Understanding Intonation


It seems hard to comprehend the intonation of a speaker's voice; especially with phrases in involving questions without obvious question words. This is also the case when trying to ask a particular question; being unsure of where to use intonation. Will this be clearer through more exposure to the language, or is there an easier approach?      

Natalya - Tutor

Hi Matthew,

You are right - Russian intonation is quite flat.. And at the same time the only difference between general questions and statements is in the intonation. All Russian statements are finished with falling intonation. Often English speakers find it challenging to imitate, because most English statements finish with the rising intonation. Russian general questions have the rising intonation. You can try to listen to all the statements first, imitating the intonation as closely as  you can. You will soon see the pattern. And then do the same with questions. After a while your ear gets tuned to the difference between a question and a statement.. 

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