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Thread: Pronunciation of "x"

  1. #1
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    Pronunciation of "x"

    Don

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    same as "h" in
    "help","hi","hut" etc

  3. #3
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    No it's not the SAME as H, it's similar to H.
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    The difference between the two is so minor it really doesn't matter. Incorrect pronouncation of soft and hard consonants makes a noticable accent, not "wrong" "x", "п", "в", etc.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    The difference between the two is so minor it really doesn't matter. Incorrect pronouncation of soft and hard consonants makes a noticable accent, not "wrong" "x", "п", "в", etc.
    I must agree, while "x" and "h" are quite different and mixing them up creates a very noticeable accent in English, in Russian it does not sound nearly quite as bad. Soft and hard consonants, and mixing in the "y" sound are definitely a larger issue.
    It doesn't mean that you shouldn't try getting it right of course. Sorry, I don't have a good advice on how to do it, it's a bit hard to describe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    The difference between the two is so minor it really doesn't matter. Incorrect pronouncation of soft and hard consonants makes a noticable accent, not "wrong" "x", "п", "в", etc.
    P and П
    V and В are exactly the same though. The only difference is in aspiration

    Х and H are not. You probably can't do a proper English H, and probably say something like Russian X which is why you think they are very close.

    They are not. (Incidentally, Ukrainian Г is the closest you can get to English H).

    English H is a Glottal frictive. It is produced at the glottis, the flap that closes off the 'wind pipe' from the 'food pipe'. It is at the back of the throat, and down a bit.

    Rusian X is a Velar frictive, produced at the back of the tongue, at the same position as K. The difference in location of the Glotis and where X is pronounced is large.

    [The difference between Ukrainian Г and Enlgish H, is that the Ukrainian letter is a VOICED Glottal frictive, whereas the English is VoiceLESS.

    Voiced = with vibrating vocal cords
    Voicelss = just air, not vibration of vocal cords.
    E.g. V is a VOICED labiodental frictive, F is a VOICELESS labiodental frictive.]

    So, yes, maybe if you mispronounce X is doesn't matter than much. But you can no way compare the difference between Russian В and English V, with the difference between Russian X and English Н.

    Afterall, if Russian X was that close to English H, where do we transliterate it as Kh, and not just H?
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    I think "kh" is not correct. I don't understand, why do you use "kh". "H" in "hut" is closer.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    I think "kh" is not correct. I don't understand, why you use "kh". "H" in "hut" is closer.
    You've misunderstood. I am talking about transliteration. I didn't say it sounded like kh.

    E.g. Хрущёв = Khrushchev по-английски.
    Астрахань = Astrakhan
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    So do you pronounce this "kh" like russian "х"?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    So, yes, maybe if you mispronounce X is doesn't matter than much. But you can no way compare the difference between Russian В and English V, with the difference between Russian X and English Н.

    Afterall, if Russian X was that close to English H, where do we transliterate it as Kh, and not just H?
    You are probably right in theory, but the accent perception is largely a psychological phenomenon, and it crucially depends on the language one speaks.
    In English mispronouncing "h" as "x" stands out for me, while the inverse in Russian does not. See, there are no other sounds similar to "h" or "x" in Russian, and so an English "h" falls into an (almost) acceptable range. It may sound very slightly unusual, but nowhere near as bad as how the Russian "x" sounds in English, to me at least.

    Also, in past I have actually asked a few ppl what sound they thought was closer to "h" -- Ukrainian "g" or Russian "x", and most said that they are about equally bad. One interesting question that arises here is what is the right way to transliterate "h" into Ukrainian, and there are two camps on this issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    So do you pronounce this "kh" like russian "х"?
    Kh should be pronounced as Russian X, but most English speakers don't know Russian and will just pronounce it as K.

    The usual way people pronounce Хрущёв is "Krooshev", or "Krooshov"
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    Quote Originally Posted by laxxy
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    So, yes, maybe if you mispronounce X is doesn't matter than much. But you can no way compare the difference between Russian В and English V, with the difference between Russian X and English Н.

    Afterall, if Russian X was that close to English H, where do we transliterate it as Kh, and not just H?
    You are probably right in theory, but the accent perception is largely a psychological phenomenon, and it crucially depends on the language one speaks.
    In English mispronouncing "h" as "x" stands out for me, while the inverse in Russian does not. See, there are no other sounds similar to "h" or "x" in Russian, and so an English "h" falls into an (almost) acceptable range. It may sound very slightly unusual, but nowhere near as bad as how the Russian "x" sounds in English, to me at least.

    Also, in past I have actually asked a few ppl what sound they thought was closer to "h" -- Ukrainian "g" or Russian "x", and most said that they are about equally bad. One interesting question that arises here is what is the right way to transliterate "h" into Ukrainian, and there are two camps on this issue.
    To me, Ukrianian Г is much closer to English H, than Russian or Ukrainian X.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    So do you pronounce this "kh" like russian "х"?
    Kh should be pronounced as Russian X, but most English speakers don't know Russian and will just pronounce it as K.

    The usual way people pronounce Хрущёв is "Krooshev", or "Krooshov"
    That's why it's so much better to transliterate (and to pronounce) it as "h"!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Kh should be pronounced as Russian X, but most English speakers don't know Russian and will just pronounce it as K.
    That's why I don't like "kh"!
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    So do you pronounce this "kh" like russian "х"?
    Kh should be pronounced as Russian X, but most English speakers don't know Russian and will just pronounce it as K.

    The usual way people pronounce Хрущёв is "Krooshev", or "Krooshov"
    That's why it's so much better to transliterate (and to pronounce) it as "h"!
    YES!!!
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    So do you pronounce this "kh" like russian "х"?
    Kh should be pronounced as Russian X, but most English speakers don't know Russian and will just pronounce it as K.

    The usual way people pronounce Хрущёв is "Krooshev", or "Krooshov"
    That's why it's so much better to transliterate (and to pronounce) it as "h"!
    Transliteration's primary goal is not about pronunciation though, it is about preserving spelling.

    There is a similar problem with Hebrew. There is a letter which is a VERY guttural H (it sounds horrible to me), and Arabic has it too.

    The standard transliteration of the letter is Ch. But English people think it's Ch as in Chair.

    The problem is there is another letter in Hebrew which is the same as English H.

    Hannukah is also spelt Channukah

    The final H is the letter Heh, which is the same as English H
    The initial H/Ch is the nasty sounding letter.

    And in Ukrainian they have Г which is almost the same as Enlgish H, and Х which is the same as Russian X

    So they have to disinguish between the two, so Г = Н, Х = Kh. Also Г sounds much more like English H.

    The combination Kh is used partly because, Russian Х is pronounced at the same location as the letter K.

    K is a Velar plosive. Velar decribed the location of the obsrutcion of airflow, which is between the back of the tong and roof of the mouth. Plosive describes the manner of the airflow. Plosive is like an explosion. The airflow is completely obstructed briefly, building up pressure, which when released make a K sound. This is why you can't make a continous K sound. You can only do it once, then again, then again.

    Russian Х is a Velar frictive. Frictive means the airflow is partially obsrtucted, but there is just enough gap to allow a steady air flow.


    To pronounce Russian X, the learner should say a [k] sound, as in King or Cat, and pay attention to how back of the touch is touching the roof ot eh mouth. When K is pronouced, the back of the tongue blocks the airflow.

    The precise location of the contact should be identified, by repeating and paying close attention.

    Say K, K, K, K, K. Then say whispers of K, K, K. Now try and make a 'silent' K.

    Hold the tongue in position to produce a K. Gently try and force some air through, allowing the tongue to allow only the least amount of air through. You should hear a soft sound that sounds a bit like an aeroplane engine :P
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    All the same, learn to differentiate /k/ and /x/. You never want to say the wrong one in phrases like this: Куй железо, пока горячо.

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    stop the Madness!!! lol I guess X is the most difficult letter in the russian cyrillic alphabet .... it is the one letter i have the most difficulty with... in my books they say it sounds like the CH in Bach or Loch... but to me that sounds like "K".... but from what I can gather Russian X sounds closer to the combination of KH .... perhaps if i heard some simple russian words with the X it would help...
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    It's not K at all. Absolutely.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    How about comparing to Chinese h? That is like hawking saliva from one's throat when preparing to spit.

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