Building up a Stamp Collection
A Little Knowledge……The Cyrillic Alphabet
Its funny how when we look at anything and have an understanding of what we see, we never stop to consider the fact that it might be meaningless to someone else. This became apparent to me when on a visit with Tony Bird, he showed me his collection of postcards depicting Soviet Cosmonauts. He said he hadn’t much idea who some of them were because he couldn’t read the captions underneath. Well, it set me thinking (No comments please).
Maybe I could help in some small way by giving Orbit members an insight into the mysteries of the CYRILLIC alphabet. I am by no means an expert, but an willing to impart the little I know.
I think we must start with a look at the letters of the Russian language. Once you have a knowledge of the sounds, then it is quite easy to work out names which sound the same in English, like for instance:
Γ Α Γ Α Р И Н
G A G A R I N
The Cyrillic alphabet
Α Б Β Γ
ah (a) beh (b) veh (v) gay (g)
Д Ε Ж З
deh (d) yeh (e) jeh zeh(z)
И Й К Л
ee(i) ee (i short) kah (k) ell (l)
М Н О П
em (m) en (n) aw (o) peh (p)
Р С Т У
err (r) ess (s) teh (t) oo (u)
Ф Х Ц Ч
eff (f) khah tseh (ts) tcheh (ch)
Ш Щ Ъ Ы
sah (sh) sh-tch hard sign yeh-re
Ь Э Ю Я
soft sign ay (a) yoo (u) yeh
On most stamps and covers capital letters are used.
Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Mongolia also use the Cyrillic alphabet on their stamps.
There are a number of others, but they were absorbed into bigger countries and did not issue ‘space’ stamps.
Now you have the alphabet, see if you can translate these six names.(Answers at the bottom of the page).
If any other member of Orbit has any information on this subject — please — lets hear from you.
By Jean Brown (Mrs)
1/ Titov, 2/ Nikolaev, 3/ Popovitch, 4/ Tereshkova, 5/ Komarov 6/ Feoktistov