Russian Lessons Online:
In Russian language unstressed vowels are shorter than stressed ones. Besides that, such vowels as А, О, Э and the vowels denoted as and ‘Е’, ‘Я’ change their pronunciation. In this lesson we will examine pronunciation of unstressed ‘о’.
Vowel Reduction: Unstressed О
In modern Russian pronunciation of unstressed ‘о’ is not different from pronunciation of unstressed ‘а’. That is, it’s pronounced more or less like the final ‘a’ in the word ‘Algeria’ (ə):
у́хо – óo-hə
ма́ло – má-lə
Before stressed vowels unstressed ‘о’ is similar to the ‘u’ in the word ‘cup’ (ʌ):
окно́ – ʌk-nó
боло́то – bʌ-ló-tə
под голово́й – pəd-gə-lʌ-vóy
But there are some exceptions. Please, watch the video to get more information about this phenomenon and listen to the correct pronunciation of Russian words with unstressed ‘о’.