"Jest ciemna noc."
Translation:It is a dark night.
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Instrumantal is used in sentences type "noun IS noun", i.e. that something is a member of some type of objects, like f.ex. "Pies jest zwierzęciem" [A dog is an animal].
Here you have a different statement: "something exists and has a property", it is a sample of very short sentence type "verb adjective noun" which serves to describe a state or circumstances - and translates into English as simple as to "pronoun verb adjective noun" - A pronoun is obligatory in English, but it is not in Polish.
- Jest późny wieczór (nominative case) [It is late in the evening]
- Jest wczesny ranek (nom.case) [It is early morning]
- Jest ładna pogoda [It is a nice weather]
Attention, it is something different than sentence type "noun IS adjective"! In the contrary, that structure serves to attribute a property to a noun:
- Wieczór (nominative case) jest późny [The evening is late (already)]
- Dziewczyna jest ładna [The girl is pretty]
- Jabłko jest czerwone [The apple is red]
Yes, you could.
This is a nice sentence teaching an interesting nuance. Yes, you can understand the English sentence simply as "[It/This/That] is a dark night", constructed identically as let's say "[It/This/That] is a small dog", and then you translate it as "To [jest/] ciemna noc".
However, the main Polish sentence is constructed differently. "Jest ciemna noc" means that right now it is a dark night. It's similar in construction to "It is raining" ("Pada deszcz"), a sentence which (at least in Polish) doesn't have any grammatical subject, no real 'it' to translate - not even a dummy pronoun.
noc is feminine. It is kind of exception as there are not many -c ending feminine words, but there are many feminine nouns that end with "softer" consonants (s,sz, ś, c,ć, cz ż ź dż dź ń), I always say that you should toss the coin or check dictionary for them. (ść ending is more likely to be feminine noun)
"Jest ciemna noc" is a subjectless sentence which means that right now we have a dark night. Sentences like this are used when English uses "It" and cannot substitute it with "This" or "That".
"To ciemna noc" is a correct answer, but it means "[This/That/It] is a dark night" (there is some subject, you say this 'about something').
Both interpretations (subjectless/with subject) are correct without further context.
If it was "To jest ciemna noc", with a dummy pronoun, then all of "[This/That/It] is a dark night" would work.
But this is a subjectless sentence in Polish, and as such it can only translate to English using "It". It's similar in terms of grammar to "Pada deszcz" which is "It is raining" (but not "This is raining" or "That is raining"). There's no any specific 'it' that is raining, you just need the subject in English, but not in Polish.
Those sounds are very distinct and the TTS voices seem fine to me.
Of course. Read about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_sun#White_nights