Please don't use italics in Russian - Request to moderators and users
In reading Verbs in the Present 1 - Tips and notes, I couldn't figure out some of the infinitives given there, until I realized that the moderators were using Russian italics.
Russian italics don't just slant characters, they change them, some in quite remarkable ways. For example, Russian italic т = т, which looks much more like it's an italic м (which is м).
Dealing with Cyrillic characters is difficult enough for beginners, so adding the confusion of Russian italics to the mix is making an arduous task even more difficult, so I request that people not use Russian italics in entering text on Duolingo.
In Spanish it is almost the same as Russian, we are taught both methods of writing, I personally like the cursive writing of Russian and it is important to learn it since it is used as well as the print. There are studies which show that the brain requires more skill and attention when it is written in italics. There is a large amount of sheets and books for the practice of writing on the internet.
Italics maybe didn't have to be introduced at that point, but you will encounter them everywhere, both in the internet and in the real world, so learning to read them is absolutely essential. The differences are rather few and fairly easy to keep straight once you're aware of them.
It's not a matter of italics vs non-italics. What you have to keep in mind is that cyrillic "м" never ever looks like latin "m". Whenever you encounter the latter in a cyrillic context, it's a "т", a lowercase "Т". And you have to get used to it because it's absolutely everywhere (and it's the only way to write it in cursive letters)
I feel your pain. After I had finally learned the typed Russian alphabet, someone sent me a document in italics and I freaked, thinking I had somehow missed a bunch of letters. Then I realize italics changes things. I'm still learning to read and write in cursive, which is mostly not too difficult as most of the letters are not that different. THEN a friend's mother in SPb wrote a recipe for me--adding confusion with her personal writing style and the shaky scribbles of an 80-something year old. I guess I won't be making that apple tart any time some. Unless someone wants to help translate for me. :-)