Serguei Mokhov wrote:
> Well, one could argue then in Russian, which is
> Cyrrilic-based, half of it being
> derived from Greek, the other half is somewhat Latin.
> The alphabet:
> А а Б б В в Г г Д д Е е Ё ё Ж ж З з И и Й й К к Л л М м Н н
> О о П п Р р С с У у Т т Ф ф Х х Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш Щ щ
> Ъ ъ Ы ы Ь ь Э э Ю ю Я я
> For example, these I would imagine have come from Greek:
> Г г Д д Л л П п Ф ф


> These could have been borrowed from Latin:
> А а К к Е е О о М м С с Т т


- <К к>, <О о> and <Т т> are practically identical to their Greek

- <С с> is identical to the so-called "lunate sigma": a alternatively form
for <Σ σ/ς> (sigma). This form is specially connected with the Orthodox
church. E.g., in Greece, all the signs bearing the name of church use this
form of sigma.

- <А а> and <Е е> are identical to Greek in uppercase; only the small
letters have been influenced by the Latin typography. However, in
handwriting and italics, the lowercase of <A> is identical in Latin,
Cyrillic and Greek.

> These perhaps were re-inveted (I am simply not sure on how
> to classify those; one could argue a lot where they came from;
> some have strong resemblence to Latin or Greek, but pronounced quite
> differently from those of Latin):
> Й й Ц ц У у Ш ш Щ щ Н н З з Х х Ъ ъ Ы ы В в Р р Ж ж Э э Я я Ч
> ч И и Ь ь Б б Ю ю

Most of these are easily explained:

- <Й й>, <Щ щ>, <Ъ ъ>, <Э э> are clearly just variants of <И и>, <Ш ш>, <Ь
ь> and <Е е>.

- Probably, also <Б б> is a variant of <В в>.

- <Ы ы> and <Ю ю> were originally ligatures composed by Greek <Ι ι> (iota)
plus some other letter.

- <И и>, <У у>, <Н н>, <З з>, <Х х>, <В в> and <Р р> clearly correspond to
Greek <Η η>, <Υ υ>, <Ν ν>, <Ζ ζ>, <Χ χ>, <Β ß> and <Ρ ρ> (eta, ypsilon, ni,
zeta, chi, beta and rho) although they show some degree of graphic
variation, especially in the lowercase.

- <Ч ч> is identical to an old form of Greek <Ϙ ϙ> (koppa). This is the
Greek equivalent of Latin <Q q>, which is not used anymore in modern Greek
because thee corresponding sound has disappeared from the language.

Only <Ш ш>, <Ж ж>, <Ь ь> and <Я я> are apparently not derived from Greek. I
read somewhere that they derive from the Glagolitic script, although, IMHO,
<Ш ш> could come from Hebrew <ש> (shin), as it has the same sound and nearly
the same shape.

> This is for the typeset. However, when we write or better to
> say when we are taught to write in the primary school, the
> common handwriting scheme resembles the way the English and
> French speakers would write (write, not use typed letters).

Similarly, some Greek letters <Α α>, <Β ß> and <Δ δ> (alpha, beta and delta)
are identical to their Latin counterparts when handwritten.

> So, for example our "Д" that resembles to Greek's "delta" (sorry,
> can't type it here), when written, looks a lot like Latin
> "D".

On the other hand, in some Greek fonts, <Δ δ> has two descending "teeth" as
printed Cyrillic <Д д>.

Likewise, the handwritten
> "З" (pronunciation-wise similar to "Z") is written the exact
> same way as "z".

OTOH, Greek <Ζ ζ> is identical to Cyrillic <З з> in some fonts and in

> It is also true that there becomes more resemblence for the
> Greek-based ones to real Greek letters when written. But in
> the essence, I was suprised when I learned English and French,
> and then later a bit of Spanish, when I realized I almost
> didn't have to change my handwriting.

However, pay attention not to write a <d> as a <g> or a <t> as an <m>. :-)

_ Marco