"Сколько там девочек?"
Translation:How many girls are there?
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This refers to how many girls there are over in that place ("there"). Там is the "there" which contrasts to the "here" of здесь or тут. While the Russian version is clear, the English version of this sentence is unfortunately ambiguous, because we use "there" to mean both a literal там location and a general sense of existence.
Usually the last word is the new info or the point of the question. It helps me to think about which word gets vocal stress in English. Сколько там девочек is "How many GIRLS [as opposed to boys, adults, etc.] are there?" But with там at the end, it would be "How many girls are THERE [as opposed to here or other places]?" Which is possible, but less likely, I think: "I know how many girls are at Location A, and how many are at Location B, but how many girls are THERE? [pointing at Location C]"
This is ridiculous. 'How many girls are there' would suffice. 'Over' is a completely unnecessary word in this context, and my answer of 'there', which was the only thing I could think of, should count.
'How many girls are there there' may sound odd, but it is perfectly proper English. Because of the bizarre ways we use words like 'there' and 'that', one can easily have a sentence which repeats the same word twice, or even three times which is grammatically correct.
Apostrophe is a way to write soft sign (ь) with the Latin script. Soft sign changes the pronounciation of the preceding consonant; л is «hard» l, /l/, while ль is «soft» l' sound, /lʲ/.
Compare the difference in pronounciation of some words:
In the past, ь was a very short i-like (or e-like) consonant, but it disappeared, changing the way consonants are pronounced. English doesn't have a notion of soft/hard consonants, so it might take some effort to understand them.
It wasn’t me who put it — I'm just going through the forum answering the questions (it makes me happy that people learn my native language), but the course was created by people like Shady_Arc.