Translation:the streets of the city
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I had several Russian classes 45-50 years ago. At that time, I was taught that unstressed а and о get pronounced like "eh" - but that unstressed ы and и still have a distinctive "ee" sound. I never hear that with the speakers in this course. Personally, I'm not happy with the speakers in this course and believe the program should be more lenient when it determines whether or not an entry is correct.
Actually, in case of города it can be both. According to wikipedia, the stress on the first vowel is for the singular. In plural, the stress is on the last vowel.
So I BELIEVE that in this case it is singular, and should be го́рода. The text to speech confused it with the plural nominative, "города́".
Yes, or similarly "of the street of the city " (using of is not so common in English as 's, but it keeps Russian order so it is helpful to think of it that way).
I guess that that is an even less complete sentence, not even a full noun phrase, so it does not fit in duolingo's context (but it would totally be the right translation as a part of a larger sentence).
It doesn't have to be plural to be "a city street." Although "streets of the city" certainly matches word order (assuming plural streets), "a city street" should be acceptable (assuming singular street). My point is that "ih" or "eh" (or the "schwa" sound in English pronunciation) are so close that unless there is context to provide more information, either answer should be accepted. Had the speaker said something like "Улицы города очень чистые." then it would have been obvious that the speaker was referring to more than one street.
А О sound the same unstressed.
Е И also sound the same.
Unstressed Я before the stressed syllable also sounds the same as и (язык, пятнадцать) but not everywhere (недели and неделя do not sound the same)
I do not think that Ы and А ever sound the same, even when unstressed. However, when native speakers pronounce them quickly, the difference is very little. Also, hard and soft vowels change the previous consonant in different ways, regardless of stress (although ш ц ж щ ч are exceptions and this consonants are not affected at all in modern russian).
I may be hallucinating, but I believe a previous Duolingo lesson specifically stated that the unstressed terminating vowels would all sound the same (which is NOT what I learned 45-50 years ago). However, I have found that the speakers in this course are not consistent - which is fine. I am not expecting the speakers to be "perfect" and understand that we are supposed to be training our ears for the subtle differences. However, given the gray areas into which we're delving, I wish the program would provide some fuzzy responses such as, "CORRECT! Although, "улицы города" matches more closely."