Alphabet Borscht

St. Petersburg Times copy editor and linguist Daniel Puckett, provides the information for this interactive primer on the Russian languange.

Crash Course | Cyrillic Alphabet

The Basics

Take our crash course in the Russian language. Find the phrase you want want to practice, click on the pronunciation and hear it as you might in Russia.

Hello (ZDRAHV-stvooy-t'e)

Good-bye (duhs vee-DAHN-yah)

Yes (Dah)

No (Nyet)

Small talk

I am pleased to meet you. (OH-chen' pree-YAHT-nuh SVAH-mee puh-znah-KO-m'ee-tsuh)

What is your name? (Kahk vahs zah-VOOT)

My name is. . . (Mee-NYAH zah-VOOT. . .)

I enjoyed meeting you. (OH-chen' pree-YAHT-nuh BY-luh SVAH-mee puh-znah-KO-m'ee-tsuh)

I don't understand. (Yah n'ee puh-nee-MAH-yoo)

I do not speak Russian. (Yah n'ee guh-vah-RYOO pah-ROO-skee))

Do you speak English. (Vy guh-vah-REE-t'eh pahng-LEE-skee)

Almost a conversation

You're on the west coast of Florida. (Vy nah-KHOH-d'ee-t'ehs' na ZAH-puhd-num PLYAH-zheh SHTAH-tuh FLOH-ree-duh)

I hope you enjoy St. Petersburg. (Yah nah-DYEH-yoos' shto vam NRAH-vee-tsuh Sent-Peh-tehrz-BOORK)

Have you seen our beaches. (Vy VEE-d'eh-lee NAH-shee PLYAH-zhee)

How do you like our weather. (Vahm NRAH-vee-tsuh pah-GOH-duh zd'es')

The area has many good restaurants. (Oo nahs MHOG-gee-yeh khah-ROH-shee-yeh ree-stah-RAH-nee)

Grouper is a local specialty. (Speh-tsee-YAHL'-nuhst' ray-OH-nuh RY-buh GROO-pehr)

The Treasures of the Czars are magnificent. (Sah-KROH-vee-shchuh tsah-REY choo-DYES-nee-yeh)

How do you pronounce the words?

©St. Petersburg Times, published January 6, 1995

The pronunciation of Russian differs from that of English in several important respects:

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