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Top Ten Things You Should Know If You Want To Use Cyrillic Letters

Let me say that by the time you're done reading this, you will become an expert and completely fluent in all languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet. Let me say it. And believe it, if you want. You will get what you deserve.

So, really, the point is just to make a few points about the Cyrillic alphabet and provide a few tips, so you don't look doofy by making the big, common mistakes.

  1. First, the "backwards R" isn't an "R". It isn't even a consonant. It's a vowel and it sounds like "ya" with a short "a" sound. If you've heard of "Baba Yaga", the "ya" at the start of her name uses this vowel. Don't use it as a substitute for an "R" (more on the actual "R" a bit later). If you have stencils or stamps, you can use the line and lower hump of a capital "B" and draw in the tail by hand pretty easily to make the "ya".
  2. Also, the "backwards N" isn't an "N". And, you guessed it (didn't you?), it's a vowel. Specifically, the long "E" sound (like beech. It is often used (especially at the end of words (plurals more especially)) in conjunction with a second "E" that has a little accent over it (called "kratkoya"). Flipping over a Roman "N" doesn't do any good because the letter has radial symmetry. You need to squeeze two capital I's together then draw the line in. Again, not too hard if you have stencils or stamps to add the additional little line.
  3. So, what is the same? A, E (short e as in bet), and an E with an umlaut K, M, O, T, B (though it sounds like V).
  4. And what Roman letters don't even have digraphs in Cyrillic? D, F, G, J, L, N, Q, S, U, V, W, Z.
  5. For the overlap letters, an important one is "C" ... it is an English "S" sound. It never has the hard K sound like it does in English. They use "K" for that. Also, there's no "X" sound, they use KS for that. Now which lettering system looks messed up?
  6. Speaking of the "X", it is a "hard H" sound. Sometimes with a little "k" in front of it, but don't overdo it (yeah, I know this is me talking). An important bit about this is this is just like the Greek alphabet (so is the above K), with which you might be more familiar than the Cyrillic. So, it's like a Greek Chi, but it's letter name is "kHA".
  7. Other Greek parallels? Sure ... The letter for D is just a stylized delta. The L is like a lambda, just spread apart a bit. You can use a J then an I, "JI", then draw a little line to connect the tops. And the "P". It's like the Greek Rho. So it is a letter R. So yo now know CCCP = ess-ess-ess-are (soyouz sovietksi socialistika republici). The F is like a Phi (small o with a verical line through it). Also the Y-looking letter is like the Greek upsilon, so it is pronounced "oo". And the "P" sound is a pi.
  8. What's left? The B sound is like a capital B, but with just the top bar from the top hump.
  9. The Z looks like a number 3. Which is nice. When I make my "Zelenaya Soylent" (soylent green) factories, I can just put up a big "3C" logo (the c=s, remember?) using stencils or decals, or stamps. You can also fake an "eh" character with a 3, if you fill out the right side of it.
  10. They have a letter for the "CH" sound, which is important to go at the end of people's names. Also one for SH and SHCH. These are pretty easy to construct from capital I's. And there is a special "yu" sound, too, easily made with an IO with a little dash in the middle.


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