Learn how to pronounce the Russian vowels perfectly

There are 10 vowels in the Russian language: А, Е, Ё, И, О, У, Ы, Э, Ю, Я. Quite a big variety. But, at least, in most situations one vowel corresponds to one sound. It makes the learning process much easier.

We’ve already learnt the Russian alphabet, so now let’s remember how we pronounce vowel sounds.

а – [a] bar
я – [ya] yard
о – [o] not
ё – [yo]
у – [u] spoon
ю – [yu] youth
э – [e] end
e – [ye] yes
и – [i] – see
ы – [i] – sit

You may have noticed that vowels are listed by pairs. Every two sounds are very similar. We just add [y] to [a], [o], [e] and [u]. But и and ы differ from all these pairs. 

You are familiar with the sound и [i], cause you have it in English. It’s a soft sound, like in the words see, be, tea. This sound is also [ee]

It’s hard to find a sound similar to ы in British English. But definetely there is something of this kind in American English. For example, the word list. In British English [i] is more soft, it really sounds like [и]. But in American English [i] sound is harder. You can feel the difference if you’ll listen to both variations. The American [i] in this word is closer to Russian ы.

 Another good example is the word similar. The second “i” in this word sounds like the Russian ы. 

Leave a Comment