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I've read before somewhere about a way to quickly learn how to read a foreign alphabet. You take an unfamiliar letter and put it in English words where the sound of that letter makes sense. That teaches you to properly pronounce the letter and get used to reading it.

For example, you can replace English 'sh' with Russian 'ш':

shadow ==> шadow

shampoo ==> шampoo

splash ==> splaш

seashore ==> seaшore

And so on...

Then you add another letter to words, and read for a bit until reading those two letters becomes easy. And you repeat to the point when you replace all the letters. It is even better, apparently, if you read some text. It suppose to help recognize words by providing a context.

I can't seem to find the name of this method, or if it is actually an efficient way to learn. Does it have a name? Are there any known resources that use this method? Is it a viable way to learn alphabet quickly?

  • Interesting; I have never seen this before. However, can you explain what you mean by "viable" (at the bottom)? – Christophe Strobbe Sep 30 '18 at 17:54
  • By viable, I mean "capable of working, functioning, or developing adequately". So viable way - good way, working way, efficient way, etc. Checked the dictionary, I think I used that word correctly. – Roman Sep 30 '18 at 18:12
  • The viability might depend on the similarity between the two languages in use: if one uses letters for sounds that are unfamiliar in the other language, it might get difficult. To stay with your engl./russ. example: I can not think of many English words that use a щ or х, so you wouldn't learn those letters with this method. – Arsak Sep 30 '18 at 19:11
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    It's basically a substitution drill. I think this would work best on all Cyrillic letters except A–E–K–M–O–T, which are the same as English. I could see it being especially useful for getting used to the Cyrillic letters В–Н–Р–С–У–Х, which exist in English yet are used differently than in English. – AML Oct 1 '18 at 1:15
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    Maybe a little bit off-topic but I have seen a Firefox plugin for learning Japanese kanji or Chinese hanzi by replacing first letter of English word with a character of appropriate meaning. – mpasko256 Oct 25 '18 at 16:06

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