Would you like to understand what these people are saying?
This section will get you started!

TheKateKlapp - Russia's most popular female vlogger.

The life history of  "Pozzi" and how he became a video blogger.

Box office favourite in 2013 "Legend No. 17" is a film about legendary hockey player Valery Kharlamov.  One critic said it makes you "shake with excitement and believe in the victory of our team".

"Elki" (Christmas Trees) is one of the most popular  recent family films - "a kind, inspiring, and fun movie, which is a perfect choice for the family on Christmas and New Year’s Eve" according to RBTH.

The Russian alphabet

This is the alphabet - only 19 letters instead of all 33 though  (if you want to try the other letters have a look at www.findoutaboutrussia.co.uk/russian-alphabet.html). 

 

If you click on the letters you can hear the sounds.

 

When you've finished you'll be able to read AND understand some of the writing on the KateKlapp video above:

видео на 25 минут  means   .........................

Ростов на Дону  is a city in Russia.  Can you find it on the map?  What is its name in English?

концерт  means   .........................

Now use the alphabet sounds (we've given you a reminder column below)  to try to work out which of the  words in red match the sports shown below.

Then hover over the pictures to see if you got it right.  

Click on the sound button beside each word to hear them when you've done that - and then repeat the word until it sounds right.

Now you can read AND speak Russian!

пинг-понг

теннис

баскетбол

футбол

хоккей

нетбол

Аа   ah

Ее    ye

Кк     k

Мм   m

Оо    o

Тт     t

Вв    v

Нн    n

Рр    r

Сс    s

Уу    oo

Хх    h

Бб    b

Гг     g

Ии    ee

Лл    L

Пп    p

Фф   f

Шш  sh

A few words about these sports in Russia:

  • пинг-понг  is fairly popular in Russia.

  • теннис   The player in the photograph is Maria Sharapova.  Have you heard of her?

  • футбол is very popular in Russia.  Do you know any teams?  There are lots of clubs for children and teenagers.

  • хоккей  Ice hockey is probably Russia's most popular sport.  If you want to talk about what we know as hockey you need to say "hockey on grass" (хоккей на траве)

  • баскетбол is fairly popular.

  • нетбол is not really known in Russia.

 
Russian names 
and how to get into a conversation

Александр Иванович Гончаров

Alexandr Ivanovich Goncharov is my full name, but hardly anyone ever uses it.  I normally only ever see it written down on official documents.

Саша

Russians have three parts to their name:

first name, patronymic and surname.

 

The patronymic is formed by adding an ending to their father’s first name.

A boy would add an ending such as -ovich.

A girl would add an ending such as –ovna.

Саш!

‘Sash!’ is what my friends shout when they want to get my attention. I hear this a lot when we are playing ice-hockey!

Nearly everyone calls me Sasha. I have a girl cousin, Alexandra, who also gets called Sasha by everyone. It’s very confusing at family parties!

Сашенька

Sashenka is what my mum calls me. It’s a bit like saying ‘sweet little Sasha’ in English. It was OK when I was younger but now I find it really embarrassing!

Could you match up the Russian names with the versions in English letters if they were jumbled up?

 

What clues would you use to help you?

Now say hello 

Listen to this simple conversation between Kolya (whose full name is Nikolay) and Ira (full name Irina) a couple of times or more then try to repeat what the characters say to each other.

If you can find someone else to do this with you - even better!  Can you guess what the conversation is about?

Как дела?  (kak dila)

Привет!

(pree-vyet)

Привет!

(pree-vyet)

Хорошо!               Как дела?

(horosho)              (kak dila)

Хорошо, спасибо.

(horosho, spaseebo)

Как тебя зовут?

(kak tibya zavoot)

Меня зовут Коля.  (Minya zavoot Kolya.)

Меня зовут Ира.            Как тебя зовут?

(Minya zavoot Eera.        Kak tibya zavoot?)

I like ....  I don't like ....

Now go back to Pozzi and find out his real name! 

He tells you right at the beginning of the video and has written the 2 main names he's called here.

Pozzi.png

Аа   ah

Ее    ye

Кк     k

Мм   m

Оо    o

Тт     t

Вв    v

Нн    n

Рр    r

Сс    s

Уу    oo

Хх    h

Бб    b

Гг     g

Ии    ee

Лл    L

Пп    p

Фф   f

Шш  sh

Practise these two cool new letters then listen to Ira.

Юю  sounds like YOU

Яя    sounds like YA (in yak)

I like = Я люблю    (Ya lyoo-blyoo)

I don't like = Я не  люблю    (Ya  n-ye  lyoo-blyoo)

Я люблю баскетбол.

Я не люблю теннис.

Which sport does Ira like and which one doesn't she like?

(And how did you work that  out?)

How would you say in Russian which sport you like?  If you like something we haven't listed just make up the word!  You've got a good chance of being right (or rightish) since many sports are called the same in Russian and English.

 
Did you know ...
  • The Russian alphabet is called the Cyrillic alphabet. Some other languages, such as Serbian and Ukrainian, use it too.

  • ‘Cyrillic’ is named after St Cyril – one of the two Greek monks who travelled to Russia and invented Russian’s writing system.

  • About 288 million people speak Russian.

  • About 65,000 people in the UK speak Russian as one of their main languages.

  • Russia is such a large country that surely there must be lots of different dialects and accents. No! In the north of Russia, ‘o’ is pronounced more like an ‘a’ and that’s the only big difference. Once you can speak Russian, you can understand and be understood by anyone else who speaks it.

  • Russian is also spoken in many other countries, such as Uzbekistan, Belarus, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Lithuania, Azerbaijan. Moldova and Estonia.

Keen to find out more?
  • Is there anyone in your school or local community who speaks Russian? Say привет to them next time you see them! Maybe they could teach you some more Russian.

  • Find a copy of the full Russian alphabet with the sounds explained in English. You could write a secret message - English words in Russian letters – and ask your friends to decode it.

  • Russian people love going on holiday where it’s warm. If you ever go to Turkey, Spain or Cyprus, listen out for anyone speaking Russian.

  • Have a look on the back of food packets – if there is information written in many languages, you might find Russian there. Can you recognise any of the letters?

 

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