by Don  

The Russian word for sun is солнце. It declines like this


Я люблю смотреть, как восходит солнце.

Я люблю смотреть, как встаёт солнце.

I love to watch the sun rise.

Я люблю смотреть, как заходит солнце.

Я люблю смотреть, как садится солнце.

I love to watch the sun set.

The word солнце and its diminutive солнышко are also used as terms of endearment. Parents may address children that way, boyfriends and girlfriends may address each other with it. Close relatives may use it. (Generally male friends do not address each other with these terms.)

Верочка, солнце ты моё, как я скучал без тебя! Vera, Sunshine, I missed you so much!
Солнышко, не сердись! Я не хотела опоздать. Просто так и вышло. Sweetheart, don't get angry. I didn't mean to be late. It just turned out that way.
— Солнышко, поцелуй меня. Твои поцелуи для меня слаще мёда!
— Почему ты стал таким ласковым? Ты опять поссорился с моей мамой?
“Baby, give me a kiss. Your kisses are sweeter than honey to me!”
“Why are you so affectionate? Did you have an argument with my mother again?”
Ах, солнышко, как я тебя люблю! Oh, Sweetie, I love you so much!


Comment from: it-ogo [Visitor]

The л is not pronounced in солнце but is pronounced in солнышко. It is difficult to pronounce “-лнц-” so л is naturally reduced. There is no such problem in “солнышко".

03/28/11 @ 05:47
Comment from: Christopher [Visitor]

Is it true that the л is not pronounced in both солнце and the diminutive form солнышко? Various Russian speakers I’ve talked to have differed on the pronunciations of these words.

Don responds: According to «Словарь ударений для работников радио и телевидения» (Агеенко, Завра, 1985) the л is not pronounced. Similarly «Орфоэпический словарь русского языка: Произношение, ударение, грамматические формы» (Борунова, Воронцова, Еськова, 1985) says the л is not pronounced. I regard that pronunciation as being the literary standard.

That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if there is considerable variation in pronunciation. Consider the pronunciation of l in lamp and l in palm. In my own pronunciation the midpoint of my tongue is much higher in the mount when saying the former. When saying the latter, the midpoint of my tongue is significantly lower, the tip of the tongue sometimes does not touch the back of my upper teeth, and the sound may be velarized.

03/22/11 @ 16:31

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