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How to read Russian in 15 Minutes

Note: You will not know what it means but you will only know how to pronounce it.

How to read Russian in 15 Minutes by Ryan Estrada.

July 15, 2015



This is really great, although I'd like to point out that the vowels are mixed up here. All the vowels (except И and Ы) that are marked "soft vowels" are actually hard vowels, and vice versa.

Granted, it doesn't matter much until you learn about Russian's spelling rules.


And there's one of those things for Korean, as well

And... this could be useful for Ukrainian, also! There are only a few of different letters


Just in case anyone is interested in the Korean one, here it is :D


[deactivated user]

    Yeessss! Korean!

    P.S. For those who don't know, Batman is incorrectly spelled here in Korean, it is supposed to be 배트맨 (Beteuman)


    Except some of the letters that are the same in Ukrainian are pronounced differently - г is somewhat equivalent to the English h. и in Ukrainian is somewhat equivalent to the Russian ы. Also в mutates into a [w] sound in certain instances.


    And for their "ye", they pronounce it like "eh," and their backwards letter for the russian "eh" makes a "ye" sound.


    And they have a "yi,", which isn't in Russian. Also, they have a regular one-dot i for the I sound.


    Russian used to have i, too. The 1917-18 orthography reform was the major one, removing a number of redundant letters. That's when only И was left to represent the [i] sound.


    An example, from a 1914 Chinese textbook:

    Нельзя не согласиться съ тѣмъ, что китайскій языкъ гораздо труднѣе европейскихъ языковъ и вообще всѣхъ языковъ, имѣющихъ азбуку. Но тѣмъ не менѣе, при желаніи и трудолюбіи, даже "китайская премудрость" можетъ быть преодолѣна безъ особыхъ усилій.

    Общее число іероглифовъ китайской письменности простирается до 40 тысячъ. И, конечно, всякій остановится передъ невѣроятно трудной задачей усвоенія такой массы отдѣльныхъ знаковъ.


    Interesting, I knew of a bunch of other letters that came from Greek and such and were removed, but I never knew that the Ukrainian i was ever in Russian Cyrillic!


    This is great. I cant wait for the Russian course now :)


    Thanks! I bascially just learnt how to read Cryllic in less than 15 mintues!


    Yet we call them Бэтмен, Гарри Поттер, Элвис and Микки :)

    I want you to know that "е" is not always pronounced as "ye" in yellow. For example, in Бэтмен it's pronounced like "a" in man. There are a lot of words which have an "е" pronounced like "э". And we never write an "ы" after ж and ш — it should be шип, not шып. Remember it, that's an important rule :)

    And yeah, soft and hard vowels are mixed up.


    I wonder why it's Гарри Поттер and not Харри Поттер to get the "H" sound.


    Way back in the past both Russian Г and English H meant a voiced sound, something like [ɦ], [ʕ], or maybe [ɣ]—similar to modern Ukranian rendering of Г. So mapping one onto another made much sense. Nowadays the sounds are quite different but some names that had traditional transliterations in the past, still stick to them (for instance, Гарри, Гарвард, Робин Гуд, Гамлет).

    Not sure about Гермиона, but maybe that name is transliterated by analogy with Гарри.


    Proper names are generally transliterated. X is typically translated as kh, and vice versa. Technically, Х is not a pure h sound. So proper first names beginning with H are typically use a Г instead, so we get Гермиона грейнджер and Гарри Поттер.

    Same thing happens from Russian to English: Борис Ельцин is often transliterated as Eltsin, despite the fact this would lead a different pronunciation of his surname. Same with Елена being written as Elena, again often resulting in an odd pronunciation from English speakers.


    Wow thanks! I used one of these to help me learn Korean and it helped a lot. I've wanted to be able to read Russian for a while but kept putting it off until now.


    Thanks and I'l be saving this for future use! :D



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