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Old Friends

In this lesson will go over the 7 letters that look and sound similar in English and Russian.

А , а
Transliteration: a
Sounds like: the "ah" in hah.

К , к
Transliteration: k
Sounds like: the "k" in cake.

Notice that unlike English, the lowercase version is the same form as the uppercase, only smaller.

М , м
Transliteration: m
Sounds like: the "m" in man.

Whatcha see is whatcha get, but remember, unlike Latin characters, the lowercase is identical to upper case, as is usually the case in Russian.

О , о
Transliteration: o
Sounds like: The 'o' in more, but round the lips to sound almost like English 'AW' in one syllable. If the syllable it occurs in is unstressed, then it 'O' is pronounced like 'A' , (AH). Stress marks are usually not included in Russian texts; This is by far the biggest challenge facing the learner of Russian as a foreign language, and the biggest obstacle to being understood when speaking Russian. We'll cover pronunciation in detail later. For now just focus on learning as many words as possible and always checking pronunciation in a dictionary, where stress is shown.

С , с
Transliteration: s
Sounds like: the "s" in same. Think of the "C" in "Cyrillic" or "Juice".

Т , т
Transliteration: t
Sounds like: the "t" in toy.

Х , х
Transliteration: kh
Sounds like: the "ch"' in the Scottish 'loch'.

Handy Tips
The good news is that the Russian letters are, with a few easily learned exceptions, phonetically consistent. That is, an 'А а' is always pronounced as an English short a ('AH'), 'С с' is always the sibilant "ES" sound. Russian "К к" is a hard consonant English 'K k', etc.

Reading Practice
Example 1:


Example 2:


Example 3:


Example 4: