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How to Read Long Words in Russian & Why Spoken Russian Sounds So Confusing

hace un año
Why is it hard sometimes to understand native Russian speech?

In Russian, most words, even longer ones, have only one stressed vowel. Because of that, it may sound like a fluent Russian speaker is rushing through words, making stressed vowels longer and reducing unstressed vowels, sometimes up to the point where it may seem that you hear only a bunch of consonants, and almost no vowels.

In comparison to Russian, English is more paced. When speaking English, you’re not rushing through words, you’re following a certain rhythm. A double stress in longer words helps you maintain this rhythm, helps you not to rush.

This fact can also give you an idea on how you can approach reading in Russian. When you encounter an unknown or challenging Russian word, first of all, break it into syllables. Then read it slowly, syllable by syllable, exaggerating the stressed vowel, making it sound longer, almost singing it. This will help you naturally remember stress positions in Russian words.

👆 Don’t Go for Speed, Go for the Correct Pronunciation. Speed comes Naturally once you’re familiar with the word.

These resources might help:
  • Check where the stress is in Russian words
  • Divide words into syllables