How Many Letters are There in the Russian Alphabet?

By Ari Helderman
September 21, 2022

I learned the Russian alphabet in the beginning of 2015. Even though the letters looked a bit weird, it was okay to learn them. One of my first questions before learning was: “how many letters are there in the Russian alphabet?”

How many letters are there in the Russian alphabet?

The Russian alphabet (or as the Russians prefer to call it: the Cyrillic alphabet) has 33 letters.

Now, that’s the number of characters there are.

If you look closely, there are actually 2 characters that DO NOT have a sound.

So the Russian alphabet has 33 letters, among which 2 are without sound.

Watch this video where I tell you in Russian (with English subtitles) 9 reasons why Russian is actually easy to learn.

How to pronounce the Russian alphabet?

Here’s an overview of how to pronounce the Russian alphabet:

CyrillicEnglish pronunciationTransliterationExample
А аfather aмама, карта
Б бbetbбанк
В вvanvвокзал, вот
Г гgogгараж, готов
Д дdaddдом, код
Е еyesye, je, eесть, где
Ё ёbeyondyo, jo, ëёлка, всё
Ж жpleasurezh, žможно, муж
З зzerozздесь, занят
И иpoliceiи, или
Й йyety, i, jбольшой
К кkingkкак, король
Л лlamplлампа, далеко
М мmilkmМосква, там
Н нnicenнет, но
О оport (stressed)
again (unstressed)
oон, она
П пpleasepпрезидент
Р рrolled ‘r’rРоссия, работа
С сsitsспасибо
Т тteamtэто, так
У уbootuпо-русски, у
Ф фfunfкофе
Х хScottish ‘loch’kh, hхлеб, хорошо
Ц цbitstsцирк
Ч чchairch, čчек
Ш шshipshваш, наш
Щ щpushchairshch, sch, ščборщ, ещё
Ъ ъhard signʺсъел
Ы ыresembles i in bityвы, ты
Ь ьsoft signдумать, большой
Э эgete, èэто
Ю юyouyu, juзнаю, говорю
Я яyardya, jaмоя, время

What should you do next?

Learning Russian does NOT need to be difficult. All you need is a solid plan that helps you improve the following things daily:

  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • listening skills
  • speaking skills

That's ALL you need. If you can do this for a couple of weeks, you’ll already be making great progress in your Russian skills.

And the best part? If you improve a little bit every day, soon these practices will become daily habits.

And then you will start making progress on autopilot.

This means that learning Russian is now a part of your daily routine. So you won’t even need discipline anymore to get yourself to practice.

If you like the idea of this, but don’t know where to start, go here for more information.

About the Author

My name is Ari Helderman and I help people learn Russian through videos and blog posts where I share my experience.   I have been learning Russian since 2016. I often get mistaken for a native speaker these days, so I've learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn't if you want to speak Russian well.

Ari Helderman