I've had Russian lessons so I know it's a common Russian soup, usually made with cabbage. We called щ "the cabbage soup s."
However, I don't think I can remember how to write щи in English (I had words for making the sentence this time) so I hope they will accept when I answer "Cabbage soup is a soup" when the time comes.
It’s absent from many keyboard layouts. So many people are forced to use hyphen (-) or double hyphen (--) instead.
This is a sentence where trying to translate each word separately produces unnatural English - it's a common enough one that you should probably just learn that 'x - это y' means 'x is y'. It feels weird seeing это there but not adding a word because many similar sentences don't include it - 'I am a Brit' would be 'я британец' or 'я - бртианец'.
This question would be very easy to explain if you're a Mandarin speaker (because those 2 sounds exist in Mandarin). Assuming you're not, ш is a retroflex fricative. The simplest explanation I can give to you is: An 'R-coloured sound'. Щ is an alveolo-palatal fricative. Basically, your tongue touches your hard palate while sounding out the 'sh' sound. If you do speak Mandarin: ш is the same as pinyin 'sh' while щ is the same as pinyin 'x'.
Doesn't shchi also mean cabbage?
No, I don't think it can mean just cabbage. It means a kind of green soup, usually made with cabbage, but sometimes with sorrel (although I'd normally call a sorrel soup зелёный борщ, but many people call it щи), or with other green plants.
because at best it seems to say that cabbage soup is a soup.
Well, but 'щи' doesn't include the word 'суп' in its name, so this sentence sound OK.
Does the sentence "Scouse is a stew" sound awkward to you? Basically, it says that a lamb or beef stew is a stew, and it's similar to structure to «Щи — это суп».
OK, thanks. I think I was confusing it with the Polish - kapusta, which seems to refer to cabbage by itself, and to cabbage soup. And - really? There is a Russian green borscht? I have only met the red variety in Russia and the white in Polish households (never been to Poland). Now I think that Duolingo needs a cultural addendum somewhere where we can talk recipes!
The pronuntiation of Щ has changed in 20th century. In the past, it was pronounced like a combination of шч. Now, the main pronunciation is like a soft variant of ш.
Back when the rules for writing Russian borrowings in English appeared, шч was still the main way of pronouncing щ.