"This is a long way."
Translation:זאת דרך ארוכה.
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Actually, zo is the correct way to pronounce it. zu is colloquial, non-standard. The reason why people pronounce it that way is because there is a word זו in Biblical Hebrew, which is a relative pronoun, which is indeed pronounced "zu", so people mistakenly think that זו as the demonstrative pronoun is also pronounced this way.
Generally no, but if it makes you or anyone else on this thread feel better, there are several nouns (often, but not always in the plural) that even native speakers get confused about. The most common examples that I can think of are מכנסיים, אופניים, גרב, צומת all of which are masculine but often heard used in the feminine.
There is a lot of confusion about english grammar in the comments. דרך is a feminine noun, ארוכה is feminine here because it is the attributive adjective modifying a feminine noun and it will take the gender of the noun it modifies (דרך). Also the near demonstrative pronoun זו is a diminutve form of זאת and feminjne because the entire sentence is a predicate nominative form indicated by the copula (the verb 'to be' in english). So this makes an equivalency between the feminine noun and the pronoun...so we need a feminine pronoun....ie this (fem pronoun) is (copula) a long (fem adj) road (fem noun). There are more subtleties, but this post was to talk about the grammar and long enough already.