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I'm Italian and I'm a beginning student of Ukrainian. I have no contact with the language in my daily life apart from the time I devote to it through self-study, and, as a consequence, I've been studying Ukrainian pronunciation from academic descriptions and by listening to Ukrainian songs and youtube channels. Because of this, I have never had any feedback on my pronunciation. It seems to me that from the point of view of an Italian the main difficulties in Ukranian are:

  1. Correct word-stress placement.
  2. The sounds of г, л, ль, ць and also, perhaps to a lesser extent, other soft sounds.
  3. Ukrainian prosody and intonantion must differ from Italian, although I haven't payed attention to this point.

I've put here a recording of myself reading a short story (П’ять хлібин) and I would be very grateful to hear some opinions on my delivery, so that I can focus on those particular aspects (there's no need to listen to all of it, of course). The text of the story is here. I've painstakingly checked the word stresses for all words using the online version of словники України. Any suggestion is welcome!

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Good job! Your pronunciation is far, far better than anyone else's known to me.

A few words have unusual stress, but keep in mind that every live language has dialects, and stress patterns and prosody vary alot between those. What you think a mistake can be perceived a dialect. Keep moving and start communicating with native language speakers. Once you do so, your stress patterns will adjust by itself.

Here are one aspect I've noticed. Again, it does not stand in the way for the comprehension at all!

In some words ending with a plosive or nasal consonant, e.g. хлібин, суд etc., it is perceived like you produce an extra mid-central vowel (/-e/, or rather /-ə/ Schwa) — short, but noticeable. Italian words usually end with a vowel, and many native speakers of Italian speak this way in foreign languages. The "vowel filler" at the end of words is, in fact, a known phenomenon which denotes "Italian accent".

The rest is perfect. Keep your study and thank you for your interest to Ukrainian language.


Update. I have re-listened the story and made my notes where I think the stress or prosody should be different. Again, there are very few places like this and they in no way harm the comprehension.

As I said, different dialects have different stress patterns; mine is Kyiv/North-Central.

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    thanks a lot! That's very encouraging. I see what you mean concerning word-final plosive. I think a full-blown 'filler vowel' is a feature of Southern Italian speakers, e.g. Neapolitans; that said all Italians (I'm from Northern Italy) articulate word-final plosives with a very strong and slow release, so that it may sounds exaggerated and overarticulated in other languages (especially in English, in which word-final plosives are often pronounced with no audible release). I'll try to pay special attention to this point. Can you perhaps mention which words have an unusual stress? – Lorents Oct 13 at 20:42
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    @Lorents, sure, see the updated answer – bytebuster Oct 17 at 1:15
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    @bytebyster Wow, thanks for such a detailed analyis! That's much more than I expected! Я не знаю, як іще можна віддячитися за вашу доброту! :) – Lorents Oct 19 at 12:20
  • @Lorents просто приходьте на наш сайт і питайтеся про те, що вас цікавить. Буде гарний спосіб віддячитися) – P. Vowk Oct 19 at 20:01

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