Because there is slight difference between two sentences:
- Here are the tables - вот столы. Emphatic construction meaning that tables are exactly in front of the speaker's eyes.
- The tables are here - столы (находятся) здесь. General sentence claiming that the tables are somewhere in viscinity.
Actually it's only my guess what exactly the authors where trying to put into this example. Personally I think that both variants may have the same meaning depending on intonation.
One of my girlfriend's cousins uses вот as a filler. When she is starting a phrase sometimes she uses it, when she is confused or she doesn't know how to answer, and I of course would feel weird to ask her, so, what would it mean if is being used like that? Would it stand for something like "well" or "uhm" or some fillers like this?
The word "Вот" may mean the following:
- Here is - Like in the sentence "Вот столы"
- Yes/Exactly - In this case it stands alone as a separate sentence, often it's stretched, the stress is going down: "В-о-о-о-т! Я же говорил", meaning "I told you, I was right".
- Emphasizer/Sign of irritation - It's probably the case for the girl you are speaking of. In this meaning it is pronounced with the stress on the next word "Вот ЗАЧЕМ он так сделал?!" meaning "what IN THE WORLD did he do that for?!"
- Single word emphasizer - looked in dictionary for that one. Actually it may be used practically everywhere to emphasize any verb, noun or indicative pronoun. "Книгу вот купил" - means just that you "bought a book", nothing special, in this case "вот" is really just a filler that may be added or withdrawn. "Вот там!" means "There!" practically the same as just "Там!", also no special meaning change.
There are more meaning in the dictionary, but they are basically other forms of the 4 meaning, that I wrote about.
Is столе an acceptable plural for стол? I answered this very question by writing где столе and it came out to be right. When I wrote that I thought it would come out as a wrong answer, since, although it was what I heard, it didn't make any sense to me because as far I know столе is a case other than nominative, and I didn't remember the nominative plural form of the word стол when I was answering the question. So is столе an acceptable nominative plural form of стол?
Sorry for contradicting you, a native speaker, while I'm just a learner, but I understood that the plural form, столы, has the stress on the last syllable, thus the letter 'о' is pronounced like an 'A'. Am I wrong?
Yes, the "o" letter is often pronounced as "a" when not stressed. It is called vowel reduction and is found in many languages aside from Russian.
You can still pronounce these letters as "o", but this is considered old mythical and/or redneck accent. For example Russian Santa Claus called Ded Moroz mostly ignores vowel reduction.
There is also the contrary accent. Moscow citizens are believed to reduct "o" sounds to "a" even when it is not needed. It's not widely spread (I personally live in Moscow at the moment), only among people with bad education I guess.
Suggestion: Don't mark the answer as correct with a "typo" if someone uses the wrong plural ending. I put "столи" when it should have been "столы". So I was wrong but it said I had a typo. That is not a typo. I was wrong. I didn't press "и" instead of "ы" on accident, which is what a typo is. Further, when going really fast, I often don't notice the "typo" message on the bottom, so in some ways it is training people the wrong information.
In Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iPhone I know you can "install" another keyboard that links your keys to another language's script. Using Latin script is wrong and you are not typing in Russian but rather a transliteration. This is especially problematic when trying to differentiate between things like э and е, щ and ш, ц and тс for example. You would be better off just doing a quick Google search for your device platform and activating a new keyboard map that can be switched easily with a keyboard shortcut.
Yes, letter "Л" is always pronounced as "L" in English. For example compare with "L" in the word "Low". Only be careful: it's "Столы", not "Столи", pronounced as "StolY".
I've listened to the Duolingo pretty attentively and I'm sure that the pronounciation is correct. (Native Russian).
There are two 'L's in Russian. This is the velar one, and it is the one many non-native actors use for all 'L's, thinking it makes them sound "Russian" on stage and in films, including in words like 'please' or 'children', where a Russian speaker would naturally use the other 'L', the palatal one. If it helps, you can get a very velar 'L' in some North American accents (like 'Brooklyn'), and a very palatal one in some old fashioned upper class British accents (like 'from the Palace') - but neither is as strongly influenced by the following vowel, as these examples show, as their Russian equivalents.
Almost all consonants may be both velar and palatal, as you call it. Depends on a vowel that comes after. If "я", "ю", "е", "ё", "и" it will be velar. Exceptions are: "щ", "ч", "й" becasue they are always velar and "ш", because it's always palatal.
But frankly speaking I didn't get about the Russian accent in the word "please". Maybe I also make some mistake when pronouncing that sound...
Yeah, that's exactly, what I thought you are talking about. Perhaps somebody will pronounce плыз, but I can hardly imagine that. Because this letter combination "лы" is rather rare in Russian. As far as I know the L sound is always velar only in French, but in Russian just like in English it can be both.