^Belarusian has a contrast between palatalized ("soft") and unpalatalized ("hard") consonants. Palatalized consonants, denoted by a superscript j, ⟨ʲ⟩,are pronounced with the body of the tongue raised toward the hard palate, like the articulation of the y sound in yes. /j/ is also soft, but /d, t, d͡ʐ, t͡ʂ, r, ʂ, ʐ/ are always hard.
^ abc/v/ and /l/ merge into /w/ ⟨ў⟩ before consonants.
^ abcUnstressed /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ are reduced to [a]. Unlike Russian, this is reflected in writing.
^ ab[i] and [ɨ] are in complementary distribution: [i] occurs at the beginning of words and after soft consonants; [ɨ] occurs after hard consonants.
^The "soft" vowel letters ⟨я, е, і, ё, ю⟩ represent a /j/ and a vowel when they are initial or after other vowels.
^Nine Belarusian consonants can be contrastively geminated: /d͡zʲː, lʲː, nʲː, sʲː, ʂː, t͡sʲː, t͡ʂː, zʲː, ʐː/.