Russian for Self-Learners
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LETTERS vs SOUNDS (for beginners)

Jul 28, 2023

Dear beginners 👋, this post is to remind you that letters and sounds should be distinguished from each other. As a little example, let’s take the letter Гг, named as [гэ] or /gɛ/ in the alphabet. Is it correct to say that it’s [г] /g/❓ The answer is definitely NO! The letter Гг [гэ] /gɛ/, as a written symbol ✍️, can denote different sounds 🗣, for example:

👉 [г] /g/ (hard variant) as in “год”;

👉 [г’] /g’/ (soft variant) as in “гимн”;

👉 [к] /k/ as in “друг”;

👉 [х] /h/ as in “мя́гкий”;

👉 [в] /v/ as in “его́”.

So, please, keep it in mind when you start learning the language. The best solution is to begin your studies with a short introductory pronunciation course. You can download one here ⤵

(1) STARTER: pdf 📃 https://www.buymeacoffee.com/selfstudru8/e/78838  + voice recordings 🎧 https://ru.files.fm/u/zwk6yqcnn

After you successfully complete 💯 the introductory pronunciation course, you can start any basic course at your choice which begins with the alphabet. Here is an option for you ⤵

(2) A follow-up to the STARTER (the basics): pdf 📃 https://www.buymeacoffee.com/selfstudru8/e/79114  + voice recordings 🎧 https://ru.files.fm/f/98yr2bvtn Please, note that, using Russian phonetic symbols, the letters Ее, Ёё, Юю and Яя are transcribed as [й'э], [й'о], [й'у] and [й'а] accordingly. The transcription for Лл is [эл'], where the apostrophe marks the consonant softness. The 'names' of the letters in Cyrillic shown above are used for young natives who can already read, but don't know the phonetic symbols yet. Thank you.

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