How Many Letters are There in the Russian Alphabet?

Ari Helderman // Beginner Lessons
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.

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

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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