Russian Reading Videos – How to Read Russian Part 1

July 12th, 2009 by Mark Leave a reply »
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I devised a way to remember the Russian alphabet in no time flat, and I’d like to show it to you today. This is Part One of my Russian Reading Video Series. Learning to read the Russian alphabet really isn’t that difficult at all. You will find a link to Part Two of the series just below. After finishing both parts. You’ll want to check out the Read Real Russian Signs Videos #1 and #2 for a taste of what it is really like when visiting Russia.

Russian Reading Video Part Two
Read Real Russian Signs Video #1
Read Real Russian Signs Video #2

Compared to some languages (Japanese/Chinese) reading Russian can be easy… Sure, if your goal is to master reading to the point where you can face-off with a native speaker, then – true – you’ve got a lot of work ahead.

If you prefer video instruction, then watch the video above on how to read and pronounce each letter in Russian’s Cyrillic alphabet.

As I often do, I want to employ contextual learning to embed the sounds on a deeper level. The great thing about this method is it’s easy, natural, and the most effective.

All BIG BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS are Russian letters. The first round is easy because they look the same and sound the same as their English counterparts. Part one of the Read Russian video series covers approximately half of the letters. Let’s get started…



Оpen wide, said the doctor, and say…

Аhhh .


So, the English word TAKOMA would be spelled: TAKOMA in Russian, as well.

Let’s note right here that the Russian versions of these letters have few if any variations in pronunciation. The same absolutely CANNOT be said of the English versions. How many sounds can you make with the English ‘O’ for example? Women? So and ‘o’ in English can be pronounced ‘ihh’? There’s only two variations in ussian for an ‘O’. Either the ‘Oh’ sound of ‘Open” or an ‘Ah’ sound, as in “Say ahh.”

Here’s the next batch…

БaseБall is perhaps the most popular sport in America.

Сeptember is my birth month, but…

Нovember is my favorite month.

Лaugh out Лoud!

Пretty Пlease, with sugar on top?

Рonald Peagan was the 40th President of the United States.

Вampires are scary!

Фotoshop is a great program.

Let’s play with these a bit before going on. The following will be English words sound out using the Russian alphabet. The answers are at the end:








How’d you do? Ok, let’s the next set…

Дavid and Гoliath

Гarden of Eden.

Хa Xa, very funny.

Read Russian Video Part Two


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  1. Inna Ternovaya says:

    Hello, I was just serfing Internet for some material on how to learn Russian. I am from Russia and I have a couple of American students who wants to learn Russian. It is very interesting and creative approach of learning the language in context, but you took it further and created a hybrid beetwen two languges. I can see how students can benefit from such approach and how easy it will be to do a transition from Russian to English.

  2. i was researching russian stuff on the internet, cause i wanted to learn a new language.i’ve learn english, now i’m really “in Love” with the russian language. then this blog came up in the middle of my research! i’m glad i found this blog! i had serious problems trying to read the russian alphabet… thanks a lot for the help! it gets easier now!

    by the way, i’m brazilian!

    thanks again!
    it’s been very helpful!

  3. Mark says:

    Hi again, Lucas!

    Wow, you’re Brazillian? Your English is excellent. And now you’re learning Russian. Kick ass! How long have you been at it?

  4. Robert says:

    That’s a good article about Russian Reading Videos – How to Read Russian Part 1 | Learn Russian. Thanks for the info.

  5. Darrell C says:


    Great job on this site, And with these videos. You are a great teacher. My wife and daughter are from the Ukraine, we should be going back summer of 2012, I am taking russian the the University, to brush up for that trip. Again, thank you for all the people you have helped, and for all the work you put into this.

    Dr. Darrell of michigan.

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