Pronunciation in Russian
I have been following the recordings on Duolingo, supposedly by a Russian native speaker and I have found the stresses on several words on the wrong place according to a Russian website called викисловарь. As I am learning this language after taking another course called Russian Accelerator, I am confused by how words should be pronounced to be understood by a Russian native speaker. Has anybody encountered this problem in Duolingo?? By the way, I have submitted my observations to Duolingo and I have never got a reply to my concerns.
I recommend to use the international phonetic alphabet and use the words' phonetic transcription. It may seem complicated but it's really helpful as you can use it to know how to pronounce the word.
I am confused exactly the same way. I am confused mostly about o-a and e-ye. I am not even sure how a basic word like здесь is pronounced. I have heard it pronounced as "zd-yes" and as "zd-ass" and something in between. Russians seem to be obsesssed with the sound y (as in yeah) :)
I have taken the Russian Accelerator course and I found out that the most common pronunciation of здесь is "zd-yes". I agree with you that when listening to Russian native speakers, not 2 sound the same. It's so confusing that the only reason why I have not given up on this language is because i am very stubborn and I like big challenges. Russian is a horribly difficult language mainly because of its pronunciation. For me its grammar is easy compared to its pronunciation.