Friday, May 15, 2009

Idiot's guide to the Cyrillic alphabet

During my sojourn in Montenegro, I encountered both the use of Latin and Cyrillic versions of the alphabet. This was a great opportunity to pick up and understand more of the Cyrillic alphabet.

Signs for streets & squares were in the Cyrillic alphabet, which is based on the one sound, one letter system. I had a steep learning curve in reading Cyrillic, particularly when I was trying to read the inscriptions on the Partizan memorials for my English compatriots!



Now I am sharing with you, dear blog readers, on how I started to learn the Cyrillic alphabet. I found it easier by breaking down the alphabet into sections. All in all, it took me just over 1 hour to get myself acquainted with the alphabet.
Click here to hear the audio


ћирилица
..................................................................................
THE FRIENDLY LETTERS (As they are exactly the same as in the latin alphabet)
K M T O A E J
Examples words: ATOM, MAJKA

THE FALSE FRIENDS (Be aware - although they look the same as their counterparts in the latin alphabet, they represent different letters!).

В P С X У
V R S H U

Can you work out the following words?

CECTPA, BУK, BPATA

THE COMMON CYRILLIC CORE (That's what I call these set of letters as they are common to other Cyrillic based languages).

Б Г Д 3 Л П Ф И H Ж Ч Ш ц

B G D Z L P F I N ž č Š C

Here are some means of transportation:

B
БРOД
TAKCИ
AУTOБУC
ABИОН
and some other words

XBAЛA
ДAН
KPEBET
ПЕКAРA
KAПУЋИНО
ЧAJ
ЖИВОТ
ПОШТA
БУЛEBAP
ЛЕП

THE SERBIAN CYRILLIC SET (Unique to the language and quite distinct).

Џ Ђ Ћ Љ Њ
Dž Đ Ć LJ NJ

Here are a selection of words for you to work out:

HOЋ
ЉУБАВ
ЂAK
ЏEMПEP

KOЊ

The sort order of the ćirilica (ћирилица) alphabet:
Cyrillic order (called Azbuka (азбука): А Б В Г Д Ђ Е Ж З И Ј К Л Љ М Н Њ О П Р С Т Ћ У Ф Х Ц Ч Џ Ш

The sort order of the latinica (латиница) alphabet:
Latin order (called Abeceda (абецеда): A B C Č Ć D Dž Đ E F G H I J K L Lj M N Nj O P R S Š T U V Z Ž

The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet is based on the simple principle of:
"write as you speak and read as it is written"
Пиши као што говориш и читај како је написано.
Piši kao što govoriš i čitaj kako je napisano.


Don't forget that there's always Serbian Phrases List in the Cyrillic version with slow pronunciation ! Those who know how to write "FaithfulFollower" in Serbian (in the Latin alphabet) will get a significant discount :)

If you would like to get all my video lessons with explanations in English, translations and additional exercises like the ones above, in the meaningful order, consider joining me on Patreon. HVALA!

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