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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Russian Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn 11 Russian consonant sounds.
Have you noticed how most consonant sounds are in pairs? That's because in Russian, consonants can be classified as either a hard or a soft consonant based on palatalization. We'll learn more about hard and soft consonants, and palatalization, in lesson 7. For now, just focus primarily on pronouncing each of these sounds properly.
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The first consonant is...
б
бок (side)
небо (sky)
It sounds like the B in the word 'buy'.
b, b (slowly)
b, b (slowly)
And here's the soft version.
бь
беглый (cursory)
воробей (sparrow)
This is almost like saying a B and a Y sound at the same time. To produce the soft versions of a consonant, raise the middle part of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, as if you're about to say the word 'yeah', and try to pronounce it alongside the consonant. Speakers of English can sometimes produce this sound when they say the word 'beautiful'.
бь, бь (slowly)
бь, бь (slowly)
The next consonant is...
д
дом (house)
дверь (door)
Like the D in the word 'dad', except in Russian, the D sounds a little heavier. Stress this consonant more than you would in English by flattening the tip and the blade of your tongue behind the back of your teeth.
д, д (slowly)
д, д (slowly)
And here's the soft version.
дь
делать
Владимир
Pronounce the D sound like you did before, but remember to raise your tongue to the roof of your mouth to produce a slight Y sound alongside it. Try to pronounce it at the same time or immediately after pronouncing the consonant. You can sometimes pronounce this sound by saying the word 'adieu'.
дь, дь (slowly)
дь, дь (slowly)
The next consonant is...
ф
фата (veil)
орфография (orthography)
Like the F in the word 'find'.
ф, ф (slowly)
ф, ф (slowly)
And here's the soft version.
фь
фея (fairy)
фьорд (fjord)
Some English speakers can pronounce this sound when saying the word 'few'.
фь, фь (slowly)
фь, фь (slowly)
The next consonant is...
г
говорю (I speak)
другой (another, other)
Like the G in the word 'good'.
г, г (slowly)
г, г (slowly)
And here's the soft version.
гь
гербарий (herbarium)
ноги (legs)
It's similar to the G in the word 'argue'.
гь, гь (slowly)
гь, гь (slowly)
The next consonant is...
й
май (May)
йог (yogi)"
Like the Y in the word 'yes'.
й, й (slowly)
й, й (slowly)
The next consonant is...
к
кость (bone)
книга (book)
Like the K in the word 'kangaroo'.
к, к (slowly)
к, к (slowly)
The final consonant for this lesson is...
"кь
кино (movie)
кимоно (kimono)
It's similar to the C in the word 'cute'.
кь, кь (slowly)
кь, кь (slowly)
Well done! You just learned your first 11 Russian consonants.
Was seeing the pronunciation illustrations helpful? Please comment and share your thoughts.
In the next lesson, you'll learn 14 more consonant sounds in Russian.
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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Was seeing the pronunciation illustrations helpful? Please comment and share your thoughts!

Babu
Friday at 2:16 pm
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(URPG_S1L4_081415_rpod101.pdf)


Hello,


1) For the sound “бь”, the words shown are беглый, воробей. Are there any words including the letters “бь”? (Similarly for all other letter/s in the lesson/s.)


2) How would we know which version (hard or soft) of consonant we should use? For example the sound of д in дом and делать is different. (Similarly for all other letter/s in the lesson/s.)


3) How the word кость sounds, KOYST instead of KOST’?


(Posted on 20-September-2019)

RussianPod101.comVerified
Friday at 12:24 pm
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Hi Efrat,


Thank you for your comment and feedback.

We will consider your suggestion.


Kind regards,

Laura

Team RussianPod101.com

RussianPod101.comVerified
Friday at 3:44 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Efrat,


You can find information about you question here:

https://www.russianpod101.com/lesson/ultimate-russian-pronunciation-guide-7-palatalization/?lp=68


Elena

Team RussianPod101.com

Efrat
Wednesday at 10:49 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

There aren't any dates to the comments, only days. It will be helpful if you add a full date to the comments.

And which country's time are you using?


Thanks,


Efrat

Efrat
Wednesday at 9:59 pm
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Hi,

How can we know when a consonant in a word should be sound with ь (soft sound) if this soft sign does not appear in the word?

For example, in the case of the consonant: бь, the words беглый and воробей do not have the sign ь after the б, so how can we know it is pronounced бь in those words?


Thanks,


Efrat

RussianPod101.comVerified
Thursday at 5:19 pm
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Hi Justin,


Thank you for posting.

We are glad to hear that you are enjoying our video lessons about pronunciation 😄

Let us know if you have questions.


Regards,

Laura

Team RussianPod101.com

Justin
Monday at 9:43 pm
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regarding my previous comment about including labels on the illustration, I just noticed there are, in fact, labels on the first illustration... my fault. I must have just missed it. Thanks.

Justin
Monday at 9:33 pm
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I agree with Jason... a moving animation that clearly shows the tongue and lips moving would be an improvement over the current illustration. Also, the illustration is a little difficult to understand. Which part is the tongue and which is the structure of the mouth isn't entirely clear. I don't know what the filled dots in the illustration mean either. Perhaps in the first illustration of each lesson have lines pointing to each part of the illustration and what it means (such as 'tongue', 'roof of mouth', etc.). A different solution might be to show a legend. Although, an animation would likely remove the need for a legend or call-outs altogether. Other than that, this lesson is extremely useful! Pronunciation is such a critical foundation for language learning and you guys have put together some brilliant lessons!

RussianPod101.comVerified
Thursday at 5:57 pm
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Hello Jason,


Thank you for your comment.


Elena


Team RussianPod101.com

Jason
Saturday at 4:06 pm
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full moving animation would be more helpful. but yes, it helped.