I understand where your trouble is: you are too serious. An intelligent face is not a sign of brains, gentlemen. All stupid things on the earth are done with this expression. Smile, gentlemen. Smile!
"That Munchhausen", 1979, the USSR, dir. Mark Zakharov
An opinion about an absolute unsmiling nature of Ukrainians and Russians a lot of time ago and deeply rooted among foreigners. Some explain this fact by the difficulties that accompany lives of ordinary Ukrainians / Russians, some think that this is one of the features of character, and some can recall the myth about a mysterious Russian soul.
Whatever it was, the ability to smile will serve you not only a powerful communicative tool in communication with native Ukrainians and Russians, but also a useful skill while training a pronunciation of the sound [ы].
The letter "ы" is a rare one, it can be found only in Russian and Belarusian. In Ukrainian its counterpart is the letter "и". Knowing that the total number of languages in the world is between three and six thousand according to various estimates, it is not difficult to conclude that the pronunciation of the corresponding to the Russian letter "ы" and Ukrainian "и" sound [ы] often causes difficulties for people whose native language does not have such a sound.
A lot of people can underestimate the importance of the correct pronunciation, thinking that one wrong uttered sound will not prevent others from understanding of the spoken word as a whole. If you still think like this, I suggest you to compare the pronunciation and meaning of the following pairs of words:
быть (to be) – бить (to beat)
выть (to wail) – вить (to twine)
мыло (soap) – мило (nice)
ныть (to whine) – нить (thread)
пылить (to raise dust) – пилить (to saw)
сыр (cheese) – сир (sire)
In order not to be trapped and not to be misunderstood, it is enough to make several following manipulations, then you will be able to pronounce a magnificent "ы" and generously present it to unsmiling Ukrainians and Russians around you.
Thus, [ы]. Instructions for Usage.
1. Vigorously say the sound [y].
2. Slowly stretch your lips into a wide smile, leaving the tongue at the same place.
3. Repeat several times to get the ideal [ы].
And do not forget to make commemorative photo. A historical moment, when you have learned to pronounce true [ы] should be captured!