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Thread: Ukrainian/ Russian Alphabet diffs.

  1. #1
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    Ukrainian/ Russian Alphabet diffs.

    I noticed that while both Ukrainian and Russian use Cyrillic alphabets, that there are some letters in Ukrainian that aren't in Russian. What are the differences between Ukrainian aand Russian Cyrillic?
    Thanks.

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    (Note: I use j to transcribe the English y sound, and y to transcribe Russian ы and Ukrainian и.)

    ё, ъ, ы and э do not appear in Ukrainian.
    In Ukrainian, the апостроф ' serves the same function as Russian ъ.
    Instead of ё, Ukrainian writes йо (or ьо after a soft consonant).

    Ukrainian letters that differ from Russian equivalents:
    в is w as well as v. But some speakers seem (to me) to pronounce it always as v.
    г is h, not g.
    ґ is g (but within Ukraine, this letter is often replaced with г).
    дж is sounded as English j, and дз as English dz. However, they are not considered separate letters of the alphabet, and appear between дє and ди.
    е, like Russian э, does not palatalize the preceding consonant, nor is it ever sounded as je. When it's unstressed, it sounds somewhat closer to и (below).
    є is sounded like Russian е, either as je or as palatalizing e.
    и is similar to Russian ы. It does not palatalize the preceding consonant.
    і is the equivalent of Russian и.
    ї is ji. That is to say, it's sounded as йі. It never follows a consonant, unless an apostrophe comes between the consonant and ї.
    о is never sounded as a, but always as o, even when unstressed.
    ч and щ are always hard in Ukrainian. щ is shch, never sh'sh'.
    ь, ю and я, like є, і and ьо above, palatalize those consonants that can be palatalized: only д, дз, з, л, н, р, с and т, as well as ц (which is always hard in Russian). Only hard р and soft ць can appear at the end of a word, but these can become soft р and hard ц when certain inflections are added.
    The other consonants can be pronounced slightly softer after the palatalizing vowels and ь.

  3. #3
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    Ukrainian Г does sound like English H, but it still has a G quality, and is actually the voiced counterpart of Russian and Ukrainian X

    Unlike in Russian, Ukrainian Щ actually is a combination of ш and ч.

    Before consonants В and У both have the same sound which is like English W, and under certain rules the letters are interchangeable. В is also pronounced like W when it ends the word.

    E.g. the preposition which corresponds to the Russia в in Ukrainian is в or у.

    Despite Ukrainian И = Russian Ы, the letter Й is the same in both languages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Ukrainian Г does sound like English H, but it still has a G quality, and is actually the voiced counterpart of Russian and Ukrainian X
    It's not. It's the voiced counterpart of English h.
    English h = unvoiced glottal fricitative
    Ukrainian г = voiced glottal fricitative
    Ukrainian / Russian х = unvoiced velar fricitative

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    Quote Originally Posted by синичка
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Ukrainian Г does sound like English H, but it still has a G quality, and is actually the voiced counterpart of Russian and Ukrainian X
    It's not. It's the voiced counterpart of English h.
    English h = unvoiced glottal fricitative
    Ukrainian г = voiced glottal fricitative
    Ukrainian / Russian х = unvoiced velar fricitative
    My Russian teacher who is from Ukraine and speaks both languages says it is.
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    Well, that's what I read for example at Wikipedia and also how I heard people pronounce it all the time...

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    You're both correct. There are areas in the (sic! and f... u) Ukraine and South Russia where the Г is rendered as a voiced sort of X and there are areas where it's rendered as a voiced H. Some will say that the voiced H is how they say it in the Ukraine as opposed to the voiced X in South Russia but in reality it's more complicated than that, both varieties can be found on either side of the border.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VendingMachine
    You're both correct. There are areas in the (sic! and f... u) Ukraine
    Russians always getting their English articles mixed up :P
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    You guys need to hear it and say what it's like. Ukrainian Г is not exactly like the English H, it is voiced and is the counterpart of the Russian/Ukrainian X. Both sounds don't exist in English. The Russian/Ukrainian X is similar to German CH in Bach, auch and to Spanish J in Juan. Just add voice to that sound and you get the Ukrainian Г.

    Not all Russians in the South pronounce the Г that way. You should remember that it's not standard pronunciation and many educated people try to avoid this pronunciation independent on where they live, same applies to people in Ukraine speaking Russian.

    Interesting that Czechs and Slovakians have H, which sounds exactly like Ukrainian Г but the rest of the Slavs have G, including the Polish. It's only Ukrainian, Belarusian, Czech, and Slovakian, which have this sound.
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  10. #10
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    Didn't Old Church Slavonic have an H sounding Г
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  11. #11
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    It's unknown how OCS Г was pronounced (and it probably varied by region, as it still does today) but modern Russian and Ukrainian Church Slavic pronounce Г as a fricative, i.e. as Ukrainian Г.

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    Oops, I didn't log myself in. The message above was posted by me.
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