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In my dictionary, both доноситься/донестись and раздаваться/раздаться show the meaning as "sound to be conveyed". But I'm not sure when to use one over the other, if there is any difference between them.

So what is the difference, if any, between the two?

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  • In general, the both verbs havn't "sound"-meaning only. "Ты раздался вширь" mean "You is a fat man now". Раздаться mean a broadwise movement, in all directions (like an explosion or flood). And it have origin from дать "to give", раз-дать-ся(бя) . Донестиcь mean the movement (with smth., f.e.) into a certain point from somewhere...It have origin from нести, до-нести-сь. Jan 25 at 7:59

3 Answers 3

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I'm sure there are exceptions, but I've noted the following generic difference:

  • "Раздаться" is a better choice if the sound is loud and harsh. E.g. "раздался гром", "раздались аплодисменты".
  • "Донестись" is a better choice for quiet, barely audible sounds. Also if the source of the sound is distant and you want to make a point that the sound reached the listener. E.g. "донёсся шёпот". Collocations like "донёсся гром" and "донёсся выстрел" are also possible, but then they would imply "from a distance".

And of course, there are those nearly-idiomatic phrases where the other verb simply wouldn't work: "донеслись слухи".

Grammar-wise, they typically take different location adverbials:

  • "раздаться (где?) в лесу", "раздаться (откуда?) из леса".
  • "донестись (до кого?) до меня", "донестись (откуда?) из леса".

Update
It may help to bear in mind some lexical intuition behind those words: the prefix "раз-" conveys a meaning of distribution (spread), whereas the prefix "до-" conveys a meaning of action/goal completion. That may explain why "раздаться" is better suited to answer "in what area?", and "донестись" is better suited to answer "to what recepient?", but not vice versa.

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I'd say раздаться is more often used for unexpected and/or sudden sounds.

Раздался громкий звук

This would imply that the person describing that sound was caught off guard by it. The nuance isn't very strong, but it's there.

Meanwhile донесся would be a more mild and generic description of a sound.

До меня донесся звук

This has a more objective and observational feel to it. It doesn't convey the nuance that the person was thrown off by that sound in any way.

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  • раздаваться (about sounds) means that there's a relatively loud and abrupt sound.
    Раздался треск ломающейся ветки.
    В зале раздались бурные апплодисменты.
    Вдруг раздался резкий свист.
  • доноситься (about sounds) means that there's a sound coming from some distance and it's low, maybe even barely audible. It could be either loud or low at the source, abrupt or not — it doesn't matter; the focus is on the fact that the sound is perceptible.
    Из-за реки доносилось пение девушек.
    Со двора доносились звуки выстрелов.
    Из кухни доносился сдавленный шёпот.
    Из угла донёсся тихий шорох.

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