Problematic listening exercise - श and ष
Are we supposed to distinguish श and ष in the listening exercise when these two letters sound basically identical in modern Hindi?
There is no pronunciation difference between the two letters. Earlier, they used to be pronounced differently but the modern pronunciation has converged to श so both ष and श are pronounced like श. I am a native. I was never taught any difference between these two sounds.
If you are familiar with Latin American Spanish, it is the same case with the use of "z" and "s". They both are pronounced the same. One must learn the spellings individually in most cases.
If there's anyone who can hear the difference in Duolingo's audio samples for श and ष, please tell me I'm wrong. But as far as I can tell, the same audio sample is used for both. If they're supposed to sound different, then one of them is wrong. If they're supposed to sound the same, then when one is the expected answer on a multiple-choice question, the other should be accepted as well.