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How do you say certain letter's of the Russian alphabet?

This is a three part question, so please bear with me. I am using http://www.russianlessons.net/lessons/lesson1_alphabet.php as a reference, but I feel as if I'm missing a lot. For example, apparently the letter Э э can be "a", but it doesn't tell me this. There are probably quite a few more letter's like this. Also, some pronunciations sound different with each person. One person says 'this', and another says 'that'...which one am I supposed to learn?? The last thing I'm having a problem with is, well, I guess it would still be pronunciations. How do you say the sound "SH sh (hard)"? And what about "SH sh (soft)"? They would both sound like sh! So, what's the difference between Ш ш and Щ щ? I have the same problem with Ц ц and Ч ч. Help please?? =/

For learning: Russian
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Ш like in the word "shine"
    Щ like the middle sound in the word "actually" or "question" = "s" + "ch" Щ=С+Ч
    (for example щека = s-che-cka)

    Ц=Т+С =ts цена= "тсена" ="tsena"
    Ч like in the word "check", "chain", etc

    It's very hard to explain you in writing.. you need to hear it!
    But i'll try...
    So, the letter Э really like "a" but in speech you should say it like you say the letter 'a' in word 'that'. it's a shord sound.
    We have Ш and Щ. Ш is hard like in word 'short' and Щ is softer i can't explain with examples..your language has no words, in which you can see the difference..you should to hear it

    P.S. Sorry for my English :)
    I do believe you need a course with audio or at least a person who is patient enough to talk to you and to showcase you how the letters sound.

    Шш and Щщ are quite different sounds. Шш is similar to "sh" in English. "Щщ" is similar to nothing in English, English doesn't have anything similar. If you know Italian, it does have this sound, like in the word "capisci".

    Чч is similar to the English and Spanish "ch", you shouldn't have any problems with that.

    Цц is the sound you have in some German and Jewish names that are end with "-itz", like Clausewitz, Kravitz, Kaunitz.

    But the most challenging letter/sound of Russian is ы. Your reference says that it's like "i" in ill. Well, it's not. You definitely should supply your studies with some listening, rough English equivalent won't do it for you.

    I hope, that's help:

    http://wikitranslate.org/wiki/Russian_alphabet/ru:_Russian

    http://www.oddcast.com/home/demos/tts/tts_example.php?sitepal

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