I have heard of several different pronunciations for the phrase "сотовые телефоны" (sótovyje telefóny [ˈsotəvɨje tʲɪlʲɪˈfonɨ]).

Which is the correct pronunciation:

  1. "satavyye telefone"
  2. "satovyye telefone"
  3. "sotovyye telefone"
  • for modern Russian speaker it's very difficult to pronounce unstressed o as [o] - to that extent difficult that quite often in foreign language tutorials it's stated: 'don't forget that pronouncing unstressed o as [a] is a mistake.
    – shabunc
    Jun 19 '20 at 10:56
  • sotævyje telefony in your example as if you would pronounce æ in "doh" in Bad guy by Billy Eilish )
    – boldnik
    Jun 23 '20 at 22:40

None of the above; "sotavyye telefony", to use your notation. I doubt you heard those from native speakers; there are words with ambiguous emphasis in Russian but сотовые certainly isn't one of them.

  • 2
    Didn't he give it? {shrug} Seems like he did. Is this easier: "SOh-tah-vy-yi tih-lih-FOh-ny" ? Oct 3 '15 at 19:42
  • My bad. Sorry about that.
    – Ana
    Oct 3 '15 at 19:44

It's better to use "мобильные телефоны", or even just "мобильные". "сотовые телефоны" is mostly used in formal writing/speaking.

But if you really need to use "сотовые телефоны", the first 'o' is pronounced like the first 'o' in "follow" and the second 'o' is like the first 'o' in "pronounce" (not stressed and something between [o] and [a], but closer to [o])

And if you'd like to know the pronunciation of "мобильные", it is "Ma-bIl'-nы-ye". I hope you know how to pronounce 'ы'.

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