the two a's in 'maman' sound different - the second one like an 'o' - could I somehow have known that? Anyone know a good French pronunciation practice/reference site?
The "n" at the end of the word tends to make the preceding vowel more nasal. Unfortunately, the robot speaker sometimes makes errors in French pronunciation, but mostly it's not bad.
Some pronunciation assistance (Note: these are all from the point of view of English-speaking learners) - <http://french.about.com/od/pronunciation/a/beginningpronunciation.htm> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92aQwVUBAYY>
If you google "French pronunciation" you will find many more links.
About.com is a good resource to supplement your learning here.
English speaking learners " need" to learn french pronounciation not english / french, why not have a native french speaker?
Paying an actual human to read all this would be very expensive. What we have is a computer-generated voice and its programming is not entirely accurate.
That was NOT "maman"... Got it as an audio only and it's impossible to hear that
Because the original French sentence does not include the word « ma » = "my"
for my mother = pour ma mère On the other hand, the pronunciation is not correct for the first part "ma" .. It sounds like 'mé' whereas it is http://dictionary.cambridge.org/pronunciation/english/ma
Not in American English, which, unfortunately, is favored by Duolingo. If it was not accepted, I would report it. :)