Russian Pronunciation With Sound Files Part 1

January 12th, 2010 by markw Leave a reply »


Compared to some languages, Russian pronunciation is a breeze.  Sure, if your goal is to master pronunciation to the point where you can pass yourself off as a native speaker, then – true – you’ve got a lot of work ahead. But if you don’t mind speaking with an accent – as I have for six years, now – and instead just want to speak well enough so that Russian people understand you, then Russian pronunciation is no big deal.

If you prefer video instruction, then watch this video on how to pronounce each letter in Russian’s Cyrillic alphabet. Otherwise, read on, as we go through each letter and you`ll eventually learn Russian step by step.

As I often do, I want to employ contextual learning to imbed the sounds on a deeper level. The great thing about this method is it’s easy, natual, and the most effective.

All BIG BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS are Russian letters. The first round is easy because they look the same and sound the same as their English counterparts.



Оpen wide, said the doctor, and say…

Аhhh .


So, the English word TAKOMA would be spelled: TAKOMA in Russian, as well.

Let’s note right here that the Russian versions of these letters have few if any variations in pronunciation. The same absolutely CANNOT be said of the English versions. How many sounds can you make with the English ‘O’ for example? Women? So and ‘o’ in English can be pronounced ‘ihh’? There’s only two variations in Russian for an ‘O’. Either the ‘Oh’ sound of ‘Open” or an ‘Ah’ sound, as in “Say ahh.”

Here’s the next batch for learning Russian

БaseБall is perhaps the most popular sport in America.

Сeptember is my birth month, but…

Нovember is my favorite month.

Лaugh out Лoud!

Пretty Пlease, with sugar on top?

Рonald Peagan was the 40th President of the United States.

Вampires are scary!

Фotoshop is a great program.

Let’s play with these a bit before going on. The following will be English words sound out using the Russian alphabet. The answers are at the end:








How’d you do? Ok, let’s the next set…

Дavid and Гoliath

Гarden of Eden.

Хa Xa, very funny.

The MiraЖ in Las Vegas is my favorite hotel.

Зippidee do dah!

Шotgun wedding.

Чinese Фood is delicious!

Яtzee is a game played with dice.

Уps, I Did It Again is Brittney’s best song!

Еsterday is the Beatle’s best song!

We’re almost done. One more round after this. Let’s play with our new letters. The answers, again, will be at the bottom:








Here’s the final batch of Russian letters for you:

Ё dude, whassup! Or: My favorite toy is a Ё Ё .

Иk, a mouse! Or: Иster egg!

OЙ vei, what a headache! Or: G.I. Joe is my favorite toЙ.

Эpcot Center is better than Disney World.

Ю2 is a great group, but I’m not a big fan of Bono.

WhaЦ up, dude?

Ыk, another mouse!


Let’s play with these newest ones, and then get to the answers:




Ok, here’s the answers to all the words I wrote out:

СНО = Snow

БОН = Bone

ФАР = Far

БАР = Bar

ПРО = Pro

ЛАМП = Lamp

МАРС = Mars

ГАД = God

ЕС ОР НО? = Yes or no?

ЧУ СЛО = Chew slow.

ГАРАЖ = Garage

ФЛАШ = Flash.

ЯДА ЯДА = Yada yada.

ХОТ ДОГ = Hot dog.

ЭГ ЁЛК. = Egg yolk.

ЭКСКЮЗ МИ! = Excuse me!

ТОЙ СТОРИ. = Toy Story.


Finally, here’s a few sentences written in English, but using Cyrillic letters to spell out the words. Think of it as a final exam. Give it a try:

Хай! Май нэйм ис Марк. Ай рили лайк стадиинг рашен. Рашен ис сач эй кул лангуэдж, донт ю агри? Уэл, ай хоп зис артикл хэлпд ю!

I hope you learn`t a bit about learning Russian online with  pronunciation!

Go here for part 2 Pronounce Russian

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1 comment

  1. Katherine says:

    Hi Mark!

    I go to a Russian tennis academy in America. Well I’m going to be going to this academy throughout my four years of high school and I would love to be able to converse with the Russian athletes and understand what they are saying. Anyway, how could I find a “learn to speak Russian” program that doesn’t cost money and that will actually TEACH me Russian fast!!

    Thank you for your time!

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