Ukrainian alphabet with pronunciation

The Ukrainians use a variation of Cyrillic alphabet that consists of 33 letters: 10 vowels, 22 consonants and the soft sign "ь". Stress in Ukrainian can fall on any syllable in a word. The stressed part of the word will be marked with acute accent ( ´ ).

Ukrainian is easy to read, as one letter generally corresponds to one phoneme. Click on any letter to listen to its pronunciation. The transcription used in this website, IPA transcription, sounds in English words and the letter's name are added below each letter.

The Ukrainian language has two digraphs, a pair of letters that create a single phoneme:
ДЖ (IPA: / d͡ʒ /) - like in English word "junior". "ДЖ" is the voiced version of "Ч" [ch].
ДЗ (IPA: / d͡z /) - it doesn't have an English equivalent. "ДЗ" is the voiced version of "Ц" [ts].

джерело́ - source, spring
бджола́ - bee
дзвін - bell
дзе́ркало - mirror

The 10 vowels consist of 6 hard and 4 soft vowels. The soft (iotated) vowels are diphthongs formed by adding Й [j] (IPA: / j /) sound to the hard vowels "А, Е, И, І, О, У" [a e y i o u] (IPA: /ɑ, ɛ, ɪ, i, ɔ, u/).

hard vowelsА [a]Е [e]И [y]І [i]О [o]У [u]
soft vowelsЯ [ja]Є [je]Ї [ji]Ю [ju]

The soft sign "ь" has no sound and is used to soften (palatalize) preceding consonant. The soft sign can come after "д, т, з, с, дз, ц, л, н" and create 8 additional sounds (IPA: /dʲ, tʲ, zʲ, sʲ, dzʲ, tsʲ, lʲ, nʲ/). You don't have to remember them.

о́сінь - fall (season)
фільм - movie
ба́тько - father
мільйо́н - million
мудре́ць - sage
дзьоб - beak

The soft vowels and one hard vowel "і" soften the preceding consonants too.
цибу́ля - onion
пита́ння - question
дя́дько - uncle
ся́яти - to shine
валю́та - currency
ті́тка - aunt

There is also a special sign ( ' ) - the apostrophe, which indicates the hard pronunciation of the consonants before the soft vowels.
сім'я́ - family
я п'ю - I drink
п'ять - five
м'я́со - meat

There are three different names for the alphabet in Ukrainian:

Алфа́ві́т comes from the Greek ἀλφάβητος (alphabētos). The stress in this word can fall on the second or on the third vowel;
Абе́тка comes from A and Бе, the names of the first two letters of the Ukrainian alphabet;
А́збука comes from the names of the first two letters of the Old Church Slavonic alphabet.

You can tell Ukrainian apart from other languages by the presence of Ґ, Є and Ї letters in the text.

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