006 – Pronunciation rules – vowels
Russian language, as many others, has some rules that change the pronunciation of the letters depending on their position in the words. Fortunately, there is not many of those rules.
Russian alphabet, pronunciation and hand-written Russian
Today’s lesson we dedicate to the pronunciation of Russian vowels. You might have noticed that we add a mark of accent (stress) to every Russian word that includes more that one vowel (syllable). It’s because the position of the accent affects the pronunciation of the words in Russian, so knowing where put an accent (make the stress) tells you how to pronounce the word. If there is only one vowel in a word, it’s the one that’s stressed. You can read about the stress in the Russian words.
- In most cases Russians tend be lazy with their pronunciation, so the Russiah letter O, when it’s unstressed, usually sounds close to A.
– по́мощь [pómashch] – help
– молоко́ [malakó] – milk
- THe same “lazy pronunciation” happens also with the letters Я, Е and Э. When unstressed and not in the end of the word, the Russian letters Я, Е and Э tend to be pronounced close to Russian sound И.
– э́хо [é-ha] – echo
– эта́ж [ee-tásh] – floor
– ме́бель [myé-beel] – furniture
– семья́ [seem’-ya] – family
– я́щик [yá-scheek] – box
– тяжёлый [tee-zhó-lyî] – heavy
- The letter Ё (don’t confuse it with E) is always stressed in the Russian words (you’ll never see an accent mark above it as it’s assumed):
– зелёный [zee-lyó-nyî] – green
– жёлтый [zhól-tyî] – yellow
That’s all you need to remember about the pronunciation of vowels. Listen to the audio examples and repeat after it.