I don't think superheroes' names get translated. In France we have Superman, Spiderman, Green Lantern, etc. (instead of Superhomme, Homme-araignée and Lanterne Verte) and I would assume it's the same in other countries.
In Spanish we translate some of them, like Green Lantern (Linterna Verde), Black Widow (Viuda Negra) haha
How do you tell the difference between "it's a bird" and "is it a bird" when spoken? Is it just down to context and tone/inflection?
Just tone/inflection. When the Italian is written, then the question mark will give you the hint.
The lack of inflection on the robot voice makes it impossible to differentiate questions from statements.
You can differentiate questions and statements by the punctuation. If there is a period, it is a statement. If there is a question mark, it is a question and you have to rearrange the words a little bit to get it to make sense in English. Always try to look at the punctuation, and it will help you a lot. :)
In this case, the woman/robot lack the inflection in her voice. But that inflection will you the idea.
Mostly the punctuation. If there is a period: "È un ucello." It is a statement. If there is a question mark, then it is a question. :)
So the "u" in uccello is completely silent? I heard phonetically (eh oon chell low) and I am wondering why I didn't hear (eh oo noo chell low) or (eh oon oo chell low). I must admit, it sounds better when you completely drop that first "u" in "uccello", but I want to be sure it's not just an artifact of the robot voice.
The "u" is practically silent after "un" otherwise you'd have to stop after "un". As you said "eh oon oo chell low". If you had "the bird" (l'uccello) you'd hear the "u" clearly (loo chell low).
On this post I give, along with some general info, the dictionary link for Lexilogo. There, you'll find other choices to listen to the sentences and individual words. And some are really clear and slow. Of course as with any mechanical translation site you need to take care with the translations, they can be pretty funny and sometimes completely wrong. But the pronunciation is good.
Do check out and bookmark the Guidelines.
Why would there have to be a stop after un? A vowel flows perfectly with a preceding n, at least in my perception, it just creares an extra syllable. Unless a u in spoken Italian always starts with a stop - no pun intended -, which seems however not to be the case in 'é una...'. I can see a case for contracting/dropping the 2nd u though, just not because it involves a stop.
Thibault R: We have some translated names here in Finland, but we just don't use them that much (except for Green Lantern). Superman is Teräsmies (Steel Man), Batman is Lepakkomies and Spiderman is Hämähäkkimies.