I've always thought it should be pronounced with the standard Russian voiced velar stop Г [g]. But lately i've been hearing recordings where it's pronounced as voiced glottal fricative [ɦ] like the Ukrainian Г.

This pronunciation also represents the word in both Russian and English articles of Wiktionary, and in 2 out of 3 audio examples on Forvo, all of which are by residents of Russia.

Or is there no 'correct' pronunciation, or is it region dependent within Russia?

  • 2
    I think both variants are "standard" - at least personally (a "native Moscovian") I recall myself using both variants putting slightly different meaning in them (with [ɦ] version expressing more suprise). My first guess is that the voiced velar stop version is most likely inspired by "Spb" pronunciation (probably similar to "что/што" thing). May 27, 2018 at 22:10
  • 1
    – Alex_ander
    May 28, 2018 at 4:24
  • @Alex_ander thank you, i'm ready to accept your reply should you post it as an answer May 28, 2018 at 7:47
  • I personally think that оХо is more used in Moscow and the Oblast, though it is just personal impression
    – Arioch
    May 28, 2018 at 10:05
  • 1
    To be fair, both of those Wiktionary pronunciations are by the guy called 1640max on Forvo. (Generally when you find a male pronunciation of a Russian word on Wiktionary, it's him, and this is no exception.) So you're actually only finding two pronunciations like that, and one counterexample.
    – spoko
    Jun 1, 2018 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


Русский язык. Учебник для ссузов, Москва, 2010, с. 38:

Орфоэпия согласных

... Лишь в нескольких словах нужно произносить заднеязычные щелевые (похожие на [х] и [х'], но только звонкие) звуки, которые принято транскрибировать как [ɣ] и [ɣ']: бухгалтер [буɣа́лт'ир], разговорные междометия ага, ого [оɣо́], угу, эге. Кроме того, старшей нормой [= отражающей старомосковское произношение, в отличие от младшей нормы, соотв. современному литературному языку] допускается произношение мягкого звука [ɣ'] в словах Господь, Господи, в формах слова Бог: Бога, Богу и т. д., а также произношение мягкого звука [ɣ'] в форме о Боге...

That page scanned:


  • 1
    There is the orthoepical norm, and there are the regional variances, and people move between the regions, too. As the questioner 'has heared' some examples, the norm hardly applies here?..
    – yury10578
    May 28, 2018 at 14:13
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    The norm expressed here agrees with what he has heard unexpectedly. My personal experience (as a St.Petersburg resident since birth) is different: I'm used to hearing and saying the version transcribed as [оɣо́].
    – Alex_ander
    May 28, 2018 at 14:54
  • Speaking of regional differences: probably that's more about general pronunciation of Г in southern regions: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Russian_dialects
    – Alex_ander
    May 28, 2018 at 15:08
  • 1
    @user10578 i inquired specifically about the normative pronunciation May 28, 2018 at 15:59

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