Online Russian Language Course - Lesson # 5

Reading and learning to put a stress

Now, when you already know how to read simple words in Russian, let’s try to learn something new. Among many topics that students usually learn when they start Russian classes is a Family Topic. There are those words that sound almost the same, like mama or papa. However, all the rest seem hard at first.

Here is a table of family members with transcription next to the words to help you read:

  • Мама
  • Папа
  • Сестра
  • Брат
  • Бабушка
  • Дедушка
  • Племянник
  • Племянница
  • Двоюродный брат
  • Двоюродная сестра
  • Жена
  • Муж
  • Сын
  • Дочь
  • Мmùh-muh
  • Мpùh-puh
  • sis-tr̀ah
  • braht
  • bàh – bush – kah
  • dèh-dush-kah
  • pleh – myà – nik
  • pleh – myà – ni - tsa
  • dvoh – yòu – rod – niybraht
  • dvoh-yoù-rod-naya sis-trà
  • jhe - nàh
  • mooj
  • syn
  • doch

Your pronunciation will be much better if you know where to put a stress. Sometimes when a foreigner is speaking, it is hard to understand the word they are trying to say because of the wrong stress they are making. In the table above you can see little stiches above the letters. This is a stress.

First of all, can you break a word into syllables? It’s easy, Russian has a simple rule: the number of syllables in a word equals the number of vowels. So, for instance, if you look at the Russian word МЕТРО, there are 2 syllables: мет-ро.

Thenin order to understand where the stress is, let’s say you need to sing a word. For example, when you say the word ‘experience’, how many syllables do you think there are? Ex-pe-ri-ence – there are four syllables. And which syllable is stressed in your opinion? The answer is – the second one. If you sing this word slowly, you will hear the second –pe- which is a little more prolonged than the others.

Now, with all that in mind. Look at these words here and try to follow the little marks over the letters. They are called stress marks. Make the stressed syllables a bit louder than all the rest.

  • Ударѐние (stress, inclination)
  • Телефо̀н (telephone)
  • Магазѝн (shop)
  • Рабо̀та (work)
  • Машѝна (car)
  • Ла̀мпа (lamp)

Hopefully, you got everything right and this little guide will be useful. In case you still have questions arising, please, do not hesitate and sign up for an online course.