1.8 - The soft vowels
In addition to the hard vowels presented on page 1.6, Ukrainian also has soft (sometimes known as "iotated") vowels. They consist (roughly) of a "y" sound, as in "yellow", followed by a hard vowel. Click on a letter to hear how it sounds.
|[й + е]|
|[й + і]|
|[й + у]|
|[й + а]|
Here are some words beginning with these vowels.
|Ємен - Yemen|
|їдиш (also ідиш) - Yiddish|
|Юкон - Yukon|
|Ялта - Yalta|
Two of the above vowels are also words in their own right:
|я||means I (me)|
|є||is the present tense of the verb "to be", meaning am/is/are|
|There isn't a single letter for the iotated о. This is spelt йо, or sometimes ьо, depending on the letter it follows.|
|Example: Йордан – Jordan, йой – oh!|
There is no iotated vowel derived from и.