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Thread: Russian pronunciation compared with other languages

  1. #1
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    Russian pronunciation compared with other languages

    Zdravstvujte!
    I'd like to know how difficult you think Russian pronunciation is compared to other languages especially spanish, french for a native English speaker.
    I think it's is far far far harder than Spanish, the sounds are just so different and subtle... eg soft vs hard, ы and so on...

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I studied Spanish, French, Japanese and Russian.

    Russian is the toughest language for pronounciation.
    Japanese has the easiest pronunciation, but the toughest written language.
    Spanish and French are very easy to pronounce.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwatts59
    I studied Spanish, French, Japanese and Russian.


    Japanese has the easiest, but the toughest written language.
    What a load of shite!

    Japanese has the easiest pronunciation.

    Funniest thing I read all day (I just woke up 5 minutes ago).

    Oh my god

    etc.

    You must be saying it wrong matey.
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    Ukrainian is generally easier to pronounce than Russian as the most common problems people have with Russian pronunciation don't apply or are easier to overcome.

    1. Palatisation of consonants occurs MUCH less
    2. Ukrainian does have a sound similar to Ы but it is closer to English bit than Ы is.
    3. Ш and Щ are much easier to distinguish (Щ is ШЧ)
    4. Vowel reduction doesn't really occur, so O is pronounced O wherever it is, stressed or unstressed.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Quote Originally Posted by kwatts59
    I studied Spanish, French, Japanese and Russian.


    Japanese has the easiest, but the toughest written language.
    What a load of @@@@!

    Japanese has the easiest pronunciation.

    Funniest thing I read all day (I just woke up 5 minutes ago).

    Oh my god

    etc.

    You must be saying it wrong matey.
    why? I agree that it is pretty easy. Much easier than English and seems easier than Russian as well. English intonation alone is way harder than the pitch accent, and on the sounds there is simply no comparison, imo.

  6. #6
    Почтенный гражданин Volk's Avatar
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    Unless people have aquknowledged everything written on this page...

    http://pepper.idge.net/japanese/

    ...I don't believe the pronounciation and language as a whole can be considered easy.


    It depends on what language(s) people know already to say in their opinion what is easy and difficult in terms of pronounciation and writing when compared to Russian.

    This can't be considered a universal question.
    Please correct any Russian language mistakes I make.

  7. #7
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    There is nothing particularly difficult about Japanese pronunciation. It's probably the only part of the language you can say that about.

    Tatu, you are way too much of an idiot to be able to carry off being a smartass.

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    I am not expert on Japanese, but the little Japanese I can speak is pretty esay to pronounce. Chinese on the other hand... But I do suspect that Kwatts has it a little easier speaking Japanese, since he is of Japanese decent... am I right, Kwatts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    There is nothing particularly difficult about Japanese pronunciation. It's probably the only part of the language you can say that about.

    Tatu, you are way too much of an idiot to be able to carry off being a smartass.
    Yeh, but you're Scottish.
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  10. #10
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    I feel Japanese is the easiest to pronounce for a native English speaker because all the sounds in the Japanese language are a subset of the English sounds (but NOT vice-versa).

    Whereas there are several sounds in the Russian language that are not in the English langauge. For exmple "ы", "х", "ь", "ъ" and consonant clusters like "здр", "дв", "гд" and I am sure there are many more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwatts59
    I feel Japanese is the easiest to pronounce for a native English speaker because all the sounds in the Japanese language are a subset of the English sounds (but NOT vice-versa).

    Whereas there are several sounds in the Russian language that are not in the English langauge. For exmple "ы", "х", "ь", "ъ" and consonant clusters like "здр", "дв", "гд" and I am sure there are many more.
    Ъ and Ь are not sounds.

    Japanese R/L is not the same as English.
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    konnichiwa, taty,

    >Ъ and Ь are not sounds.

    That's why he's been having such a hard time pronouncing them!

    But really, your lame note about R/L does not get you off the hot seat. For native English speakers, Japanese is a piece of cake (partly because all the sounds are easy and no stuff like palatalization, and you can even omit the optional tones with no impediment to understanding). I studied Japanese for one summer, so I'm a real expert. JK.

    sayonara.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    3. Ш and Щ are much easier to distinguish (Щ is ШЧ)
    I produce a very weak and involuntary whistle when i say щ. I learned it from my native Russian teacher so I think it's ok.
    Corrupting young minds since May 6, 2004.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by волк
    Unless people have aquknowledged everything written on this page...

    http://pepper.idge.net/japanese/

    ...I don't believe the pronounciation and language as a whole can be considered easy.


    It depends on what language(s) people know already to say in their opinion what is easy and difficult in terms of pronounciation and writing when compared to Russian.

    This can't be considered a universal question.
    I've seen this one; it's an entertaining read but should be taken as what it is, which is a joke as the author himself admits.
    what is "easy" is subjective, but it does seem that most people agree with me that Japanese pronunciation is not exactly too hard compared to other languages.

    as far as the other aspects go, I'd say that for me the grammar seems fairly easy (much easier than German, maybe a little harder than English). Can't really compare it to Russian since Russian is my native language but still the Russian grammar seems more complicated. the writing system is rather unusual but not particularly insane, and it'd be a huge bonus for anyone who might wish to learn Chinese later.

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    You could write something like that about any language really... It's completely exaggerated and in reality aint half as hard as that makes it sound. I've only studied the basics of japanese but I know people who have become fluent without any major problems.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    konnichiwa, taty,

    But really, your lame note about R/L does not get you off the hot seat. For native English speakers, Japanese is a piece of cake (partly because all the sounds are easy and no stuff like palatalization, and you can even omit the optional tones with no impediment to understanding). I studied Japanese for one summer, so I'm a real expert. JK.

    sayonara.
    Konnichiwa! Nihongo no hatsuon ga eigo wo hanasu kata tame ni sonnani yasui to omoimasu ka?

    I should agree that the Japanese pronunciation is easy for English speakers under the condition if you don't master it well. The real Japanese phonetics is a bit different than you might think of it.

    The palatalization does exist in Japanese. O-kyaku-san (guest) IS pronounced with a soft K' (phonetically, [`ok'akusan]), there is no real [k-y-a] sound sequence. The same is true for MYA, MYO, HYO, BYA and other KAIYOON syllables (all of them have palatalized consonants).
    Finally, the Japanese SHI (as in WATASHI) is not a real English SH sound, and the Japanese CHI and JI are also different from English ones. They are not sibillants too much, but they are palatal counterparts for Japanese S, T and D.

    The things are not so simple, though...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман
    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    konnichiwa, taty,

    But really, your lame note about R/L does not get you off the hot seat. For native English speakers, Japanese is a piece of cake (partly because all the sounds are easy and no stuff like palatalization, and you can even omit the optional tones with no impediment to understanding). I studied Japanese for one summer, so I'm a real expert. JK.

    sayonara.
    Konnichiwa! Nihongo no hatsuon ga eigo wo hanasu kata tame ni sonnani yasui to omoimasu ka?

    I should agree that the Japanese pronunciation is easy for English speakers under the condition if you don't master it well. The real Japanese phonetics is a bit different than you might think of it.

    The palatalization does exist in Japanese. O-kyaku-san (guest) IS pronounced with a soft K' (phonetically, [`ok'akusan]), there is no real [k-y-a] sound sequence. The same is true for MYA, MYO, HYO, BYA and other KAIYOON syllables (all of them have palatalized consonants).
    Finally, the Japanese SHI (as in WATASHI) is not a real English SH sound, and the Japanese CHI and JI are also different from English ones. They are not sibillants too much, but they are palatal counterparts for Japanese S, T and D.

    The things are not so simple, though...
    "relatively easy, compared to other languages" does not mean "you can read it as if it were English" (or Russian for that matter), of course it's different.
    I would also not call ち/し/じ "palatal counterparts" -- e.g. Russian soft/hard consonants are palatal counterparts to each other, these are not, they have an extra quality. Which is why the transliteration systems that ignore it are not used much, except for Russia maybe .

  18. #18
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    Is it easy for you to pronounce "on", "in" and "an" sounds of french language? These sounds don't exist in russian language, I think...

    I think russian language is cool because, from what I know, it seems to be written the same way as it is pronounced, which is really not always the case for french language.

    In french, there's so much complicated rules and exceptions that you must memorize because it's simply illogical, that if you can write a 3 pages letter without any error, you're really good! There's even many university students who miss the french test.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by snorkyller
    Is it easy for you to pronounce "on", "in" and "an" sounds of french language? These sounds don't exist in russian language, I think...

    I think russian language is cool because, from what I know, it seems to be written the same way as it is pronounced, which is really not always the case for french language.

    In french, there's so much complicated rules and exceptions that you must memorize because it's simply illogical, that if you can write a 3 pages letter without any error, you're really good! There's even many university students who miss the french test.
    Actually, imho Russian is less phonetic than French, and things are definitely NOT written the way they are pronounced (and yes, spelling is a problem for Russian native speakers).
    French may look weird with 3-4 letters denoting one sound at times, but the rules seemed pretty consistent to me, so it is not really a problem. I'm not sure which language has more exceptions, but at the very least, the Russian stress is much less predictable.

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    IMHO, reading russian is very simple, but eritng not as simple.
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