you:
– Start with typing online (using a keyboard at the very beginning might be frustrating:)). Check out this site – http://russian.typeit.org/
– Order the Russian keyboard on eBay or Amazon. Here you have three ways: 1) you can buy stickers and put them on the Latin characters one by one (kind of a meditating process!); 2) you can buy a silicone keyboard cover (best choice for Mac); 3) you can buy a Russian USB keyboard itself.
Each of them cost no more than $10, so it’s up to you to decide which one is better.

Keep practicing and you’ll know the alphabet in no time! And don’t forget to share with your friends!

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