How to Do a Russian Accent

Learn how to do a Russian accent from voice and speech coach Andrea Caban in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Here are some tips for your general Russian accent. So the oral posture for a general Russian accent is to pull your tongue all the way back in your throat. So you're pulling your tongue all the way back here. And a lot of the sounds take care of themselves when you pull your tongue all the way back where it needs to be. Let's take a look at some Russian sound changes.

The first thing I want to look at is that r sound. It's a really hard r when your tongue is pulled all way back in the back of your throat. Rachel runs errands for her mother and father on Saturdays. Rachel runs errands for her mother and father on Saturdays. Let's look at the ah to the eh. So in American English, I'd say I had a bad day. But in your Russian accent I had a bad day. I had a bad day. And listen to the friction in that h. Had. I had a bad day. Bad day.

Again, that th sound changes for your Russian accent. So thin, thick, this, and that becomes thin, thick, or this, that. Thin, thick, this, that. So again that th sound changes for your Russian accent. In American English it would be thin, thick, this, that. In Russian it would be thin, thick, this, that. Or it becomes completely dentalized, meaning your tongue is all the way up on your teeth. For thin, thick, this, that. That ih to e transition. So in American English it would be I loved my big trip. Ih, ih. In your Russian accent it would be I loved my big trip. I loved my big trip. E, e.

And listen to that l sound when I say the word loved. Loved. Instead of loved, loved, where I'm using just the tip of my tongue. Loved, loved. I'm using my whole tongue, and bringing the back of my tongue almost to close off my throat. I loved my big trip. La, la, la. Give that a shot. And then also notice that vowel sound. Instead of loved, uh, that shwa sound that's very American. The American oral posture sound uh. It opens up and it becomes forward a little bit. For loved, loved.

So try this sentence. I got up and saw my files were corrupt. I got up and saw my files were corrupt. In American English it would be I got up and saw my files were corrupt. Uh, uh. But in your Russian accent it's got files corrupt.

So what do you hear in the musicality of the Russian accent? It's a little bit slower. It's a little bit heavier than your American accent. There's less pitch variety in your Russian accent. But don't take my word for it. Listen to native Russian speakers, and see what you hear for yourself. Crawl into the accent that way.

Popular Categories