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Cunning letter "ь" or foreigners' mistakes in pronunciation

Hello, dear student!

Today we are going to talk about typical mistakes made by people who learn the Russian language. For example, one of such mistakes is unnecessary softening of consonants. I've had students fr om India and Central Asia and I've been amused why people pronounce some sounds, especially consonants "л", "м" and "в", very softly but they pronounce the words with the soft sign "ь" very hardly. Paradoxically but when I had learned the native languages of these people, I understood that all the problems arise due to this fact. For example:

The letter "л" in the word "соль" [sol'] salt - is pronounced by some foreigners as "сол" [sol], without the soft sign in the ending.

The confusion also takes place with such words as "угол" and "уголь"

Угол [ugal] a corner - is the place in a room, for example, where walls intersect or we have an angle in math.

Уголь [Ugal'] coal - is the resource mined out by specialists, which serves as fuel and had been used in houses for the stoking of fire.

Students often mix up these two words, they use the soft sign in the ending wh ere it's unnecessary or vice versa, so the meaning of a sentence is changing and an interlocutor often doesn't understand what you mean!

You might ask, how to avoid it, but unfortunately, there is no universal and useful answer for it. Everything comes with practice, the more a person speaks with Russian-speaking people, hears and listens to correct speech, the faster he copies with it. It's useless to make a student to do exercises. For example, I had a student, who couldn't pronounce the letter "ы" [y] because there was no such letter in his native language. He pronounces it like the letter "и" [i], although he hears that an interlocutor says, for example, "тыква" [tykva].

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