How do I pronounce the difference of и versus й? They sound very similar and I can't really hear a difference.

  • Can you provide a couple of words where you cannot hear the difference between "и" and "й"? – Abakan Jan 21 '16 at 14:30
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    й is a consonant, и is a vowel. How one can confuse them? – Anixx Jan 22 '16 at 6:47
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    Interesting fact: do you know that Ь was "Е краткое" and Ъ was "О краткое" (or Ы, or something between О and Ы) once in old Russian? – yaapelsinko Jan 28 '16 at 23:02

Russian "и" is vowel and sounds more like double 'e', i.e. "tweet", as "й" is a consonant and sounds more like the first sound of a "young" word. Btw, you could try to listen to words at http://www.lingvo-online.ru/ to find the difference


rhymes with "joy" and ои rhymes with "Joey".

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    Cute way of explaining the difference! Not very accurate though. – InitK Jan 21 '16 at 14:41

Russians transliterate boy as бой. A word бои is a plural form of бой, and is pronounced distinctly differently somewhat like buyee.

So и is a vowel and sounds longer than consonant й. Your confusion stems from the feature of Russian pronunciation when Russian stick invisible й in front of many vowels, which makes it sound a little longer. For instance, when Russians say ем (I'm eating), they actually say something like yem. So in the first example бои has that invisible й in front of и.


и = "i" й = more like "y"

You can understand the difference by listening how "i" and "y" sounds in two different words: "boy" and "blink", in first case it will be "boy" = "бой" while in the second "blink" = "блинк"

  • и is [ˈaɪ] and й is [ˈwaɪ]? I don't think so. – Abakan Jan 21 '16 at 14:18
  • Did you read my comment to it's very end? – Ruslan Jan 21 '16 at 15:05
  • Yes, I did read your ANSWER to its very end. But it doesn't make your first statement correct. Transliteration rules you used are not applicable in this case. – Abakan Jan 21 '16 at 15:17
  • Okay, but if we'll be honest then we can only compare mentioned by you [ˈwaɪ] to "и краткая" right? – Ruslan Jan 21 '16 at 15:25

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