https://www.duolingo.com/BundleRiff

What is the difference between Ш and Щ?

Is it just pronunciation or does it serve an actual purpose?

8/31/2016, 2:00:50 AM

129 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
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"sh" in English "ship" in phonetic terms is a voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant

If you start pronouncing "ship" but hold at the "sh" for a while, you will feel that the front part of your tongue is up near the top of your mouth. With reference to that sound getting to ш and щ represent two distinct changes.

ш is a voiceless retroflex sibilant That means it's a sound a lot like "sh" but with only the tip of the tongue near the top of the mouth, not the whole front of the tongue like in "sh." Basically, just try to produce the "sh" sound just by pointing the tip of your tongue toward the top of your mouth [as if you were going to pronounce an American English "r": h/t va-diim], and I think you'll get close.

щ is a voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant Again, what that means isn't really the point here. But I'm putting the names just to give an idea of how closely they are related. The only difference between "sh" and щ is that the first is "palato-alveolar" and the second is "alveolo-palatal." Basically all that means is that you get even more of your tongue up near the top of your mouth than with "sh."

You might have heard of "palatalized" sounds in Russian. Well, the palate is the top of your mouth, "palatalized" just means the tongue is up by the palate. щ is the "palatalized" version of ш because the whole tongue is up by the palate, whereas for ш it's just the tip.

Obviously I don't write this as a native Russian speaker with an inherent understanding of these sound differences. Nor am I somebody who actually has any linguistics background. I've just read Wikipedia articles and have found them immensely helpful in learning to understand how to pronounce sounds outside my native English. So all those better informed, please correct me!

9/1/2016, 4:23:12 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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I have been meaning for a long time to say thank you for posting this, it was very useful!

3/18/2017, 7:33:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/kevolutionary
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Spot on. Although 'sheep' would be my example of choice. : )

9/8/2016, 7:16:07 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Don_Cristian
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This was helpful ! For me it has been really useful to know the position of the tongue in the mouth pronouncing different sounds.

10/17/2017, 9:31:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Luca_B_
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Thank you! That helped!

2/8/2018, 10:35:22 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/TomvanderV3

This video tutorial was very usefull for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tENgvnbf-Iw

At about 5:25 they explain the pronounciation of ш and щ

1/2/2017, 2:47:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/notpopeye

Thank you for the link. It makes sense now - ш is the weird one not щ.

1/22/2017, 8:02:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/LaneMoje

Щ written in IPA is /ɕ/ which means it is the same sound as "kj" in Swedish or "x" in Mandarin Pinyin, if you know any of those two languages.

In Ukrainian and Belarussian it is pronounced as "shch" and in Bulgarian as "sht", the Russian veraion used to be pronounced like the UKR/BLR version but changed over the last 30 years or so. But try and not confuse them. :)

5/19/2017, 9:30:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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Er, it didn't change over the last 30 years or so :) It was more like 130 years. In the mid 20th century there were still some old (educated) speakers who used the shch pronunciation, which, most likely, kept the "shch" in the dictionaries for a while (as an acceptable variation, of course).

It is hard to blame them, though. The pronunciation was common or even prevalent in St.Petersburg in the 19th century. So, of course, very old people still spoke like that. It is just that they were few in the 1940s and 50s, and almost extinct in the 70s.

5/20/2017, 12:14:44 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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A small correction: There is no letter Щ in Belarusian, but you're right about the sound. Belarusian uses шч in words that are analogous to Russian and Ukrainian words with Щ.

5/19/2017, 9:49:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
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> . . . or does it serve an actual purpose?

Actual purpose: correct spelling and pronunciation.

8/31/2016, 6:33:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SonyaMathe
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to terrorize poor students of Russian.

11/10/2017, 4:39:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Papa473633
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Hi All, Ш and Щ are just different sounds. Learn the difference by listening to a real, human native Russian speaker. Please do not try to map it to a combination of letters and other sounds. Both Ш and Щ are single, continuous sounds. I am Russian, BTW.

3/27/2017, 10:29:31 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Eman_Memo

the other guys responded on your question, but i recommend for you Memrise website, it explains the difference between the Russian letters in a simple way. good luck :)

9/5/2016, 7:53:24 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/KomissarEdvard

Not an expert myself, but a Russian speaking friend suggested grinning with Щ helps distinguish it from Ш.

10/11/2016, 2:16:26 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/City_Lights

I haven't used duolingo until recently and I'm mainly using it as my mum's family is russian and I'd like to speak with them.

Naturally they've taught me a little bit and I've caught some very bare basics from ear.

If you know what ь (Myerkiznak) is, It's basically like that.

ш is your standard "sh" sound, while щ is sort of like ш that has a ь after it.

Aka it's basically the same but more muffled and soft at the end, Kind of like you whisper it away with your breath.

I'm not the best at describing so sorry if this didn't really help you. But in summary, щ = шь.

1/21/2017, 5:43:21 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/bleepandbloop

I just realized an English word that contains a sound very close to the Russian Щ: "sexuality"

Since it's said like sek-shyoo-a-lit-ee", that "shyoo" becomes very close to Щ.

1/22/2017, 7:24:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hugh675826

Or we could be honest and say "I don't know".

2/21/2017, 8:54:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Batyrev

Ш - [sh] Щ - [sh']

7/27/2017, 12:28:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/VivernRUS

I finally learned how to pronounce Щ after this video – https://youtu.be/ZqghdqzQs_A

she also has vids about Ш, Ы, Р and other sounds

10/14/2017, 7:58:29 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/ardanse742574

I have some russian speaking friends and the one with a tail (need to get a russian keyboard!) sounds more like shch.

10/20/2017, 6:11:32 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Meduzian
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This words has different meaning смешать – смещать помешать – помещать

7/19/2018, 3:06:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeitschleifer
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These are two different letters that look and sound somewhat similar but they are used in different words and never interchangeably.

8/31/2016, 7:55:18 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/homka89
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Правильно ))

9/11/2016, 10:37:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeitschleifer
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Спасибо! :)

9/12/2016, 7:14:18 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/danik4557

They are two different letters that make different sounds and therefore yes, they serve a purpose. It is kind of like the v and w in English. They also are two letters for two very similar sounds (to non-English speakers) that lots of people often confuse.

8/31/2016, 3:19:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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The question has been asked quite a few times. Unfortunately, Duolingo's forum search leaves much to be desired. Therefore I expect it to be asked over and over again. Anyway . . .

I posted one explanation here. A few years ago I recorded the pair шуба / щука to illustrate the difference.

Here and here I tried to explain the difference in pronunciation to an English speaker who was familiar with German.

8/31/2016, 3:55:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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I agree! If there was such a thing as "шюка," it would be pronounced the same as щука. The easiest explanation, I think, is that Щ is a palatalized Ш, since there is no actual шь in Russian.

3/4/2017, 8:52:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Cernael
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Comparing to Polish (which I don't speak but had some minor exposure to, and I found its sibilants admirably systematised), would you say that ш = ś and щ = sz?

10/1/2017, 9:57:11 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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exactly the opposite. ш=sz, and щ=ś

10/1/2017, 9:58:49 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Cernael
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Спасибо - now I know what to start listening for. All the hints of shch made me think it might be akin to the szcz in Szczecin, which was confusing.

10/2/2017, 8:23:04 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98
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btw when Polish names are translated to Russian, the szcz is indeed transcribed as щ (so Szczecin is Щецин) although they are pronounced differently - -

10/2/2017, 8:43:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaro0307

So when i come across the шь-ending in say ''ты живё/шь/ в России'' do I actually just pronounce it as живёщ? or do you lift the tongue for palatalization after you made the ''Ш'' ? Do Russians make and or hear a difference or am I thinking too much about this?

7/2/2017, 6:34:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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No, "-шь" is just pronounced "ш" in Russian. "Ты [жывёш] в России." I know it's confusing, but there really is no "шь" in Russian. ШЬ, ШЯ, ШЕ ШЁ ШИ ШЮ ШЯ are pronounced "Ш, ША, ШЭ, ШО, ШЫ, ШУ, ША," respectively. There were huge reforms in the language over the centuries, so 2nd-person conjugated verbs, ending in "-шь" were probably pronounced differently, and the old Щ used to be pronounced "-шьчь".

7/2/2017, 6:50:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/KaramataBG
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Except for the difference in pronunciation, these sounds have different origins. They both have arisen from palatalization of certain consonants - ш (sh) comes from the proto-sounds *sj and *hj, and щ (shch) comes from *tj, *skj, *ktj / *gtj. Strictly speaking, these palatalization rules apply only for Church Slavonic and Bulgarian, but since Standard Russian was constructed by mixing Church Slavonic with Moscovity Russian, щ has remained in modern Russian. The native Russian equivalent of щ (shch) is ч (tsh) - e.g. свечa = 'candle' /of Russian origin/, освещенность = 'illumination' /of Church Slavonic origin/, светлый (m.) = 'bright' /non-palatalized root/. An example for a ш-word is шить (inf) = 'to sew', both coming from the ancient root *syuH- ;)

9/3/2016, 11:44:57 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/bonbayel
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Thank you for you historical explanation! I studied Indoeuropean historical linguistics many many years ago, mostly Germanic, but also Sanskrit, and I had a year or so each of Russian and Lithuanian to balance things out - but not the historical part.

9/5/2016, 7:45:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/OwenSenger

It would be interesting if they did a Sanskrit course on here. I'd definitely take it.

6/21/2018, 2:48:30 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MetroWestJP
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So would I. It would be nice to see a Latin course, as well.

11/18/2018, 3:29:48 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Humamslayer12
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that would be very interesting.

12/31/2018, 5:19:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/bonbayel
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Do you know if the modern distinction of shsh and shch is a dialect thing? Someone further down - a native speaker - says she says chsh.

9/5/2016, 7:47:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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If she wrote "chsh," she's mistaken or using a language other than English for transliteration, maybe French? I don't know.

Щ is never "chsh," which is чш in Russian. What others have written here, some older dialects of Russian used to pronounce щ as "shch," and it was taught as late as 1950s textbooks. The standard has been a palatalized Ш/sh for a long time. If you know Polish, Ш sounds like sz, and a Russian Щ sounds like Ś. A Ukrainian Щ is still pronounced ШЧ, like a Polish szcz, and Belarusian doesn't even have a Щ. It spells out шч.

11/17/2018, 8:37:08 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/VladaFu
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I thought the difference in old щ as šč vs. št. was the difference between northern and southern Slavic branches. Old Czech used also šč, but that was changed to šť later.

Like Rus. щербина, Old Czech ščerbina (modern štěrbina), Polish szczerbina, but Slovak štrbina (southslavism?), Serbocroatian штрбина, coming from *skj.

Did native Russian change to č later? How should I read др.-русск. щьрбъ in the etymological dictionary?

12/28/2017, 1:02:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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I think, "shchir-buh" is about how you would pronounce it.

12/28/2017, 3:04:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/VladaFu
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So the yers were still pronounced then? I was interested mainly in the щ, but this is interested as well.

I must confess that I was mispronouncing modern Russian щ all the time. One of the reasons is its transcription, which is šč, both scientific (at least slavistic) and in my native Czech.

12/30/2017, 9:13:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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Yes, the ь and ъ were pronounced in Old Church Slavonic, and the ъ is still pronounced in Bulgarian. I think Czech Š is more like Russian Щ, except Щ is held longer, and Russian Ш probably doesn't exist in Czech at all. Similar to the Polish Ś versus Sz. The Ukrainian Щ is still pronounced somewhat like Czech Šč, but exactly like Polish szcz

8/19/2018, 4:58:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/VladaFu
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I wonder what is so downvote-worthy here. What have I written wrong? So what is the real difference between those the branches' *skj reflexes?

8/19/2018, 3:35:13 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
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I think this thread got hit by downvote trolls (for instance several top-level comments dropped from dozens of upvotes to zero to three), so I wouldn't assume any given vote count has anything to do with substance.

8/19/2018, 5:35:30 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/LinguaFranca2018
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Спасибо товарищ.

11/17/2018, 8:25:17 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/cazort
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They are definitely different, but I haven't fully grasped the distinction yet.

I have a question if anyone else knows these languages. I know Mandarin Chinese and some Japanese as well and I have been told my pronunciation in both these languages is quite good, but I'm still struggling with Russian pronunciation, probably because I haven't worked on it as hard.

Is Ш a little like what is written "sh" in Mandarin Pinyin, and Щ like "x" and like the Japanese "shi" as in "し"?

12/17/2016, 1:13:33 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc
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It sure seems so, though it may depend on a speaker. Note that Щ is a long consonant, so it is like っし in Japanese.

I can confirm that the pronunciation of ざっし in Japanese here by male speakers has a consonant that sounds amazingly similar to the Russian Щ. I still think that they use the blade of their tongues a bit more than we do—at least when they start their "sshi". However, it is very close.

12/17/2016, 8:51:17 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/WillowsofXihu
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As an English/Mandarin Chinese biligual, the difference between sh and x ([ʂ] versus [ɕ] for those familiar with IPA) is what I use to remember ш and щ. I'm not an authority on Japanese, but seeing that し is indeed an aveolopalatal fricative, pronounced very similar to the x of pinyin, I would imagine it's about the same. As others have pointed out, most native English speakers are not sensitive to the subtle difference between “should” and “sheep” until after exposure to languages that do differentiate between the two (and sometimes not even then). Since the two pronunciations within the phoneme do not affect meaning, there is no reason to notice the difference in the first place––until they do affect it, as in Russian, Polish, Mandarin etc!

3/24/2017, 9:18:57 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/naoko501909

I am a native speaker in both Japanese and Russian. "し" can be pronounced either "shi" or "si" ? Depends on people, region or word. Ш to me sounds close to "ch" in French. The two sounds are much more apart from should and sheep. Ш is definitely does not sound like should (if you pronounce should with Ш, you will really sound like a Russian speaking English; so maybe listen to Russian speaking in English and saying should).

7/11/2018, 5:48:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeUshakov

Ш makes a hard 'sh' sound Щ makes a soft 'sh' sound

1/24/2017, 3:57:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Papa473633
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Hi All, Please do not waste your time trying to map the sounds to any Latin letter combinations as it makes no sense and will never help you. Ш and Щ are just different sounds. Learn the difference by listening to a real, human native Russian speaker. There are some videos which can help. Both Ш and Щ are single, continuous sounds (as in the accent-neutral St Petersburg Russian) and cannot be learned via English sounds.

10/31/2017, 11:22:44 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sasha287

the first is a sh- sound and the second is hard to explain but it sounds the something sizzling.

1/3/2018, 1:38:43 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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LOL

1/3/2018, 2:17:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Konstantin149759

Wow, huge thread, huh? Here is what I feel about it -strictly subjectively - as a random native. Those are 2 different characters ,they sound differently and form different words. On other hand they are a sort of sister letters with Ш to be basic, more fundamental, and Щ as something of secondary value , kinda 'soft Ш". That is how it came to my mind when I was a kid and I don t see it changes Very speculatively - since Ш can not get soft itself , for unknown reasons ( unlike other consonants) we probably needed something to get the system balanced

1/4/2018, 9:30:50 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/edores777
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First thing first, the letters Ш and Щ -- are not interchangeable. Like in English, one cannot substitute the letter "i" by "e", even sometimes they may be sound-alike.

There are no equivalents in English alphabet (26 letters) to imitate such sounds, but in Russian alphabet there are 33 letters all together, and some "special" letters for "special" sounds.

I noticed, that Americans pronounce "SHE" as "ШЫ", but CHICAGO as "ЩИКАГО".

Try to use translate.google.com, put words "щука, щи, щека, борщ" , select RUSSIAN. Check how it sounds (click on speaker icon), than experiment with "шайка, шуба, шалаш, шея". Hear the difference.

6/12/2018, 3:59:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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If you hear "she" as "шы," there is something wrong. There is no Ш in English at all. But your example of "щикаго" is correct. It's like "shicago." The soup щи sounds closer to English "she" than does "шы." Just listen to an American's pronunciation of Миша or хорошо. They say "мища," "хорощо." Ш is only TRANSLITERATED as "sh" because there are no other English letters it could be. And the old sound of Щ was "shch," (still is in Ukrainian) so it has been transliterated that way from a long time ago. But "sh" is much closer to щ than ш.

6/12/2018, 5:04:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TigerTV.ru
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They sound slightly different. Read "Щ" like "ШЬ" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_sign )

7/31/2018, 11:47:34 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Starcola

these are different sounds: Щ sounds like "she, sure", Ш like "shot, shut"

8/24/2018, 11:00:02 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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No. "She," "sure," "shot," and "shut," all start with the same phoneme /ʃ/. Russian Щ, /ɕ/ is more palatalized and held longer, similar to English "shh" but more forward in the mouth.

Ш, /ʂ/, doesn't exist in English at all. It's more like putting the tongue in the English "r" position but saying "sh" instead.

However, Ш is transliterated as "sh," and Щ is transliterated as "shch," even though there is no "ch" sound in the Russian Щ.

8/24/2018, 2:08:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Kodyplayga

The point is there are at least 2 ways щ can be pronounced and there is no difference in the pronunciation between шь and ш . First, let us have a look at ш . This sound is different from the English "sh" in the word "ship" in that respect, that it is non-palatalized, it is always 'hard' (Russian 'твёрдый') (Use website https://russian.stackexchange.com/.../difference-in-pronunciation-between-щ-and-шь to know it aswell)

10/1/2018, 7:23:08 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/lesliedeanbrown

I wonder how they pronounce Ш and Щ in Belarusia? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUZK1yXmneM

3/2/2019, 1:49:55 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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They don't have Щ in the Belarusian alphabet. They use "шч" instead, and it sounds identical to the Ukrainian Щ and Polish "szcz." For example, борщ in Ukrainian is боршч in Belarusian and barszcz in Polish.

3/2/2019, 2:02:28 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/austintheroux
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RomanDrozd is correct. To clarify further:

Ш - sounds like "sh" in ship, crush but with the tongue farther back in the mouth

Щ - sounds like "shsh" in rush-ship. When pronouncing it, try to place your tongue higher and more forward in the mouth than in English.

8/31/2016, 2:04:40 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/danik4557

Щ in Bulgarian makes the sht sound, in Ukrainian it makes the shch sound, and in Russian it makes the sh sound like in "mushy". The lips are a bit more rounded and more air is pushed through. It's a sharper sound than that of sh as in "ship".

8/31/2016, 3:12:55 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RomanDrozd
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What is that language that you're level 3 in? The red/white/blue striped flag with the red dot in the middle?

8/31/2016, 2:07:09 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/austintheroux
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Guarani! It's an official language of Paraguay alongside Spanish. It's a native South American language! It borrowed some words from Spanish though (like manzana and pan). I'm learning from Spanish, as I am English. It just went into beta today

8/31/2016, 2:08:41 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/guinea_pig_joe

jeez, you've learned so many languages D: O

12/1/2016, 7:01:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/CeleryRootsEtc

If you don't mind me asking; with so many languages under your belt, how many of them can you speak conversationally and how many can you kind of just recognize bits and pieces of in a news article?

6/6/2017, 7:47:03 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/volisvid
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I can't wait until this is available for English speakers!

I know we can take it from Spanish (along with Catalan, which I also can't wait for), but it would be so much easier to go from native to new. I'm not sure my Spanish is good enough for me to trust for use in learning another.

12/19/2016, 6:06:44 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/OakwoodBook

Yes, definitely having more languages available to English speakers would benefit the website/app. I think having Arabic and/or Mandarin on here would certainly be helpful!

3/15/2017, 6:01:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/maroloccio
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Both would be great to have, agree! Arabic and Mandarin +1 +1!

5/28/2017, 1:41:18 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/WuraAlabi

AMEN!!! I was hopin' for some mandarin. I already speak some tho! Arabic will also be cool!!! Nice ideas!xD

5/3/2017, 9:51:37 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Lena_mg

Mandarin would be so cool! i started learning it on an exchange in china, but now i´m back home and of course i want to keep learning it

5/31/2017, 3:36:42 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Joacoache

Chinese skill it's a great app for Mandarin

9/16/2017, 1:42:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/QuekBridge

That is so many languages. . So how do you practise them daily?

9/24/2017, 3:13:10 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Doctor-Pancake

That's a lot of languages, man. I envy your ambition.

12/24/2016, 1:23:23 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/The_iCONer
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The original post is right. In fact, I find it funny how I actually use especially Wikipedia (such as at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_Russian ) since I cannot find a place on this website that officially gives us the IPA.

So, apparently, Wikipedia taught me how to talk right in different languages since listening to audio on Duolingo is not enough, sadly.

8/25/2017, 4:58:28 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/LuisAcuna0

bien dicho hermano . bien dicho

2/9/2017, 10:05:42 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SashaHessler

I GAVE YOU LINGOT SO BE HAPPY BECAUSE YOUR SMART... whoever you are dont judge me plz

9/21/2016, 3:57:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertjrJunior
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interesting thanks for the support pal !!!!!

11/1/2016, 4:00:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/EvaLearnsRuss

Thx, i had that question too!

12/27/2016, 4:36:49 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Fran937943
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Great man! thanks for the info!

2/7/2017, 5:32:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/alex905095

между ш и щ есть разница в том что ш твёрже щ

9/5/2016, 3:35:00 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexeyGolo4

Ш is a harder and Щ is softer. for example ЩУКА (a pike) is pronounced like ЩЮКА
ШУБA (a fur coat) is pronounced ШУБA but ЩИТ (a shield) - ЩИТ ШИП (a spike) -ШЫП

9/13/2016, 3:00:46 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Unusual2be
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AlexeyGolo4, as a native Slavic Speaker i can hear very easy the difference between the two letters, in my lanuage they exist as well. I would like to say to be careful with your Statements. In russian ЩУКА (a pike) is NOT pronounced like ЩЮКА, the correct pronunciation would be more like ШЮКА (exept for that Ш is almost like double pronounced). It is really difficult sometimes to explain a sounds from one to another language. Still, it is always a good thing to check your infromation with a native before you announce it as a correct solution. Anyways, good luck and have a nice time while learning! =)

11/29/2016, 7:19:44 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeitschleifer
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Good luck with pronunciation of something like "ШЮка". Even the word парашют is in fact pronounced with "у" instead of "ю".

At the same time "ЩУ" does sound as non existent "щю", otherwise this simple rule for Russian children wouldn't be necessary: ЧУ-ЩУ – пиши с буквой У.

12/1/2016, 4:49:29 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Abderrahim184385

Indeed Austin. Fso pravilna !

9/24/2016, 9:33:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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Vsyo pravil'no* [всё правильно]

:-)

2/21/2017, 4:24:42 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/juliana7113

Щ is a lighter sound and is used for different words. Ш is a harder sound and you can't use ы after it. You have to use и instead.

10/19/2016, 10:56:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/guinea_pig_joe

You'll find that the second one is softer

12/1/2016, 7:00:19 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/GermanFyodorov1

thank you

12/3/2016, 5:42:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RonanSefton

I would add, verbs with 'C' like писать conjugate to: Я пишу.

Where as words with CT often go to щ like Чистить to Я чищу.

Your question could be answered additionally just like how in English we had C and S. Cents or sense, pronounced the same but used differently.

By this I do not mean they are pronounced the same,

I think it's obvious that щ= Shch and ш= Sh.

I was explaining in terms of grammar and root knowledge. A root with C is to ш and CT to щ.

12/8/2016, 9:23:27 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/AlmyGR

Perdonami, sono italiana, usa Google Translate. Durante delle piccole lezioni di russo ci hanno sciegato che Ш si legge "sc" (shut up), mentre Щ si legge "sci" (ship).

1/6/2017, 10:37:11 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Wundermagie

The pronunciation

3/19/2017, 8:23:25 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JuliaTolmachova

Ш sounds like the first sound from the word 'sure' Щ sounds like the first sound from the word 'shield'

7/8/2017, 4:36:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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Read some of the comments in this thread. A lot of this has already been covered.

I agree that Щ is closer to "shield," but "sure" doesn't use a Ш sound. This sound doesn't exist in English. It would be as if you put your tongue in the position for standard English "r" but say "sh" instead. We don't have that in English.

Both "sure" and "shield" sound similar to Щ, but the sound in "shield" is pronounced slightly more palatalized than "sure," due to the following "i." But Ш is very different from "sure."

7/8/2017, 5:09:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Ron893002

this one has plagued me even while taking Russian in college. And having a native speaker as a spouse has helped way more than what was taught.

We all understand the "Ш" sound as "shh" , but the Щ doesn't actually sound that much different to our ear -but does to a native (we have our own examples of that in english, for example, "bath" and "bass"(the fish) sound very similar to my wife).

What I do for Щ, is I protrude my lower jaw out a little bit, and try to push the "sh" sound down and out from my lower jaw. So think of Ш as a "sh" that is being release from your mouth when you open the gate (upper and lower teeth)...and Щ is a "sh" that is released from under the upper gate (upper teeth); this is done by moving the tip of your tongue higher (toward the roof of your mouth). The "shch" and "shsh" I was taught, just makes my wife laugh - as she says i'm "just saying it wrong twice, instead of once." :)

7/14/2017, 8:00:51 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/IaroslavSin2007

because Ш is hard , and Щ is soft . thats the difference .

7/25/2017, 3:26:08 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/IaroslavSin2007

it is just pronunciation .

7/25/2017, 3:26:34 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Ljosha12345
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I had a problem teaching my students this because they can't tell the difference. (They are American) I am having trouble explaining it.

8/12/2017, 3:19:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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The way that I would explain it to Americans would be that Щ is almost the same as English "sh," except the sound is held a little longer. Ш is not as similar to the English "sh." The tongue is in the same position as it would be for American English "R," curled backwards, when making the "sh" sound. Ш doesn't naturally exist in English. The words "хорошо" or "Миша," for example, tend to be pronounced by Americans like "хорощо" or "Мища."

8/12/2017, 5:27:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Lachezar.Bor.

depending on the language: If you're talking about Russian I don't really see any Ukrainian щ is pronounced shch Bulgarian щ is pronouced sht...

11/23/2017, 4:48:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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A Ukrainian Щ is certainly pronounced as "шч," just as in Belarusian which doesn't even have the letter Щ but actually spells words with "шч." A Bulgarian Щ is pronounced as "шт," and a Russian Щ sounds like a palatalized version of the English "sh," or a drawn out, lengthier version of the Polish Ś.

11/23/2017, 6:11:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Rhaya19

I know!!!!!!!

12/1/2017, 5:05:43 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SomeoneEls17

one takes a little longer to write.

12/8/2017, 1:53:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Black_mask_girl

My teacher told me that ш is spellen as shs and щ is spellen shhh :)

1/1/2018, 6:20:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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Romanization is different country by country, the correct transliteration for English is:

Ш = sh

Щ = shch, but

this is only an accurate pronunciation for Ukrainian. In Russian, Щ is closer to an English "sh," and the Ш sound doesn't really exist in English, so it's just easier to transliterate it as "sh" instead, leaving Щ to take on "shch," even though there is no "ch" sound in the Russian pronunciation.

Bulgarian also has the letter Щ, but it's pronounced and transliterated as English "sht."

1/1/2018, 7:27:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/emma919400

Ш~ is like the -sh in SHin Щ~ is like the -sh in puSHchair

3/3/2018, 9:04:43 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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A Ukrainian Щ sounds like "puSH-CHair," but not a Russian Щ. This has been covered extensively here in this crazy-long thread. Read the thread.

And the "sh" in "shin" is only approximately like Russian Ш. It's really very different. As matter of fact, "shin" is pronounced closer to a Russian Щ even though it's transliterated as Ш.

3/3/2018, 11:49:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/xlemany

The best way to explain the difference is that Щ has a sharper sound than Ш. Ш would sound more like "sh" from "ship," while Щ would sound more like the "sh" sounds in "sheep." Щ does not have as much of a soft sound to it like Ш does. You could also imagine Щ as Ш but with the letter Ь after it so like this "шь," however this is only if you understand what the letter ь does to the letter in front of it first, and to my knowledge understanding the ь and ъ letters is very hard for beginners who are just starting with Russian, so I would assume that isn't the easiest way to understand the difference between Ш and Щ, however even for someone like me who speaks Russian everyday, the ъ letter is very hard to understand as it is barely used in Russian and mostly doesn't change the sound of the letter in front of it all that much. For the most part if a Russian speaker understands that you are a beginner they won't mind you misusing the Ш and Щ letters. I wouldn't at least :) Hope that helps anyone.

3/5/2018, 9:32:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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That's a very good analogy! English speakers do tend to pronounce Ш closer to Щ. "Хорощо, Мища" :-)

3/5/2018, 10:07:52 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/anm54475
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They are pronounced differently. The words don't sound quite right to a native speaker if you don't differentiate them. It would the same if someone pronounced the words "man" and "men" the same.

They have been very troublesome letters for me, personally - trying to hear the difference, let alone pronounce them correctly. After literally hours spent on the subject, here is my two cents.

First, I really like the explanation from the first lesson in Duolingo:

"For ш and ж your tongue is lower than in English and slightly bent back. Щ has all your tongue raised—it is a longer and more hissy sound."

Then, another time, a light bulb went off for me when I was told that ш is the non-vocalized version of ж. So practice saying ж, and then keep your tongue in that position and just force air over your tongue. That is a ш. It feels as though you are just using the back sides of your tongue to make the sound. Your mouth opens sideways a little.

Then contrast that with Щ which is still a sound made by forcing air over the tongue, but now your whole tongue is used (kind of like the sh in shoe). Your mouth makes more of a round shape, with slightly pursed lips, which helps create the hissy sound.

I hope this helps someone. Because I know it was a very frustrating aspect of Russian pronunciation for me.

4/10/2018, 4:23:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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Very good! Everyone should read this!

4/10/2018, 5:16:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Cernael
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The term is "voiced", not "vocalized". And the difference between voiced and unvoiced sounds is that your vocal cords are vibrating in voiced sounds - its not really about "forcing air over your tongue".

As for tongue position: Start with an S sound. Then pull your tongue back a bit, and point the tip up towards the roof of your mouth. This is, roughly, the position for ш and ж. As for Щ, starting with an S and then folding the tip of your tongue down behind your lower teeth should get you in the ballpark.

4/10/2018, 9:52:46 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/chill_out_homie

I am a native speaker of Russian - just will try to answer from this point of view..... :-) Щ is "softer" if that makes sense.. The purpose is to "work together" with soft vowels, I believe. But there is really not a huge difference, I would say, just pronounce Ш - like "sh" in shower and Щ imagine adding a really quick "y" or "i" after it - like "sh'y" with a really quick Y. I hope this helps a little! I really don't know how you guys do it, some Russian letters are just weird!

6/15/2018, 9:31:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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I am a native English and Russian speaker, although my English is better than my Russian. I agree with what you say about Щ being softer, but the English "sh" is also a soft pronunciation. Ш doesn't exist in English at all. If you hear an American say хорошо or Миша, it comes out almost like "хорощо," "Мища." So your example of "shower" sounds more like "щау'р" than "шау'р," but it's somewhere in-between.

6/15/2018, 9:46:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/lesliedeanbrown

I'm starting to think Ш sounds like any normal 'sh' in English. But Щ sounds like the sound people make when you want lots of noisy people to "shush up". You know, when you hold your finger up to your lips...

6/19/2018, 6:41:47 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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If you position your tongue like you're about to say an English "r" but instead say "sh," that's Ш. It doesn't really exist in English. Щ is like an English "sh" except longer and more palatalized. Your "shhh" example is a good one for Щ

6/19/2018, 7:33:29 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/lesliedeanbrown

Is there a consensus yet on how to pronounce these two sounds? I'd like to get it right, LOL.

8/26/2018, 5:55:31 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/ningyezi523
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ask a chinese person to read shi and xia you will understand the difference perfectly!

8/27/2018, 12:31:48 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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Or a Polish person to read sz and ś

8/27/2018, 2:24:46 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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For Ш, put your tongue in the position for English "R," but make the "sh" sound instead of "R" in that position.

For Russian Щ, make the English "sh" sound except move the tongue a little forward and hold the sound a little longer.

8/26/2018, 6:26:08 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/SophieGrutman3

I really don't know either???

12/18/2018, 11:36:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/EdenJones12

They look so similar.

1/17/2019, 3:34:33 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomdwarf
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The russian Щ is different from the bulgarian Щ ??? Russian Щ is more like "sh" + "ye" , I saw "sh' " Is it like "t' "?

2/21/2019, 7:46:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim
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Bulgarian Щ is like "шт" ("sht"). Russian Щ is not "shye"; it's just "sh'" palatalized and held longer, but it's transliterated into English as "shch" from the old pronunciation.

2/21/2019, 7:48:35 PM
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