Why is 喜欢 being pronounced "xihua?"
Most of my experience is with people from northern China, but I have never heard this word pronounced "xihua." I've always heard it pronounced "xihuan." Is this a regional thing?
I have a similar problem, for example with "jian". In one exercise, it really sounds like "jie". I have asked a native speaker (Shandong province) to listen to several of the exercises and she says that the speaker has a strange accent and that sometimes she only understands him because she knows what word is supposed to come. To me actually, the speaker sounds like a speech synthesizer, not like a human.
I'm a native speaker, so I thought I had the task of saying this. The Duolingo voice sounds like the ones at train stations; they record separate words which are correct when they are alone, but when combined in a sentence it sounds awkward and exaggerated.
If you need help of pronunciation clarifications, feel free to ask! I might not always be right, but I think some insight would always help.