Russian alphabets and sounds

russian language

     Russian is my third language. First came here, I was like a dumb.  I couldn't speak Russian at all. And Russian people, they generally don’t speak English or other foreign’ languages. So it was quite a difficult time for me in the 1st year.  Some backgrounds of why Russian do not speak English probably because:

     Its biggggggggg country and long borders which made Russia very isolated from other part of the world!  Imagine it must not be easy for people to travel across the country to another. No doubt If they do not know other languages. Among Russian people in each part also speak different accents. Not only that, there are over a hundred dialects used in tribes and minority.  While the west mainly Englishmen have travelled around the world for trading, brought English language to everywhere.

     Another important reason is that, Russian, they have their own dependence. I mean they do not rely on foreign cultures. Considering Russia is  another super power back in history.  Russia have been respected in trade, wealth, culture, knowledge (science&technology) and its abundant natural resources.  So, there are no forces  no desire for most Russian to speak English.  Mainly those who work related with foreigners. 

     So If I want to live here I MUST speak Russia.  Ok, get back to my post………. today I’d like to share a little bit about Russian alphabet and how to pronounce it. (sound like a useful and serious post this time  haaaaaaa)

There are 33 alphabets, consists of 21 consonants, 10 vowels and 2 marks. Here they are.

Letter Sound Sample Pronouncing
Б , б b bee
B, в v vet
Ф, ф f fan
Г, г g gun
К, к k king, queen
Х, х kh no english eqivalent strong “h”
Д, д d dog
T, т t ton
Ж, ж zh, pleasure
З, з z zebra
C, с s sing
Ц, ц ts that’s
Ч, ч ch change

Ш, ш sh shirt tongue roll back inside

Щ, щ shch no enlish eqivalent
but close to “Ш”

tongue roll more in the front and high
Л, л l love
М, м m man
Н, н n nut
П, п p apple voiced
P, р r red more strong
and clear
Й, й y yellow short sound

Please note that a vowel can be changed and sound reduced upon its position and stress.

Letter Sound Stressed Unstressed
А, а ah ah (papa) a (papa)
И, и ee ee (seed) i (sit)
О,о au au (door) a (papa)

Ы, ы
(no english eqivalent)
close to
i(h) (teeth close)
er (umm…)
when use

У, у oo oo (food) u (foot)
Э, э eh eh (yellow) -
E, е ye ye (yeah) ee (seed)

Ё, ё yo yo (yoga)
always stress

Я, я ya ya (yard) -
Ю, ю yoo yoo (universe) -

Letter Name Example Pronouncing
Ъ, ъ твёрдый знак объявление
= announcement
to indicate its previous consonant in hard tone

Ь, ь мягкий знак счастье
= happiness
to indicate its previous consonant in soft tone

Alright, seems a lot for today. Hope it’s useful for anyone who like to learn Russian language. Bye for now:)

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