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Welcome to Russian Q&A

A place for students, teachers and native Russian speakers to discuss Russian grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and other aspects of the Russian language.

Pronunciation troubles

0 votes

I really respect Russian language that it stays true to it's pronunciation rules (UNLIKE ENGLISH) but I know there are some exceptions, and I would really like to understand them to understand Russian speech better.. I am a native English speaker now living in Moscow, and after being here a year, I'm still a bit scared to go anywhere for fear of not being understood!!! Could anyone give some examples of when some words are not pronunced exactly correctly, or maybe as slang, so I can understand better? 

I have some trouble understanding foreigners like myself speaking in Russian too!

I've heard Что prounounced like "SHO" ... or "CHO" .. Are there some more words that need to be easily identifed like this? 

asked Jun 5, 2013 by bluewmelon (2,560 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
It's not even a slang, it's just  kind of lower class people way to talk (that becames more popular nowadays. however educated person won't pronounce words like these).
answered Jun 5, 2013 by elekk (140 points)
0 votes
Well... the slangs and deviations can be various and it is hardly possible to describe all at once. Though in comparison to other languages contemporary Russian as a matter of fact is one of the most unified ones across its territories. I live in Ukraine and recently I was unable to distnguish from locals by speech a guy from Vladivostok. Maybe that inspire you a bit. :D

Practice helps. Try to completely cease the usage of English for a couple of months, it can make a miracle in your Russian fluency.
answered Jun 6, 2013 by it-ogo (18,220 points)
+1 vote

Hi Bluemelon,

Some other words pronounces like "чё" are, for example, "ничего", pronounced in colloquial speech as "ничё" (nichió), "сейчас" is pronounced as "щас" (schas), the pronouns "себя" and "себе" are pronouned as "ся" and "се".

We also use "нéту" instead of "нет" (I have no, there is no): У меня ручки нету (I haven't got a pen). Sometimes "не" is used to say "no" instead of "нет": Не, я не хочу идти в бассейн (No, I don't want to go to the swimming pool).


Yulia Amlinskaya,

Russian language teacher.

answered Jun 7, 2013 by RussianTeacher (19,690 points)
edited Jun 7, 2013 by RussianTeacher