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I recently described the
é sound in ELA (é-lah) as the a in mattress (American English), and the
ê sound in ELE (ê-lee) as the first "e" in bent. Or something like that. The same goes for plural form.
This is how Brazilian Portuguese speakers easily tell them apart--by the sound of the first "e" in ele or ela. I can't guarantee that the robot would say it correctly (especially in turtle speed), but I hope it helps! =]