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6. Consonants Р and Л

Many students who are learning Russian have problems with the Russian letter Р. But that’s not you! This is a short tutorial on the mechanics of how to trill your Rs. Everyone can do it – it just takes some knowledge and practice!

When you pronounce the English letter R as in “rest”, the tip of your tongue is somewhere in the upper‐middle part of your mouth. To transform this English sound [ɹ] into the Russian [r], you need to move the tip of your tongue forward to the front part of the alveolar ridge and very slightly press the tip of the tongue against it.

Watch the video and repeat out loud:

Practice these words: listen and repeat out loud.

раз, ры́ба, рабо́та, рука́, ры́нок, го́род, доро́га, сыр, Арба́т, парк, брат, мэр го́рода

And now the soft variant:

рейс, Рим, вре́мя, гриб, преподава́тель, рекла́ма, река́, рюкза́к, ря́дом, ре́дко

Now to the Л. To pronounce the hard [l] you also need some effort. Try pulling the back part of your tongue closer to the back of your mouth – as if you were trying to say Ы at the same time with your normal L sound. It’s a little tricky, but practice makes perfect!

Practice these words: listen and repeat out loud.

луна́, ло́дка, стол, зал, по́лка, мы́ло, ла́мпа

And now the soft variant:

лимо́н, лес, Еле́на, люблю́, гуля́ю, лю́ди

Exercise 1

Listen and match the correct sound.


РИ - ЛА - ЛИ - ЛО - ПРО - КЛО - АРИ - УР - АЛИ - ЕЛ - УЛ - КРА

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