I agree, mostly. I don't think it is exactly the same pronunciation as in English. But here, it sounded like "Fenz." I guess if it was "Fäns," I could accept it. But, it isn't. I couldn't figure out what the heck she was talking about. It should have sounded more like "Fahns."
Doggonator, For someone who is an English speaker, you depend a lot on phonetics. German is an extremely phonetic compared to English, and, if you take the long view from Old English, is made up of a MAJORITY of loan words and expressions in various degrees of assimilation. English is the source of a lot of loan words in a lot of languages, so that should make them easier to learn since you know them already.
Absolutely. I did say that if you take the long view from Old English, the majority of our words are loan words. Of course that makes most people just think about French, Latin and maybe Greek, which do make up a huge percentage of our modern vocabulary. But I certainly didn't mean to exclude our extensive borrowing from Arabic (like cotton, coffee, orange), Spanish (cargo, patio, renegade), Hindi (bungalow, jungle, loot) and most other modern languages. And that's not even counting the words most people recognize as loans like coup and kindergarten.
I am afraid your first question has no meaningful answer. Language is how it is because it is. But actually it is a little worse than that. Sie is she, they and you formal. She and they are of course the ones that would be.most often confused, but in that case you can always tell which one is being said as they will always have different congugations. In this case it is sie mag - she likes and sie mögen they like. The formal you takes the same congugation as they in all verbs. In writing you always capitalize the s for the formal you, but since it is often the first word in the sentence, it would be capitalized anyway. But when you are talking directly to a person you address formally with Sie, it is not likely that anyone would think that a random they sentence would come into play most of the time, although I am sure it can occasionally. In an actual conversation about the differences between something done by "you" or "you all" addressed formally and some other group, a "they", A German speaker would use another word or words that define the "they" that was being discussed. It might be something as general as those people or something more definitive of the group like the other team (or the name of the team), the Johnsons, or the musicians (obviously totally random options, but I assume you get what I am going for) On Duo, since there is never any context, both you and they should always be accepted for the plural congugation except in any case of a written German sentence where the Sie/sie comes in the.middle of a sentence where you can distinguish them by whether the word is capitalized.
In Duolingo's dictionary page for "Fans", the first 3 sentences pronounce the word 3 different ways. Fenz, Fans, Fahns. https://www.duolingo.com/dictionary/German/Fans/90477e95d202d988882f76fc91131850
At least on my MacBook, I hold the option/alt button and press 'U', let go of option/alt and press the letter over which I want the umlaut to go: ü, ö, ä. It is very quick and simple once you get it down. You may also be able to set up your own keyboard shortcuts. I know I have done that in WORD at least.
Actually sie as she is easily recognized because of the different conjugation. Sie mag is conjugated just like er mag. But sie mögen is they like. The actual problem with written German would actually come from the sentence Sie mögen die Fans. Since the Sie is capitalized anyway at the start of the sentence, without context it would be impossible to know whether that was Sie, the formal you, or sie, meaning they. In this case the conjugation is the same and the only difference is that Sie meaning you formal is always capitalized.
The fan that blows air is called Ventilator. This is the Fan like a sports fan. Although that word is clearly from the word fanatic, there are enough situations that require the addition of the word fanatic to discuss fans that most people don't even think of most fans as fanatics.
No. Mögen is an irregular verb, although much less so if you consider other German modal verbs. The ich form and the third person singular form are always the same.
Here is a link discussing these verbs and their conjugations.