Translation:There are flies there.
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Because in Russian, only one syllable is stressed. The other syllables have the vowel sound reduced, which is something that also happens in English to a lesser extent (like the "o" or "a" in political, or the "i" in rapid). In мухи, the у is stressed and according to IPA the и takes on a short "i" sound.
The fact that two different words, there and there, are spelled the same is just a fact in English. "There are" indicates existence, and "There" indicates location. Both words are needed in the English sentence.
I'm reminded of this little sentence. "I will spring over the spring using a spring next spring." We English speakers like to conserve words. :-)
Only use есть if someone denied flies were there and you had to say that the flies ARE there and that they are wrong.. Don't translate WORD FOR WORD.. Russian does not need to use есть where we say is unless they need to stress existence or possession. Ie: Да, у меня ЕСТЬ мухи!
You got the general idea. That's great. Exactly, Там мухи answers questions "Who are there?" - "The flies are there" and "Are there any insects there?" "There are flies there." Мухи там answers the question "Where are the flies? - "The flies are there." So they are almost the same.
Because it's too vague; reading it, sure that people understand you're talking about the existence of flies without saying about the place where the flies are. "There + be + noun(s)" as in your sentence is used to talk about the existence/presence of something. The Russian sentence talks about the existence of flies and also the location where they are (Там). Unfortunately, Там is also There in English. That's the reason a lot of guys get messed up with it. As for your variant, if you "shake" it up hard enough to be rearranged to "Flies are there", it will be clearer; you have what exist (flies) and location (there). I don't know if Duo accepts that, but it's a good variant of the Russian sentence.
х is the only sound which is unusual to an English ear, it's the sound that Scottish people use in "loch". Other than that, the и is a short "i" sound, the kind that we don't use in English unless it's followed by a consonant (e.g. "bit"). There's just the faintest hint of an (English) "y" sound before the и as well. The м and у are pronouned ("moo") as you'd expect, that's the posh British version of "oo".