Does anyone else have a lot of trouble hearing the difference in the speaking questions?
Yes, try not to be disheartened. It's pretty common. I usually have to have headphones on to clearly hear the difference and other times it's downright near impossible because without context or having heard the sentence before, I'm not quite sure.
On a related note - I was involved in a longish conversation about one of the sound clips. Some people heard an issue where others did not. Those who heard the issue (myself included) found that it went away when we used headphones or bigger speakers.
I've been speaking Esperanto regularly (and in person) for almost two decades and I still get tripped up a little by this aspect in the course. It's not the course's fault. In a noisy environment, it can be difficult to tell which pronoun is being used. My advice - watch people's lips, use context, pronounce clearly yourself, and when necessary use hand gestures and clarifying words. (Mi, Tomaso, venos -- atendu tie.)
I especially have trouble distinguishing between "mi" and "ni". "Por mi" and "por ni" sound almost identical to me.
I'm not sure if I'd have the same trouble in real life, as I rarely hear Esperanto (without reading it at the same time) outside of Duolingo.
My problem with the speaking questions is that almost every time I forget that I'm supposed to type exactly what I'm hearing and not the translation of what I'm hearing.
Yes, I do. I have found that listening to Esperanto outside Duolingo has helped a bit though.
Wow... I've never heard of that site.
It looks interesting. Thanks for sharing it!
It's really useful to listen to words' pronounciation in foreing languages.
Very much so, and sometimes when i read the correction i can then 'hear' the correct sound two channels of input reinforcing each other as it were. But some times, even playing it 20 or 30 times, knowing what I should hear and listening for the difference i simply connot hear it.
I sometimes have a problem, but usually only when the pronoun is the first word spoken. Sometimes the headphones are no help.