1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. Palatalized Р


Palatalized Р

Hey y'all, one thing I've always been unsure about whenever I get back into learning Russian is if my pronunciation of рь is good enough. I've had trouble finding help on this - most people just have trouble pronouncing р. I recently found a video of a speech therapist that I think goes over this, but it's all in Russian. Can someone fluent watch it and get the important details from it? Maybe even translate it? Here's the link:


December 13, 2015



I'm too lazy to transcribe the whole thing, but the gist of it is that compared to hard р, you need to "smile" even more and make sure your tongue is at the back of your mouth and doesn't touch your teeth. Also, it's difficult to do a long рь, make it short.


So it's difficult even for native speakers? That's cool. I might still try to translate the video some time, but I appreciate the important parts.


Well keep in mind she's a speech therapist. Yes, I think р and рь are the sounds that children have problems with most often.


Russian is my native language but I still can't make that sound (Рь) lol...


As a Russian learner I have to admit I'm quite confused about the рь sound. Could anyone out there explain the exact mechanics of the sound? Specifically where is the tip of your tongue positioned for this sound? Thanks


I am not educated in the mechanics enough (this is the only thing you really need to practice) but as for the place of articulation... The tip is a bit past the alveolar ridge—more to the front than for the unpalatalized sound; in my case it does not reach the upper teeth. The middle part of your tongue is raised up, and, as far as I can tell, a larger area is used around the tip.

A good idea is to press your tongue there (not much effort is needed, really), inhale a lot of air, and then try to "blow" a powerful flow between the tongue and the top of the mouth, while still pressing. I don't think it is going to take long to make a hoarse fluttering noise this way. It will let you at least get a grasp of what the vibration is, even if it does not sound anything like a much more relaxed sound used in real speech.


Thanks that description helps.

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.