Russian Folk-Tales/The Pronunciation of Russian Words

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Russian Folk-Tales by Alexander Nikolaevich Afanasyev, translated by Leonard Arthur Magnus
The Pronunciation of Russian Words


Every Russian word has one strongly accented syllable, which is marked with an acute accent. The vowels are to be sounded as in Italian.

Ch to be sounded as in English.

G always hard, as in 'give,' 'got': never as in 'gem.'

J always as in English.

Kh like German ch, or Scotch ch in 'loch.'

L when hard (e.g. before a, o, u) something like ll in 'pull'; when soft (e.g. before e, i) like l in French 'vil.'

S always hard, as in 'so .'

V as in English: at the end of words as 'f.'

Y consonantally, as in English 'yet'; as a vowel like 'i' in 'will.'

Z always as in English.

Zh like 's' in leisure, or French 'j.'