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Thread: йи, ш, ь, ъ

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    йи, ш, ь, ъ

    so i am just starting russian, and i am unsure how to pronounce those 2

    also, with the hard and soft signs, how would i change the way something sounds?
    (this is where sound would probably be most helpful )

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Re: йи, ш, ь, ъ

    Quote Originally Posted by Vernadead
    so i am just starting russian, and i am unsure how to pronounce those 2

    also, with the hard and soft signs, how would i change the way something sounds?
    (this is where sound would probably be most helpful )
    Roughly:

    й => y (in yolk)
    и => e (in evening)
    йи => ye (in yeast)
    ш => sh (in mesh)

    A word about the tricky ones ь and ъ. If you're just a beginner, I'll give you an unconventional advice - don't pronounce them at all for now. (I realize I might be hunted for that in this forum.) You will learn that with time. Just give it a lower priority for now.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Re: йи, ш, ь, ъ

    I hope you are learning from a textbook. What does it say about the pronunciation of these?

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    Подающий надежды оратор randem's Avatar
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    Re: йи, ш, ь, ъ

    Quote Originally Posted by Vernadead
    so i am just starting russian, and i am unsure how to pronounce those 2

    also, with the hard and soft signs, how would i change the way something sounds?
    (this is where sound would probably be most helpful )
    The hard and soft signs are hard to get used to at first, but they make sense once you understand them. Here's what works best for me:

    First, start by assuming all consonants are hard.

    Next look immediately after the consonant to see if there is a softener: я, е, и, ё, ю, or ь.
    In case that confused you, those vowels are just softened (palletized) versions of their counterparts. я = ьа, е = ьэ, ё = ьо, and ю = ьу. (и is always soft, ы is always hard.)

    When a consonant is palletized, this simply means that you should touch the middle of your tongue to the roof of your mouth while making the sound. (It helps to make a slight smile when you do this, too.)

    So, the soft sign is used to palletize a consonant when it is not followed by a soft vowel. Eg: мальчик.

    And likewise, the hard sign is used to make a consonant remain hard, even though it is followed by a softened vowel. Eg: объяснять.

    In essence, the job of hard and soft is to essentially double the available alphabet!

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    Re: йи, ш, ь, ъ

    These replies were very helpful. Thank you! I have had a terrible time with the palletized consonants, but at least I'm beginning to hear them when others speak, even if I can't replicate them well.
    --Amerikanka
    http://www.melearnrussian.com/2009/0...l-go-soft.html

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