But soooo many Germans say the short "a" wrongly when speaking English. Hurricane "Sendy" was a great example.
I guess someone influential in education soon after the war told them that "bat" is pronounced "bät" and the problem has self-perpetuated. It's not like they can't pronounce it, eg the a in "Angela"
[æ] (the "a" in "fan") is not a native German sound. When they borrow words from English, they replace it with the closest sound in German, [ɛ] (like a short ä/e), so Fan is homophonic to "Fenn".
This isn't a mistake, this is the official pronunciation, just look in any German dictionary. When languages borrow words from other languages, they change the pronunciation a bit to make it fit their native sounds. Just like how English speakers borrowed the German word "über", but they pronounce the ü as [ʉ:] (as in spoon) rather than the actual German [y:]
Yes, Andre is right concerning the official German adaptation. The sound is indeed a bit different. So my answer above ('exactly the same') is a bit off. However, more and more Germans (judging from my personal experience and including myself) do indeed use the English sound in this word. I guess, it isn't worth the trouble for English speakers to try to imitate the German imitation of the English sound.
According to this, the two "a"s in Fantasie are just normal German "a"s with their "ah" sound: (scroll down to Aussprache) http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Fantasie_Einbildung_Traum_Musik
Maybe you're right though, perhaps in common spoken German, due to influence from English, [æ] is becoming a phoneme in itself. I would have no idea though, I'm just learning the language here. All I can say is what I have learned from my research on websites about English and German and language and stuff.
All of that may well be true, but nevertheless the way "fan"/"fans" is being pronounced here on Duolingo is not consistent. The make voice pronounces it as "f-ah-ns" and the "new" female voice pronounces it "fay-ns".
Speaking of incorrect and inconsistent pronunciation, it is often the case that the male voice pronounce "Orangen" as "oh-rahn-ghen" instead of "oh-rahn-zhen".
And sometimes the same voice pronounces the word differently whether they are being used to soak the sentence when it first appears on screen, and another if it's saying the word when you tap on it.
No, viel is the uninflected or undeclined form which is used in a lot of expressions, especially "so viel" which is often "so much" or "as much", "wie viel" or "how much, "sehr viel" or "very much" and "zu viel" or "too much". "viele" is the plural form so that makes sense for it to be used for "many". It is not declined when used as an adverb which describes a verb, another adverb or an adjective.
With a noun it can be declined further. "Vielen Dank." is Masculine, Singular, Accusative Case, considered Strong inflection (declension) because there is neither an article nor a possessive adjective in front of it.
No, this is not considered an ein word and there is more declension possible than for an ein word.
Yes, adjectives decline to match their nouns in number, gender and case and also change form if they are alone in front of the noun or are with an ein word or are with a definite article. http://www.canoo.net/inflection/viel:A
Then, there are the positive (regular), comparative and superlative forms. like "good, better, best" or for this word "many or much (a lot of), more, most", but luckily "more" or "mehr", the comparative form, is not declined, I believe. http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/viel
However, "viel" is often not declined when singular and without an article. See this site page: http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/German-Quantity-Words.htm
"Fans" is spoken as "fäns" in German, like in American English - not "fans" as in British English. I have reported it as: "The audio is not correct".
Here the right sound: https://de.pons.com/übersetzung?q=fan&l=deen&in=&lf=en&qnac=#dict