So I guess I am literally learning the "Russian tongue". I guess that even in English that makes a little bit of sense
Of course it does. The English word "language" comes (through French) from Latin lingua, which also means "tongue". As for Russian, the meaning "language" has a long history and might very well be one of the original meanings of the word «язык».
And in English we also talk about things like "mother tongue" and foreign "tongue".
And how "demons speak in tongues" from the christian bible and other religions
Tongues and speech have been intertwined for a long time. It's shared the meanings of "lumpy mouth muscle" and "language" since Old English (as tunge); "language" itself has its roots in Latin lingua for tongue, and they both appear to share DNA from Proto-Indo-European dnghwa.
In spanish we can use the same word for language and for tongue. It seems that in russian too.
No, "dogs" is incorrect. "У" requires genitive case. "Собаки" is genitive singular. It's also nominative plural, which is why the hint was wrong. If this was plural "dogs" then you would need genitive plural "собак".
It's interesting to contrast that for Ancient Greeks, language was related to the glottis (as when we say "polyglot") rather than the tongue.
Suddenly confused as to why exactly here we should say собаки and not собака... I'm a hopeless idiot and I never learn! I mean I didn't get it wrong because I could tell it wasn't a plural and thus it must be different grammar rule, but I don't know which one.
у is a preposition that always requires Genitive—regardless of which of its meanings you need.
Im just a learner so correct me if im wrong but i think that would be: у собак есть длинные языки Where собак is gen. pl. and длинные языки is nom. pl.
есть would probably not be used. I mean, it makes sense if you describe a dog to an alien, but under normal circumstances the listener knows that most vertebrates have tongues. We usually do not use есть for describing body parts or medical conditions (your sentence essentially means "Dogs' tongues are long"):
- У слона большие уши.
- У моей кошки очень длинная шерсть.
- У тебя температура?