You'll be surprised, but Russian has a loooot of German loanwords: https://ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/Приложение:Список_ немецких_ слов _ в _ русском _языке Sure, not all of them are used in everyday speech, but it's still impressive. :)
P.S. Duo transforms lower dashes into cursive, so delete all the gaps when using the link.
I feel the same. It's very hard to learn how to pronounce words, or what they sound like to be heard, when they're spoken so quickly that words stream together. I'm making much less progress with Russian than the many other languages I'm learning, and I feel like this may be a factor. I've contacted Duolingo but haven't heard anything back. Hopefully, they'll fix this, or give an option to choose normal/slow for more of the exercises for Russian.
I think that speech is really hard to learn just from these kinds of lessons. First of all, automatic pronunciation that these lessons have are, well automatic and robotic, so they often don't have all the nuances (accents, liasons, endings, vocalisations, etc.). Second, different people tend to pronounce things differently, especially when part of speaking cadence (for example, hearing French text being spoken by a native french is vastly different experience than hearing it on automated speech genereator). In my opinion, to learn to speak language well it is necessary to speak it with another living person. I use speaking here mostly to get a sound of the language or specific sounds, but not much more.
I haven't found that at all. When I learned a bit of Japanese using audio lessons I found online, I was able to greet my Japanese room mate for the first time, in crisp language that shocked them. I was perfectly understood, and when I went to Japan, I had no issue at all and I was complimented many times on my pronunciation. I also had no issue being understood when I learned French by a non-native speaker, and then learned further from a native speaker, and studied abroad. I also learned German from a native speaker. So, in looking at this app, I have experience with native speakers under my belt with several languages, and they just don't seem so bad. But I've heard native Russian speakers -- not just in films, but there's a large community near where I live so I hear them speaking with each other all the time when I go out. It just isn't as close as the other languages are. Something similar happens with Portuguese, in regards to the speech synthesizer. It just doesn't emulate the sounds as well. -- And I say this, having compared the speech to that of native speakers in films and in-person. I do agree that being around others is very helpful, but it isn't necessary (at least not in my experience). But, a certain speed of synthesized speech (making it slower) and a certain quality (making it clearer, if possible) could certainly help a lot. -- Especially if one isn't able to get lessons from a native speaker.
I wonder is "rucksack" a proper translation? (as in a backpack that one uses for hiking or in the U.S. GORUCK Challenges [http://www.goruck.com/challenges/c/27]
I am constantly, and pleasantly surprised at how many nouns are near identical between English and Russian, albeit pronounced a bit differently (and with a different alphabet.
Thanks you for this course Duolingo!
Rucksack would also make a suitable translation (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/rucksack)