When I play back the sound, for "субботу", I hear "sobuto", whereas from the spelling I would expect to hear either "subotu" or "subatu".
What's the correct pronunciation? And if I am hearing it right, is this word an exception or have I simply not understood what the normal pronunciation of "о" and "у" ought to be?
The English translation seems not to be right here. I don't know if this has been written before but I think "is Vanya studying on Saturday?" would make more sense in English. If you use "does Vanya study..." the "does" implies that it's a regular activity. If we're talking about a regular activity, it should be "does Vanya study on SaturdayS". Similarly, "does Vanya study on weekend?" (without the "s" on "weekend") sounds totally wrong