Dear Russian Team, please consider using a verb conjugator like in the German Duolingo. That would be really helpful. "Большое спасибо" for the great course.
What does "America" mean to native speakers of Russian? Does it only mean the U.S., usually only mean the U.S., or does it normally mean N. & S. America? -- Or does it vary a lot by speaker and/or context?
I'd guess usage is pretty similar to English. If you go to Russian Wikipedia and search for Америка, it will take you to the page for the continents, but in normal speech Америка in my experience is used much more commonly than США to refer to the USA.
Huh. I wrote живёт and google translate corrected me to живет. Is this interchangeable?
Russians, much more often than not, write ё as е in everyday life, signs, newspapers, etc, that is, they completely omit the "little dots" and write it just like normal е. Both are however different sounds and letters in modern Russian, and they tell them apart by context and by knowing the word (For example, when seeing Петр they would automatically read it as Пётр).
ё is written with dots only in foreigners language books (like in Duolingo :P), in children books and material, in some books, and when there is a real ambiguity without writing the dots (I am not sure I have seen this, but I hope they do write всё instead of все when meaning всё... Though I think they still just write все most of the time and use context to distinguish them).
My understanding is that this is historical: Originally the e sound was used always, and ё as a letter and sound did not exist at all. Speakers started pronouncing stressed е as ё in some words following certain patterns, but since ё did not exist, it was still written as е. Eventually ё was introduced as a written letter, but by then everybody was already accustomed to writing just е, and a lot of books and already written material was like that.
Writing ё always as ё (which feels more natural to foreign learners like us) is correct Russian (and obviously, omitting it as Russians always do is also correct).
I couldn't help but say Jenny like Forrest Gump, and now I have to ask: What accent does he have in the Russian version of that film?
The в in this sound clip sounds like an English 'g' (unless I'm hearing things). I'm used to the г sometimes being pronounced as 'v' as in его, but am I hearing this right that в is coming out as a 'g' sound here?
That's what I was hearing and it threw me off way longer than it should have.
I think в sound is correct but not sure about ж because i hear it as 'ri' but google sound tells me it as zhivot. May be i should visit ear doctor soon.