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Thread: Hard and Soft Sign

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    Hard and Soft Sign

    Can somebody tell me about hard and soft sign?
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    JJ
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    Re: Hard and Soft Sign

    Quote Originally Posted by evanregar
    Can somebody tell me about hard and soft sign?
    Good question. This is a very rare question in the forum.


    ь - a soft sign, it makes previouse consonant "soft", palatalized. Kinda "n" vs spanish "
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    JJ, даже я не поняла
    Особенно про [обйэзд] и [обьйэзд].
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Оля, я вобще-то хотел чё-нибудь совсем тяжёлое и несмешное замутить, но потом понял что от темы уж очень далеко отклоняюсь. , вопросы про Ъ и Ь что-то часто появляться начали...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    JJ, даже я не поняла
    Особенно про [обйэзд] и [обьйэзд].
    [обйэзд] and [обьйэзд] are hardly distinguishable in real speach.
    Don't worry too much about hard sign.
    Before the spelling reform (early 20th cent.) hard sign was placed at the end of the word after every consonant, which wasn't soft: лукъ (now just лук), слонъ (слон), etc. Now hard sign is used in the middle of some few words (подъезд, объезд, съезд, etc.).
    All consonants now are considered hard by default, if they are not under influence of following vowel or soft sign.

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    I think hard and soft sign can't spoken by non native Russian. Is it very hard to learn by non native Russian?
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanregar
    I think hard and soft sign can't spoken by non native Russian. Is it very hard to learn by non native Russian?
    Actually they're never spoken by anyone. They just show whether the previous consonant must be hard or soft.
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    -- Нет, Я кот Васька :-/

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    I've only been at this language for a short time and I don't think it's too hard a concept.

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    The words with hard or soft sign will be not same meaning won't they? So, if i (for example) speak to native russian without hard or soft sign, will native russian understand which words suitable for that sentences?
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanregar
    The words with hard or soft sign will be not same meaning won't they? So, if i (for example) speak to native russian without hard or soft sign, will native russian understand which words suitable for that sentences?
    You will always speak without hard or soft sign cos they're not pronounced at all! They have no sound.

    But for example,
    "вон" and "вонь".

    The "н" in the first one is pronounced hard. The second one is pronounced soft.

    And of course they have different meanings.

    We need Rtyom to record these two words and show us how they sound.

    Rtyom, where are you?!

    Hard "н" sounds as "N" in the word "narrator", soft "н" sounds as "n" in the word "neat".
    -- Да? Коту Ваське, бл##?
    -- Нет, Я кот Васька :-/

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    Oh, i'm almost understand. But, how can native russian know the word was вон or вонь in a conversation?
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    Because they're pronounced differently.

    I did tell you: "вон" is like "narrator" and "вонь" is like "neat"

    We need someone to record them.
    -- Да? Коту Ваське, бл##?
    -- Нет, Я кот Васька :-/

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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    JJ, даже я не поняла
    Особенно про [обйэзд] и [обьйэзд].
    [обйэзд] and [обьйэзд] are hardly distinguishable in real speach.
    Don't worry too much about hard sign.
    Before the spelling reform (early 20th cent.) hard sign was placed at the end of the word after every consonant, which wasn't soft: лукъ (now just лук), слонъ (слон), etc. Now hard sign is used in the middle of some few words (подъезд, объезд, съезд, etc.).
    All consonants now are considered hard by default, if they are not under influence of following vowel or soft sign.
    Объезд = Обйэзд
    Обезд = Обьэзд NOT Обьйэзд (that would be Обьезд).

    In old slavonic, ь and ъ were short vowels, and almost all words ended in an open sylable (ended with a vowel).

    The Ъ at the ends of words (and also the Ь) was at one time pronounced (as a vowel), so there were few or no words than ended in just a consonant. Over time Ъ lost it's sound, but was still retained in orthography at the ends of words ending in consonants.
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanregar
    Oh, i'm almost understand. But, how can native russian know the word was вон or вонь in a conversation?
    Those words have very different meaning... The first one is is get out! the second one is stink like bad smell in other words... So, will Russian native understand you?.. Probably, will... But only by an educated guess from the context... Imagine somebody says to you in English Good mourning instead of Good morning... Kinda the same with вон and вонь...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Tailors
    Because they're pronounced differently.

    I did tell you: "вон" is like "narrator" and "вонь" is like "neat"

    We need someone to record them.
    To be honest, the N in both those words is pretty much the same. It isn't a very good example.

    Soft N is like the N in Onion.
    Hard N is like the N in narrator.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSSS
    Quote Originally Posted by evanregar
    Oh, i'm almost understand. But, how can native russian know the word was вон or вонь in a conversation?
    Those words have very different meaning... The first one is is get out! the second one is stink like bad smell in other words... So, will Russian native understand you?.. Probably, will... But only by an educated guess from the context... Imagine somebody says to you in English Good mourning instead of Good morning... Kinda the same with вон and вонь...
    Also Вон and Вонь are pronounced differently.
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    No way!..
    Of all the things I've lost I miss MY MIND the most...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Before the spelling reform (early 20th cent.) hard sign was placed at the end of the word after every consonant, which wasn't soft: лукъ (now just лук), слонъ (слон), etc.
    I had always heard that this specific reform was more economic, rather than linguistic. Someone essentially observed that as long as one sign was the, the other could be assumed. When things were reprinted under the new system (particularly novels), they shrunk in size by 20-30% ... a considerable savings in paper and ink when taken in aggragate.

    It's one of those stories that might be an urban myth. But if it isn't true, it really SHOULD be.
    —Ravin' Dave

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