Got some spare time this weekend?
What about spontaneously learning some Cyrillic?
Saturday morning I was checking my mails when I stumbled upon a mail from Memrise. I had used this useful flashcard-site to study some Korean vocabulary a few months ago.
When I revisited Memrise and saw the “Russian” icon I suddenly felt lighthearted. I clicked a random Memrise set – (beginner Russian words) and was having fun over the funny pronounciation. After 10 minutes of fun I already got a feeling for a few cyrillic signs. That’s when it started.
It was just spontaneous curiosity – “I want to crack this cyrillic writing system”.
Then I found some cyrillic calligraphy. So pretty. But man, the handwritten and typed alphabet did look kind of different. Plus I didn’t feel like learning the script and foreigns words at the same time.
So I changed it into a more concrete goal:
Learn to read familiar words in typed Cyrillic.
(no “exotic Russian words” or handwritten cyrillic)
Afterwards I researched the Cyrillic alphabet a bit.
Did you know the cyrillic script is used in 10+ countries? I also learned that the (Russian) Cyrillic alphabet consists of 33 letters.
The Russian alphabet
А а Б б В в Г г Д д Е е Ё ё Ж ж З з И и Й й
К к Л л М м Н н О о П п Р р С с Т т У у Ф ф
Х х Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш Щ щ Ъ ъ Ы ы Ь ь Э э Ю ю Я я
I am lazy. So I wanted a quick-fix. So I started splitting up the alphabet.
There seem to be 5 main groups of letters:
T A M O K – are the letters that are written and (mostly)pronounced the same. E is pronounced like “ye”
| Reading: МАМА , ТЕМА
Г-gamma (=G) Ф-phi (=F) П-pi (=P) P-rho (=R) are related to their Greek counterparts.
| Reading: КОФЕ , ОПЕРА
The ones I hated the most… but learning some super short words helped me remember them. (example, my bf’s name is ГУ – voilà I remember У. Or another word: НЕТ = “no” )
| Reading: ПАСТА , МАРКЕТ , СТОП
These are supposed to look completely different that what we are used to. I invented personal mnemonics to memorize them.
| Reading: ДОКУМЕНТ
These kind of look like letters we know, but they definitely sound different. Finding can mnemonics help.
| Reading: РАДИО
Then I chose a good Memrise set and studied for about 20min. Saturday I did around 6 mini-sessions of 15-20min to review and learn new cyrillic signs. I went about halfway through the 33 (As you can see in the main photo).
As I’m writing this post I can read – super slowly – most Russian words.
Sunday morning I finished learning the remaining letters. After I had a more-or-less good grasp on all the cyrillic signs (I still messed up from time to time and it took me a long time to read because of some shitty mnemics). In the afternoon started writing this blog post as some kind of review and researched more words that sound similar in both Russian and English/Latin to practice my reading skills.
For now I dont have any plans to learn Russian, but who knows? There might be another spontaneous weekend that gets me started （ ´∀｀）