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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 the previous lesson, we introduced our first group of “False Friends” - Russian letters that look like letters of the English alphabet but have completely different sounds. The first false friends that we learned were “Е” and “Н”. Do you remember how to write them? What about the “True friends” from the first two lessons? Make sure that you feel confident about the characters from past lessons before moving on!
In this lesson we'll continue by learning two more False Friends. After that, we'll learn a few more words to add to your notebook. Ready? Let’s go!
Our first letter is “В”!
It looks identical to the English uppercase Bee, right? But the Russian “В”, as you have probably guessed, does not sound like Bee at all. It sounds like the English Vee, but a little bit harder. Listen to the pronunciation carefully. “B” This letter is almost always pronounced in this way, but it can sometimes sound like a (ff) when it comes at the end of the word.
Here’s the uppercase.
В (print, upper)
And the lowercase.
В (print, lower)
The cursive uppercase “В” looks like this. It's nearly identical to the cursive Bee in English and should be easy to write. “В” is a single stroke so you can easily connect it to the next letter after the upper case without lifting your pen or pencil.
Again, the lowercase “В” is similar to the English cursive, but the Russian “В” has a larger upper loop than the English Bee. Remember that in Russian, the starting point isn't from the bottom of the line.
Now we’ll write them.
B (cursive, upper)
And the lowercase.
B (cursive, lower)
The second letter we'll learn in this lesson is another you'll recognize by sight, “Р”. As you can see, it looks exactly like the English Pee, except that it doesn't dip beneath the line as far as the lowercase Pee in English. This letter is difficult to pronounce for some native English speakers. It's like the Spanish Arr but not quite as continuous. [P sound]
Here’s how to write the printed versions.
Р (print, upper)
And the lowercase.
Р (print, lower)
Now let's take a look at how to write “Р” in cursive.
The uppercase version looks like this. As you can see, the cursive version of “Р” is very different than in English, and is written in two strokes. Please note that the lowercase “Р” does not make a closed circle the same way as the lowercase cursive Pee in English.
Handwriting time.
Р (cursive, upper)
And the lowercase.
Р (cursive, lower)
We'll continue learning more letters next time, but for now let's practice using these letters in some new words.
First up is a word that uses both of our new letters – try reading it aloud.
[short pause] Did you say “Венера”? If you didn't, that's OK. Here we can see how “E“ can be pronounced as either “i” or “yeh”. “Венера” is the Russian name for the planet Venus, and it’s also a girl's name. Now try writing it.
Let's start with an uppercase “В”.
Венера (cursive)
Great job!
Now let's try writing a sentence. We'll combine a word from the previous lesson with a new word to make a sentence that hopefully you’ll never need to use! Try reading it.
[short pause]
Hopefully you read “Ohn vor!” This means “He's a thief!” in Russian. If someone snatches your purse or steals your wallet, you'll be glad you learned this sentence. Now let's try writing it by hand.
Since it's a sentence, we'll start out with an uppercase "O"
Он вор! (cursive)
Make sure that your connections are smooth and fluid.
Now it's time for Svetlana’s insights.
Your handwriting is like a signature, and no two people's are the same. When you see actual Russian handwriting, you may notice that sometimes people write letters in different ways. You'll notice a lot of people don't connect letters properly to the next one. Other people mix “print-style” letters with cursive letters. However, if you learn cursive properly, you will certainly impress your Russian friends and be able to understand almost anyone's handwriting. Good luck!
That’s it for this lesson. Today you moved from writing single words into sentences. In the next Алфавит Made Easy lesson, we'll be back to meet the last of our False Friends, and then it's on to uncharted territory.
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