1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. Should I learn Russian in Lat…


Should I learn Russian in Latin writing or Slavic writing?

I know it's probably better to start with Latin writing but when should I start practicing Slavic?

UPDATE: Cyrillic and not Slavic.

November 30, 2015



If you wait until later to learn Cyrillic, you are setting up a roadblock for yourself. It's best to get it over with in the beginning, that way you don't have to step back and re-learn your vocabulary in Cyrillic instead of latin characters.

Besides, learning the alphabet is not as daunting as it seems. In fact, the most difficult part is setting up the Russian keyboard on your computer, which is only hard because it must be done independently.

Of course, written/italicized Cyrillic is slightly different from printed Cyrillic, so you have to learn those too. But it eventually becomes second nature!


I agree with everyone else — start with the Cyrillic right away. It's really not as hard as it might seem, and the first few lessons are pretty good about getting you used to most of the letters.

(I wish there were one or two more alphabet lessons though.)

Good luck whatever you decide!

[deactivated user]

    Definitely the cerilic. While it is good to know how to transliterate the writing for the Americans and other cultured individuals who do not know Russian, it's best to learn the cerilic because you are then learning the full language. Also, with the cerilic characters, you can have a character for every sound and not have to do letter combinations like iya, iyo, or yo, ya, etc. You also won't need combinations such as sch or whatever you would do for ы. Also, I believe that the course contributers need to evaluate their cerilics. It appears to me that the characters are a weird combination of French and Russian characters, but when I type cerilic characters, the program recognizes them perfectly fine. Also, (while I'm on the subject of what needs to improve), on the placement test, the audios of the "type what you hear" questions do not work.


    I personally wouldn't ever learn a single Russian word written in Latin transliteration. Cyrillic is not Chinese, it is merely another alphabet, which is not that far from Latin. Memorizing the words twice, why would you want to spend your brain cells on such kind of inefficient redundancy?



    I'd spend time learning the alphabet right away. It takes time to become proficient in reading the language like you do the Latin alphabet, so the earlier you get started, the faster you'll be able to read it well. Typing takes a while to get down too.

    When I took Russian in high school, they spent about a month on the alphabet alone. It probably won't take you that long, but even if it takes that long, it gives you a good foundation that will be useful as you become more proficient.


    At the college level, we take about one week on the alphabet and most students get it in about that time. This includes print and cursive. I also encourage my students to practice typing and most of them have no problems submitting their first writing assignment online. The Cyrillic alphabet is a bit intimidating at first, but the more you get to know it the easier it becomes.


    I figured we don't have a Russian course in HS for that reason.


    I think the simple answer is, if someone was learning English, do you think they should do so in the Latin or Cyrillic alphabet? Latin, obviously, right? You use the right alphabet for the language involved.


    I also preferred to learn the Cyrillic. Taking into the account that Russian is already a difficult language, I think it will be easier for you for later, if you passed the threshold of the alphabet as much earlier as possible, at around the early steps. For my case, I was able to catch up with the alphabet very quickly. The only problem I had with the alphabet was/is with using the keyboard. It slows me down to pass from RU to TR keyboard in the midst of the lessons, but, it is something I am willing to endure for now for the sake of learning the language.


    I preferred to learn the Cyrillic, but it is your choice.

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