The Scripts of the world:
The Cyrillic Alphabet

In this article we would like to discuss an alphabet widely used in Eastern Europe and throughout Northern Asia:
The Cyrillic Alphabet.
The name of this alphabet is derived from St.Cyril, who with his brother St.Methodius lead the conversion of the Slavic peoples in the 9th century.
St. Cyril is believed to have developed a script that is the forerunner of today’s Cyrillic alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet is, like the Roman alphabet (that you are reading now), based on the ancient Greek alphabet.

Cyrillic Languages

Some of the most widely used Cyrillic languages are:

Local variations of the Cyrillic Alphabet

The various different languages and countries that use the Cyrillic alphabet often have their own local variations.
These are usually differences in pronunciation of particular letters or the use of additional letters in order to write all the phenomes of the language.

The Cyrillic alphabet of the Russian language

Below is the alphabet of the Russian language, the most widely spoken Cyrillic language.

The Russian Cyrillic alphabet
letter approximate pronunciation letter approximate pronunciation letter approximate pronunciation
А а [a] К к [k] Х х [ch]
Б б [b] Л л [l] Ц ц [ts]
В в [v] М м [m] Ч ч [tsh]
Г г [g] Н н [n] Ш ш [sh]
Д д [d] О о [o] Щ щ [shtsh]
Е е [ye] П п [p] Ъ ъ *
Ё ё [yo] Р р rolled [r] Ы ы [ɨ]
Ж ж [ʐ] С с [s] Ь ь *
З з [z] Т т [t] Э э [ɛ]
И и [e] У у [u] Ю ю [ju]
Й й [y] Ф ф [f] Я я [ya]

These letters are silent, and serve to indicate whether or not the proceeding consonant should be pronounced hard or soft.
Following vowels are pronounced with an additional “[y]”.

Learning the Cyrillic alphabet

Would you like to learn the Cyrillic alphabet?
We can help you.

We have prepared a worksheet for the Cyrillic alphabet so that you can practice writing.
This worksheet can be downloaded for free as a PDF document.
Have fun learning the Cyrillic script!

Further Reading

We are delighted about your interest in the Cyrillic script.
We have prepared a few weblinks for you:

Here is the Wikipedia entry about the Cyrillic script.
Are you interested in learning Serbian?
Here you find more information about the Serbian language.
Maybe you start out on studying Russian? We have also prepared an article with information about the Russian language.
Bulgarian is written in Cyrillic script, too.
Do you want to learn more about the Bulgarian language? Follow this link ...