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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Joerg Lyr Add: Stenka Razin (Russian) (27) RE: Lyr add for Liland: Stenka Razin 04 Jan 01

May I give some hints on pronouncing and also transcribing russian.

First: The letter 'e' (in russian pronounced as 'yeah') is mostly pronounced like 'ee' in e.g. 'need' when it appears in an unstressed syllable, only short as it 'bit'

Second: Something similar applies for the letter 'o' in an unstressed syllable. It is then pronounced as the 'a' in 'father', but also short as in 'cut'.


Unfortunately the russians themselves are not aware of these effects - they are not only speaking but also listening differently, so don't expect one of them to explain that to you.

Also unfortunately the special pronunciation rules in english are kind of ambiguous which makes it very difficult to express in writing what you mean to be pronounced if the word in question is not known by the one who reads it.

*another sigh*

I once took lessons in russian only to get access to their songs, and I'm doing 'Stenka Rasin' myself now, so I think I can give you another transcription, which might sound more russian when pronounced the english way - at least as I hear it from native singers (sorry for skipping the verses I don't know by heart)

St-yenka Razeen

Iz-za ostrava na str-yezheen
na prastor reechnoy valnee
veepleeva-yoot raspeesny-ye
astragroody-ye cheelnee

Na peer-yednyem St-yenka Razeen
abn-yavzhees seedeet s kn-yazhnoy
svadboo novooyoo spravl-yayet
on vees-yolee ee CHmeelnoy (CH as in 'Loch')

Pazadee on sleeshet ropat
nas na baboo promeen-yal
tolka noch ('ch' as in 'Charlie') s n-yey pravazhalsya
sam na-ootra baboy stal

Etat ('E' as in 'and') ropat i nasm-yeshkee
sleeshet groznee ataman
ee on moshnoyoo rookoyoo
abn-yal persee-yankee stan (no 'Yankee', 'yawn-kee' :-)

Volga Volga mat radna-ya
Volga rooskaya r-yeka
n-ye veedala tee padarka
at danskova kazaka (mind 'danskoVa', not 'danskoga')

Shtobee n-ye beelo razdora
m-yezhdoo volneemee l-yoodmee
Volga Volga mat radna-ya
na, krasaveetsoo preemee

Shto zh vee chertee pree-yooneelee?
ey tee Feelka shoot, pl-yashee!
gr-yan-yem bratsee oodalooyoo
na pamin yeyo dooshee

Iz-za ostrava na str-yezheen
na prastor reechnoy valnee
veepleeva-yoot raspeesneeye
Styenkee Razeenye cheelnee

(All a's to be pronounced as in 'father', all y's to be pronounced as in 'may' or 'boy' NOT 'rye')

Hope that helps a little, especially if you have the opportunity to listen to the song. Please also note, that 'chto' (meaning something like 'that' or 'what' and used very frequently) is pronounced 'shto', also 'chtoby' ('shtobee' = 'in order to').

I would very much appreciate your comments on this kind of transcription. I think it will make russian sound a little more like russian to non-native speakers while causing russians to shed bitter tears - forgive me please, all you russian friends out there, but that's how it sounds to foreign ears.



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