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Lesson Transcript


Hi everybody! Lena here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Russian questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: What’s the Russian alphabet called and where does it come from?
Russian uses a writing system called Cyrillic script. Besides Russia, Cyrillic script is used in parts of Europe and Central Asia, although each country has its own modified Cyrillic alphabet.
The Russian alphabet consists of 33 letters. There are 10 vowels, 21 consonants, and 2 other signs that don’t have any sound on their own, but modify the consonants that come before them. These are the soft and hard signs.
Cyrillic script got its name from the Byzantine missionary Saint Cyril, who created the older Glagolitic alphabet with his brother Methodius. It was originally used with the literary Old Church Slavonic language, with early writings dating back to the 9th century.
During the 18th century, Peter the Great revised the alphabet, creating new standardized forms that were modeled closely on western Latin letterforms. The Russian alphabet underwent a few other reforms after that, two of which happened quite recently in the 20th century.
Something worth mentioning is that the Russian you see in newspapers and on TV is not the Russian you'll see written with pen and paper. This is because Russian people often write in cursive. Just like English cursive letters sometimes look very different from print, so do Russian letters! Keep this in mind if you see something written down that looks unfamiliar to you.


How was it? Pretty interesting right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
До встречи! (Do vstrechi!) “See you soon!”


Please to leave a comment.
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RussianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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What Russian learning question do you have?

RussianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:19 PM
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Здравствуйте, Paul!

Спасибо for the question!👍

Ancient Rus (Russia) adopted Christianity in 988. At the same time, the first books also appeared. They were written mostly in Cyrillic script. There is evidence that Glagolitic was also used, but not as widely as Cyrillic.

Let us know if you have any questions!

Kind Regards,


Team RussianPod101.com

Tuesday at 09:07 PM
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I have a question that touches on the Russian alphabet. It is mentioned that the Cyril of Cyrene and his brother developed the first Cyrillic script, and that the Russian alphabet has been adapted even up to recently. Now my question: I am a student of theology and was wondering what language did the Russian Orthodox church use initially?

RussianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 09:38 PM
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Hello Mohamed,

thank you for taking the time to leave us a comment. You are welcome to start your learning here!😉

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

Kind Regards,


Team RussianPod101.com

Saturday at 04:25 AM
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اريد تعليم الروسيه بشدة

RussianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:11 AM
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Здравствуйте robert groulx,

Thank you for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know. 😄

Kind regards,


Team RussianPod101.com

robert groulx
Tuesday at 09:35 AM
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thank you lena for the video lesson on cyrillic alphabeth


RussianPod101.com Verified
Friday at 04:42 AM
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Hello Ronald,

You can use these lessons:



Team RussianPod101.com

Friday at 03:19 PM
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Hi Lena,

I would like to learn to write Russian in Cursive. Do you have a lesson on Cursive writing? If not, how would you suggest me to learn it?