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The Щ sound compared to English

In module Letters 3 the following appears in the notes:

"The sound that щ makes can be difficult for learners to learn but believe it or not, we use this sound in English a lot! Say the following words:

Street Straight Stride Note that the first three letters are pronounced sh-ch-r."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The first three letters are NOT pronounced sh-ch-r, if you mean to say "Shtreet, Shtraight, and Shtride" as I'm assuming you do. This practice began with the inception of "Rap Music" and "thug speak." It was a hip thing to pronounce the st (stay) sound as sh (shtay), but it is not part of the lexicon, and is not considered proper English. It is common in German, but not in English. If you wish to illustrate proper English, please don'take your examples from the ghetto.


August 7, 2017



ok, that's a good note. Good thing I didn't learn English from the ghetto.


I would say the Щ is very close to an "S" in "Street" - I'm fluent in both languages. However, English (and Ukrainian, for that matter) is spoken with so many accents across a multitude of countries and states, that you will often be both correct and incorrect when making such comparisons. There's no such thing in reality as proper English pronunciation.

  • 1762

That's a good point, David. I think the course creators should take your notes into account and indicate that in some dialects it could be pronounced like that.

That's a course teaching Ukrainian, not English, so for English speakers it could be useful to know that that sound is used in some dialects they might have heard. However, of course it's misleading since they state that the first three letters of street are pronounced as "щ" in English, because it's simply not true.


Hm. If you want an example from jazz music, the щ sounds close to sh in "Hush, little baby" from Summertime. Here Ella Fitzgerald pronouns it for you at 02:00 :D

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