Yep, there is no difference — or a difference so subtle that you should not trust your ears anyway. In standard Russian as it is spoken these days, unstressed и and э/е merge into the same vowel.
Around the middle of the 20th century, it was argued that maybe, just maybe, Е denotes a a slightly more open vowel when unstressed, at least in the speech of older people. Avanesov's book «Фонетика современного русского литературного языка» ("The Phonetics of Modern Russian Literary Language") published in 1956 already describes this opposition of и and иͤ as "fairly unstable in the modern language", only present in some speaker's speech and considered substandard if strongly pronounced. Nowadays such difference is virtually non-existent, probably influenced by the following factors:
- reduced vowels are less loud than the stressed ones.
- reduced vowels have a fairly lax articulation
- reduced vowels are shorter, especially post-tonic ones (i.e. those after the stressed syllable).
For these reasons, even if such vowels proved to be acoustically different, it would be unreasonable to try to distinguish them when listening.
May I take a moment to appreciate your responses, Shady? Whenever i have a doubt, I go into the comments and usually there you are, solving the issues. It as useful or even more useful than the lesson introduction. Thanks.
As a beginner in Russian I am trying to pronounce "е" as "ye". Do the same for "ят" as "yat".
This is not true. As a native Russian speaker I can tell you that there is a big difference between ваши and ваше. The duolingo persons who made the pronunciation of russian words are not native speakers. They put wrong stresses and distord the words.
There should be. The computer isn't very good about pronouncing final vowels, especially и.
Why will duolingo accept where's when the object is singular but not where're when object is plural?
Где ваши вещи - Where are your belongings (in this case more appropriate)
I don't understand the dufference between ваши and твоя. I think both of them has the sane meaning which is "your"
Ваши we use for one person whom we respect or for some new person for you, or many person( like friends )
Твой we use for only one person without respect))
Why does duo lingo mark the whole answer wrong if I use the ш instead of the щ? With any other letter, it just says you have a typo (for one wrong letter), but marks it right.
I... Wrote the correct answer, and it said I was wrong, showing me the right answer (wich was the same as the one I wrote)