We'll start with some simple sentences right away. Russian does not have articles, nor does it normally use the verb “to be” in the Present tense.
Russian uses a version of the Cyrillic Alphabet. Many letters look similar to their Latin counterparts. As Cyrillic typography was remodeled around 300 years ago, both alphabets have a similar style.
For information on how to install a Russian keyboard layout, please click here.
To switch Duolingo from Latin transliterations to Cyrillic, click the little Aa-Яя switch near the top of the screen during a lesson.
К, О, М, Т, А sound similar to their Latin counterparts (to be more precise, "о" is the sound in "more"). However, in handwriting and typed italics, the letter Т can look rather like a lower case 'm' in the Latin alphabet. E.g. in the verb просить (to ask for, to request), т = t.
Е actually sounds more like "ye", as in "yell", not as in "Hear ye, hear ye!" (this will work for now; it's more complicated after a consonant).
В sounds like 'v', Б sounds like 'b'. Н is "n" and И is "i" ('eeh'). The remaining letters are included in the table below:
|Ёё⁰ (your)||Вв (vase)||Бб (bed)|
|Ээ (red)||Нн¹ (nap)||Дд¹ (dab)|
|Уу (soon)||Хх² (Bach)||Гг (gap)|
|Ии (meet)||Йй (yes)||Лл¹ (nil)|
|Юю (you)||Рр (trilled R)||Пп (poor)|
|Ыы³ (hit)||Сс (Sam)||Зз (zebra)|
|Яя (yard)||Фф (photon)||Цц (cats)|
|Жж⁴ (seizure)||Шш⁴ (shun)||Щщ⁴|
|Чч (cheer)||Ъ and Ь⁵|
Л can have a flat top, like П, or a pointy top like А (it comes from the Greek Λ). Д and Л have a similar top in many fonts, though it's up to the designer. Handwritten Д looks like D, and д like a g or a д (the last two affect the italic shapes).
An Italic Г in lower case usually looks this: г.
That's it with the introduction! We will discuss reading words in more detail in later skills.