Russian Russian Language

Russian Alphabet

Letter Sound in Russian
A a father
Б б boy
B в v sound in vine
Г г g in go
Д д dog
E e ye sound in yet
Ё ё yo sound in yogurt
Ж ж zh sound in genre
З з z sound zebra
И и ee sound in street
Й й y sound in yellow
К к kit
Л л L sound in long
М м monkey
Н н n sound in nose
O o open
П п p in pet
P р rolled r sound
C c s sound in see
T т tip
У у ou sound in you or boot
Ф ф f sound in food
X x soft almost silent k sound like in German Bach
Ц ц ts sound in sits
Ч ч ch sound in change
Ш ш
Щ щ
sh sound in show
sh sometimes followed by ch
Ы ы ea sound in seal
Э э e sound in bet
Ю ю u sound in use
Я я ya sound in yard

Ъ ъ are symbols that will make a preceding consonant silent.
Ь ь are symbols that will make the preceding consonant softened.

Climate of Russia

Russia has a harshly cold climate, and borders several other nations. Because it is surrounded by these other countries it generally has a continental climate, meaning it is not near any large bodies of water. This dominant climate brings a distinguished winter with snow and a summer with moderate precipitation. Some parts of Russia do have a subarctic climate bringing very severe winters.

Russian National Holidays

January 1st - New Year (Новый Год)

Presents are given on New Years. (It's Father Frost in Russia- not Father Christmas. He comes on new year’s eve to give presents. Christmas (Рождеством Rozhdestvo) might be celebrated by some, but not like the present giving at New Year's.

January 25th - Tatiana Day

Day celebrating students, set up by Empress Elizabeth in 1755.

February 23rd - Defender of the Fatherland Day
(День защитника Отечества Den zaschitnika Otechestva)

Day to honor those currently serving in the military, along with those that have served in the past.

March 8th - Women's Day (Восьмое марта Vosmoe Marta).

The day men remember the importance of women, and buy them flowers. (Mother's Day)

May - May Day (1st) & the Day of Spring (2nd).

Sort of a Russian Labor day.

May 9th - Victory Day (День Победы Den Pabyedi)

Parade in Moscow celebrates the victory of World War II - like a memorial day.

June 12th - Russia Day

The day (from 1990) when Russia's parliament declaried its sovereignty (made official in 2002).

November 7th - Day of Reconciliation and Harmony.

An independance day but with a peaceful name.

Russian Sports, Music & Art

Russia has international rankings in almost every sport (especially at the Olympics). The most popular are soccer and ice hockey.

Russian art is not quite as well known as their architecture (where 'the bigger the better'). Several influential artists are recognized like Rublev, Lissitzky, Kandinsky, Rodchenko, and Bogdanov.

Russian music has been globally influential because of composers and musicians like Glinka, Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker), Rachmaninoff, and others. In modern day, Russian music includes Perestroika (rock, pop, and heavy metal) Adygea, or modern folk music, has made a rise in popularity, also.

Politics in Russia

The focus of the Russian government is to protect the state and the people as a group (not individuals). Russia has a very low illiteracy rate due to their extensive public school systems, but independant thinking is not encouraged. Students are taught what the answers are but not why or how.

Current political leaders include President Vladmir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Russian Religion

Religion was controlled (or forced into atheism) by the state, until 1990 when a religious freedom law was passed- though now, the Russian Orthodox (Christian) Church holds clout with the government and most of the people. Several other religions are now practiced but maintain a minority.

Russian Dress & Food

Though Russian cuisine may not be as well known in the U.S. as other countries it does have a large, rich variety. Traditional soups like borscht are well known, as are a number of main dishes that rely on potatoes, bread, eggs, and milk. Russian caviar has an established reputation. But what seems to have the most recognition is their Vodka -distilled from fermented potatoes, or grain (80% proof). There is even a Vodka Museum in Moscow.

A bit of information about traditional Russian dress includes head-to-toe clothing, red being a most common color, and a hat called an ushanka. Russians will not hesitate to tell you when you aren't dressed warm enough. Most of their fashion seems geared toward staying warm, though modern styles can be rich and interesting.


About 85% of the people in Russia speak only Russian, and the remaining are bilingual. The most popular, from the hundred or so minority languages spoken in Russia, is Tartar. Over 3% of the population speaks Tartar, and the rest speak one of the prominent regional languages.

Hopefully you have been able to learn a little bit about the Russian culture. If you are simply looking to learn Russian, you will soon learn how important culture is when you learn a language. There are plenty of free resources available here to help you to learn Russian. If you want to talk about love or you are looking for Russian greetings, you must visit the Russian phrases page. There are also many Russian words in many different categories from which you can learn. In addition, you can learn over 350 Russian verbs and how to conjugate them with free audio flash cards and step-by-step instructions.