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Lesson Transcript

Zdrastvuite, Ya Svetlana! Welcome to Russianpod101.com’s Алфавит Made Easy!
The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn the Russian Cyrillic alphabet: the Алфавит!
In this lesson, you're going to finish learning the Russian Alphabet! We've come so far. In the beginning you might have had trouble telling a “Я” from a “Ё”, but look at you now! Last time we learned the letters “Ж” and “Ё”. Do you remember how to read and write them? I hope you're ready to move on!
In this lesson we’ll learn the last two “Strangers” and some more sentences for your notebook!
Our first Stranger is “Ь”, which probably looks a little familiar, like a lowercase English B. But as you may have noticed, “Ь” doesn't sound like a letter name. That's because it doesn't have a sound by itself. Translated, “Ь” means “soft mark,” and its only job is to make the sound of the consonant coming before it softer.
Can you hear the difference between these two words? “угол” and “уголь”. Listen again: “угол” and “уголь”. You will see this mark at the end of a lot of words. In fact, every verb in the basic form ends with “Ь”! But because no words actually start with “Ь”, there is no uppercase version.
Here’s the lowercase.
Ь (print, lower)
The cursive version of “Ь” looks like this. It may look familiar, because it's very similar to “Ы” but without the second part.
Now you try it out.
Ь (cursive, lower)
The last letter we'll learn looks extremely similar to “Ь”, and it's quite closely related: Ъ. "Ъ" also does not have a sound of its own, but changes the pronunciation of the preceding letter. So if “Ь” means “soft sign,” can you guess what "Ъ" is? If you guessed “hard sign”, you are correct! "Ъ" is much less common than “Ь” but it does show up sometimes. Listen to the difference between сесть and съесть. сесть... съесть. Can you hear it?
Here’s how to write the printed version.
Ъ (print, lower)
Writing "Ъ" by hand isn't very hard. It is quite similar to “Ь” except for the extra bar on the left to tell it apart. Just like its brother, it's written with a single stroke.
Time to write your last new letter!
Ъ (cursive, lower)
And with that, you have the power of the entire Russkii Alfavit at your fingertips! Isn't that exciting? Since we can read or write anything now, let's take a look at some idioms. Idioms can be a fun way to learn new words, practice your handwriting, and impress your Russian friends!
First up is an idiom that shouldn't be difficult to understand when translated. Let's try reading this out loud. [short pause]
“Хочется рыбку съесть, да не хочется в воду лезть.” Can you hear the "Ъ" in съесть and the “Ь” in лезть? If not, don't worry. You'll get it with practice.
“Хочется рыбку съесть” means “He wants to eat a fish” and “да не хочется в воду лезть” means “but he doesn't want to get into the water.” This idiom means that to get what you want, you must do what is necessary under the circumstances. Let's write it!
Хочется рыбку съесть, да не хочется в воду лезть. (cursive)
Great job, but remember to practice on your own! Let's see one more idiom. [short pause]
Больше слушай, меньше говори. The first phrase “Больше слушай” means “Listen more,” and the second phrase, “меньше говори,” means “Speak less!” Listen more, speak less. That's pretty straightforward!
Больше слушай, меньше говори. (cursive)
In this lesson you learned the last of the Russian letters. Game over, right? HET! There’s still plenty to learn. In the next lesson, we'll introduce the Russian system of hooks and bar notation. These are helpful when reading and writing in Russian! See you in the next Алфавит Made Easy lesson!
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