Basic Russian sounds and their transcription
Russian and English have similar sounds and even without special training you will be able to pronounce Russian words understandably for native speakers. At the same time, you should remember that Russian pronunciation has its own peculiarities and we are sure it will be very useful for you to learn more about Russian sounds on our site, as well as to listen to the speech of native speakers, and study our phonetics course.
To get started, we advise you to learn the basic sounds of the Russian language. Our aim is not to give a detailed linguistic description of Russian phonetic system. Here we provide the material which we think is sufficient to acquire essential skills in Russian pronunciation.
So, the Russian language has 42 basic sounds: 6 vowels and 36 consonants. The table below represents the signs (transcription) which are used on our site to designate Russian sounds. You can also listen to all of the represented sounds. You can find more information about articulation of each sound on the page Russian sounds: Articulation details.
Basic Sounds of the Russian Language
|[ i ]|
|[ i ]|
|Voiced Consonants||Unvoiced Consonants|
|[ l ]||[h']|
|[ l' ]|
On our site Russian words and phrases are accompanied by transcription which represents sounds of Russian by means of English orthography. All transcriptions on the site are put in square brackets.
Transcriptions are followed by the sign which means that you can listen to the transcribed phrase. Most sounds, words and phrases represented in transcriptions on our site are accompanied by audio examples. You can find more information about the possibility to listen to the sounds on our site on the page Functions and settings.
Go to the next part of this section: General Info about Russian Sounds