https://www.duolingo.com/Matt92HUN

Is there a rule of thumb for the pronunciation of О?

Matt92HUNPlus
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As in when to pronounce it as O, when as A and when as that weird sound in between the 2.

3 years ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/yarjka
yarjka
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Only one syllable is given stress in any Russian word. If the 'o' is in the stressed position, it sounds like 'oh' (although it's a shorter, more crisp 'oh' with rounded lips, not the long dipthongy 'o-oh' that we tend to do in English). If the 'o' is one stress to the left of the stressed syllable, it sounds like 'ah'. If the 'o' is in any syllable further away from the stressed syllable, or anywhere after the stressed syllable, it sounds like schwa ('uh').

я́блоко = YAH-bluh-kuh

окно́ = ahk-NOH

молоко́ = мuh-lah-KOH

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/greenq
greenq
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https://www.duolingo.com/Matt92HUN
Matt92HUNPlus
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Thanks for clearing it up!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AaronTupaz
AaronTupaz
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Is the 'o' with an 'ah' sound the same pronunciation as the Russian 'а'? Or is there a slight difference?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yarjka
yarjka
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A bit different. Look at greenq's answer above for the correct IPA transcriptions. Russian 'а' is usually [a]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_central_unrounded_vowel

Russian 'о' is never [a], only [o], [ɐ], or [ə]. However, the Russian 'а' also reduces in unaccented positions, so in the immediate pre-stress position, both 'о' and 'а' sound like [ɐ] and in other unaccented positions both 'о' and 'а' sound like [ə].

Another example:

голова = [ɡəɫ̪ɐˈva]

Listen to the difference: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Ru-%D0%B3%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0.ogg

Just remember it's vowel reduction. The further away from the stress and anywhere after the stress, the more reduced the sound will be (generally). It happens with all of the vowels to some extent. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_phonology

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/draquila

I believe it only ever sounds like o in the stressed syllable of a word. I'm not sure how it behaves when there is a secondary stress.

It sounds like uh in other positions except in the syllable just before the stress, where it sounds like ah.

Ё always sounds like yo because it is always stressed.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NasuSamaruk0
NasuSamaruk0
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The sound for the Russian letter o is stressed as draquila mentioned. Think of this as if you pronounce the word or. That might help. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rouslan.abitov

Just to let everybody know, stressed "O" is pronounced with subtle "W" at the beginning of the sound. But don't mess with this at the beginning of your russian course lest it should add more complication. If you pronounce words with no vowel reduction at least they will be intelligible all the way.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Matt92HUN
Matt92HUNPlus
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Oh, thanks. My Russian friend also said that if there's a stressed O, you can kinda omit the rest of the vowels in pronunciation.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kosmozhuk

There are regions and dialects where every O is pronounced like 'oh'. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9E%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%8C%D0%B5

But for most it sounds kinda weird and funny.

3 years ago
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