1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. Which is more important - han…


Which is more important - handwriting or typing?

Which do you guys think is more important when learning the Russian alphabet - learning how to handwrite it (in cursive) or learning how to type it?

I'm excellent at handwriting the cursive. It's just something that natrually came to me over a few practice sessions. But not typing. My typing in Russian is barely 15 words per minute (compare that to 80+ words per minute in English). Sure, it's disastrous and laughable. I use ЙЦУКЕН, and so I (still!) often have to hunt and peck for the letters, even after using it for 2 years!

November 24, 2015



I'd say in modern world typing is pretty important :) Do you use a physical keyboard or an onscreen keyboard on your mobile? Do phonetic layouts not work for you? Because that's what I would try if I did not have a physical ЙЦУКЕН keyboard.


Well, true. I have a physical keyboard - I'm on a desktop. I use Ctrl+Alt to switch between QWERTY and ЙЦУКЕН. When I don't have the ЙЦУКЕН keys marked, I end up trying to find the Russian keys phonetically (what usually happens), or trying to find them on the ЙЦУКЕН layout (e.g. trying to find П in the upper-right because it matches the English P instead of near the center).


I have got better with practice. I studied Russian once upon a long ago and we did almost everything by hand, so where I can write pretty fluently still (mistakes notwithstanding!), I'm still pretty slow with the typing.

I'd have to agree with Shady that typing is pretty vital these days. I tend to say practise whichever you find more difficult, because ideally you want to bring the standard of that up to the standard of what you find easy. And just hang on in there and practise, it gets easier with time.


I basically agree with you on this point.


I learn it in few days... but maybe it's because I touch type. Try not to look on keyboard if you can touch type..


I don't really touch type.


My typing in English is certainly faster than my typing in Russian. I use the йцукенг keyboard as well.

It has gotten better this month as I've been going through the tree though. I touch-type, which I think is a good skill... at this point, my main problem, other than needing to increase speed, is typing the wrong letter (getting к and с or а and ф mixed up, as an example).

Knowing Russian handwriting is important, but it looks like you have that down already. If you're on a Russian web site and they write something in italics, for example, you'll see an m-like character and you'll need to know that they're writing т and not м.


How do you confuse к and с?


Because I will type с when I am really trying to make a k sound. My brain is telling me to make a hard c sound, and it doesn't always get the memo that in Russian it makes an s sound before my finger presses the key. The а and ф get mixed up at times because the a key is located where the ф key is on the Russian keyboard.

The more I practice, the easier it is getting for my brain to tell my fingers to press the correct key though. I made a lot more typos in the first half of the tree than I am now that I'm in the last third.


My brain: "/k/? Oh, that's к. Wait, where's к? Um... types л because it's on the k key ARGH!"


I'm glad I'm not the only one that does that - those pesky Е's and Y's are the ones that cause me no end of issues!!!


I can't even write cursive in English -- I have hand copied Russian in a printing sort of a way, though -- took forever.


This thread has several recommendations for sites where you can practice typing in Cyrillic.


I think if you can touch type in English touch typing in Russian is not that hard. Your fingers just have to learn their way to different places.

Edit: But you have to learn not to look at the keys at all! That makes typing in different languages much easier.

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.