The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Russian language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

See Russian phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Russian. See Russian alphabet for help converting spelling to pronunciation.

IPA Examples IPA Examples[1] English approximation
[b] бок; небо беглый; воробей boot; beautiful
[d̪] дом; деда делает; Владимир do; adieu
[f] фата; выставка;[2] Чехов;[3] шурф фея; червь[3] fool; few
[ɡ] говорю; другой ɡʲ гербарий; ноги goo; argue
[ɣ] Господи; ага[4]
[j] есть; юла; я; толстый[5] yes, boy
[k] кость; книга; рука; бок кишки; короткий cool; cute
[l] луна; стула ; ствол[6] лес; колено; мысль pill; million
[m] мыло; думать; там мясо; доме moot; mute
[n̪] нос; он нёс; они; корень noon; newt (for some dialects)
[p] пыль; тропа; скрип; зуб[3] пепел; зыбь[3] pool; pew
[r] рыба; широкий; орла; жир река; четыре; три; зверь trilled r, like in Spanish
[s̪] собака; писать; нос; глаз[3] синий; здесь; есть; грызть[2] soup; assume (for some dialects)
[ʂ] широкий; наш; хороший; муж;[3] что [ɕ] щегол; считать; мужчина; вращать[7] shop; fish show, fresh cheese
[t̪] тот; читаю; водка;[2] лёд[3] тереть; дитя; грудь[3] tool; tune (for some dialects)
[t̪͡s̪] цель; птица; отец [tɕ] чай; печень; течь tsunami, cats; chip
[v] ваш; давать; его[8] вести; человек voodoo; view
[x] ходить; ухо; Бог[4] хина; лёгкий[2][4] loch (Scottish); huge (for some dialects)
[z̪] заезжать; язык зелёный; озеро; просьба[2] zoo; azure (for some dialects)
[ʐ] жест; тяжёлый [ʑ] дрожжи; заезжать[9] rouge; asia
Stressed vowels
IPA Examples English approximation
[ä] трава́ father
[æ] пять[10] pat
[ɑ] па́лка[11] palm
[e] пень, шея[10] pay
[ɛ] жест; э́то met
[i] си́него meet
[ɨ] ты; ши́шка roses (for some dialects)
[o̞] о́блако chore
[ɵ̞] тётя[10] bird
[u] пу́ля boot
[ʉ] чуть; ю́жный[10] choose
Unstressed vowels
IPA Examples English approximation
[ɐ] паро́м; сообража́ть; тропа́ bud
[ə] ко́жа; ше́я; о́блако about
[ɪ] тяжёлый; эта́п; четы́ре bit
[ᵻ] дыша́ть; жена́; го́ды dinner
[ʉ̞] юти́ться[10] youth
[ʊ] мужчи́на put
IPA Example Explanation
ˈ этап
Stress mark (placed before the stressed syllable)
  1. Russian distinguishes soft (palatalized) and hard (unpalatalized or plain) consonants. Soft consonants, denoted by a superscript j, ⟨ʲ⟩, are pronounced with the body of the tongue raised toward the hard palate, in a manner similar to the articulation of the y sound in yes. /j/. /ɕː/, /tɕ/, /ʑː/ are always considered soft.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Consonants in consonant clusters are assimilated in voicing if the final consonant in the sequence is an obstruent. All consonants become voiceless if the final consonant is voiceless, or voiced if the final consonant is voiced (Halle 1959:31).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 The voiced obstruents /b, bʲ, d, dʲ, ɡ, v, vʲ, z, zʲ, ʐ, ʑː/ are devoiced word-finally unless the next word begins with a voiced obstruent (Halle 1959:22).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 г⟩ is usually pronounced [ɣ] or [x] in some religious words and colloquial derivatives from them, such as Господи! and Бог, and in the interjections ага, ого. /ɡ/ devoices and lenites to [x] before voiceless obstruents (dissimilation) in the word roots -мягк- or -мягч-, -легк- or -легч-, -тягч-, and also in the old-fashioned pronunciation of -ногт-, -когт-, кто.
  5. The soft vowel letters ⟨е, ю, я⟩ represent /je ju ja/ when initial, or after other vowels or a yer. When these vowels are unstressed, the /j/ may be deleted.
  6. /l/ is often strongly pharyngealized [ɫ] but this feature is not distinctive (Ladefoged & Maddieson 1996:187-188).
  7. щ⟩ is sometimes pronounced as [ɕː] or [ɕɕ], and sometimes as [ɕtɕ], but no speakers contrast the two pronunciations. This generally includes the other spellings of the sound, but the word считывать sometimes has [ɕtɕ] because of the morpheme boundary between the ⟨с-⟩ and the ⟨ч⟩.
  8. Intervocalic ⟨г⟩ represents /v/ in certain words and affixes.
  9. In many dialects, the phoneme /ʑː/ is replaced with /ʐ/.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Vowels are fronted in the context of palatalized consonants: /a/ and /u/ become [æ] and [ʉ], respectively, between palatalized consonants; /e/ is realized as [e] before palatalized consonants; and /o/ becomes [ɵ] after palatalized consonants.
  11. [ɑ] appears between a hard consonant (or a pause) and /l/.
  • Halle, Morris (1959), Sound Pattern of Russian, MIT Press
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996), The Sounds of the World's Languages, Blackwell Publishing, ISBN 0-631-19815-6
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