Some phonetics: Russian letter "ь"
February 11, 2016
And now some phonetics:)
We are going to talk about a strange Russian letter that has no sound - "ь" ( I usually write ' (apostrophe) instead of it if you have noticed in my previous posts). In Russian "ь" is called мЯгкий знак ( myAh- kiy znak) which means "soft sign" because it usually softens the letter before it and can completely modify the meaning of a word. Let's see how important the soft sign is. For example, without the soft sign, the word мАть (mat'- mother) becomes мат ( mAt) which means "swearing".
When you see the soft sign "ь"- smile:) ( I am not joking - smiling will help you pronounce a word with "ь" in it) and raise your voice a little bit and then you will be able to pronounce it correctly. I also like this videoclip about the way how to pronounce the words with the "ь".
And now let's practise some words with "ь" in it:
Say - дАн ( dAn which means "given")
Now smile:) and say: дАнЬ ( dAn' which means "a tribute")
Say - мОл ( mOl - "a jetty")
Now smile:) and say: мОлЬ ( mOl' - "a moth")
When the soft sign stands between two consonants usually in the middle of a word, it makes the word softer and brighter.
Let's practise some words: бОлЬно (bOl'na - "sore"), свАдЬба (svAd'ba - "wedding"), гОрЬко (gOr'ka - "bitter" - Russian wedding tradition. The guests usually begin to shout this if they want to see the married couple kiss one another. At this point the couple must kiss for a long time ( guests can even count how long the kiss will last) to take out the bitter taste of vodka.
Let's try some other words:
пОлка (pOlka - "a shelf")
Smile:) and say: пОлЬка (pOl'ka - "polka dance")
бАнка (bAnka - "a jar")
Smile:) and say: бАнька (bAn'ka - "Russian sauna" (steam bath)
Resources others found helpful
This resource is good for those who want to be directed to other sources of useful reliable information.
Some challenging problems for KS1, this mixed review has a little bit of everything, mainly as word problems.