Ukrainian contrasts 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 in the /j/ sound in yes. The "hard" vs. "soft" distinction is phonemic for only nine pairs and may otherwise be ignored.
Bilabial approximant [β̞] (transcribed here [β] for simplicity) before vowels;
Labialized velar semivowel [u̯] before a consonant at the beginning of word, after a vowel before a consonant or after a vowel at the end of a word (Жовтобрюх & Кулик (1965:121–122)).
^In Ukrainian, geminates are found between vowels: багаття/bɑˈɦɑtʲːɑ/bonfire, подружжя/pɔˈdruʒːɑ/married couple, обличчяface. Geminates also occur at the beginning of a few words: лляний/ˈlʲːɑnɪj/flaxen, forms of the verb литиto pour (ллю /lʲːu/, ллєш/lʲːɛʃ/ etc.), ссати/ˈsːɑtɪ/to suck and derivatives.