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Lesson Number 3. The Russian Alphabet. New Friends.

In the previous lessons we already learnt 12 letters from the Russian Alphabet: 5 that look and sound the same as the English ones (True Friends), and 7 letters which look the same but sound differently (False Friends). In this post we will discover 9 letters from the next category.

The Third Group: New Friends.

These are the sounds you already know, but they look differently and you will need to get used to their new appearance. Here they are:

Бб Гг Дд Зз Ии Лл Пп Фф Ээ

Бб - [B]: although it looks totally new for you, the sound is quite familiar - the English b. You shouldn’t have many problems with this letter and you can read the following words now:




Гг - [G]: easy to write Г down (like rotated L), easy to remember (like Greek letter Gamma, you might have seen it in maths, physics or American movies about fraternities), easy to pronounce, like G in God. Just remember, this letter is called [ge], not [dʒi]

Га́мбургер - hamburger

Гоме́р - Homer

Бегемо́т - behemoth (in Russian the animal called hippopotamus)

As you see, both hamburger and Homer (as well as Harry, Hamburg, Hamlet and such international words starting with H), in Russian gained Г instead of H, which will sound like a joke for the English ear :) Imagine my husband's face when I first mentioned Meghan Markle marrying Prince Garry!

Дд - [D]: my favourite letter (letters of my name & patronymic name), it makes a very familiar sound D and is not difficult to remember (D with two feet; looks like a little house, дом) These are some examples of words you know how to pronounce now:

Да - yes

Да́та - date (in calendar, not dried fruits. Once I saw on a pack of dried dates translation to Russian “Сушёные да́ты”, which mean dried calendar dates. Actually, a lot of translations made by Google Translator are hilarious).

Во́дка - vodka

Дом - house

До́ктор - doctor

Зз - [Z]: looks like the number 3, sounds like English Z: Example:

Зоопа́рк - zoo

Ро́за - rose

Ва́за - vase

Ии - [I]: looks like a mirrored English N, sounds like [i] in kiss or [ee] in deer. Here are some familiar words for you:

Ви́ски - whiskey

Вино́ - wine

Домино́ - domino

Ки́ви - kiwi

Лл - [L]: looks like Greek letter Lambda (used for example in physics), sounds like English L. Now you can read the following cities :





Пп - [P]: looks like Pi number in maths, and pronounced as English P:

Па́спорт - passport

Суп - soup

Пи́во - beer

Па́па - dad

Ла́мпа - lamp

Фф - [F]: looks like the Greek letter Phi (used in maths, physics, American films etc.), and sounds as English F:

Факс - fax

Фи́тнес - fitness

Фо́то - photo

Ко́фе - coffee

Ээ - [e]: sounds like English [e] in end:

Э́хо - echo

Э́то - this

Э́то Э́мма - this is Emma

Дуэ́т - duet

These were 9 more letters of the Russian alphabet, which as you saw are not terribly hard to learn or pronounce.

You know already 21 out of 33, only 12 to go, keep up the good work!

And if you want actual lessons in class with a Russian teacher,

Feel free to contact me.


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