Russian vowels

Russian Pod 101

There are 10 vowels in the Russian language. They can be divided into two groups (normal and soft ones) or 5 pairs where one of the vowels is a soft version of its counterpart.

Listen to these pairs:

Normal Soft
а
[a]
я
[ya]
о
[o]
ё
[yo]
э
[e]
е
[ye]
у
[u]
ю
[yu]
ы
[y]
и
[ee]

As you can see, to make the second vowel in a pair, all you need to do is to add y in front the the first vowel (except for the last pair ЫИ).

The letter Ы does not have a corresponding sound in English and is indicated in the transcriptions by [ y ].

When a soft vowel follows a consonant, it makes this consonant soft (read about hard and soft Russian consonants).

Learn Russian letters one by one