Question about articles
I see the Russian-German course uses это for the definite articles and одна for the indefinite article, would those be used in practice, or are they just there for the sake of teaching the German articles?
P.S.: Is there an estimated release date for the phone version of the English-Russian course yet?
Russian itself doesn't really use articles so I'd strongly suspect that it's just for the sake of teaching them.
I've heard something similar about Japanese too... It seems to be a common thing to use somewhat untypical phrases in the base language to teach certain concepts in the learning language that don't really exist in the base language.
I've also heard the Korean course contributors explicitly warn people against using it as a reverse true due to their use of nonstandard Korean. (Which they presumably use for similar reasons: to make a certain English construction or distinction clearer for Koreans to understand.)
Yes, I experienced it myself. One of my Japanese textbooks tries to illustrate the usage of certain particles with German (my native language) example sentences that mimic their function. These sentences sound really weird, definitely not like natural German BUT you understand the meaning and it makes the whole concept easier to grasp than just relying on abstract explanations. At some point, you don't need this aid anymore and the new features come naturally to you but in the beginning, it definitely helps to get used to it.