Translation:Yesterday I was explaining words to children.
- обяснять: objasnjátʹ (no such a word)
- обьяснять: ob'jasnjátʹ (no such a word) (ь makes a previous consonant soft)
- объяснять: ob-jasnjátʹ (ъ makes a previous consonant hard, can be heard as a pause after об)
' indicates a soft sound
Also the stress in this audio is incorrect, it should be "слова́" (acc. plural)
attn mosfet: I think anyom did not simply understand the difference between the Hard Sign & the Soft Sign. At times certain people may just think it is orthographic. In some languages using Cyrillic it sometimes is. For example the soft sign at the end of some nouns and infinitive verbs in Russian is purely orthographic. Also the soft sign is used at times for declension not palatalization.
Animacy is tricky in the accusative. Feminine singular accusative nouns change -а/-я to -у/-ю: Я читал книгу. Я знаю русскую девушку. Feminine nouns in soft signs stay the same: Я знаю его мать. Animacy doesn't matter for feminine singulars.
In the plural, animacy does matter; inanimate plurals have the same endings as nom: Я читал эти книги. Animate plurals have the same endings as genitive plural: Я знаю этих девушек.
ъ is not so common, but you'll see it sometimes between a prefix and a root; generally it shows that the consonant preceding it is pronounced hard, even if it's followed by a я, ё, е, or ю (vowel letters that usually show the preceding consonant is soft). This business of hard & soft consonants is actually really important; there are two quick videos on it here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrIkLgUgjNHetFNDeKqRe_wtuOy6qQ5kH
Сло́во ('word,' singular) is stressed on the first syllable, so the first о sounds like о; the 2nd, unstressed о sounds like the 'a' in 'sofa.' Слова́ (words, plural) has end stress, so the unstressed о sounds more like 'ah.' Whether or not this is pronounced accurately in Duolingo is another matter, as Oinophilos points out above; the audio in this example is wrong.
Aktivist70, not necessarily, but without a context simple past is more natural. The past continuous suggests I "was explaining" when something else was going on or happened, simple past is more natural. Speakers of French and German have trouble using the continuous tenses because the past continuous is not equivalent to the imparfait in French or the simple past in German. Maybe Russian speakers have the same problem, using the form out of context to mean an action that was repeated or took place over time, which is not how it is used in English. The issue is the meaning with respect to a "reference time," which is always expressed or implied in any English sentence. For example "When she walked in the door [explicit reference time], I brewed some coffee." Simple past in the second clause means the action of brewing started at or a little after the time of walking in. "When she walked in the door, I was brewing coffee." I was already in the act of brewing when she arrived.
But as EdmundMcintosh points out, continuous can work like a French imparfait. Here, for example, you could add a more specific time expression: "All day yesterday I was explaining words to the Children." To my ears, though, it has a more colloquial tone, emphasizing the constant effort required.
Good that I did not pay for Duolingo plus as I planned. Just because now I understand that my English is not good enough to pass these phrases. Meaning of Russian sentences I understand somehow, but continuously making mistakes in English grammar (or something). Pity, Finnish to Russian not existing.
This course seems to jump back and forth on the question whether you can add 'my' to relationships when it's not mentioned in Russian. In this same lesson I got marked wrong when I wrote 'the parents' instead of 'my parents' when no possesive was used in russian. Now I am marked wrong because I wrote 'my children' instead of 'the children'. Is there any rule they use for this?