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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Russian pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

See Russian phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Russian. For a list of common pronunciation errors, see Anglophone pronunciation of foreign languages § Russian. See Russian alphabet for help converting spelling to pronunciation.

Russian distinguishes hard (unpalatalized or plain) and soft (palatalized) consonants. Soft consonants, most of which are denoted by a superscript j, ⟨ʲ⟩, are pronounced with the body of the tongue raised toward the hard palate, like the articulation of the y sound in yes. /j, ɕː, tɕ/ are always soft, whereas /ʂ, ts, ʐ/ are always hard.

Consonants
Hard Soft
IPA Examples English approximation IPA Examples English approximation
b About this sound бок boot About this sound бе́лый beautiful
d About this sound дать do About this sound де́ло dew (UK)
f About this sound фо́рма; About this sound вы́ставка;[1] About this sound бо́ров[2] fool About this sound фина́л; About this sound кровь[2] few
ɡ About this sound год[3][4] goo ɡʲ About this sound геро́й argue
N/A j About this sound есть [je-]; About this sound ёж [jɵ-]; About this sound юг [ju-]; About this sound я [ja]; About this sound майо́р[5] yes, York, you, yard, boy
k About this sound кость; About this sound флаг[2] scar About this sound кино́ skew
l About this sound луна́[6] pill About this sound лес; About this sound боль lean
m About this sound мы́ло moot About this sound мя́со mute
n About this sound нос noon About this sound нёс; About this sound день newt (for some dialects)
p About this sound под; About this sound зуб[2] span About this sound пе́пел; About this sound зыбь[2] spew
r About this sound раз flapped or trilled r, like in Spanish About this sound ряд; About this sound зверь flapped or trilled r, like in Spanish
s About this sound соба́ка; About this sound глаз[2] soup About this sound си́ний; About this sound здесь; About this sound есть; About this sound грызть[1] assume (for some dialects)
ʂ About this sound широ́кий; About this sound муж[2]; About this sound что[7] rush ɕː About this sound щека́; About this sound счита́ть; About this sound мужчи́на[8][9] wish sheep
t About this sound то; About this sound во́дка;[1] About this sound лёд[2] stand About this sound тень; About this sound дитя́; About this sound грудь[2] stew (UK; for some dialects)
ts[10] About this sound цена́[9] cats [10] About this sound чай; About this sound течь[9] chip
v About this sound вы; его́[4] voodoo About this sound весь view
x About this sound ход; About this sound Бог[3][9] loch (Scottish) About this sound хи́трый; About this sound лёгкий[1][3][9] huge (for some dialects)
z About this sound зуб zoo About this sound зима́; About this sound про́сьба[1] azure (for some dialects)
ʐ About this sound жест rouge ʑː About this sound по́зже[11] prestige genre
Stressed vowels
[-soft] [+soft]
IPA Examples English approximation IPA Examples English approximation
a About this sound трава́ father æ About this sound пять[12] pat (US)
ɛ About this sound жест; About this sound э́тот met e About this sound пень; About this sound э́тика[12] penny
ɨ About this sound ты; About this sound ши́шка; с и́грами roses (for some dialects) i About this sound ли́ния; About this sound и́ли meet
o About this sound о́блако chore ɵ About this sound тётя[12] bird (non-rhotic)
u About this sound пу́ля boot ʉ About this sound чуть; About this sound лю́ди[12] choose
Unstressed vowels
[-soft] [+soft]
IPA Examples English approximation IPA Examples English approximation
ɐ About this sound облака́; About this sound како́й; About this sound сообража́ть; About this sound тропа́[13] bud N/A
ə About this sound ко́жа; About this sound о́блако; About this sound се́рдце about ə About this sound во́ля; About this sound сего́дня; About this sound по́ле[14] lasagna
ɨ About this sound дыша́ть; About this sound жена́; About this sound во́ды; About this sound эта́п roses (for some dialects) ɪ About this sound лиса́; About this sound четы́ре; About this sound тяжёлый; About this sound де́вять bit
ʊ About this sound мужчи́на put ʉ About this sound чуде́сный[12] youth
ɛ тетра́эдр; поэте́сса[15] met N/A
o About this sound ра́дио; поэте́сса[15] chore N/A
Suprasegmental
IPA Example Explanation
ˈ About this sound четы́ре [t͡ɕɪˈtɨrʲɪ] Stress mark, placed before the stressed syllable
ː About this sound сза́ди [ˈzːadʲɪ][1] Consonant length mark, placed after the geminated consonant

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Consonants in consonant clusters are assimilated in voicing if the final consonant in the sequence is an obstruent (except [v, vʲ]). All consonants become voiceless if the final consonant is voiceless or voiced if the final consonant is voiced (Halle 1959:31).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i The voiced obstruents /b, bʲ, d, dʲ, ɡ, v, vʲ, z, zʲ, ʐ/ are devoiced word-finally unless the next word begins with a voiced obstruent (Halle 1959:22).
  3. ^ a b c г⟩ is usually pronounced [ɣ] or [x] in some religious words and colloquial derivatives from them, such as   Го́споди and   Бог, and in the interjections   ага́,   ого́,   го́споди,   ей-бо́гу, and also in бухга́лтер [bʊˈɣaltʲɪr] (Timberlake 2004:23). /ɡ/ devoices and lenites to [x] before voiceless obstruents (dissimilation) in the word roots -мягк- or -мягч-, -легк- or -легч-, -тягч-, and also in the old-fashioned pronunciation of -ногт-, -когт-, кто. Speakers of the Southern Russian dialects may pronounce ⟨г⟩ as [ɣ] (soft [ɣʲ], devoiced [x] and []) throughout.
  4. ^ a b Intervocalic ⟨г⟩ represents /v/ in certain words (  сего́дня,   сего́дняшний, итого́ ), and in the genitive suffix -ого/-его (Timberlake 2004:23).
  5. ^ The soft vowel letters ⟨е, ë, ю, я⟩ represent iotated vowels /je, jo, ju, ja/, except when following a consonant. When these vowels are unstressed (save for ⟨ë⟩, which is always stressed) and follow another vowel letter, the /j/ may not be present in fluent speech. Letter ⟨и⟩ produce iotated sound /ji/ only after ь.
  6. ^ /l/ is often strongly pharyngealized [ɫ], but that feature is not distinctive (Ladefoged & Maddieson 1996:187-188).
  7. ^ Most speakers pronounce ⟨ч⟩ in the pronoun что and its derivatives as [ʂ]. All other occurrences of чт cluster stay as affricate and stop.
  8. ^ щ⟩ is sometimes pronounced as [ɕː] or [ɕɕ] and sometimes as [ɕtɕ], but no speakers contrast the two pronunciations. It is generally includes the other spellings of the sound, but the word счи́тывать sometimes has [ɕtɕ] because of the morpheme boundary between the prefix ⟨с-⟩ and the root ⟨-чит-⟩.
  9. ^ a b c d e [ts], [tɕ], [ɕː], [x], [xʲ] have voiced allophones, [dz], [], [ʑː], [ɣ], [ɣʲ] respectively, before voiced stop consonants. Examples:   плацда́рм, начди́в, дочь бы, вещдо́к, трехдне́вный.
  10. ^ a b The affricates [ts] and [tɕ] are sometimes written with ligature ties: [t͡s] and [t͡ɕ]. Ties are not used in transcriptions on Wikipedia (except in phonology articles) because they may not display correctly in all browsers.
  11. ^ Geminated [ʐː] is pronounced as soft [ʑː], the voiced counterpart to [ɕː], in a few lexical items (such as дрожжи or заезжать) by conservative Moscow speakers; such realization is now somewhat obsolete (Yanushevskaya & Bunčić (2015:224)).
  12. ^ a b c d e Vowels are fronted and/or raised in the context of palatalized consonants: /a/ and /u/ become [æ] and [ʉ], respectively between palatalized consonants, /e/ is realized as [e] before and between palatalized consonants and /o/ becomes [ɵ] after and between palatalized consonants.
  13. ^ Word-initial and pretonic (before the stress) /a/ and /o/, as well as when in a sequence.
  14. ^ Only in certain word-final morphemes (Timberlake 2004:48-51).
  15. ^ a b In the careful style of pronunciation unstressed /e/ and /o/ in foreign words may be pronounced with little or no reduction.

ReferencesEdit