There are two types of vowels in Sweden. Hard and soft vowels. e, i, y, ä, ö = soft vowels a, o, u, å = hard vowels.
Certain consonants change in pronunciation depending on the vowel following. So, as in nötkött, ö is a soft vowel, hence the 'sh' sound.
also, ö is a more similar sound to that produced by 'er' in english, like in perfect. This link may help. http://blogs.transparent.com/swedish/swedish-pronunciation-hard-and-soft-vowels/.
Also: I used to have a Swedish tutor so ignore the fact I am currently on level 2, I am brushing up on my skills :)
I'm obviously only on level 2, but I would guess that sometimes a k inside a word has more of a /s/ sound. Like how English has hard C and soft C depending.
The only word with a k in the middle that I've come across so far is dricker, which definitely has a vocalized K.
What I was trying to say is when I try to translate the sentence we have here, my first instinct is to type "this is beef" because that's how I'd normally tell the sentence, but my translation gets rejected if I use "this" instead of the word "that". But in english, you can use "this" the same as "that" so I don't understand why my translation gets rejected every time I use the word "this"… If there is such a difference in Swedish, they should make a lesson to explain because I never got the tip about it ;) Also, you say that "this" is "det här" and "that" is "det där", but here we have "det är" which is neither of your propositions, so what should we do about it ? Thanks for taking the time to answer me ;)
"This" and "that" are not identical in English. There are times when either can be used, but they are not perfectly interchangeable.
For example, if I am holding up a piece of beef, I would say "This is beef." If I used "that" instead, the person I'm talking to would probably look around to see what I'm referring to.
On the other hand, if the beef is on a table across the room, I'd say "That is beef." It would be very strange to say "this" in such a case.
So it makes sense for duolingo to reject one if it should be translated as the other.
This is beef would be Det här är nötkött (or Detta är nötkött). Det är could be either It is or That is, depending on how you stress it, but the recommended translation is It is beef.
Det där är nötkött always means 'That is beef'.
I'm sorry we don't have a specific lesson about this, but it returns throughout the course so you'll get a lot of practice anyway.
The t in det tends to get dropped, and the e in det + the ä in är are the same vowel in many Swedish dialects - including the one used by the TTS. So in practice, the words merge somewhat. Natives can hear the difference by using clues such as vowel length, but not normally by listening for different vowels.
In a sense - it's actually less common to drop the t in det if the next word starts with a vowel, but as you see here, it's still the norm. It is not a rule such as the English a/an distinction - just a case of natives tending to abbreviate common words in all languages.