What's the right way to pronounce объясняет? My guess would be something like 'обшсняет' (I'm having a hard time with the hard sign). This is word is somewhat similar to "Eichhörnchen" by the way, it's actually real subtle. I'd appreciate an English word with an equivalent sound as an example.
I'd suggest to divide it into two separate parts, the prefix
об- pronounced as
-яснЯет pronounced as
йисьнЯит. Try to pronounce them separately, then combine the two parts back together -
ш you hear because of the sound
j subtly present in the phoneme
й, but it's by far not as voiced as in the German
I unfortunately can't think of any similar sounding word in English. Well, may be
object, and only because in Russian it is also spelled with the "hard sign" following the combination
абйЕкт), only that in this word it's not a prefix (at least not of Russian origin).
ub-yis-NIA-it (with NIA stressed)
- ub as in pub
- yis as in yeast
- NIA has one vowel sound (not a diphthong): a soft N followed by A
- it as in it :)
You can think of the Ъ as the y sound in yes or yeast. Same goes for Ь in front of a vowel: бульон, пасьянс.
You might like this website: http://russiangram.com It transcribes Russian words using English spelling rules. It doesn't do vowel reduction yet.