Translation:Rumor has it that Mary and Michael speak.
"Are speaking" should be accepted. "Mary and Michael speak" is awkward in English.
agreed, unless someone is worried they might be mute, it should be are speaking
For the record "zvonește" seems to be the second-person singular subjunctive of "a zvoni:" http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/go.php?T1=zvoni&Submit=Go&D1=5&H1=105 And it took me almost half-an-hour to figure that our because Duolingo never makes grammar simple, and I had to deal with false positives from two related words -- the noun "Zvon" and verb "Zvonire."
Indeed. Think of them as zvon being rumor and se zvonește că as it is rumored that.
I am not sure that is correct. The second-person singular subjunctive of "a zvoni" is "să zvoneşti". I think this is simply the third-person singular present of "a zvoni"
You are right. As a side info, 99% of the cases where this verb is used are at third-person singular present... :-)
It's a little trickier than that. It's definitely not subjunctive, nor third person singular present, that would be (noi) zvonim, or (noi) sa zvonim.
Expressions like "Se zvoneste" "se stie" (it is known) "se aude" are impersonal verbs in personal modes, also called reflexive impersonals
What is this supposed to teach foreigners? NO ONE talks like this in real life. NO ONE uses this. This whole sentence has absolutely null value.