Someone told me they are pronounced like "и", but when I listen to sound files on wiktionary.com, they are pronounced like "ш/ч"?

For example the word "горячий" is pronounced according to wiktionary something like "горячих"

  • 4
    by no means and under no circumstances "ий" is pronounced like "иш" or "ищ" – shabunc Jan 25 '14 at 20:04
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    @shabunc I thought the same (I was even ready to downvote). However I think SupEvan's question is justified. It seems that in Wiktionary's audio file there is indeed a consonant at the end of [gɐˈrʲæt͡ɕɪ̝j]. I even tried two adjectives more: they have a consonant-like sound at the end. – c.p. Jan 25 '14 at 20:13
  • @c.p. of course there should be a consonant, but not щ or ш. – Anixx Jan 26 '14 at 15:55
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    @Anixx Sorry if I have a too bad ear but, again, it's just very surprising to me that "й" sounds there almost like a "x" (i.e. [ç]). – c.p. Jan 26 '14 at 16:39
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    @c.p. this is not surprising because soft х is equal to devoiced й. – Anixx Jan 26 '14 at 20:40

The IPA on wiktionary is correct, the ending is [ij]. You are confused because of her lack of voicing the final [j] and probably lack of recording de-essing.

Also note that the [j] sound is much stronger than English [ɪ] in words like pay.


You can find examples of the Russian pronunciations word "горячий" on this page:



Even though jot is weakened in the absolute end, it could barely be considered right to pronounce it like German pronounce -ig in adjectives and -ch. Weakened jot is a middle-tongue fricative sound, whereas -хь (or German -ch as well) is actually closer to be an affricat from the sound and Russian "х".


чий = [chi]li + ma[y]

чих = [chi]li + [h]en


The one who told you that it's pronounced like , is mistaken but I could understand why: the last й is often weakened when in absolutely final position but you still can't skip it totally.
What you took for a щ is actually a voiceless й (an [ç], something roughly similar to хь, phonetically speaking). As far as I know, such pronunciation is not considered as a norm but is not erroneous, either. To me it's a bit archaic, though.

  • So it would be ok to pronounce words like that as e.g. горячиç? – SupEvan Jan 25 '14 at 19:31
  • This answer is catastrophically wrong. – shabunc Jan 25 '14 at 20:02
  • @SupEvan - no, to won't be OK, the answer is wrong. – shabunc Jan 25 '14 at 20:04
  • @SupEvan, nope, I just said that the й is devoiced by some speakers in the absolute end. – Andre Polykanine Jan 26 '14 at 1:17
  • I've edited my answer to express my point of view more clearly. – Andre Polykanine Jan 26 '14 at 1:21

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