Translation:There were two beds standing in the room.
As a native English speaker, I would say that it is correct to say that, but it's not common in conversational speech. To say that a piece of furniture is standing in a location suggests wording more akin to a narrative description in a book. E.g., "she walked through the open door and found a vanity, a writing desk, a large canopy bed, and a looking glass standing in the room." If you said it in a conversation, it wouldn't really sound wrong, but it might sound somewhat stilted or formal.
Okay, I consciously omitted the word "standing" when I answered "Two beds were in the room" because the notes accompanying the section that introduced стоять and лежать specifically said that Russians often use these words figuratively to mean "to be", as in "Two beds were in the room." Does anyone know if DL has changed its policy and will no longer accept a figurative translation. And if so, what else would the two beds be doing in the room if not standing? Burning?
In Russian beds are considered to be standing and not lying, despite the horisontal position. This is most likely because they have legs or at least a base.
Compare it to animals. When, say, the dog is on all fours, it's position is more horisontal rather then vertical, but we still say it's standing.
One would say that a bed was "lying" in russian if is it's been knocked over, but not if it's positioned as it's supposed to be.
Yes, I agree that it sounds strange (at least to the Frenchman I am)... but it's like that in German too, I finally understood that 'stehen' (stand) in this type of context doesn't mean in a vertical position so much as in the normal position, that is the top part above and the bottom part below. As opposed to 'liegen' which would mean overturned or something like that.
It is an intricate sentence for understanding.
Structure "There + to be" indicates the present or absence of something (sometimes somewhere). There were two beds in the room.
At the same time past continuous were standing is quite capable of describing this situation. Two beds were standing in the room.
There were two beds *standing" in the room. It seems to me a redundant constraction, that can be translated like a gerund: Две кровати, стоящие в комнате.
It doesn't REALLY sound natural that a bed was standing unless you meant the image below. When I saw the sentence in English, I imagined this: https://m.dohasooq.com/public/uploads/catalog/product/preview/s/t/Standing-Bed-99__1143624375.jpg
The picture you referred to shows кровать, поставленную вертикально. There is also a funny expression for this position for a piece of furniture: "поставленный /-ая/ -ое на попа". What word did you expect to see in the description of the normal position of a bed? Surely, not "sitting" or "lying" or "hanging". And Russian uses a wide variety of verbs to translate "There was" / "There were". Here are some examples: В комнате стоял стол. На столе лежала книга. На стене висела картина. С потолка свисала люстра. Возле дома росли деревья. В лесу водились лисы. Посреди поляны торчал пень.
The distinction being made here seem a little too nice and refined, even without knowing that much about Russian. In addition, the subject of discussion is presented by Duo without any explanation. There's terrible teaching.
In English, we'd ask "What was in the room?" and we'd reply, "There were two beds in the room." The question is not completely illogical, as it allows for the presence of nothing, of one thing, or of two or more things. The Russian seems based on something else - what, I don't know.
This exercise might be more sensible, perhaps, if it also translated the Russian for "There were five beds standing in the room." Would the verb still be singular, i.e., "В комнате стояло пять кроват"? According to the logic of comments by native speakers here, it still should be.
Russian doesn’t offer a universal formula for “there was”/“there were”, making up for the lack of it by putting the adverbial modifier of place at the beginning of the sentence and using a variety of “position” verbs such as стоять, сидеть, лежать, висеть, торчать, валяться to state the presence of certain types of objects in a certain place. However, when it is the number of objects that we focus on, the verb быть is more commonly used than any of the “position” verbs. Thus, we are more likely to say, “В комнате было пять кроватей”, than «В комнате стояло пять кроватей». In the present tense the verb is omitted altogether («В комнате пять кроватей».) Note that when there was only one thing, the verb must agree with the subject in gender: В комнате была/стояла кровать. В комнате была только одна кровать. В комнате был/стоял стол. В комнате был только один стол. Using быть instead of the appropriate “position” verb signals that the object is becoming the topic of the discussion.
I can easily handle the use of ""standing after I read Dmitiy's comments above. The idea that there are different verbs used to help exlain how something is situated gels with me. Look at his answer to Zkamin above. BTW, I am the first to get really P888ed off with the "Russian article police" (a, the, etc) on Duo and was ready to debate this until I read Dim's cool answer
There are similar (not equal, but similar) expressions possible in English where a singular is used, say in a sentence like:
"Two beds was too much for her" (Maybe even better like "Two beds! That was too much!")
Or maybe something like:
"Two beds: that is what there was"
This page has a lot of instances of "two is": https://mysticalnumbers.com/number-2/