Its entrancing beauty is undeniable.
It will lure you in for a closer look.
But once you’re there, it might just reach up, grab you and make you beg for mercy.
Yes, Russian cursive is beautiful but deadly.
While it’s lovely on the surface, it can be incredibly challenging for Russian students.
However, if you want to learn Russian and read Russian written by real Russians, you’ll need to know cursive. If you’re teaching yourself Russian, Russian cursive is an easy area to overlook, much like typing practice.
Luckily, you’re not alone! Here’s all you need to know to learn Russian cursive.
Why Learn Russian Cursive?
Studying print materials will not enable you to read or write Russian cursive. Unlike the cursive of many languages, Russian cursive looks very different from print. Because of this, you can’t always guess the letters unless you’ve already studied them. You may think you know the Russian alphabet, but until you’ve studied cursive, you only know one side of it.
If you write anything in Russian by hand and you don’t know your cursive, your writing could appear childish or unnatural. When writing by hand, Russians almost always use cursive, so if you handwrite something in print, your writing could appear just plain silly.
Russian cursive is downright beautiful. You may even find yourself letting the Russian letters creep into your English-language cursive.
How to Learn Russian Cursive
Don’t be afraid to laugh at the challenges you face. Some of the challenges involved in learning Russian cursive are actually pretty funny. Don’t believe us? There are plenty of hilarious memes that will help you cope, many with the phrase “Russian cursive makes me cry sometimes.” A good laugh can help you overcome some of the stresses associated with Russian cursive.
Try to associate cursive letters with something you’re more familiar with. For instance, one of the Russian cursive letters that can be most difficult to remember is the lowercase “д,” which looks nothing like the print version of the letter. Instead, it looks much like English cursive for “g.” While it may still be a little tricky, if you associate it with the English letter “g,” it’s much easier to remember than if you’ve made no mental association at all.
Practice writing out real-world content. Writing practice gets boring when you write boring things. So practice your cursive with material from movies, books and FluentU videos. FluentU takes authentic videos—like movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized lessons with interactive captions and quizzes. After you’re done practicing your cursive chops, you can just relax with FluentU and continue learning Russian, because thankfully none of our videos are captioned with Russian cursive! That would just be too cruel!
Don’t expect perfection. Especially starting out, you’ll likely encounter some challenges. For instance, when reading, you might not immediately be able to differentiate between all the letters, but you can often figure out words based on context. From there, you can figure out the letters. Additionally, getting beautiful Russian penmanship takes a lot of practice, so unless you’re a handwriting savant, your Russian cursive might look a little rough at first. Still, with practice, your handwriting and ability to read Russian cursive will continue to improve over time.
Tame the Beast! 5 Calming Ways to Learn Russian Cursive
LinguaLift provides all the basic resources you need to start learning Russian cursive today. They give you a super straightforward guide with the print and italic version of each letter along with the capital and lowercase cursive version of that letter.
They also offer a free printable PDF in which you can practice forming Russian cursive letters alongside examples.
Russian Handwriting from RussianLessons.Net
If you just can’t get the hang of how to write Russian cursive, RussianLessons.Net provides a detailed, in-depth video that will show you precisely how to move your pencil or pen. It shows how to write each letter (both capital and lowercase) in cursive, so you won’t be left with any nagging questions about what part of the letter to form first.
In addition to the video, RussianLessons.Net offers other supportive resources at the link above. For instance, if you need a quick reference guide, there’s a helpful chart that shows the cursive alongside the print version of the letters. There’s also a section that shows how several letters are joined to give you a clearer idea of how cursive is used in context.
Plus, RussianLessons.Net has handwriting examples, in which common Russian words and some basic phrases are shown in cursive. This is a great way to start learning how to read cursive using simple, familiar vocabulary.
Technically, Russian For Everyone’s guide doesn’t focus on cursive. Instead, they focus on teaching you the Russian alphabet in general. Whether you’re just starting out and would rather learn all versions of the letters at the same time or you just want to focus on the cursive, Russian For Everyone really is for everyone.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of Russian For Everyone’s cursive offerings is that they have “playable” images. Want to see how a letter is formed? Just click “play” to see a slow, careful formation of the letter. But that’s not all! Russian For Everyone also has examples of words written in cursive, and these are playable, too! If you’re struggling to wrap your brain around how these complex letters fit together, this is an easy way to see how it all works. You might also use these playable clips as you write to guide your practice.
Additionally, Russian For Everyone offers audio of each letter and word, so you can start working towards connecting all the words, letters and sounds in your mind.
Beginning Russian: Russian Cursive from Amazing Russian
Wish someone would just walk you through the Russian alphabet and show you how to write each letter in cursive? This YouTube video will do just that! You’ll see each letter in print and cursive as the speaker names the letter in Russian. Then, the video shows you how to form the letter. At the end of the video, particularly challenging letters are highlighted. Finally, the video shares some examples of common words and phrases written in cursive to help you transition towards reading cursive.
If you want a resource that will take you straight through from learning the cursive alphabet to reading real cursive, TenguGo is your go-to resource.
First, TenguGo introduces the cursive letters in an approachable manner by breaking them down into groups, like “Old Friends,” in which the letters are similar to English letters, and “False Friends,” where the letters may look similar between English and Russian but aren’t quite the same. After the print letters, transliterations, what the letters sound like and audio pronunciations, you’ll see the upper and lowercase cursive of each letter. You can also scroll to the end of each page for examples of words that use those letters along with audio pronunciations, giving you an easy way to connect the printed words, cursive words, spoken words and English-language meaning.
If you still have trouble remembering the letters, you might try taking TenguGo’s helpful quizzes, which ask you to connect Russian cursive letters with their English transliterations.
One other unique feature of TenguGo is that it offers cursive reading practice, so once you’ve gotten down the basics, you can reinforce your learning and prepare yourself to read authentic, handwritten content. Examples include basic words and even a brief dialogue.
With these tips and resources, learning Russian cursive doesn’t need to be the bane of your existence.
Embrace the beauty of Russian cursive without fear of its dangerous reputation!
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