When you learn the Ukranian language, there's no doubt that you'll need to learn the 33 letters in the Ukrainian version of the Cyrillic alphabet. Learning a script can be done in under a week and it makes the rest of your Ukrainian-learning journey so much easier and more enjoyable.
But as you improve in Ukrainian and get further with your Ukrainian study materials, you'll notice that not all texts look alike. The reason is that Ukrainian is generally written in cursive when written by hand. Sometimes you also see the cursive script on signs and in graphical design. And while cursive is based on the same Cyrillic alphabet as the printed font, it just looks different.
That's why you need to do what 35 million Ukrainian speakers did in school:
What does cursive Cyrillic Ukrainian look like?
Handwritten Ukrainian is written with a neat carefully drawn-out font that's perfectly adapted for handwriting. The cursive scripts is special in that it connects each individual letter. This actually makes for faster handwriting once you've gotten a hold of it.
An example of handwritten Ukrainian letters
To get an idea about how to actually "draw" each letter, have a look at the video below in which you'll see how to write each letter in its normal and capitalized form.
So How To Actually Learn To Write The Ukrainian Cyrillic Alphabet By Hand?
After this introduction, it's time to start actually exercising your handwriting.
Find a piece of paper and a good pen. This is how I recommend that you go about doing your writing exercises:
- Say the letter out loud that you want to write.
- Write it in its capitalized form, then in the small version three times. Pronounce the letter out loud for each time.
- Write a word beginning with this letter while pronouncing it out loud.
- Make sure to write very carefully and neatly, trying to imitate the correct shape and size of each letter. Draw the letter in the order that you see demonstrated in the above video.
- Repeat for 5 letters in one sitting. Then take a pause.
- Next time you do a writing exercise (do it 2-3 times per day) repeat the previous letters before adding 5 new.
If you dedicate 15-20 minutes per day on this exercise, you should be able to hand write the Ukrainian Cyrillic alphabet within a week or so. Be sure to write as neatly and correctly as you can, carefully imitating the stroke order and style you see in the video.
After having finished going through the whole alphabet, you might want to continue to do some daily writing exercises every day in order to keep the skill active and not forget. Try handwriting notes in Cyrillic every day, do your shopping list in Ukrainian or just copy out your favorite poem or song lyrics.
For inspiration, try having a look at this PDF sheet for handwritten Ukrainian.
And that's it!
Learning to read and write cursive Ukrainian is not difficult, and it can be done fairly quickly. Looking at a page of Cyrillic, handwritten text can seem intimidating at first, but in reality, reading and writing is a skill that you can learn in a week!.
If you'd like to learn the Ukrainian language, go read my article entitled "How To Learn Ukrainian By Yourself".