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Questions tagged [буквы]

Questions about individual letters of the alphabet

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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why does ы have a soft sign in it?

It's the only letter with two disconnected parts. How did this letter ы come about?
7 votes
1 answer
5k views

Equivalent letter for H in Russian?

I want to pronounce and write the word 'Hindustan'. What is the Russian equivalent for the English letter 'H'? FYI: I am just taking my first steps in learning Russian.
45 votes
3 answers
23k views

Why does italic 'т' look like 'm'

The Cyrillic letter 'т', when italicized, looks like a Latin 'm'. This is illustrated in the image below. The first row is the Cyrillic letter 'т', the second is the Cyrillic letter 'м', and the third ...
15 votes
3 answers
11k views

When is the Russian letter "o" pronounced [a]?

Sometimes, the Russian letter o is pronounced [o], but other times it's pronounced [a]. How do I know when to pronounce it [a]?
18 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why is the letter "г" in some Russian words pronounced [v]?

We all agree that the letter г in Russian is equivalent to g in English. But why is the letter г in some Russian words pronounced [v]? For example: сегодня = pronounced as if it is written: севодня ...
7 votes
6 answers
8k views

Is "й" pronounced as "j" or "y"?

The reference material I've been reading is somewhat confusing. Some sources say that "й" is equivalent to "j", while others say it's equivalent to "y". Which is it? For ...
4 votes
3 answers
385 views

Can you still pronounce “щ” as “ш + ч”?

I know that pronouncing “щ” as “ш + ч” is outdated, but can I still pronounce it like that? Will people understand me?
6 votes
5 answers
7k views

"И" versus "Й" in Russian

What is the difference in pronunciation between "и" and "й"? They sound very similar and I can't really hear a difference.
3 votes
2 answers
487 views

Pronunciation of Г in regional accents

Watching a video with Russian speakers, I noticed two people who pronounced "г" as in Ukrainian, i.e. like a hard English "h". They also used аканье. As far as I know, they were ...
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why was the Russian letter X called "хѣръ"?

The official name of the letter Х in the old Russian alphabet was хѣръ, which is how modern Russians say хер (dick). The names of most other letters of the old Russian alphabet are understandable: азъ ...
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why are the dotted i (І/і) and yi (Ї/ї) from Ukrainian not present in Russian?

I've noticed the absence of the dotted i (І/і) as well as yi (Ї/ї) in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. Why are these two letters not shared when they're vowels that are fundamental in Ukrainian?
2 votes
2 answers
182 views

What is the difference between «референтный центр» и «референсный центр»?

In English, the term "reference center" usually refers to a laboratory or a lab network created to pursue all the scientific and technical problems related to a specific narrow area, such as ...
8 votes
2 answers
312 views

What are the differences between "и" and "і" in pre-reform orthography?

In very old texts, sometimes the letter і is used, but it has been replaced by и in modern spelling. I, like many others, learned modern orthography, so I don't understand why sometimes і is used, and ...
4 votes
1 answer
267 views

Alphabetical lists in Russian?

In English, I might make a list of things like so: A. This is the first item! B. This is the second item! C. You guessed it! Third item! In Russian, is that done the same way? i.e.: а. Первый ...
5 votes
5 answers
9k views

What is the difference between the letters Е and Э?

What is the difference between the letters Е and Э? Based on my book, they are both like E in English. My friend (he's not a Russian native speaker) explained to me that Э is a consonant and Е is a ...
27 votes
4 answers
5k views

What are these Russian characters that aren't in the alphabet in my learning material?

I have this comic book in Russian that uses characters I don't know from my Russian learning materials. Please see my image. There are: small m и with line on top g mirrored s Which 'standard' ...
0 votes
0 answers
68 views

What is "ж" by itself? [duplicate]

Google says "ж" is one of 10 single-lettered words in the Russian alphabet. I've tried searching what "ж" means on its own, but most of the results were either written entirely in ...
3 votes
2 answers
590 views

What's the meaning of "б" on its own?

The song Подмосковные вечера a "б" used on its own: Если б знали вы, как мне дороги What does this mean? Thank you in advance.
-2 votes
2 answers
228 views

What is the difference in how shah and schchah are written (by hand) in practice?

The capitalized forms would likely be indistinguishable and the lowercase forms are identical according to this resource (as noted on Pinterest). Naturally there must be an actual difference when a ...
1 vote
2 answers
299 views

Как правильно образовывать отчества от мужских имён, оканчивающихся на -ий?

Если конкретно, то интересует имя Аполлинарий. Но вообще хотелось бы узнать, есть ли общий алгоритм. Согласно советским словарям, пишут и так и этак, например: Геннадий — Геннадьевич/Геннадьевна, ...
3 votes
2 answers
194 views

Why do names such as Гаянэ or Арминэ have "э" rather than "е"?

For comparison, we do not write Манэ or Монэ et cetera. They are Мане and Моне. Why then Гаянэ and not Гаяне?
5 votes
4 answers
391 views

Should "йе" after vowel be pronounced [jje]?

я, ю, е letters are pairs for а, у, э, and, мае should be read maje, and майе should be read majje, like it happens with мая and майя - maja and majja. Right? I, personally, think that э is a ...
0 votes
2 answers
172 views

Identifying characters [closed]

I took this picture at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. I'm a graphic designer and I'm curious about this typography, I think it's cyrillic writing or maybe an old alphabet, I could be wrong. I ...
5 votes
7 answers
675 views

Why does the word "четверг" sound as "четвергх"?

Why does the word "четверг" sound as "четвергх"? I've noticed that people don't pronounce it as it's written, do they? If they don't, what is the reason for that? n.b. We already had here a post ...
1 vote
0 answers
74 views

Why use Г in for example Горизонт and not for example Х? [duplicate]

I am just a happy beginner in Russian language, but to my ears Х sounds closer to H than Г. Does anyone know why words like Horizon (Горизонт) choose Г instead? Is there some historic explanation ...
5 votes
2 answers
601 views

Names of pre-1918 letters

What were the names of the Russian letters и and i in the pre-1918 Russian alphabet?
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

What are these two words with obsolete letters?

I underlined two words in green. They have obsolete letters that I cannot track down. What are the translations? Context: This is a map legend. The full map is here.
0 votes
0 answers
99 views

Why is the letters M and T are similar in hand writing in Russian language? [duplicate]

Why is the letters M and T (м and m) are similar in hand writing in Russian language? For example: от → оm. vs. oм
3 votes
2 answers
556 views

What is the first letter in the first name and in the surname in Cyrillic? [closed]

What is the equivalent letters in the Latin alphabet and what is the first letter in the first first and in the surname in Cyrillic?
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Church Slavonic lettering style

Church Slavonic texts often appear in a particular old style of script. The lettering is related to Glagolitic and Blackletter (Gothic) in its parallel-line construction and dense packing. It does not ...
5 votes
2 answers
380 views

Is it considered a mistake to write "его" and "ето" instead of эго and это?

Is it considered a mistake to write его and ето instead of эго and это? I found it many times when people change between the letters е and э in this words, and I'm no sure if it's mistake or just a ...
8 votes
2 answers
681 views

Alternate shapes of cyrillic letters?

In the below image, the two characters underlined don't seem to have a match in the character map program I'm using: The closest matches I can find are п and д, respectively. Are these indeed the ...
1 vote
0 answers
206 views

"Ж" as a Mexican cattle brand [closed]

Could this be a Ж? Two hundred years ago a young, literate Russian immigrant to Mexico claimed his cattle brand. Usually these were just Latin letters, with some flourish or packed together, or else ...
1 vote
2 answers
329 views

Is there a difference between "эго" and "это" or the are the same?

I have 2 questions about the same words: 1. Is there a difference between эго and это or the are the same? (I've noticed that the uses of both is almost in the same context, and I suspect that ...
28 votes
3 answers
8k views

What Russian letter is this?

Is the 4th letter a valid russian character? When I copy the above word it is automatically converted to "сведения".
10 votes
1 answer
557 views

What is "Э оборотное"?

Today I heard from my friend "Э оборотное". I still do not understand why he called it "оборотное". Is there a secret letter "э", which only Russian native speakers know about, which is turned the ...
21 votes
9 answers
4k views

Is there a word that starts with "ы"?

I remember from my school years that there is no such thing as a word that starts with 'ы'. Is this true? If so, is there something fundamental that prevents this from happening? If no, can anybody ...
4 votes
1 answer
711 views

Old form of cursive

On the page http://vremya4e.com/interes/16025-temy-sochineniy-dlya-gimnazistov-v-carskoy-rossii.-eto-vam-ne-ege.html there is an image of a handwritten essay from 1917 whose title begins with Развитие,...
1 vote
2 answers
974 views

How to ask someone to send me a shipment using regular mail instead of courier mail?

I have a Russian artist friend who speaks terrible English and I speak terrible Russian. He's sending me this amulet that he made which is small enough to fit in an envelope. How do I explain to him ...
15 votes
1 answer
610 views

Н > И change in Cyrillic, when and why?

The modern Cyrillic letter had the shape of H a thousand years ago, it descends from the Greek H η 'Ήτα, Ēta'. What is interesting is when and why this letter changed the angle of its bar from H to И.
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

How common is angle-shaped Л in modern Russian?

How common is drawing Л the way similar to Greek letter Λ in modern Russian? Does it vary depending on region?
5 votes
4 answers
495 views

Letter Y issues, or Latin vs. Greek

After reading texnic's answer to my question Pronunciation of foreign IT abbreviations / languages, I became curious about why Latin won over Greek in our Russian schools. Here in the Czech Republic ...