"Here is a bicycle."
It would be more as "pyet" because in Russian they have voiced and un-voiced consonants which are paired. A rule is that if a voiced consonant is at the end of a word then it becomes un-voiced, "д" is at the end of this word so it sounds like its un-voiced counter part "T"
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's the emphasis. So 'вот велосипед' is kind of 'here is the bicycle (that you were looking for)'. 'Велосипед здесь', on the other hand, is more of a '(Oh,) there is a bicycle here'.
Obviously those sentences wouldn't be the only way of translating it, but it's that sort of distinction. Does that make sense?
I would like to learn the individual letters and associated sounds. However, although these introductory lessons are helpful, they do not specifically teach each sound / letter in isolation. I am not learning Russian by any means except Duolingo, so haven't been exposed to the Russian alphabet elsewhere.
Can anyone please provide a link to a good, free online resource to learn the alphabet? (i.e. one you have used yourself and found effective - I can do a google search for myself, but would appreciate a personal recommendation from your experience). Many thanks in advance!
Honestly, learning the sounds in isolation isn't even really a good idea. They change so much depending on what the word/sentence is, there are irregularities etc.
Your post could be old now so I guess this is just for everyone in general... I think there's now an alphabet table right here in the tips & notes. That'll get you started -- then I strongly recommend you get right into studying/analyzing simple words and sentences, they are so, so much more useful than lone letters.
I get your point about how much letters change, but I will have to disagree about it not being a good idea in general. If you learn the letters first in isolation, keeping in mind that they can change given context, then it makes learning the language easier (at least this has been my experience). Mostly it allowed me to sound out words.
The point was: get used to the alphabet, and then get over it. And don't confuse letters with sounds! You need the alphabet to read and write, but think about reading individual letters in the English alphabet. What sound does a 'g' make? ("German", "rough", "gate", "change", ...)
I have to agree with Olive. I learned the phonetic pronunciation of Russian cyrillic and it gave me a foundation to work from. In my limited experience I have found Russian words and pronunciation to be fairly consistent in this way (and easy to remember how to spell by "sounding it out") and nowhere near as variated as English letters can be, which is what you seem to be implying.
Gaaaahhh... I still can't figure out when Duo wants it to be вот and when тут/здесь !
Interestingly, this problem was never there before, when I studied from a (Soviet-era) book. You couldn't mix them up, actually I think they never even appeared in contexts where both of them could/would be translated as just "here". If memory serves me right, 'вот' was actually never used to refer to something that was actually there, it was more in stuff like "oh, there it is". "Here is a bicycle" would definitely have been 'тут велосипед.' (in direct contrast to something like 'там такси.')
On Duo I find myself just guessing what's it going to be this time. Oh man.
It is велосипед. The word was borrowed from French; English "velocity" comes from the same Latin root.
The sounds might be a bit different to tell apart if your native language does not distinguish between the consonants in best / vest.
The Cyrillic alphabet was based off the Greek alphabet; since Slavic languages DID distinguish /b/ and /v/, two versions of β were made. Б (/b/) stands for an abrupt plosive sound. The lips are shut, some pressure is built and then suddenly released. В (/v/) spells a soft fricative sound. You blow the air out while your lip and your teeth are touching.
Our "v" sound, I believe, is a bit less sharp than in English: you just touch your upper teeth with your lower lip and produce a fricative sound.
On Windows 10, it is Settings (Control Panel) → Time and Language → Language.
You can add languages and keyboard layouts there. When you have multiple input languages, you can switch between them using a keyboard shortcut (often Shift+Alt) or in the language bar which appears in your tray.
Download google IME :-) select russian option PS you'll need an english keyboard at your languages options. For example, mine is PT BR but, after i installed the english at windows language options, google IME worked perfectly This is because the convertion is made english~>russian. After, you select RUS and be happy. Its not perfect, but it REALLY wokrs fine!