.
paulamaf2013:

mynaturalsistas:

Unarmed Teen Killed by police in St Louis! He was suppose to start his first day of college today! #mikebrown

Keep reblogging this guys….
paulamaf2013:

mynaturalsistas:

Unarmed Teen Killed by police in St Louis! He was suppose to start his first day of college today! #mikebrown

Keep reblogging this guys….

paulamaf2013:

mynaturalsistas:

Unarmed Teen Killed by police in St Louis! He was suppose to start his first day of college today! #mikebrown

Keep reblogging this guys….

(via hellkittenslove)


tinyhousedarling:

unicornthuts:

powerburial:

thecelloprincess:

theafrocentrics:

wow

holy fuck

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/us/ferguson-mo-michael-brown-and-darren-wilson-2-paths-to-a-fatal-encounter.html?_r=0

EVERYONE KEEP TURNING THE EFF UP!!!


Sheeeeeeeeeet!  Damn y’all. tinyhousedarling:

unicornthuts:

powerburial:

thecelloprincess:

theafrocentrics:

wow

holy fuck

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/us/ferguson-mo-michael-brown-and-darren-wilson-2-paths-to-a-fatal-encounter.html?_r=0

EVERYONE KEEP TURNING THE EFF UP!!!


Sheeeeeeeeeet!  Damn y’all.

tinyhousedarling:

unicornthuts:

powerburial:

thecelloprincess:

theafrocentrics:

wow

holy fuck

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/us/ferguson-mo-michael-brown-and-darren-wilson-2-paths-to-a-fatal-encounter.html?_r=0

EVERYONE KEEP TURNING THE EFF UP!!!

Sheeeeeeeeeet! Damn y’all.

(via accioharo)


#1 proof jealousy has nothing to do with romantic love
I’m def 100% certified aro ace and I can be jealous as FUCK
you have others in your life? you generally have life that I’m not a part of?
no no no let me in I want to be the most important thing for you ever
I hide and suppress and bury this inside so well that my friend once told me she was surprized because my socionic type is usually very jealous
and I told her that I was
I am always jealous of all her friends and lovers
I want to know I am number one
I want to know that when she’s hurt she comes to me to cry
she rarely is
I want to know that while others have to demand her time and call her and remind her she struggles and finds time to visit me on her own
she does

jealousy has nothing to do with romantic love
it’s just possessiveness
feeling entitled to another person’s life, love and attention
demanding exclusive rights
rights to exclude everyone else from their life

that feeling is probably normal and it’s OK
acting on it is not


kurage3833:

sora-the-bisharp:

soul-of-space:

lord-inanis1:

ask-asuka-x-shinji:

groovy-grove:

dangan-ask-theblazingknight:

sekainohanashi:

dramimi:

fifty-shades-of-solkat:

olliedinsmore:

jay-no-eyes:

fyrefoxe:

god-damn-ponies:

xenowad:

crystal-frosty:

greekroman:

otaku-just-keep-swimming:

reblog and add?
angel potato

Hetalia: Potato Powers

attack on potato

Or have you considered, Kill Potato Kill?

POTATO LA POTATO

fairy potato 

potato eater

Full Metal Potato

Potato butler

Gekkan Shoujo Potato kun

potato x potato

Dangan potato

Tengen Potato Gurren Lagann

Potato of the North Star

Neon Genesis Potato

Potato Ball Z

Potato-mon
Potato-Oh!

Clannad: Potato Story

Vash the Potato kurage3833:

sora-the-bisharp:

soul-of-space:

lord-inanis1:

ask-asuka-x-shinji:

groovy-grove:

dangan-ask-theblazingknight:

sekainohanashi:

dramimi:

fifty-shades-of-solkat:

olliedinsmore:

jay-no-eyes:

fyrefoxe:

god-damn-ponies:

xenowad:

crystal-frosty:

greekroman:

otaku-just-keep-swimming:

reblog and add?
angel potato

Hetalia: Potato Powers

attack on potato

Or have you considered, Kill Potato Kill?

POTATO LA POTATO

fairy potato 

potato eater

Full Metal Potato

Potato butler

Gekkan Shoujo Potato kun

potato x potato

Dangan potato

Tengen Potato Gurren Lagann

Potato of the North Star

Neon Genesis Potato

Potato Ball Z

Potato-mon
Potato-Oh!

Clannad: Potato Story

Vash the Potato

kurage3833:

sora-the-bisharp:

soul-of-space:

lord-inanis1:

ask-asuka-x-shinji:

groovy-grove:

dangan-ask-theblazingknight:

sekainohanashi:

dramimi:

fifty-shades-of-solkat:

olliedinsmore:

jay-no-eyes:

fyrefoxe:

god-damn-ponies:

xenowad:

crystal-frosty:

greekroman:

otaku-just-keep-swimming:

reblog and add?

angel potato

Hetalia: Potato Powers

attack on potato

Or have you considered, Kill Potato Kill?

POTATO LA POTATO

fairy potato 

potato eater

Full Metal Potato

Potato butler

Gekkan Shoujo Potato kun

potato x potato

Dangan potato

Tengen Potato Gurren Lagann

Potato of the North Star

Neon Genesis Potato

Potato Ball Z

Potato-mon

Potato-Oh!

Clannad: Potato Story

Vash the Potato


more specifically about that more specifically about that

more specifically about that

(Source: zerueru, via kurage3833)


You have, somehow, successfully engineered a way to safely dispense Alchemist’s Fire via pressurized hose…
DM, upon the party’s gnome rolling three nat 20’s to make a flamethrower before entering the Troll Marshes (via outofcontextdnd)

inspired by dash

my sexuality: Kaworu Nagisa
when I look at him I doubt just that little bit whether or not I’m aro ace
ok seriously it’s aestetic attraction and he also hits all my kinks (ummm no I will not go into detail) and it’s to that side of perfect when it’s torturous to know that. that i am not in that fandom. and i haven’t seen the last Eva movie. and I probably won’t. or will. i’m pirate trash. aaaaaaaaaa why is he


(yes I am suddenly on tumblr and yes I have been reading/editing that Russian language post for the last hour instead of going to sleep even though it’s 2 am)
(it just pissed me off so much god Lenin/Lyenin and the like are the most stereotypical foreigner mistakes and there’s a guide out there preaching it? really???)


       #... #me
ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds. ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!


God.
First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)
Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”
Then I was like WAIT WHAT
So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.
"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.
There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.
Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.
And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.
Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.
If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).
Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.
If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)
Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.
P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”? [[MORE]] It’s not pronouncable in Russian either. It’s written that way in formal style, but in spoken language we say “Здрасьте” or even just “Драсьте” (Zdraste/draste) instead. In pseudo-antiquated / fancy style “Здоровы будьте” / “Здравы будьте” (“Zdorovy budte” / “Zdravy budte”), which means “be healthy” and is what the word originally was.
And no, “пока”/”poka” is not paired with “здравствуйте” at all. “Здравствуйте” is a formal version of greeting, and a formal version of parting is “До свидания” (“do svidaniya” / “until we meet”). “Пока” is kind of an equivalent to “bye” as a short informal version, and the informal greeting is “привет” (“privet” / “hi” (related semantically to the very word “greet”)).
P.P.S The one thing that is actual MAGIC that there are no consistent rules for at all is accent (stress) (i’m not good at english vocabulary sorry). It’s a problem for native speakers with words that they only read and did not hear too. Several words have two equally valid variations of pronouncination, but 1) you will still encounter people fighting over which one is ~actually correct~, 2) don’t count on it, there’s just a couple of them. Generally the accent gravitates towards the end of the word (for example, “f’ootball” becomes “footb’all” in Russian) but it’s not French and don’t count on that either. Just learn the words and hope for the best. Most of the time the meaning does not change based on stress, and when it does (“з’амок”/”зам’ок”, “castle”/”lock”), it’s usually deducible from context. Good luck!
PPPS I just looked at the pictures again and. for god’s sake. “Twee” as in “tweet” and “туй” are not even similar, unless, again, I’ve been reading it all wrong all this time. “Twee” would be “тви”, in worst case “туи” (the W sound in English!!! what even is it!!!) and “туй” is kind of like “tui” (with stress on “u”) or “tooy”. I guess “Й” is sometimes called “shorter И” but it’s long in “twee”! And the biggest difference that makes it not make sense at all… See, only vowels can be stressed. “W” is not a vowel, so it’s not stressed. “EE”, however, is and is. While in Russian “У” is exactly that - a vowel - and is stressed. And “Й” IS A CONSONANT AND CAN’T BE STRESSED. Uuugh. It doesn’t even sound alike!
PPPPS the difference between “Ш” and “Щ” is that “Ш” is hard while “Щ” is soft. Also “щ” sounds a bit longer, and in Ukrainian it is even pronounced as two separate sounds - “sh ch”, “ш ч”. It’s not quite that extreme in Russian… the sounds “с” and “ч” (“s” and “ch”) combine into that sound when jumbled together. The word “счастье” (happiness) is often misspelled by young kids as “щастье” because that’s how it sounds.

ryanestradadotcom:

Learn To Read Russian in 15 Minutes! I did this one with my fabulous guest writer Peter Starr Northrop, aka bilgeathresh! If you want me to make these dang comics more often, visit my Patreon!

God.

First I was like “hell yes reading Russian is easier than reading English”
(speaking might be harder, but actually just reading the alphabet is EASIER because English spelling is NUTS and basically ARBITRARY while Russian is almost entirely phonetic - if you say words out loud just like they are read, even if it’s not strictly right you will be understood 99,9% of the time)

Then I was like “huh, there are things I didn’t know about English pronounciation”

Then I was like WAIT WHAT

So! No, “Ы” is not equivalent to “I” unless I have been pronouncing it all wrong all along. It’s actually a pretty tricky sound, differs between Ukrainian and Russian, and I don’t think I ever heard it in English ever at all. Basically it’s “ee” but HARDER. Less squeaking. Just go to google translate, type it in and listen. If you need to navigate transcribed Russian->English texts for some reason, “y” is often used to signify it. And “j” is used in place of “y” instead, because we don’t have that sound at all and it’s kinda similar.

"Е Е Я Ю", while they are indeed called "ye, yo, ya, yu", aren’t always read like that. They can also (when prefaced by a consonant that is not "Й") mean just the "soft" version of the sound, just like "И/Ы", and also that said prefacing consonant is soft. No, it does not make sense to call them hard and the "regular" group soft. It’s the other way round. And "И" is usually grouped with them while "Ы" with the "А О У Э", and specified that "И" os the only one of the soft ones that doesn’t imply a "Y" in the open syllable (in Russian that’s a syllable that starts with a vowel) (if a syllable starts with one of those vowels but the previous one ends with a consonant, you put "Ь" or "Ъ" there, that’s what they are for, they are called "the soft sign" and "the hard sign", "Ь" also softens the previous consonant while "Ъ" makes it hard, the latter barely ever used) (no, Lenin is not "Lyenin", it’s "Ленин", not "Льенин", "е" just means that the sound is softer than in English).
Our language teachers try to convince us that the soft vowel letters stand just for the softening of the preceding consonant or inclusion of “Й”/”Y”, but that’s bullshit. There’s a difference in how a vowel sounds too. If you are familiar with German, think difference between “U” and, uh, the U with two dots above it (sorry I’m shit at German). Soft/hard, yeah.
There’s a small bunch of exceptions in correlations between soft/hard vowels and consonants: after “Ж” and “Ш”, the always hard consonants, you always write “И” even though it sounds hard, like “Ы”, and after “Ц”, also an always hard consonant you write “И” in most cases, unless it’s at the end of the word or one of the set exception words: “Цыган на цыпочках подошел к цыпленку и сказал “Цыц!”“. After “Ч” and “Щ”, the always soft consonants, you write “а” and “у” instead of “я” and “ю”, even though they sound soft (or not as much? it’s pretty subtle). I have no idea why, English doesn’t have a monopoly on crazy arbitrary spelling rules.

There’s a trap in a letter that is E with two dots above it. It’s read (and called) “Yo”, unlike its sister E which is “Ye”. There’s a reason why I described it and didn’t type it, and this fucking reason is that it’s missing on many keyboard layouts (including mine) & in many typographies. Simple “E” is typed instead. How should you know which one it is? Try to find books / other texts where it’s present for a start, so you’ll just remember which words are whic (“yo” is much less common) (another strategy is to use a dictionary, those usually have all letters). If you first have a text to read which doesn’t have it and don’t have a dictionary on hand, well. Magic.

Another thing this guy forgot is that while “e/a” in “bed” and “bad” (no difference between the two in Russian) is strictly speaking “Э”, this letter is pretty rare! If the vowel in unstressed and there’s a consonant before the vowel (and this consonant is not “Й” (yes, it’s a consonant in Russian)), the letter used is “Е”. So instead of a softer sound (that “e” normally stands for) you say the harder one. How do you know? Magic! It’s one of the very few things in Russian spelling that are basically magic. Well, OK, it’s not that incomprehensible: most times it’s the softer one. “Э”, unlike in English, is a very uncommon sound and mostly comes from foreign words that have not yet been fully assimilated. So, for example, “Potter” as in “Harry Potter” is “Поттер” and not “Поттэр” as would logically seem. “Поттэр” looks like the accent is on the second syllable which is weird if you know what the correct accent is.

And I’m pretty sure that “Batman” is “Бэтмэн” or “Бэтмен” (some people feel it’s so foreign and unusual it shouldn’t even be assimilated with this “э/е” rule), not fucking “Батман”. Unless, again, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all along… but that’s unlikely. There’s a reason the word is spelled like that in Russian context, we usually take foreign words and spell them like they are pronounced in the original language. Of course, the question is what language that is. However, I’m pretty sure this one’s English.

Oh, and how exactly is “Й”/”Y” (like in YES) ELONGATING the sound??? Does “y” in “yes” sound like a longer “ae” to you, like “ae:s”??? If so, we are speaking different languages o.O It’s a distinct sound, it’s a consonant, and it accompanies vowels so often there are additional letters for when a vowel is prefaced by it.
It sounds slightly different in Russian than in English, but just slightly. It’s an always soft consonant so the vowels after it are always soft too. It’s also a bit shorter if it’s a part of a vowel, which is a hard rule and if you need it to be longer you insert an extra “Й” before it. So “Yes” in Russian is not spelled as “Ес” like would seem logical, but as “Йес”.

If you need to read out loud (or write down what someone says), remember that Russian vowels when unstressed go rogue. “O” and “A” become very close to each other and it’s basically impossible to tell them apart if you don’t know how a word is written. It’s #1 most common mistake in elementary school. Unstressed “Э”, “Е” and “Я” turn into kind of muffled “И” (the “Y”/”Й” if it should be there stays, but you can’t quite make out what’s after it).

Another pronounciation thing is “ringing/muffled” consonants. Those come in pairs: Г/К, В/Ф, Б/П, Д/Т, З/С, Ж/Ш. When a ringing consonant is at the end of the word or just before a muffled consonant, it’s pronounced as the muffled one instead. No, as you can see, not all consonanats are there. Л, М, Х, Й, Н, Р and Ц don’t play this game at all, although Х counts as muffled if there’s a ringing consonant before it.


If all of this looks long complicated, consider this: those are universal rules and pitfalls of Russian spelling. Well, okay, if you are learning listen->write, like Russian kids do, there are actually many more pitfalls, but if you are learning read->say, like foreign languages are usually learned and like bookworms (like me) get most of their vocabulary, this is all you need. THIS IS ALL YOU NEED. _THIS_ _IS_ _ALL_ _YOU_ _NEED_. No, you will not have to memorize words one by one. No, you will not come across a new word that you suddenly have no idea how to read. These rules are universal. Always. Forever.
(Unless you are reading Ukrainian instead, which, GASP, is a different language with slightly different rules! Many Russians have trouble with this idea for some reason.)

Russian spelling is so straightforward that up until university I used Russian letters to transcribe English words instead of actual transcription symbols. It was not perfect and did not catch many nuances, but it helped me learn that “cucumber” was “кьюкамбэ” and not “сюсюмбер”, “кукумбер”, “какамбер” or a dozen other variations I could come up with.

P.S. Oh, and the horrifying word “здравствуйте” aka “zdravstvuyte” aka “hello”?

Read More

(via missdragonica)


tardisandcinnamon:

jeremyandscarlett:

until 1979 homosexuality was classed as an illness in sweden so you could call in sick bc you had the hots for paper boy in the morning

Ellie, I’m disappointed in you, you left out the best part. The reason they took it out in 1979 was because, to protest it, a shitton of people actually did. They’d get calls upon calls upon calls with “I can’t come in today, I’m feeling pretty gay”

(Source: romanovah, via hellkittenslove)


audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin
He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never. audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin
He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never. audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin
He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never. audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin
He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never. audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin
He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never. audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin
He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never. audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin
He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never. audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin
He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never. audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin
He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never.

audacitymadethequeen:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The True Trayvon Martin

  • He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1.
  • He was passionate about aviation.
  • When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis.
  • He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese.
  • He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it.
  • Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment.
  • He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad.
  • When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile.
  • If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster.
  • His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice.
  • At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie.
  • The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.”
  • The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name.
  • I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart.
  • Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest.
  • I feel like this stuff is important.

All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.

I will never forget Trayvon. Never.

(via accioharo)


daniellemertina:

atane:

2 white construction workers who were witnesses to Mike Brown’s murder have stepped forward to say that Mike Brown was murdered with his hands up. They fear losing their jobs.

That’s how you use white privilege correctly because no doubt these 2 white witnesses will be taken way more seriously than all of the Black ones combined.
daniellemertina:

atane:

2 white construction workers who were witnesses to Mike Brown’s murder have stepped forward to say that Mike Brown was murdered with his hands up. They fear losing their jobs.

That’s how you use white privilege correctly because no doubt these 2 white witnesses will be taken way more seriously than all of the Black ones combined.
daniellemertina:

atane:

2 white construction workers who were witnesses to Mike Brown’s murder have stepped forward to say that Mike Brown was murdered with his hands up. They fear losing their jobs.

That’s how you use white privilege correctly because no doubt these 2 white witnesses will be taken way more seriously than all of the Black ones combined.
daniellemertina:

atane:

2 white construction workers who were witnesses to Mike Brown’s murder have stepped forward to say that Mike Brown was murdered with his hands up. They fear losing their jobs.

That’s how you use white privilege correctly because no doubt these 2 white witnesses will be taken way more seriously than all of the Black ones combined.

daniellemertina:

atane:

2 white construction workers who were witnesses to Mike Brown’s murder have stepped forward to say that Mike Brown was murdered with his hands up. They fear losing their jobs.

That’s how you use white privilege correctly because no doubt these 2 white witnesses will be taken way more seriously than all of the Black ones combined.

(via accioharo)


iwakeupblack:

thedivinemorningstar:

JUSTICE FOR MIKE BROWN NEW ORLEANS!!!!

That’s sign says it all did you get chills? I did.
iwakeupblack:

thedivinemorningstar:

JUSTICE FOR MIKE BROWN NEW ORLEANS!!!!

That’s sign says it all did you get chills? I did.
iwakeupblack:

thedivinemorningstar:

JUSTICE FOR MIKE BROWN NEW ORLEANS!!!!

That’s sign says it all did you get chills? I did.
iwakeupblack:

thedivinemorningstar:

JUSTICE FOR MIKE BROWN NEW ORLEANS!!!!

That’s sign says it all did you get chills? I did.
iwakeupblack:

thedivinemorningstar:

JUSTICE FOR MIKE BROWN NEW ORLEANS!!!!

That’s sign says it all did you get chills? I did.
iwakeupblack:

thedivinemorningstar:

JUSTICE FOR MIKE BROWN NEW ORLEANS!!!!

That’s sign says it all did you get chills? I did.

iwakeupblack:

thedivinemorningstar:

JUSTICE FOR MIKE BROWN NEW ORLEANS!!!!

That’s sign says it all did you get chills? I did.

(via imstuckathome)


mexicofifa:

It’s so infuriating how Michael Brown, a seventeen year old boy who was brutally murdered, gets “he was no angel” in his fucking obituary but joan rivers who literally wished an entire group of people death gets a week of mourning and footage of her working at soup kitchens a billion years ago

(Source: giovanidiossantos, via ofpaintedpumpkins)


markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday. markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:


Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization. 

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 


This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday.

markdoesstuff:

socialjusticekoolaid:

Today in Solidarity: Protesters gather in Oakland against the Urban Shield conference and police militarization

Ever wonder where cities get all their fancy ideas on how to militarize their police force? It’s not just from the Pentagon— it’s conferences like Urban Shield, that highlight the latest in tactical equipment and practices for suppressing the very people you’re sworn to serve. #staywoke #whodoyouprotect #whodoyouserve 

This is what the Oakland protest was for yesterday.


.