Destinations Magazine

Russian Language Lesson: KGB

By Mendeleyeev

KGB language lesson: it seems our readers appreciate Russian language tips and here is one for today. The photo you see is the logo and initials of the feared “KGB” in the Cyrillic alphabet. While Russian can be a complicated language with changing grammar cases, a longer alphabet, formal and informal levels, etc, at least in one area it is simpler than some other languages: phonetics.


When most English speakers attend school they study English phonics, the practice of putting the name of letters together with their sounds. Fortunately, in most instances when speaking Russian the sound is the name of a letter, thus generally eliminating the need to spend a lot of time on phonics. So, in the photo you see the letters K-G-B, sounded by using the names of the Cyrillic letters which are КГБ, “Kak-Geh-Beh.” Easy!

Now you know how to say KGB like a good Russian: “Kak-Geh-Beh” however as the KGB is now the “FSB” in Russia, we’ll have to detail that one for you in the next installment.

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