It's because it's Prepositional case. You have 5 other "ways" (i.e. grammar cases) to use objects in the sentence in Russian ;-)
Thanks, dempl! I have since run into the prospect of 'cases'. I'm currently of the opinion that it's a daunting task to learn them all, but I.. guess I'll just have to muddle on through until I've learned them all.
Thank you for the link, though, I shall peruse it in a bit. And again, when I keep running into the same problems, hehe.
When involving static location, both в and на required the object to be in prepositional case. Case endings depend on gender (Masculine/Feminine/Neuter) and number (Singular/Plural).
площадь is nominative case singular feminine, and the ь ending changes to -и in prepositional case. парк is masculine nominative singular (with no ending in nominative case), and prepositional case adds -e to the end for masculine words.
There are lots of noun declension tables available on the internet for reference purposes. I copied on into a spreadsheet, which I keep open while doing the Russian course.
Is obvious that there's a kind of linguistic efficiency going on here, since ь also changes to и to change nominative case singular words into nominative plurals. The same letters serve multiple purposes. What those purposes are isn't clear at all right now, but....
Learning Russian in particular is an experience where I just have to not ask too many questions about what some things mean or why they are what they are, because ultimately I know it will be explained or come clear. It has to. Russians talk to and understand each other perfectly well, even though I can't really tell the difference between a prepositional case площади and a nominative plural площади. For now, I struggle to remain ignorant until I can learn more.
Well, you can't stand 'on park', 'on room' and that's why it's "в парке", "в комнате". You have something 'in the car' (в машине), 'in mind' (в уме).
But you can stand 'on the roof' (на крыше), 'on the ground' (на земле) etc. So, it's close to English 'in' vs 'on'.
'at' most of the time translates as "в", but there are some exceptions (at work - на работе).
Hope that makes sense.
Russians do speak faster than most of the folks, not as fast as Spanish or other Mediterraneans, but faster than English folk definitely. That's why some words might seem connected :-)
Proper way to say it would be to say "Ya F'Parke" or "Ya F'Komnate" (I am in the room). Bear in mind that "F" is almost silent, but you should still connect it with the word after it, i.e. place you're in, rather than the pronoun before it.
I actually tend to pronounce it wrongly as "Ya V Parke" (everything separated) by a force of habit in my own language, but Russians tend to understand that rather well, and don't make a big deal out of it (as opposed to other things in their language, since they're not used to "Broken Russian" too much :-) )
I've noticed in Duo that where clauses are separated by — that if the 2nd clause begins with в, it really does sound like "fff" or even "ffss" - more like loudly blowing air over the lips. But if в follows a vowel, then it's kind of tacked on to the vowel:
(Forgive the approximations of sound.)
«я в парке» = "Ya'v (or Ya'f) parkeh" but
«моя сестра - в парке» = "Maya sestra.....(ffss) parkeh"
Still, I wouldn't be surprised to hear it as "Maya sestra'v/f parkeh"
Borrowed words such as this don't change. Same goes for такси, пальто, манто, табло, кофе, кафе, какао, радио, шоссе, депо, филе, дефиле, боа, трюмо, какаду, кенгуру, кино, рефери, жюри, маэстро, пианино, фортепиано, вето, табу, кашпо, кашне, меню, желе, рагу, соте, пенсне, самбо, конферансье, атташе, плато, портмоне, жалюзи and many others.
It is sounded, just not a complete "vee" sound. Sometimes it sounds like it's tacked on to the ends of words, like я в sounding like "ja'v" or "ja'f", and sometimes it sound like "(ffss)" before words, like в парке sounding like "(ffss) parkeh" - more like a rush of air being blown out over the lips and actually pronouncing anything. But that's just what my ear tells me now.