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Thread: Struggling at beginning

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    Struggling at beginning

    Hello. I've been doing Russian for a few weeks, and got a little good (at the beginning), and I'm on my second unit in my book. It adds more words like verbs, and I'm just struggling with it. I guess mostly due to the pronunciation of some sounds like ый, ий, or any word with *й, and words that end with ь. I'm also having trouble remember the words, even if I have already seen it million of times. I just can't recall it without already seeing it, rather than memory. Any tips for a novice English speaker?

  2. #2
    heartfelty
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    The declension guides and all other aids in this forum are clear and sufficient enough. They even have a thoroughly made dictionary. I give praises to the creators and organizers of this forum. So with the tutors. A+ are their grades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZekeComa View Post
    I'm just struggling with it. I guess mostly due to the pronunciation of some sounds like ый, ий, or any word with *й
    й forms a diphthong and has no sound of its own. It alters the sound other the preceding vowel. "ой" (when stressed) will sound like "Oi" in the world "oil." The pairing ай (stressed) will sound like "ie" in the word "pie." And ей (stressed) will sound like "ey" in the word "Hey." Since you are a beginner, I will leave it at those example, since they are fairly common. "ый," and "ий" sound like "ы" and "и".

    Quote Originally Posted by ZekeComa View Post
    and words that end with ь.
    The words marked with ь can be some of the most difficult to learn for an untrained ear. The most difficult soft ending words that I struggled with and have seen others struggle with are "ль" "пь". The first pair "ль" requires that you place the tip of your tongue against the back of your teeth, rather than keeping it in the middle of your mouth - This one is the most difficult! And the second pair "пь" should be soft enough, so if you place your hand in front of your mouth you will NOT feel a puff of air.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZekeComa View Post
    I'm also having trouble remember the words, even if I have already seen it million of times. I just can't recall it without already seeing it, rather than memory. Any tips for a novice English speaker?
    Repetition is my only suggestion. Start with flash cards - you can even write the word for 'dresser', "комод" and tape the card to your dresser so you become associated with its Russian name every time you go to it.
    Last edited by krwright13; January 7th, 2012 at 01:36 PM.

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    zxc
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    Quote Originally Posted by krwright13 View Post
    This one is the most difficult! And the second pair "пь" should be soft enough, so if you place your hand in front of your mouth you will NOT feel a puff of air.
    Isn't this the case regardless of whether it's soft or hard? It's my understanding that, in contrast to English, Russians don't aspirate the consonants п, т, or к, soft or hard.

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    That was the best way I knew how to describe it. I always thought that hard 'п' had a little bit of aspiration.

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    Hi Zeke!

    It can be hard to know the correct pronunciation of a certain form of Russian word, without simply hearing it said once or twice. For this, the website forvo (dot) com is really great - not all, but about 95% of the russian words I search for there have been recorded, spoken by a native... and let me say, Google-perevodchik makes us look like fools =) forvo is at least somewhat accurate =) Good luck in this and ask if ever any of us can help. Удачи-
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Quote Originally Posted by krwright13 View Post
    й is a diphthong and has no sound of its own.
    I think this is incorrect
    й has its own sound it is the sound of "y" in the word yogurt

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    Quote Originally Posted by zxc View Post
    Isn't this the case regardless of whether it's soft or hard? It's my understanding that, in contrast to English, Russians don't aspirate the consonants п, т, or к, soft or hard.
    This is incorrect
    here are two words
    Пьеро and перо. First word means Pierrot (as a name of a character) and second word means feather
    Those words pronounce differently

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    Перо - Пьеро
    __________________

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZa1jub63-4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sga-e-liOAE - Вадим Егоров



    Прости меня, дружок, за пьяное перо.
    На эту болтовню, пожалуйста, не сетуй.
    Но знай, что до сих пор оплёванный Пьеро
    На тоненьких ногах шатается по свету.

    И мы, встречаясь с ним на ленточках дорог,
    Не ведаем, бредя с Пьеро почти что рядом,
    Что просто он подрос, напялил свитерок
    И стёр с лица сурьму, белила и помаду,

    Но, сбросив мишуру фигляра и шута,
    В нём корчится душа — орущая, живая.
    И полночью, когда с улыбками у рта
    Людские души спят, душа Пьеро пылает.

    И на её огне он стряпает стихи,
    И дремлет на плече у розоватой зорьки.
    Рука его легка, глаза его сухи,
    А стро́ки на бумаге солоны́ и горьки.

    Но утро позовёт, и сумку, как суму,
    Забросив на плечо, он скатится с порога.
    И всё же я, представь, завидую ему,
    И всё же я, поверь, иду его дорогой...

    Прости меня, дружок, за пьяное перо.
    На эту болтовню, пожалуйста, не сетуй.
    Но знай, что до сих пор оплёванный Пьеро
    На тоненьких ногах шатается по свету.

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    Wow, I can't believe I got a lot of replies. Спасибо! So ый and ий sound very similar? Well to my ear they do. Would I be misunderstood, if I pronounced them the same? I looked up a word on forvo "интересный" and it sounds like knee at the end?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZekeComa View Post
    Wow, I can't believe I got a lot of replies. Спасибо! So ый and ий sound very similar? Well to my ear they do. Would I be misunderstood, if I pronounced them the same? I looked up a word on forvo "интересный" and it sounds like knee at the end?

    Zeke, it's a very very small sound to English speaking ears.. it took me many months to hear the sound... but ий is a really solid, sharp, clean sound, no variation, like a piano note: "eeeeeeee" you know? And ый is a lot more like how you or I might say "wee" or even "ooie" (like the old 'sea cruise' song - ooie baby) somewhere between those two examples, the "w" is not as short and sharp as "weee" but not as slow and stretched out as "ooie" somewhere in the middle

    I have a perfect solution for you! Операция "Ы" и другие приключения Шурика / Operation Y - YouTube <-- this is a YT link for операция Ы - a wonderful old russian comedy movie... at 1hr5mins, they name their "operation" and they say Ы a lot, and you can hear there how it is different than "eeee" sound.. i hope ths helps... to answer your question, it's a completely different letter and sound for russians, if you say it the same, ый and ий, there will be a whole lot of confusion... Don't worry, even listening to the radio enough, you'll eventually hear it... on that note, here's some free russian radio stations i listen to --> listenlive.eu good luck! удачи
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZekeComa View Post
    Wow, I can't believe I got a lot of replies. Спасибо! So ый and ий sound very similar? Well to my ear they do. Would I be misunderstood, if I pronounced them the same? I looked up a word on forvo "интересный" and it sounds like knee at the end?
    pronunciation of Ы sound is similar to maoin in Irish language and you may know that this is exactly the sound which doesn't exists in English as Irish people say, so there is no English similarity for this sound

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    ы and и are about as similar as the vowel sounds in the pairs pill/peal, kill/keel, dill/deal, sick/seek. etc. Not the same. You need a good textbook with a CD so you can hear the actual sounds. You can't learn pronunciation from a book.

    Russian consonants (neither palatalized 'soft" or nonpalatalized "hard") are not aspirated like English ones -- there is not a puff of air iafter PTK. zxc is correct.

    Й is a semivowel, not a diphthong. It sounds like the Y in "boy".

    even if I have already seen it million of times
    In a couple weeks you have probably not seen a million words all together, let alone one word a million times. To learn a language you must do more than read. You must write. You must listen.

    When I was a kid we had a weekly spelling test (in our own native English), and in preparation for it we had to write out the words ten times each. Not a bad idea for you, either.

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    "ый," and "ий" sound like "ы" and "и".
    That's not true in most cases. When vowels are in a poststressed positition, they become very short and unclear. So, no real ы, и there.
    The main difference is in a consonant then. It is hard before ы and soft before и.
    Russian consonants (neither palatalized 'soft" or nonpalatalized "hard") are not aspirated like English ones -- there is not a puff of air iafter PTK. zxc is correct.
    In the word-final position they are usually aspirated, it doesn't depend on palatalization.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Marcus то есть вы говорите, что если перед губами держите горящую спичку, когда говоришь слова напр. пап, жек, кот, то пламя будет двигаться? Я никогда не слышал ничего об аспирации русских согласных.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    Marcus то есть вы говорите, что если перед губами держите горящую спичку, когда говоришь слова напр. пап, жек, кот, то пламя будет двигаться? Я никогда не слышал ничего об аспирации русских согласных.
    I actually never noticed that until you mentioned it
    All hard, soft and "normal" consonants CAN be aspirated and it will not be incorrect pronunciation

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    когда говоришь слова напр. пап, жек, кот, то пламя будет двигаться?
    Да, особенно если дальше ничего не идет. Именно поэтому мы так плохо слышим аспирацию на конце слов. Прислушайтесь, как русские говорят "нет".

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    Quote Originally Posted by krwright13 View Post
    you can even write the word for 'dresser', "комод" and tape the card to your dresser so you become associated with its Russian name every time you go to it.
    That is a very good idea! I think I will take that up on a few household appliances.

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