Learn the Russian alphabet in ten minutes

With Putin and Russia in the news more and more thanks to Trump and Steven Seagal, maybe it's high time to learn how to pronounce Russian text. Thanks to the instructor's lovely accent in this ten-minute tutorial, you'll be pronouncing (if not understanding) in short order.

The Russian alphabet is similar to Greek letters, with a few exceptions. That means it has several letters in common with English as well. Per Wikipedia, a tidbit about Saint Cyril, who developed the writing form:

The Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabets are the oldest known Slavic alphabets, and were created by the two brothers and their students, to translate the Bible and other texts into the Slavic languages.[23] The early Glagolitic alphabet was used in Great Moravia between 863 (the arrival of Cyril and Methodius) and 885 (the expulsion of their students) for government and religious documents and books, and at the Great Moravian Academy (Veľkomoravské učilište) founded by Cyril, where followers of Cyril and Methodius were educated, by Methodius himself among others. The alphabet has been traditionally attributed to Cyril. That attribution has been confirmed explicitly by the papal letter Industriae tuae (880) approving the use of Old Church Slavonic, which says that the alphabet was "invented by Constantine the Philosopher". The term invention need not exclude the possibility of the brothers having made use of earlier letters, but implies only that before that time the Slavic languages had no distinct script of their own.

Once you get the basics, one of the best ways to reinforce pronunciation is to look at names rendered in Russian:

Popular names for girls

Popular names for boys

Try to read the name on the left without cheating, then look at the English on the right.

Now, when you see Дональд Трамп or Стивен Сигал, you'll know what the hell that means!

Learn Russian alphabet in 10 minutes! (Image: Fotorus)