It is possible to just say "un album photo" in French, which is literally "a photo album". Here, they chose to use "un album de photos", which is literally "album of photos". "De" is a preposition that is used to help define the contents of the album, and since there are many photos in the album, we have to use the plural "photos".
Articles are pretty much always used in French. Here, they are talking about photos in general, so we should be using the indefinite plural article "des". However, as "album de des photos" sounds quite strange, the indefinite article is dropped. It is actually rare to see "de" followed by an indefinite article when it is used to help describe something, or identify content. E.g.: une tasse de thé, le jus d'orange, un verre de vin, un roman d'amour, ... etc.
i couldn't understand sorry...as photos is plural why cannot i use des photos?
I used the plural form - I thought it sounded the same. Is there a difference?
You can hear a difference between "de" and "des" but I don't think you can hear a difference between photo and photos.
To me it sounded like "l'album" bevause the /leur/ and the /album/ blended together
You don't hear the R in linking the two words? Even if you didn't, to me the woman's voice says has an /uh/ sound (or the sound you make when you are thinking aloud) after the L before album. So even if you just hear /luh albahm/ you know it cannot be le album because of the vowel at the beginning of the word album so the apparent schwa sound before album should give you pause. And you know it isn't l'album because you would not hear so much as a schwa after the L. It would just be /LAhL-bum/. The delay in getting to album after pronouncing the L, to me, is very clear and lets me know it's not l'album
There's a skip in the audio that is not natural, so it's not at all clear that it's supposed to be "leur album" vs. "l'album". Unfortunately, there's really nothing to be done about these issues other than try to memorize where they occur. You can report them, but my experience is that they don't get addressed - I assume that re-recording them is a major logistical challenge, so it falls by the wayside.
If it was plural, there would be an S on the end of leur as well, which you could probably hear since the next word begins with a vowel.
Using leur was clearly not the problem, since that is part of the solution. However, it is impossible to point out where you went wrong when you have not told us exactly what your proposed translation was.
I said "this is their photo album" to which it said was wrong. Can't "voici" mean "this is"?
You must have had an error somewhere because that is the correct answer. Duolingo usually tells you what was wrong with your answer. Do you not pay attention to the recommended correction?
You probably were supposed to select all correct answers and if you only selected one when there were more than one correct answers then you were wrong. Duolingo always tells you what was wrong with your answer.
When sped up (at least on my laptop), I don't hear the word leur properly. It sounds closer to le than leur. Slowed down it's fine.
It is spoken very quickly in the audio, but « le » is impossible since « album » begins with a vowel: "Here is the photo album" would be « Voici l'album de photos », with mandatory elision. Since the voice pauses slightly and voices the "R", it must be « leur ».
Is there supposed to be a difference in the pronunciation of "de" and "du" because I cannot hear it and it is driving me crazy. I am starting to think that certain words are not consistently being pronounced the same way each time. Does anyone know?
Yes, there is a difference in pronunciation. But even if someone did not speak clearly, just as the grammar in English usually helps you decipher what is meant, the same applies in French. Du means "of the" and we all know "an album of the photo" makes no sense so clearly du would not work here.
An online dictionary like larousse.fr is a good resource for learning the pronunciation of words. Not only can you play the sound but you can also note its phonetic spelling. But you need to know phonetic spelling in order to grasp the sound correctly.
De is /də/ and du is /dy/. But that makes no sense to you unless you have taken time to listen to a video like this one that helps you know how to work out the sounds from that spelling:
The schwa sound found in de represented by this symbol ə is heard at 0:28 of that video. De rhymes with "the".
The pronunciation of "u" in words like du is a little trickier. You hear it at 0:43, but yoy may need to look for more videos to help you learn the sound.
Youtube has a lot of videos that explain the "mouth gymnastics" you need to do to pronounce words properly. You just need to make a bit of effort to do some research. Google is your friend too.