These give me a hard time too.
I found it useful to listen to the words on yandex translate and forvo. I included Мой because it's kind of similar:
https://translate.yandex.com/?lang=ru-en&text=%D0%9C%D1%8B.%20%D0%9C%D0%BE%D0%B9.%20%D0%9C%D0%BE%D0%B8. - Мы. Мой. Мои.
https://forvo.com/word/%D0%BC%D1%8B/#ru - Мы
https://forvo.com/word/%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%B9/#ru - Мой
https://forvo.com/word/%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%B8/#ru - Мои
Google translate didn't help so much with this because it makes them all sound so similar.
Since н is followed by a soft sound щ, it becomes soft itself.
Russian has a concept of soft and hard consonants, but many languages don't. In many other languages, sounds only become soft before i, so you might have learnt to understand that soft 'n' means an 'i' follows, and understand a pronounciation of soft 'n' as 'ni' even when no real 'i' is pronounced.
This is a sound that English speakers just do not have. The ы at the end is a "hard sign and sounds farther back in our mouth. It sounds obvious to Russian speakers but not to us and is definitely not a и sound no matter what our ears hear. Maybe there is a better explanation on you tube. Sorry I can't be more help but I struggle with this all the time. Even when I get it right I don't know how I did it.
Well, something like that. For nouns ending in -я, -ь, plural ends in -и. Also, some nouns have plural in -a.
Usually, Russian doesn't use is/am/are when we're talking about current situation.
You'll understand it by seeing that there is no verb (a word that describes some action, what someone 'does'). "We woman" doesn't make much sense, does it? You need some verb: "We admire women", "We obey woman", "We know women", and so on. So, when you have no verb, you add is/am/are.
English needs is/am/are because many verbs (words describing actions) look like nouns (words naming people and things). For example, 'love' can describe an action (I love Sergei: I do an action of loving) and name a thing (My love gives me hope: My love is do-er of action, and action is giving).
In 'I love Sergei', I do an action of 'loving', so 'love' is a verb. In 'My love gives me hope', 'love' is a name of a thing that does an action. So, 'love' is a noun.
So, many English verbs and nouns look alike. And when you dropped 'am' in 'I am love', you'd end up with a completely different sentence: "I love". In "I am love", love is a noun. In "I love", love is a verb. You can't drop "am" because it leads to confusion.
This never happens in Russian, because verbs and nouns look different. "I am love" is «Я любо́вь», and "I love" is «Я люблю́». «Любо́вь» is a noun (it names a feeling), «люби́ть» is a verb (it describes an action of having this feeling).
If this is unclear, please comment! I know I'm not great at explaining in simple words. If something is unclear, please comment and help me get better at explaining it. ^^'
The sentence would lack a verb.
If you see a sentence that lack "action". Like "My sister an accountant". Or "China a big country". Then you'll know that it has is/are/am dropped.
In many cases Russian requires writing a dash in such sentences in place of is/are/am. So in fact it would be written "China — big country" (Kitay — bol'shaya strana).
Щ is not pronounced as sht in Russian. This is its Bulgarian pronunciation, but in Russian it's pronounced as a soft longer version of ш (and ш is a hard sound).
I usually perceive English sh as a soft sound, i.e. it's closer to Russian щ than to ш to me.
Unfortunately, I'm not a phonetician and I can't explain the difference very well. You might want to look for some videos teaching Russian pronunciation on Youtube.
The pronunciation seems a bit weird on this one. I'd suggest listening to these examples on Forvo to get a sense as to how it's actually pronounced:
An explanation with many examples would be highly appreciated for this. I have so far not encountered even one occasion where they would not be interchangeable (they sound different but are close alike and the word/phrase is still easily understandable). I can't see how it would be anything else than a typo or minor mistake, very much like 'мои' instead of 'мой'.
You seem to know quite a lot of other languages for comparison... the Russian 'ы' is pronounced like the German 'y' as in "ypsilon" or 'ü' as in "dünn" or "Tür". Many other Germanic languages also have the sound, English in an exception (the sound doesn't exist on it's own or have a particular letter associated with it).
I’d say Ü is much closer to Ю (without the initial Y-sound), while Ы has no direct correspondences in Germanic languages. Ü is different from Ы:
- Ы is in-between И and У when we consider the position of tongue (but the lips are normally unrounded when pronouncing it),
- Ü is has a position of tongue like И, and the lip-rounding like У.
So, both can be described as being in-between И and У, but those are very different sounds.
Ы is similar to Polish Y, Romanian Â/Î, European Portuguese unstressed E (e.g. noite sounds like нойты in European Portuguese; but NOT Brazilian).
I considered mentioning it's not maybe quite as "fronted" as a "Germanic" 'y'... however I expected someone would correct me :) (I think your very first sentence is the wrong way around, then you describe things well...)
In a word like "рыба", the 'ы' is very much like a Germanic 'y' or 'ü', other times it's a bit closer to 'u'. (I got this from listening to native Russians on record).
Anyway, my primary point was really to say that 'ы' is in any case not a western 'u' or 'i', it's something inbetween which is difficult for English speakers regardless of where it is inbetween those two :) I don't know if you would you agree, I've figured pronouncing it like in the Swedish "fyra" would at least be understandable and unambiguous (it's clearly neither Russian 'у' or 'и').
Also should have said that I'm neither a native Russian speaker nor an expert and did not intend to present myself as such.
No, a dash is not required. Dash is only required between two nouns, but not between a pronoun and a noun.
Of course, it's not a mistake to put dash here, but it would mean a noticeable pause in speech and will make the sentence more emphatic. Actually, you can use dashes practically anywhere and it won't be a mistake, really.
Some authors are known for over-using dashes. I like the joke "Нельзя́ — учи́ться пунктуа́ции по́ — Цвета́евой!" 'One can't — learn punctuation from — Tsvetayeva", because Tsvetayeva sometimes used dashes quite liberally.