I learned different grammar rules. Regarding vowels I learned the rule that there is an "j" added / vowels are spoken with a j if:
- in the beginning of a word (like яблоко [jáblaka])
- after a vowel (as in красивая [kraßíwaja])
- after a ь (like in семья [ßimjá])
- after a ъ (like in подъезд [padjézd])
- and И after Ь (оладьи [aládji])
In the russian word Нева (the river) the e is reduced, as the a is emphasized. However, none of the above rules applies. As e comes after an Н. Therefore I would not use a j. I would pronounce it as "Niwa", not "Njiwa". When I check the wiktionary the audio sound exactly like I expected. However, under pronounciation it says: [nʲɪˈva]. Now my question is, why is there a small "j" added? I would have thought - and at least that is what I hear when I am listening to the audio - that it would be [nɪˈva]?