Lesson 1

Getting acquainted with Russian sounds.
Learning:
(a) to distinguish and pronounce the sounds [а], [у], [о], [п], [ф], [т], [с], [м] and [н];
(b) to read and write words containing the letters

а а , а а , а а , а а , а а ,
а а , а а , а а , а а

Russian Sounds

All Russian sounds fall into vowels and consonants. Vowels are syllable-forming sounds and can be stressed. Unlike English vowels, Russian vowels do not fall into short and long.
Consonants fall into voiced and voiceless, on the one hand, and into hard and soft, on the other. Consonants are never aspirated. In a flow of speech vowels marge with consonants.

[а]= а а
[у]= а а
[о]= а а
The sounds [а], [у] and [о] are vowels. The Russian [а] somewhat resembles the English vowel represented by the letter a in "father", but it is not so back and long.
The Russian [у] resembles the English vowel represented by the letter oo in "wool", but in its pronunciation the lips are more protruded and rounded.
The Russian [о] somewhat resembles the English vowel represented by the letter ar in "warm", but, like the sound [а], it is not so back and long as its English counterpart.




Exercise 1. (а) Listen to the speaker pronouncing the sounds [а], [у], [о].
                   (b) Listen to the sounds [а], [у], [о] and repeat them after the speaker.



а . . . а . . . а . . . у . . . у . . . у . . . о . . . о . . . о . . .

[п]= а а
[м]= а а
[п] is a hard voiceless consonant which resembles the English sound represented by the letter p in "pool", but it is never aspirated.
[м] is a hard voiced consonant which resembles the sound represented by the letter m in "moon".




Exercise 2. (а) Listen to the speaker pronouncing syllables incorporating the sound [п]. Note that [п] is not aspirated.
                   (b) Listen and repeat after the speaker.



па . . . пу . . . по . . . ап . . . уп . . . оп . . . па . . . ап . . . пу . . . уп . . . по . . . оп . . .

Exercise 3. Read the syllables.

па, пу, по, ап, уп, оп

Exercise 4. (а) Listen to the speaker pronouncing syllables incorporating the sound [м].
                   (b) Listen and repeat after the speaker.



ма . . . му . . . мо . . . ам . . . ум . . . ом . . . ма . . . ам . . . му . . . ум . . . мо . . . ом . . .

Exercise 5. Read the syllables.

ма, му, мо, ам, ум, ом

[ф]= а а
[ф] is a hard voiceless consonant similar to the English sound represented by the letter f in "fact".




Exercise 6. (а) Listen to the speaker pronouncing syllables incorporating the sound [ф].
                   (b) Listen and repeat after the speaker.



фа . . . фу . . . фо . . . аф . . . уф . . . оф . . . фа . . . аф . . . фу . . . уф . . . фо . . . оф . . .

Exercise 7. Read the syllables.

фа, фу, фо, аф, уф, оф, фам, паф, пам, мам, фаф, пап

[т]= а а
[н]= а а
[т] is a hard voiceless consonant somewhat like the English sound represented by the letter t in "tool", but it is never aspirated.
[н] is a hard voiceless consonant similar to the English sound represented by the letter n in "note". In articulating these sounds the tip of the tongue is pressed against the back of the upper teeth and not against the teethridge as is the case in English.



Exercise 8. (а) Listen to the speaker pronouncing syllables incorporating the sound [т].
                   (b) Listen and repeat after the speaker. See to it that the tip of your tongue is pressed against the back of the upper teeth and not against the teethridge



та . . . ту . . . то . . . ат . . . ут . . . от . . . та . . . ат . . . ту . . . ут . . . то . . . от . . .

Exercise 9. Read the syllables.

та, ту, то, ат, ут, от, там, тут, тот, том

Exercise 10. (а) Listen to the speaker pronouncing syllables incorporating the sound [н].
                     (b) Listen and repeat after the speaker.



на . . . ну . . . но . . . ан . . . ун . . . он . . . на . . . ан . . . ну . . . ун . . . но . . . он . . .

Exercise 11. Read the syllables.

на, ну, но, ан, ун, он, фон, тон, нам

[с]= а а
[с] is a hard voiceless consonant resembling the English sound represented by the letter s in "so" or "speak".



Exercise 12. (а) Listen to the speaker pronouncing syllables incorporating the sound [с].
                     (b) Listen and repeat after the speaker.



са . . . су . . . со . . . ас . . . ус . . . ос . . . са . . . ас . . . су . . . ус . . . со . . . ос . . .

Exercise 13. Read the syllables.

са, ас, су, ус, со, ос, сам, суп, сон, нас, нос

Exercise 14. Read the syllables and the words.

  1. ма - му - мо, па - пу - по, та - ту - то, фа - фу - фо, на - ну - но, са - су - со
  2. ам - ум - ом, ап - уп - оп, ат - ут - от, аф - уф - оф, ан - ун - он, ас - ус - ос
  3. там there
    сам himself
    суп soup
    тут here
    он he
    фон background
    нос nose
    сон sleep
    тон tone
    тот that

Write correctly!



Exercise 15. (a) Write the letters and syllables given above (one line each).
                     (b) Copy out the words.

он, тут, там, тот, нос, суп, фон, тон