Translation:My children do not like milk and bread.
Russian requires double negatives, so instead of «или» (or) you should use «ни... ни...» (neither ... nor): «Мои дети не любят ни молоко, ни хлеб» works well.
If you use «или», the phrase «Мои дети не любят молоко или хлеб» would sound pretty unnatural, but still understandable.
Well, because the original is "My children do not like milk and bread." and not "My children do not like either milk or bread."
How precise are Russian speakers with this kind of thing?
What I mean is, an English speaker saying "don't like milk and bread" might mean either "don't like milk and don't like bread" or "don't like milk combined with bread". It's more precise in English to say, "like neither milk nor bread".
So the English is ambiguous, but if a Russian speaker says, «не любят молоко и хлеб», is it unambiguous?
I'd add that if, as discussed above, the sentence were «Мои дети не любят ни молоко, ни хлеб.», the preferable English translation would be either "My children like neither milk nor bread," or "My children don't like either milk or bread." See this guide to using "nor": http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/when-use-nor?page=1
When Я follows a consonant, it doesn't have a yod. Instead, it changes the pronunciation of the previous consonant: ба /ba/, бя /bʲa/.
No, there is no problem.
Pronouncing «лю́бит» and «лю́бят» in the same way is the normal reduction pattern. This syllable has the maximum reduction (because it's not stressed, not preceding a stressed syllable, and not the first syllable in the word).
Normally, syllables with the maximum reduction can only have one of 3 vowels:
- /u/ (because of the lip rounding, /u/ remains distinct from all the other vowels),
- /ɪ/ (all vowels after soft consonants sound this way), and
- /ə/ (all vowels after hard consonant sound this way).
So, according to the general rules, both «любит» and «любят» should be pronounced [ˈlʲubʲɪt], since both are preceded by a soft consonant.
However, as Wikipedia puts it, «across certain word-final inflections, the reductions do not completely apply». To distinguish «любит» and «любят», people might reduce the latter part less, thus having лю́бят [ˈlʲubʲət] vs. лю́бит [ˈlʲubʲɪt].
Here are a few YouTube examples where «любят» is pronounced as «любит»:
[N.B. I've just found these videos by a search, I don't endorse the content in any way. I haven't listened to those videos completely.]
- «Каки́х же́нщин лю́бят ['lʲubʲɪt] мужчи́ны?» 'Which women men like?' https://youtu.be/ZVQtVOBoFGM
- «Почему́ не лю́бят ['lʲubʲɪt] ру́сских?» 'Why [people] don't like Russians?' https://youtu.be/kYR_ooP9PlI?t=3s
- «Что де́вушки не лю́бят [ˈlʲubʲɪt] в парня́х?» 'What don't girls like in guys?' https://youtu.be/iAxln7zeBPk?t=40s
And here are some videos where «лю́бят» is pronounced not in the same way as «лю́бит»:
- «И́менно об одно́м из таки́х явле́ний мы сего́дня с ва́ми и поговори́м, а и́менно: почему́ ко́шки лю́бят [ˈlʲubʲət] коро́бки?» 'We will talk exactly about one of such phenomena, namely: why do cats like boxes?' https://youtu.be/W2sxxAoPTKI?t=13s
- «Ду́маете, же́нщины лю́бят [ˈlʲubʲət] подо́нков?» 'Do you think women love douchebags?' https://youtu.be/ADnHYFr3IQ4
This video seems to use both pronunciation, first using a less reduced version and then using a version with more reduction:
- «О́чень ча́сто мо́жно слы́шать: «Ну а что, ра́зве лю́бят [ˈlʲubʲət] за что-то? Ведь про́сто лю́бят [ˈlʲubʲət], потому́ что лю́бят [ˈlʲubʲɪt]» "Very often one can hear: 'So what, do [people] love [someone] for something? They just love because they love.'" https://youtu.be/cJTcs-oUckc?t=1m39s
My only question is whether you pour the milk on the bread, or put the bread in the glass of milk. Either way, it comes out as a gloppy mess, so I wouldn't like it either.
Although, I must admit, this brought back a memory from decades ago - if my Dad wanted a snack, he really liked "milk-toast" - he made plain toast and put it in a glass of milk, then ate the compôte with a spoon.
He grew up poor in rural Georgia (USA), so for him this was a real treat. I never much liked it, though it's not terrible.
I will take at face value that your statement that your answer was rejected for no reason other than you used a contraction, even though no else has mentioned it.
The Duo computer tends to disfavor contractions. In this case, your contraction buries not. It is there but not obvious. It is possible that the programmers who set up the question likely had in mind that they want you to understand the role of Не in a sentence. If they did, the result produced by you did not appear to display it. It is possible that they considered its lack of prominent display a problem.
Personally, I am always surprised when I see contractions accepted as an answer on Duo. I don't think an introductory lesson is the place to start encouraging students to take shortcuts.
I recognize that I am probably alone in this regard.
Because 'children' is plural, so it should be used with a plural form 'do' and not with a singular form 'does'.
Some English speakers might not have this distinction (e.g. some people have argued that 'there is towels' should be acceptable alongside with 'there are towels'), but Duolingo focuses mainly on the 'standard' variety of the language and therefore doesn't allow some forms even though they are used.