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I understand that every language has tricky words, meaning, words that do not follow the normal sounds or conventions of most words or letters. However, I do want to ensure I am being taught this word correctly so that I can practice learning it correctly.

The word: лёгкий

The course I'm taking pronounces it to where it almost sounds like: loo-skee or luiskee

What is correct? Or is this correct?

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The transcription is [l'oxk'ij'], where x is for fricative guttural sound and apostrophee is for palatalisation of the previous consonant. [o] is under stress. Palatalisation of x is facultative. [j] is quite frequently omitted, as in all the forms with [ij] at the end, but it is not the most correct way of pronunciation. The word is tricky, because it has *[γk']->[xk'] where *[gk']-> *[kk']-> [k'] is expected. It is a trace of the ancient state of the language where г was pronounced as fricative sound, [γ]. "->" is for "became". Dissimilation could also happen - plosive-plosive became fricative-plosive for distinction.

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    -1. Еру [j] is never omitted in Russian speech. At least not more frequently than any other consonant at the end of a word. – Anixx Feb 10 '14 at 0:16
  • There is nothing correct in omitting of the [j'], but there are sounds that are phonetically likelier to be omitted than others, and [j'] is an obvious and well-known example - as well as [w] for languages that have it. – Viridianus Feb 15 '14 at 19:20
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Quite often you can find answer to such questions here. So, the phonetic transcription is [ˈlʲɵxʲ.kʲɪj] which roughly can be transmitted as liokhkiy ("kh" like Scotsmen spell "ch" in Loch Ness).

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Have you ever used Forvo? It's a site where you can listen to native speakers pronouncing various words in their languages. Here's лёгкий:

http://forvo.com/word/%D0%BB%D1%91%D0%B3%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9/ http://forvo.com/word/%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%B3%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9/

By the way, I feel your pain. As a learner of Russian I, too, have mispronounced this word a few times myself! Specifically, I pronounced г as /g/ instead of /x/.

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In Moscow version of Russian it is pronounced close to lioghky. Soft L. Then "'о" which together will produce sound like l'o. Close to sound depicted by ё letter. GH is actually somewhere between G and H. Closer to just H. In some cases you will just hear air exit like in "kh" sound.

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  • close to sound depicted by letter ё? Лёгкий IS with letter ё. It is just frequent deёfication of texts that may make one think it is not. – Viridianus Feb 9 '14 at 10:47
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The Russian phonetical transcription of this word is

[л'охк'ий'] where the apostrophe denotes the softness.

It is read totally following the rules of reading.

You can listen to the correct pronunciation here.

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