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Thread: Pronounciation?

  1. #1
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    Pronounciation?

    Well, I took a little bit from one of the lessons on a website (many thanks the creator)

    I stuck on how i would say it in the brackets, as when I look at the words, i read their english sounds rather than the russian sounds.

    Это Иван? Is this Ivan? (Et-oo ee-vee-ah-en)
    Да, это Иван. Yes, this is Ivan. (dah etoo eeveeahen)
    А это Елена? And is this Yelena? (ah etoo yeh-el-yeh-en-ah)
    Нет, это не Елена, а Нина. No, this is not Yelena, but Nina. (en-yeh-t etoo enyah yel-eh-yeh-en-ah ah n-ee-n-ah)

    How much did I screw up here? Could someone correct this to how it would be properly said? I've got a feeling its horribly wrong :P

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Your feeling is correct. You need a grammar book that comes with an audio CD or even video.

    For example, the first two words: Это Иван?

    eh-t# ee-van?

    Stressed syllable underlined. Your native language appears not to be English, but here is the phonetics as represented in standard English.

    "eh" sounds like the e in "bet", and # represents the so-called schwa, the sound you hear at the end of "sofa". "ee" is like the "ee" in "sweet", and "a" is like the "a" in "father". Also, the Russian /t/ sounds different than the English one, not so aspirated.

  3. #3
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    Thank you, Chaika.

    I will go off and buy me an audio CD now.

    But I am English :P

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    I well remember, with embarassment, when I got my first Russian grammar book. It was the summer between my junior-senior year in high school. I went to the school and got the book especially so I could start learning before the start of school. And I tried pronouncing the words just like you indicated in your initial post - that is, trying to use the "name of the letter" instead of the sound the letter represented. That's exactly why you thought it was pronounced ee-vee-ah-en. The good news is that here I am 45 years later and I can speak Russian pretty fluently, albeit with a marked accent, as my Russian buddies are wont to point out. They make fun of how I pronounce Л.

    So you need a good textbook PLUS an audio tape or CD to accompany the dialogs. In the US Nachalo and Golosa are two good study sets, but about $100 for tape+text+workbook. Да здравствует капитализм!

    And that does NOT translate "Yes hello capitalism"!

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