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Lesson Transcript

Eddie: RussianPOD101.com, Pronunciation, Lesson 5 - Pronunciation Quiz. Hello, and welcome to RussianPOD101.com, the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Russian!
Oksana: Hi! Oksana here, and thanks again for being here with us for this Pronunciation lesson. Today we have a quiz that covers everything we have completed in this Pronunciation Series.
Eddie: I love quizzes!
Oksana: They are such wonderful tools as they bring everything together and jog your memory.
Eddie: I totally agree.
Oksana: Let’s get started right away. Number one. Word stress in Russian is-
a) always on the last syllable
b) always on the syllable before the last
c) changes depending on the word.
Eddie: This is important so I know this!
Oksana: That suggests you only know the important things.
Eddie: Is that so bad?
Oksana: I suppose not!
Eddie: The answer is c.
Oksana: Yes. Unfortunately, there are no rules in Russian to help you stress a word correctly.
Eddie: It's just something you have to learn for each word, but it’s something you pick up along the way.
Oksana: Sometimes, the word stress can totally change the meaning of the word so it’s imperative to get it right.
Eddie: Okay, so number two. How many vowels are there in Russian?
a) 6
b) 10
c) 12
Oksana: The answer is b. There are ten vowels in Russian - 6 "ordinary" vowels and four "diphthongs".
Eddie: The ordinary vowels are -a, -o, -у, -и, -ы, and -э.
Oksana: And the diphthongs are -е, -ё, -ю, and -я.
Eddie: Number three. The letter that looks like English "P" is pronounced -
a) like English "-p", but softer
b) like English "-r", but you roll it
c) like English "-l", but harder
Oksana: The answer is b. Russians roll their "-r"s the way Spanish and Italians do. Let`s have another question.
Eddie: Ok, here is another question. The letter that looks like a mirror reflection of "-r" is pronounced…
a) [ r ]
b) [ p ]
c) [ ya ]
It must be a trick question because you are really tempted to say "-R"!
Oksana: No, it’s actually the answer c. "-Я" at the beginning of the word is like [ ya ] in "yak". Like the first letter in the Russian word “яблоко” ("an apple").
Eddie: Wow, an example too!
Oksana: I’m full of them! Now number five. The letter that looks like English "-c" is pronounced -
a) [ s ]
b) [ k ]
c) sometimes [ s ] and sometimes [ k ]
Eddie: I know this one but it used to catch me out every time.
Oksana: Yes, at first, it often confuses people but that doesn’t last.
Eddie: The answer is, a. The letter that looks like English “-c” is pronounced like "-s" as in "son". It is never pronounced "-k"!
Oksana: Yes, remember that.
Eddie: Now onto number six. The vowel "-o" is always pronounced the same in Russian.
Oksana: This one is false.
Eddie: It is indeed. "-О" is special!
Oksana: It is because it is pronounced differently depending whether it’s stressed or not. When stressed, the -О is pronounced like the vowel sound in "bought". For example, “ноль”, which means "zero", and “пол”, which means "floor".
Eddie: And when not stressed, the -o is pronounced almost like "-a", and in Moscow region it actually becomes "-a". Are you going to tell us about the Russian word for milk again Oksana?
Oksana: No, I’ll try to be more imaginative. So, what about the word "ворона", which means a "crow?"
Eddie: What, the big noisy bird?
Oksana: That’s the one.
Eddie: What about it?
Oksana: Well, in the word "ворона", the stress in on the second syllable, so the second "-o" is pronounced "-o", while the first "o" is pronounced almost like "-a" as in “Ворона”.
Eddie: Do you have another unusual example?
Oksana: Why not? While we are on the subject of animals, why not take "лосось" as an example.
Eddie: What does "лосось" mean?
Oksana: It means "salmon".
Eddie: This one can be useful. Is it true that Russians eat a lot of salmon?
Oksana: Not at all lot, as it’s quite expensive, but they often eat it for festivities, yes. However, the word "лосось" just interests me at the moment because there are two "-o"s in it. As the stress is on the last "-o"…
Eddie: The first "-o" sounds almost like "-a", and it’s pronounced "лосось".
Oksana: It is! It may sound mind-boggling but actually you get used to it very quickly.
Eddie: Yes, it almost becomes second nature.
Oksana: Number seven. In printed texts in Russian, vowels "-ё" and "-e" look exactly the same.
Eddie: Hmm…I’m not sure about this.
Oksana:Well, you’ve got a fifty, fifty chance!
Eddie: False?
Eddie: Does that mean I’m right?
Oksana: Nope!
Eddie: True?
Oksana: Well, you didn’t have much choice. In Russian printed text, you will hardly ever see the two points above "-е". It’s common to use the "-e" sign for both "-e" and "-ё,"…which can be quite a challenge.
Eddie: But why do they do this? Is it that difficult to add two dots?
Oksana: I have no idea Eddie, lets just get to number eight.
Eddie: Ok, number eight. At the end of the word, Russian consonant "-б" -
a) is pronounced [ б ]
b) is pronounced [ п ]
c) is not pronounced
Oksana: It's pronounced like [ п ]. The voiced consonants from the list (-б, -в, -г, -д, -ж, -з) are pronounced differently at the end of a word and before unvoiced consonants.
Eddie: Differently, how exactly?
Oksana:Actually, they become their unvoiced pairs! The unvoiced pair of Russian "-б" is "-п". For example, “зуб”, which ends in "-б", is pronounced "zup".
Eddie: What is "зуб"?
Oksana: It’s actually a "tooth".
Eddie: Ok, thank you for that Oksana, now onto something that has no sound. Question number nine. The soft sign -
a) modifies the consonant before it
b) modifies the consonant after it
c) doesn’t make any difference to pronunciation
Oksana:This one is a. The soft sign shows that the consonant that precedes it must be softened.
Eddie: Yes. Again, this is something that you quickly become accustomed to.
Oksana: Okay, now lastly, number ten. The letter "-г" that looks like an English small "-r" -
a) is always pronounced [ г ]
b) is sometimes pronounced [ в ]
c) is sometimes pronounced [ ж ]
Eddie: The answer here is b. In words that contain "его" or "ого," "-г" is often pronounced [ в ].
Oksana: Correct! Some examples are "его", which means "his", or "сегодня", which means "today".
Eddie: These quizzes are very valuable and are worth coming back to again and again.
Oksana: It’s even worth creating your own quizzes too!
Eddie: Yes, the more the better. Ok. Thats`s it for today. But testing yourself is one of the most effective ways to learn.
Oksana:That's why we have three types of quizzes...
Eddie: ...vocabulary, grammar, and content specific.
Oksana: Each quiz targets a specific skill...
Eddie: ...and together these quizzes will help you master several fundamental skills. :
Oksana: You can find them in the learning center at
Eddie: RussianPod101.com Take care!
Oksana: Пока!


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I was little bit frightend before quiz because i still think there are some things which i haven´t catched yet from previous lessons. I was curious how many mistakes I would have done .After quiz I had problem mostly with question number 2 and other questions seemed to me much more easier. So thanks for this lessons I really like them and now I think I finally understand when to read o like and a.