I've been told that о is pronounced as а when it's not stressed, however the word лаборато́рия is actually pronounced лабо́рато́рия , why is that?

  • 2
    As a side note. With such complex words people may inadvertently pronounce them syllable-wise (more or less smoothly). In this case o->a transition not always occur.
    – AlexVB
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 16:37
  • 4
    the real answer is that your assumption is wrong and it's not pronounced that way.
    – shabunc
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 16:38

2 Answers 2


Not really, it's indeed to be, and is, pronounced лАбАрАтОрия or in the Moscow pronunciation as can be heard in some of the clips лАбрАтОрия


The word лаборатория is pronounced as [ləbərɐˈtorʲɪjə] and it has only one stressed vowel sound. The effect you hear is due to the fact that the [ə] of the first letter 'O' really sounds more like [o] than like [a] because [ə] is not as open a sound as [a].

  • Did you mean [ləbərɐto'rʲɪjə]? Stress on second а sounds wrong.
    – alamar
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 14:37
  • 4
    @alamar - I have everything right. In transcription the stress mark is put before the stressed syllable, not after the stressed vowel. Many: [ˈmænɪ], begin: [bɪˈgɪn], etc.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 14:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.