005 – Hard sign (Ъ) and soft sign (Ь)

For now you’ve already learned 31 Cyrillic letters – almost the whole Russian alphabet. There are just 2 letters left to learn, they aren’t vowels and they aren’t consonants. What are they? We call them signs: the hard sign and the soft sign.

the hard sign – Ъ ъ (твёрдый знак) [tvyórdy znak]
the soft sign – Ь ь (мягкий знак) [myáhkii znak]

What do they do?

The hard sign makes the preceding consonant sound harder. The soft sing makes it softer. In transcriptions, we mark with ‘ the soft consonants and with ” the hard ones. For example:

мать [mat’]mother

съесть [s”est’]to eat

That’s it! Now you know all the 33 letters of the Russian alphabet!

Time to recap: listen to the audio and repeat after it.

А а [a]
Б б [b]
В в [v]
Г г [g]
Д д [d]
Е е [ye]
Ё ё [yo]
Ж ж [zh]
З з [z]
И и [ee]
Й й [y]
К к [k]
Л л [l]
М м [m]
Н н [n]
О о [o]
П п [p]
Р р [r]
С с [s]
Т т [t]
У у [u]
Ф ф [ph]
Х х [h]
Ц ц [ts]
Ч ч [ch]
Ш ш [sh]
Щ щ [shch]
ъ the hard sign (твёрдый знак)
ы [ui]
ь the soft sign (мягкий знак)
Э э [e]
Ю ю [yu]
Я я [ya]

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