Learning a language, one should clearly distinguish
sounds and letters. A sound and a letter are two different things.
The same letter does not always stand for the same sound and different
letters might represent the same sound. Letters are written, sounds
are pronounced. Sounds are usually recorded with the help of phonetic
transcription. It's a system of signs in which each sign corresponds
to one sound. Transcription signs are given in square brackets:
There are 42 sounds and
33 letters in the Russian language.