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Hello everyone. I have recently started to learn russian, and as expected, it is required of me to know the alphabet. Upon the first encounter of this (cyrillic), i was baffled and decided that it is best to learn the (european/latin letters / version of writtig) first, then after having mastered or become competent in this i would proceed to adapting to the cyrillic form of writting. 

This was going good until i embarked upon a website, which was to aid me in my learning. However, there were mainly cyrillic writings; hence, i decided that it was high time to condront the alphabet once and for all. BUT! It has frightened me so much, that i dont even know where to start nor how to transfer what i have learnt so far. I realised that, my initial plan of learning in eurpean writting, then transferring it to cyrillic was destinned for failure.... I even decided to forget the horror that i saw and revert to my former method of learning epressions and via the eurpean alphabet.But, my mind has suffered so much, unable to bear the shock, that i am unable to effectively move on wihtout confronting this, or at lleast comming to some resolve- where i will again assume control of my learning.

Therefore, i am trying to get it together and absorb it all. So, are there any advices out there (practical), or person, be it native or not, who could assisst me? Please note, that this person must be patient, because i am dumbstrucked and baffled. However, if you perhaps see this helping me to be without gain, then, i would be more than happy to echange my language(s) with you in-turn. Currently, i speak Jamaican creole (patois), English (native), Spanish (Intermediate), French (A2 - preintermediate), Serbian (A1).

Thank you, and i look forward to any reply or act of assitance (y)


Jan 11, 2015 8:18 AM
Comments · 6

Another thing that might help is practicing with words that are more or less the same in English and Russian. Like these:

Нью-Йорк=New York
лифт=lift (elevator)


журнал=journal (magazine)

**And some words that are similar, thought not exactly the same


пикап=pickup (truck)
вино=wine (vino)




Also, if it helps, remember that Cyrillic was adapted from the Greek alphabet and there are some similar letters: (cyrillic=greek=english)

п=Π=P (pi)

д=Δ=D (delta)

л=Λ=L (lambda)

г=Γ=G (gamma)
Ф=Φ=F (phi)

January 12, 2015

Hi, Recién Nacido.

I don't understand, why are you afraid of cyrilic Alphabet. It's just a set of symbol, a little bit different from those of european languages. When I studied English alphabet for the first time, i was ,otherwise, very curious about these symbols because they seemed very unusual to me. By the way, Greece is also the european country, so it has the european writing and there are lot's of letters in Greek alphabet, similar to those in Russian alphabet.

January 11, 2015

It may not work for everyone,  but I believe you should never ignore writing however unfamiliar it might seem. Double it with something you're comfortable with if you wish, but your task is to get used to it.

Don't forget that the writing is how natives see their languge every day.

If you get frightened, don't be harsh on yourself and start slow. 

1. Look at cyrillic more. Bear in mind that you will have to befriend it eventually. Browse through russian websites. Be curious even if you can understand nothing. See if you can recognise some words. Look up a couple of words if you think they might be important.

2. Look up words and phrases you already know and write them down (with your hand and paper, I mean). You can have a notebook specially for that. Do the same with international words and names. If you have a dictionary (a book) open it on random pages and read. 

3. Read or start reading spelling and reading rules for Russian writing. Not in one go: when you get tired or irritated do something else. Look up interesting and important words on See how reading relates to writing. Work out the rules by yourself, then check them with different sorces. 


Don't be afraid to make wrong assumptions, look and deal with cyrillic more without pressure of reading it, befriend the beast.

Good luck.

January 11, 2015

Whap’am, everything irie?

It sounds like you are now on the right path, so I won't bother with the "how to". But I will give you a word of advice for the future. Despite the inability to use your english alphabet to help you pronounce, it is almost always better to start a language by learning it's alphabet and pronunciation. This is step one. If you do it in the begining, when you think in the language, you will think in it's alphabet too. Learning with transliteration is an inefficient, dead-end. 


The only language on your list that's an exception to this is Mandarin, which you will want to start by learning pinyin and pronunciation.

January 12, 2015

Thanks guys! I appreciate the comments.

Well, i was afraid of it because i felt like a baby- having to learn sounds and applying them to letters all over again. I could not use my knowledge of the english alphabet as a direct link to facilitate understanding. However, i did tackle it with a friend, he was very patient, and he helped me to realise that it is not as difficult as i pressumed.

In fact, i didnt sleep, i stayed up until about 7am. Afterwhich, i was able to spell some words just by hearing them. I am now even more eager to learn - EXCITED.

A thing to note, i was just afraid of not being able to master the language. You see, i am not accustomed to losing nor failing, so i believe the mere thought of this frightened me. But i am okay now, ready to continue learning.


January 11, 2015
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English, French, German, Jamaican Creole, Japanese, Portuguese, Serbian, Spanish
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