Russian alphabet

N Letter Name Pronunciation Translit Vowel
1  ah a in bar a +
2 beh b in bar b  
3 veh v in vine v  
4 geh g in get g  
5 deh d in do d  
6 yeh ye in yet e +
7 yo yo in yonder yo +
8 zheh zh as in pleasure zh  
9 zeh z in zoo z  
10 ee ee in see i +
11 ee kratkoye y in toy y/i/j +
12 kah k in kitty k  
13 ehl l in lamb l  
14 ehm m in mouse m  
15 ehn n in never n  
16 o o in pot o +
17 peh p in pot p  
18 ehr r in trilled r  
19 ehs s in see s  
20 teh t in top t  
21 oo oo in foot u/ou +
22 ehf f in foot f  
23 khah ch in Loch Ness kh/h  
24 tseh ts in sits ts  
25 cheh ch in chip ch  
26 shah sh in show sh  
27  shchah sh+ch sch  
28 tvyordyi znahk hard ' in f'ew /'  
29  i hard i y/i +
30 myakhkyi znahk soft ' in f'ew /'  
31 eh a in man e/eh +
32 youh you, u in use yu/ju +
33  yah ya in yard ya +


It's quite impossible to explain how the letter 29 sounds (something like quiet tender cough), and very hard to do this for no-sound letters 28 (like a hiccup after f) and 30 (like a smile after f).

Letter 6 is often used instead of 7 (because 7 is absent even in russian keyboard). In this case we had to remember(!) corect spelling. So, we spell BEC as 'ves', but HEC as 'nyos'.

Transliteration sample :)

Russian phrase:


Khoroshiy u tebya, barin, sunduchok! Chai, v Moskve kupil ego?


What a nice chest you have, sir! Beyond all questions, you bought it in Moscow?

Wrong but literary translation:

What a nice chest you have, lord! It's full of tea, I see... Have you bought this tea in Moscow?

Altavista/Babelfish translation:

Good in you, nobleman, trunk. Tea, in Moscow did purchase it?

PROMT translation

Good at you, the barin, a chest. Tea, in Moscow has bought it?

Some important words

N How it looks How it is spelled What does it mean
1 metro certainly metro, also the special big M letter that looks like a flying batman is used
2 vkhod entrance, entry
3 vykhod exit, way out
4 vkhoda net no entry, do not enter, no admittance (if you try to get somewhere from the street)
5 vykhoda net no exit, do not enter, no admittance (if you try to go out from somewhere; feel the difference with previous item)
6 vykhod v gorod exit to the city, way out from metro, railway station
7 perekhod passage, transition from one metro station to another on lines crossing
8 na stantsiyu to the station... (name follows)
9 pivo beer
10 kassa cashbox, booking-office
11 vokzal railway station
12 aeroport airport
13 tualet lavatory, WC
14 ehm gentlemen lavatory; remember M=men, especially when attended pictogram was created by professional designer
15 zhe ladies lavatory; looks like a waist
16 ehr., roub., roublei price in roubles (on a label), if you see only 123.00 or 200.- or 25 it's also in roubles
17 ou yeh price in relative units, that may mean USD, EUR or something like 1 y.e. = 32 roubles, because you finally pay in roubles


All other russian words you'll see around, are in english... :)