Every word longer than one syllable in the Russian language carries an accent. These accents are fundamental – accentuated vowels are pronounced with more intensity and do not change their sound within words.
There is no way to figure out where the accent falls if you don’t know it. At the same time, changing the accents can not only complicate the communication, but change the meaning of a word completely.
Here are a few examples of how the meaning can change:
замо́к [za-mók] – lock
за́мок [zá-mak] – castle
в ду́ше [v dú-she] – in the shower
в душе́ [v du-shé] – in the soul
писа́ть [pee-sát’] – to write
пи́сать [pée-sat’] – to pee
So make sure to memorize where the accent falls when you are learning every Russian word! 🙂