In this example is it a specific location, how many girls are over there in that place? Or is this how you would ask in general, how many girls exist in the scenario?
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.
(Russian learner here). General existence probably with есть: Сколько есть девочек?
Maybe a native speaker can explain.
Came here to ask that too... My guess is there as in that place. Hopefully someone can clarify!
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.
Thank you for the in-depth explanation of the soft sign. I guess I need to review your sections on soft signs.
BTW, having the latin characters helps a lot getting a taste of the Russian language! Thanks for putting this course together.
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.
My bad! Thanks for taking the time to answer my basic question! The level of detail was appreciated as I do have an understanding of soft/hard sounds from other languages.