Teach yourself to read Russian in 33 minutes
Before you go on |
Origin of Russian Alphabet |
The algorithm for
reading Russian words is pretty simple:
See also these
- Split a word into syllables and process each syllable (from left to the right)
- Does the current syllable contain ?
- 2.1. If not, then combine sounds corresponding to each letter (one letter - one sound!)
- 2.2. Otherwise: Is the letter from the list
() the first letter in the syllable?
- 2.2.1. If not, then use the first variant of pronunciation
(see the comment to 6, 7, 32, 33. )
- 2.2.1. Yes: and only here use the second variant of pronunciation:
Deviation from the algorithm
There are a lot of variants of spoken Russian that can be characterized by the following features:
- Replacement of strict, clear sounds in unstressed positions with some intermediate and even other
sounds, e.g. mo-lo-ko (milk) ->
(something between o and a) ->
- Dropping of some adjacent consonants (and even syllables), e.g.
soln-tse (the Sun) ->
(greeting - official, polite variant) ->
zdrast-vui-te (still OK) ->
zdras-te (becomes unofficial).
- Voiced consonants are pronounced as unvoiced at the end of words (similar to German), e.g.
hleb (bread) ->
There are many other deviations, but,
- The algorithm really gives a correct variant of pronunciation (old, traditional).
In many regions of Russia (e.g. Volga River region, Northern Russia) people still speak so.
- If one wants to be clear (e.g. was asked to repeat) then uses these rules (even in Moscow).
- Almost all variants of pronunciation (including yours) do not change the meaning of words.
This is the advantage of the redundancy of (relatively) long Russian words
(only be careful with stressed syllables - need to refer to dictionaries).
Some related links:
©Nikolai Shokhirev, 2002-2010