Russian sounds are reduced in non-stressed syllables. That is, some vowels are not pronounced distinctly. There are 3 degrees of reduction in Russian:
- No reduction: in stressed syllables (marked with acute, like а́; or by two dots in case of ё), all vowels are heard distinctly; here, the second syllable is stressed: Герма́ния.
- Partial reduction: in a syllable preceding the stressed one, and in the first syllable of the word, pairs е/и and а/о are not distinguished.
- Maximum reduction: in all other syllables, а/э/ы/о are all pronounced as a indistinct vowel [ə], and я/е/и are pronounced as indistinct vowel [ɪ].
In Гер·ма́·ни·я, we have 4 syllables:
- ма́ has no reduction,
- Гер has partial reduction, and
- ни and я have maximum reduction.
In transcription, we would write this [gʲɪr·'ma·nʲɪ·jɪ].
Besides the fact that I'm struggling at finding resources about reduction on the internet (which is a real shame), I looked up «Германия» on Wiktionary ( https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/германия ) and the transcription is reported as [ɡʲɪrˈmanʲɪjə] instead of [ɡʲɪrˈmanʲɪjɪ]... Why is it so?