How To Pronounce Russian Letters

Some people think that the Russian Alphabet is a hard thing to learn, and they are kinda right. A lot of Cyrillic letters look waaaay different from Latin ones. Some letters look the same but sound not even close to what they’re supposed to sound like in English. And there are some letters that look like some ancient totem.

Reading them out loud you might accidentally summon a demon😉.

Let’s take this word, for instance. It is the same word that sounds kinda the same and means the same thing as the one in English, I swear. Read this word and see it for yourself!

The problem is that you don’t know if the letters that look like decent English letters would make the same sound in Russian. And these confusions are just a beginning. Here’s the whole thing!

Russian Alphabet

Memorizing all this Ж – Ы – Ф is crazy hard, and this is exactly why we are completely against memorizing.

No need to worry, we have you covered!

Fake it till you make it

What we do here is we start using the Russian Alphabet right away, without memorizing a thing😁. We cheat and suggest you do the same. In no time you will find yourself remembering the Russian Letters without actually spending time memorizing them.

* Secret. The Russian Words are easy to read (*in most cases). No hard spelling. Just read letter by letter, sound by sound.

The Russian Alphabet Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet is a list of Russian Letters, the entire Russian Alphabet with every letter connected to a sound that is familiar to English Speakers. We kinda “borrowed” a small piece from some English words 🤦‍♀️.

Here you go.

Letter/БукваSound/Звук in English AudioLetter/БукваSound/ЗвукAudio
А а'A' in fAther . Here and further don't forget to listen to.
Р р'R' in Rythm (roll it)
Б б'B' in Brother
С с'S' in Sea
В в'V' in Video
Т т'T' in Tea
Г г'G' in Go
У у'OO' in cOOk
Д д'D' in Do
Ф ф'F' in Farm
Е е'Ye' in yes
Х х'H' in Home
Ё ё'Yo' in YOur
Ц ц'ZZ' in piZZa
Ж ж'S' in pleaSure
Ч ч'Ch' in Chamber
З з'Z' in Zebrs
Ш ш'SH' in SHock
И и'EE' in mEEt
Щ щ'SH' in Sheep
Й й'Y' in boY
Ъ ъHard sign. Make no sound, just a break
К к'K' in Key
Ы ыNo way to explain 🙂 Sounds like a punch in a stomach (no joking, listen)
Л л'L' in Lost
Ь ьSoft sign. Make no sound, just a break with softening effect
М м'M' in Mom
Э э'A' in glAd
Н н'N' in No
Ю юsounds just like 'YOU'
О о'O' in cOre
Я яYA in yard
П п'P' in Peer

Let’s give it a try, shall we?

Read this small word using sounds from the Russian Alphabet Cheat Sheet, and try to make up a word. Then compare the sounds and the word with my version.

ЖАРА – heat

Ж – pleaSure. This letter sounds like an S in the word Pleasure.

A – fAther. Pronounce the Russian A as an A in the ford Father.

P – just a rolled R, close to the sound R in Rythm

Up for the challenge? Let’s read this sentence.

Using the Cheat Sheet is easy. Keep all the letters of the Russian Alphabet close and apply whenever you need to read something in Cyrillic.

Well, why don’t we read the entire sentence, guys! It’s written under the audio so DON’T CHEAT unless you are cheating with our Russian Alphabet Cheat Sheet. Then you are totally ok 😊.


Wanna read more and do some more exercises to learn the Russian language faster?

*BTW, the word that you see at the beginning of this article. Have you tried to read it and get the meaning? Well, it is the word “FOCUS” written in the Russian language.

Focus on your goal, and you shall achieve it 😎.

Try this cool house game to learn all the words about the house.

See ya,