I've heard щ to be pronounced in Ukrainian exactly like it pronounced in modern standard Russian (as a single phoneme) or like /ʃt͡ʃ/ (shch) - this screenshot is some kind of evidence that it also can be pronounced like /ʃt/

enter image description here

My question would be - is there a single acceptable form of pronouncing щ. If yes, which one? If no - how acceptable are alternatives (like acceptable in colloquial speech, not acceptable at all etc.)

  • 1
    FYI: Метростанция it's in Bulgarian: goo.gl/y2UqJQ
    – ovnia
    Sep 27, 2017 at 11:05
  • 1
    @ovnia well, what can I say, that means google ukrainian localization suck.
    – shabunc
    Sep 27, 2017 at 11:25
  • 1
    true. that's just FYI. I've already contributed the right transcription btw :)
    – ovnia
    Sep 27, 2017 at 11:46

3 Answers 3


No, a commercial software can't serve an evidence of pronunciation.
Especially, if it is about toponyms, which are usually transliterated, not transcribed (see the difference between the two).

In Standard Ukrainian, «щ» is pronounced as a consonant cluster, unlike the standard Russian:

  • UA: [ʃ t͡ʃ]
  • RU: [ɕː]

In Eastern Ukraine, where many people speak surzhyk sociolect, if it easy to hear the [ɕː] instead. Assuming the number of speakers, someone may consider it a dialect already.

More phonetic differences are listed here.

And no, «щ» is not the same thing as «шт» [ʃt] (however, there is some historic relation). There's even a pair of words to see the difference:

  • щукаa pike fish
  • штукаa thing

As usual, adding dialectal words/pronunciation may add some emotional flavor to one's speech. It can be a double-edged weapon however, so a language learner should probably strive to keep the Standard language unless they master the language well enough.

  • 2
    I suggest adding information about "ш" that can be prounounced similar to Russian "щ" before "і". And there are words that differ only by this: "пишіть"/"пищіть"; "гуляші"/"гулящі" (though here stress is different). Also maybe it's a good idea to reference at least English wiki? "The letter щ represents two consonants [ʃt͡ʃ]." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_language Sep 27, 2017 at 6:28

Here you can listen to probably a perfect pronunciation by Mykola Pohribnyi.

Words in "repeat after me" section:


























Not answer, but just additional information about letter щ in variation writing.

As we already know, the letter can sound like:

  • ʃt in South Slovs language and is writed as шт, but only Bulgars has as 1 letter;
  • ʃ-tʃ in North, exept Muscowian, and is writed as шч, but only Ukrainian has as 1 letter; but some Ukrainian old spellings ukr also had щ as шч or сч which still is used in Muscowian; one of spellings and known as drahomaniwka is on 20 ₴, look at image bellow.
  • ɕ(:) in Muscowian.

It’s a very strange letter, which no one need, even for Muscowian:

  • stop a rule msc about to write жы, шы as жи, ши: шына, шит, ши, шастать, шявель…;
  • write сч as шь: шястье.

Не відповідь, а просто додаткові відомості про щ в способах написаннях.

Як вже знаємо, буква звучить як:

  • ʃt в південих слов’янах і пишуть шт, окрім болґарів, де 1 буква;
  • ʃ-tʃ в північних, окрім московської, і пишуть шч, лиш українська має як 1 букву; але деякі українські старі правописи також мали щ як шч or сч, котрого московська досі вживає; один з таких правописів, знаний як драгоманівка, надрукований на 20 ₴;
  • ɕ(:) in Muscowian.

Вельми дивна буква, котрої ніхто не потрeбує, навіть московська:

  • відмінити правило мск про напису жы, шы як жи, ши: шына, шит, ши, шастать, шявель…;
  • писати сч відповідно шь: шястье.

20 ₴

Земле, моја всеплодьучаја мати!
Сили, шчо в твојіј движель глубині,
Крапльу, шчоб в боју сміліјше стојати,
дај i міні!

  • Wtf is Muscowian?
    – shabunc
    Jul 24, 2018 at 18:36
  • 2
    @shabunc language of origin name of a state which is on North of Eurasia and where Moscow is a capital. Jul 24, 2018 at 18:49
  • it's called Russian in English and it's utterly stupid to call it anything else.
    – shabunc
    Jul 24, 2018 at 22:13

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