Learn the Cyrillic (Russian) Alphabet

Saint Cyril, one of the saints credited with creating the modern day Cyrillic alphabet.
Saint Cyril, one of the saints credited with creating the modern day Cyrillic alphabet. | Source

What is the Cyrillic Alphabet

The Cyrillic Alphabet is one of the most widely used alphabet scripts in the world with approximately 250 million active users. The basic script for Slavic languages contains 49 letters: A, Б, В, Г, Ґ, Д, Ђ, Ѓ, Е, Ё, Є, Ж, З, З́, Ѕ, И, І, Ї, Й, Ј, К, Л, Љ, М, Н, Њ, О, П, Р, С, С́, Т, Ћ, Ќ, У, Ў, U, Ф, Х, Ц, Ч, Џ, Ш, Щ, Ъ, Ы, Ь, Э, Ю, and Я. Different letters may be used in non-Slavic languages, as well as there are characters that may be used in historical texts that are no longer used. Also, a language may choose (and most do) to not use all 49 characters, for example, the Russian language only uses 33 letters.

What is the Cyrillic Alphabet

The Cyrillic Alphabet is one of the most widely used alphabet scripts in the world with approximately 250 million active users. The basic script for Slavic languages contains 49 letters: A, Б, В, Г, Ґ, Д, Ђ, Ѓ, Е, Ё, Є, Ж, З, З́, Ѕ, И, І, Ї, Й, Ј, К, Л, Љ, М, Н, Њ, О, П, Р, С, С́, Т, Ћ, Ќ, У, Ў, U, Ф, Х, Ц, Ч, Џ, Ш, Щ, Ъ, Ы, Ь, Э, Ю, and Я. Different letters may be used in non-Slavic languages, as well as there are characters that may be used in historical texts that are no longer used. Also, a language may choose (and most do) to not use all 49 characters, for example, the Russian language only uses 33 letters.

A quick overview of the basics of the Cyrillic alphabet and it's Romanizations.
A quick overview of the basics of the Cyrillic alphabet and it's Romanizations.

Where is the Cyrillic Alphabet System Used

Cyrillic tends to be used in mostly Slavic countries, former Soviet Union states, parts of Asia, and Eastern Europe. The Russian language is only one of the many languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet; other languages include the Slavic languages Bosnian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Russian, Rusyn (a dialect of Ukrainian that is sometimes treated as a distinct language), Serbian, and Ukrainian. Other lesser known non-Slavic languages use a Cyrillic alphabet as well, such as Bashkir (spoken in Kazakhstan and regions of Russia), Kildin Sami (spoken by people on the Kola Peninsula), Komi (used in the Northeastern European region of Russia), Mongolian (official language of Mongolia), Tajik (a version of Persian used in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), Yupik (spoken in Alaska and Siberia), and many others.

The Origins of the Cyrillic Alphabet

The invention and spread of the Cyrillic alphabet, like so many other language attributes, can be credited to religious men. Fourth century monk from present day Macedonia named Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius who brought the alphabet to the Slavs during the Bulgarian Empire as a way to spread their teachings by modifying the Greek alphabet to better fit the Slavic alphabets. It was decided that it was a more beneficial alphabet to write church teachings in. Through the two brothers and their disciples the alphabet spread.

The original version of Cyrillic is now known as Old Church Slavonic and can be found in many Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic rites. However, through the years through use, academics, and politics the alphabet has greatly changed to fit the different regions, languages, and dialects creating many Cyrillic subsets.

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