Cracking the Code

Well, guys, I’m no longer willing to suffer alone so you’re going to study Mongolian with me this week. Congratulations! Don’t worry; we’ll steer clear of gerunds, articles, and past participles. The only thing on the agenda today is a little fun with the Cyrillic alphabet.

Shortly before we left for Mongolia, I went on record to say that Cyrillic is totally unfair and makes me slightly crazy.* But it’s time I admit the truth:

Cyrillic, it’s not you. It’s me.

After all, travel is about upending our expectations. Sometimes that means singing space toilets and beans for dessert. Other times it means that P sounds like R, and there’s nothing you can do to change this, Erin, so just let it go and move on.

I’m working on it.

Fortunately, translating from Cyrillic is a lot like unlocking a secret code. So in light of this, I have a little challenge for you!

Here’s a table for pronouncing the letters:


And here are some famous names for you to unravel:

Анн Франк

Хари Потер

Винни ЛѳПух

Доктор Xү


Капитан Америка

Бильбо Бэггинс

Леди Гага

If you crack them all, leave us your answers in the comment section and we’ll tell you how you did! In the meantime, I’m off to tackle some participles!


*In fairness, the Latin alphabet is equally flawed, and I continue to endorse Korean Hangeul for World’s Best Writing System.