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I am seeing this question a lot in these lessons, so I am just using a response I used before: the
é sound in ELA (é-lah) as the a in mattress (American English)... or like the one she is using in "ela"; and the
ê sound in ELE (ê-lee) as the first "e" in bent (like the one the robot is using in "leio". Or something like that.
This is how Brazilian Portuguese speakers easily tell them apart--by the sound of the first "e" in ele or ela. I can't guarantee that the robot would say it correctly (especially in turtle speed), but I hope it helps! =]
I have a lot of trouble hearing the difference between ele, ela and eu. I try listening over and over. I also try with/without head phones and normal/slow speed. Also i have trouble hearing whether the verb ends in "o" or "e" sound or even "em" or "em". If the verb ending was clear it would often be easier to work out correct pronoun.
I'm guessing there are different versions of Duolingo...? There is no slow version in mine. There is the initial (male) voice, which sounds like /Eh-lee es-CREH-vee oh-LAY/ (not e eu leio), while the second (female) voice in the 'Comment' area is fine. For me it's a glitch in an otherwise great learning/refresher tool, but it would be confusing to someone just starting out.