You will find your answer here. ;) Neve use "it is..." for names! Only "This is..." http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/this-is-i-am-it-is-name-identifying-yourself-in-a-letter-message.2559008/
I agree, in lesson one it allowed 'it is Tom' and 'it is Tim'. If that was incorrect, as Martinemli states, then it should have been counted wrong in lesson one so that learners would know that. You don't want to teach people one thing just to later tell them that that is wrong. Teach them the correct practice from the beginning.
Not true. It depends on the context. If Anna were there in person you would use "this is Anna" to introduce here. However, if I had answered the phone and Anna wanted to talk to Tom (not me), I would pass him the phone and say "Tom, it's Anna (on the line)". Similarly, if Anna had knocked on the door to ask for Tom and I went to find Tom, I'd tell him "Tom, it's Anna (at the front door)".
Well if so it's certainly not an exlusively eastern European thing. I don't know why they use dobbel-consonants in this instance in Russian, but in the Scandinavian languages one would use dobbel-consonants in a such a word as "Anna" in order to make the vowel preceding the dobbel-consonant short. I don't know IPA myself, so I can't show you, but there would be a difference in the pronounciation of "Ana" and "Anna". Pherhaps this is also the reason in Russian.
What would be the literal translation of this sentence? I have read that Russian often omitts the copula (is). Does this mean that this sentence, and similar sentences, would be translated literally as "Tom, this Anna" - with the copula being implicit? I was told by a russian friend once that only members of the russian orthodox church use the copula as this is considered archaic and stuck-up.
In our case you use это when you need to make a statement like "this is a table", "this is mom". You don't change it by gender in this meaning. If you change it by gender (этот/эта/это masc./fem./undef.) you have the meaning closer to "excactly this one", "the one of a kind" etc. For example: "This is a bicycle. There are a lot of bicycles. This one is red" -> "Это велосипед. Здесь много велосипедов. Этот велосипед - красный."
Agree. Moreover one can use "это" for plural too: "это компьютеры" ("these are computers"). After "это" you can use anything responding to the question "What is this?"
But "эти компьютеры надо продать" ("these computers have to be selled"). Here "эти" means something like article "the" in English and it will change its form depending on subject ("этот, эта, эти").
You want me to print the answer in Russian but you don't give Russian alphabet letters to use. Is there a way to make them appear for use?