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Why Russian Pronunciation Is So Easy


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To my point of view the most difficult thing in learning Russian language is declension.

We have six cases : 

Nominative - Именительный - imenitel´nyj x

Accusative – Винительный - vinitel´nyj

Genitive – Родительный - roditel´nyj

Dative – Дательный - datel´nyj

Prepositional – Предложный – predložnyj

Instrumental – Творительный - tvoritel´nyj

So we add certain inflexions to main word. To speak good, you will need at least to learn basic rules of Russian grammar.

But this post will be not about grammar rules, because I want to tell you how to pronounce Russian words correctly.

Relax! Russian pronunciation has no many exceptions, comparing with English. The point is, every letter has its own sound. And you do not need to make combinations from several letters.  If you understand this basic rule of pronunciation and learn the alphabet with sounds, so your chances to speak properly are very high.

Have ever heard a speech of Russian native speaker? Did you like it? The main advantage of Russian language is its soft pronunciation. We achieve this thanks to vowels. So it is can be compared like with singing a song. That is why when learning Russian sounds, make sure you pronounce vowels without mistakes. Try to lengthen any vowel in a word. Also, I have already wrote in my previous posts about crucial role of stress in Russian words. So this is extremely important.

Some Russian consonant sounds are called sibilants. For example,  Ж - zh, Ч -ts, Ш - sh, and Щ - sh'.

You need to pronounce them making hissing sounds.

Sometimes we have combination from 3 or 4 consonant letters in one word. Let us take for an example, Russian greeting word  Здравствуйте - Zdravstvujte - Hello . We see that two difficult consonant combinations (zdr and vstv) present in this word.

One more example: взгляд - glance - vzglyad . Difficult combination from 4 letters here is vzgl.

But it is actually the most complicated thing to pronounce in Russian language. If you can do it – no problems at all!

To conclude everything above mentioned I should say that Russian language is very easy when it comes about pronunciation. Surely you can learn by heart several standard phrases like Привет Пока Как дела. But if you want say and build any phrase or sentence, so you have to understand grammar and pronunciation rules! 

:wink:

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  • 10 months later...
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Well, you certainly do make it sound so easy. My native tongue is Croatian, so another Slavic language and I found a lot of similarities with Russian, especially when I was browsing through your colours post and such. I can also read the Cyrillic from before, so it was a plus! Now I am really grateful to my teacher for stressing the importance of it.

What's really good about Slavic languages is it's straightforwardness. You have pronunciation which matches the words. You also have cases, true, but these make it easier later on, not to mention that it helps when learning a foreign language.

One question, how do you write in Cyrillic letters? My keyboard is pretty standard - just the Latin script, but I was wondering whether it can be adjusted to accept other letters, Cyrillic and Alphabet included.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To my point of view the most difficult thing in learning Russian language is declension.

We have six cases : 

Nominative - Именительный - imenitel´nyj x

Accusative – Винительный - vinitel´nyj

Genitive – Родительный - roditel´nyj

Dative – Дательный - datel´nyj

Prepositional – Предложный – predložnyj

Instrumental – Творительный - tvoritel´nyj

So we add certain inflexions to main word. To speak good, you will need at least to learn basic rules of Russian grammar.

But this post will be not about grammar rules, because I want to tell you how to pronounce Russian words correctly.

Relax! Russian pronunciation has no many exceptions, comparing with English. The point is, every letter has its own sound. And you do not need to make combinations from several letters.  If you understand this basic rule of pronunciation and learn the alphabet with sounds, so your chances to speak properly are very high.

Have ever heard a speech of Russian native speaker? Did you like it? The main advantage of Russian language is its soft pronunciation. We achieve this thanks to vowels. So it is can be compared like with singing a song. That is why when learning Russian sounds, make sure you pronounce vowels without mistakes. Try to lengthen any vowel in a word. Also, I have already wrote in my previous posts about crucial role of stress in Russian words. So this is extremely important.

Some Russian consonant sounds are called sibilants. For example,  Ж - zh, Ч -ts, Ш - sh, and Щ - sh'.

You need to pronounce them making hissing sounds.

Sometimes we have combination from 3 or 4 consonant letters in one word. Let us take for an example, Russian greeting word  Здравствуйте - Zdravstvujte - Hello . We see that two difficult consonant combinations (zdr and vstv) present in this word.

One more example: взгляд - glance - vzglyad . Difficult combination from 4 letters here is vzgl.

But it is actually the most complicated thing to pronounce in Russian language. If you can do it – no problems at all!

To conclude everything above mentioned I should say that Russian language is very easy when it comes about pronunciation. Surely you can learn by heart several standard phrases like Привет Пока Как дела. But if you want say and build any phrase or sentence, so you have to understand grammar and pronunciation rules! 

:wink:

I would definitely say the same. Once you realise that it definitely is not English, it is easy as pie to pronounce. Yes, grammar is a bit different. But any language is like this!

Alright, Hungarian is an exception.

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I believe that Hungarian is not even Indo-European (I am not really sure if I remember this correctly), but that could be why. The original, proto-Indo-European language had eight cases! So all of the languages which have stemmed from it have kept this system, only more or less developed. It usually happens that one or two cases had taken the role of several others (for example, Ablative in Latin is also Indo-European Instrumental and Locative). Croatian (and Slavic languages in general) have lost Ablative, but they do have all the other cases. No language has kept all eight cases... that would have not been economical and therefore would soon change...

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Well, you certainly do make it sound so easy. My native tongue is Croatian, so another Slavic language and I found a lot of similarities with Russian, especially when I was browsing through your colours post and such. I can also read the Cyrillic from before, so it was a plus! Now I am really grateful to my teacher for stressing the importance of it.

What's really good about Slavic languages is it's straightforwardness. You have pronunciation which matches the words. You also have cases, true, but these make it easier later on, not to mention that it helps when learning a foreign language.

One question, how do you write in Cyrillic letters? My keyboard is pretty standard - just the Latin script, but I was wondering whether it can be adjusted to accept other letters, Cyrillic and Alphabet included.

Control Panel -> Language -> Add a language -> Select language -> Click on the one you want -> Click "Download and select language pack"
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I agree, I think Russian language is a little bit easier to pronounce than some because the words don't really have any specific pronunciations for letters like R like in some other languages, or at least as far as I know. I feel the same way about Spanish wherein you could just read the words almost verbatim from how they are written and they would be comprehensible, as opposed to some languages like french wherein you'd have to learn to pronounce R the way they do first.

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Control Panel -> Language -> Add a language -> Select language -> Click on the one you want -> Click "Download and select language pack"

Thank you for this, nikolic933. I will certainly write this down somewhere. I know this is becoming off topic, but I have one more question:

If I choose Russian, does this automatically set your keyboard to Cyrillic letters? I know that Serbian uses both Latin and Cyrillic script, so I'm not sure about this one, though.

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Thank you for this, nikolic933. I will certainly write this down somewhere. I know this is becoming off topic, but I have one more question:

If I choose Russian, does this automatically set your keyboard to Cyrillic letters? I know that Serbian uses both Latin and Cyrillic script, so I'm not sure about this one, though.

It doesn't set it automatically, you need to select it from the bottom right corner.

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  • 4 months later...

Finding this out makes me feel less crazy about wanting to learn Russian in the future, but those 6 cases make me feel so very nervous!  I haven't had a close encounter with Russian yet (not like I've had with the dutch language). But learning the pronunciation isn't so hard somehow gives me some hope :)  We will see how it goes with Russian once I'm done with my dutch course :)

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  • 5 months later...

I'm so used to the concept of Russian being utterly difficult, that when I saw the word 'easy' in the title I almost jumped.

Well, I digress. I actually wanted to say something more useful and slightly less subjective that I noticed because of this post.

It (your post) made me notice the similarities between Estonian and Russian, well, I'm not exactly sure if I can call these things similarities, but Estonian also has a large number of cases of declension (yay, my vocabulary just grew a bit), 14, to be precise and has rather simple pronunciation rules. I actually think it is more simple because it does not have the difficult to pronounce sounds like Ч and Щ (it does have Ш, though) and you literally just spell out what you read. Once you've learned the umlauts (or adjusted to their differences if you speak, for example, German) you can just blabber the written word likes it's no tomorrow.

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