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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Russian Pronunciation Guide.
In this series, you'll master Russian pronunciation. Proper pronunciation is essential in Russian, and in this series, you'll learn it in a fast, comprehensive, and easy way.
In this first lesson, you'll learn about the building blocks of the Russian pronunciation system that will help you in future lessons.
The Russian alphabetical writing system is derived from the Cyrillic script, which is one of the most commonly used writing systems in the world. The Russian alphabet is made up of 33 letters, consisting of 21 consonants, 10 vowels, and two extra letters which act as modifiers.
But be careful not to fall into a very common trap: as you're learning to *speak* correctly, you shouldn't concern yourself with all the letters. That's right -- forget them! You care about the *sounds* of Russian and here they are:
There are 38 consonant sounds and 13 vowel sounds. Each symbol that you see here represents a single sound determined by the IPA, which is a standardized way to represent sounds *without* the baggage that's usually involved with traditional letters. By using all of these sounds, you can form every single word in Russian.
Have you noticed how most consonant sounds in Russian exist in pairs?
"к, кь
м, мь"
In each pair, there is the original pronunciation of the consonant sound...
к
and that same sound, but with an added Y sound.
кь
Nearly all consonant sounds in Russian exist in this kind of pairing. So if you know how to pronounce the original sound, it's quite easy to figure out its counterpart, simply by adding an additional Y sound.
Still seem complicated? Well how about this: of the 37 consonant sounds in Russian, you *already know* 15 of the original sounds. That's right, if you're a native English speaker, then you already make these sounds every day!
You can also ignore 10 of the vowel sounds for the very same reason.
With just a tiny bit of effort and creativity, you could effectively ignore 14 more consonant sounds, simply by adding a Y sound to the ones that you already know.
The only thing standing between you and Perfect Russian Pronunciation is 8 new consonant sounds and 3 new vowel sounds. You can handle that!
Now let me introduce Katya, who will be helping you to master these new sounds.
"Hello, I'm Katya" in Russian
Katya will be giving you native pronunciation examples for you to imitate. But for this first lesson, just sit back and listen to the unique sounds of Russian:
"рыба (fish)
горло (throat)"
"река (river)
три (three)"
"синий (blue)
есть (to be, to eat)"
"щётка (brush)
щель (chink; gap)"
"цель (goal)
отец (father)"
"чай (tea)
часы (watch)"
"жест (gesture)
тяжёлый (heavy)"
"дрожжи (yeast)
езжу (I ride, I drive)"
"ты (you)
мы (we)"
"южный (southern)
юноша (young man)"
"Россия (Russia)
молокo (milk)"
In the next lesson, we'll look at the top 5 pronunciation mistakes Russian learners make. You'll want to make sure not to fall into these common traps.
After that, we'll begin going through the vowels and consonants of Russian. This is your chance to learn how to correctly say all of the words you just heard.
We'll finish up the series by covering some special topics that will really make your Russian sound natural!
To close this lesson, here's a question for you.
Why is it important to spend time on learning proper pronunciation, even if you're already an advanced speaker?
The answer...
You will be understood, and this will help you build more confidence as you communicate in Russian. For beginners, you're creating a strong foundation to build on. And for more advanced students, this is your chance to improve your accent and lose any bad habits you may have picked up.
What is the hardest part of Russian pronunciation? Tell us about it in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Russian Pronunciation Guide lesson!

13 Comments

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RussianPod101.comVerified
Friday at 6:30 pm
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RussianPod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 9:59 am
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Hello Babu,


1) We add a set number of vocabulary/series on our site.

The material what should say the exact information what's in the video is the Transcript PDF.


2) Russian word "часы" means "clock" and "watch", so any translation is OK.


3) "suitcase" is better. Thank you for letting us know, we will fix it.


4) I will inform our content team about it.


Thank you,

Elena

Team RusianPod101.com

Babu
Friday at 11:37 am
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(With respect to URPG_S1L1_070315_rpod101.pdf)


1) The notes misses the following words (mentioned in the video) река, щётка, щель, жест, езжу, мы, южный, юноша & молокo. Was it accidental?


2) For the statement “Я унаследовал эти часы от деда.”, the meaning is given as “I inherited this clock from my grandfather.”. Instead of “clock” the word “watch” would have been better. Wouldn't it?


3) For the statement “Твой чемодан выглядит очень тяжелым.”, the meaning is given as “Your case looks very heavy”, instead of “Your suitcase looks very heavy.” Which is right?


4) For the statement “У этого человека тяжёлая судьба.”, was the meaning “This man has a terrible fate”, more appropriate?

RussianPod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 5:57 pm
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Hello James L.,


It is just a matter of time 😄


Elena

Team RussianPod101.com

James L.
Monday at 11:31 am
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I cant roll my R's :(

RussianPod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 3:53 pm
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Hello Bianca,


Wish you good luck. 😄

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Elena

Team RussianPod101.com

Bianca
Friday at 2:05 pm
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I find that Russian is very hard to pronounce but I believe that after this series I will feel better.

RussianPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 7:33 pm
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Hello Рубен,


Yes, I guess "ы" is really difficult for many learners. 😄


Elena

Team RussianPod101.com

Рубен
Saturday at 2:28 am
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"ы" и "х", я думаю...

RussianPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 10:41 am
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Hello Rocket,


Thank you for posting.

We’ll consider your feedback for our future development.

Let us know if you have any question.

Lena

Team RussianPod101.com

Rocket
Monday at 5:36 pm
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I can cope best with example sentences that are close to a word for word translation.

It would be nice if you could add a word for word translation for all example sentences, because this way, I learn new words in context without effort.

I think that will help many others too.