What is this?

Here are the new letters you need:

CapitalSmallSounds like
Ч ч ch in chair (notice that the letter
looks like an upside-down chair)
Э э e in echo
О о o in open

To make these words:


Putting them together, you get this handy phrase:

Что э́то?

which means, “What is this?” Click the speaker and listen to the phrase.

You might be wondering...

  1. If Russian is phonetic, how come the ч doesn’t sound like ‘ch’?
    Find out why.
  2. If Russian is phonetic, then why is the о pronounced differently in the two words?
    Find out why.
  3. Where’s the word “is” in the Russian phrase?
    Find out.

If you aren’t worried about any of this, just continue.