That's not true. In Spanish tu is singular informal and usted is singular formal. That is true for both Spain and most of Latin America except for Argentina and some neighboring regions who use Vos as the singular familiar form. Then in Spain the plural informal you is Vosotros and the plural formal you is ustedes. In Latin America Vosotros isn't used, even in the region that uses vos, although vos actually devolved from Vosotros. In Latin America ustedes is the plural you for both formal and informal address. German, however, is like English was a couple of hundred years ago. Du and Ihr are informal singular and plural yous, the German version of our original thou and ye. But Sie, the always capitalized one, is you formal, both singular and plural.
Yes, that's it, like in Portuguese too. :) Oeps... portuguese is a bit more complicated then that, reason by which the majority of people is teaching it wrong. But as a matter of fact, there's no mistery about it. :) We just have more forms in between two extremes of familiar and formal addressing.
When you have given the first and the last name you have to use вы (you 2.pers pl/Sie/usted/vous) When you only have the fist name than yiu have to use ты (you 2.pers sg./ du/tú) 'cause this person is on the same level as you, I mean thos person isnt a teacher or doktor or something like that. I'm a russian girl and do it just for fun. I hope it is understandable and sorrz for my bad english but I only speak russian and german :)
I have a question, Russian natives! Do the questions in Russian always sound like final statements? I mean the entonation of the sentence! It lowers towards the end, instead of rising, as it normally tends to happen with a question, in all the languages I speak.... portuguese, english, french, dutch, and also in spanish and italian... Is it that different in Russian?
Computers don't have such reasoning. What you write either matches what they have as the answer, meets the limited algorithm for a typo, or is marked wrong. That's how it is programmed. Learning a new language from a non native language is difficult, you have my admiration and sympathy. But not to sound unfeeling, it's what you got for the moment, at least on Duo. I don't know if they are even working on Afrikaans, but Afrikaans to Russian feels a long way off.
I have an improvement suggestion for the Duolingo team. Since it is impossible to understand whether there is a question or statement in the robot voices, mark the question sentences with a question mark in the exercises for translating from Russian to English by ear.
Well a better comparison is perhaps the Welsh naming conventions. If you aren't familiar with it (I grew up in a very Welsh American area) they are names like Robert Roberts and William Williams, etc. This is essentially the pattern and I believe there are other names that fit this pattern. But among those names I think Ivan Ivanovich is like John Smith, and maybe among all names as well.
By the intonation. Usually it's pretty obvious.
It might be unclear in Duo's computer voice, but Duo never requires a translation in the listening exercises. It simply asks you to write in Russian what you have heard. Since Duo doesn't check punctuation, it would accept you answer with or without the question mark.
Ivanonic is the wrong spelling. It should be Ivanovich
I know that in some Slavic languages (like Serbian) the English-transliterated ending "ic" is pronounced "ich" (soft "ch", like in "cheese"). The actress Stana Katic's last name is pronounce "Kah-tich" (soft "ch"). But the ending ич is spelled "ich" in English, and pronounced "ich" (soft "ch").
I agree with you. :) Polite forms of treatment, are so nice! There's no problem whatsoever in having ways to express different feelings and relations. Hahaha — I have to laugh at how people, when it is about other languages, all other languages I have visited, are actually surprising respectful of correct forms, and formal forms. It's only about portuguese language, that people are really slaughtering the language and the country's culture. It's so strange. And they get even portuguese people themselves doing it too, betraying each others... Our language is actually endangered!.... But yes, since english speaking countries are very used to "only you", I really appreciate it that most people I see learning, are very respectfull of these forms.