The sound quality is so poor that it's almost impossible to hear the difference between o livro and um livro.
that fast pronunciation is necessary, by this only we will able to understand when we are communicating with a Portuguese speaking person
But we will be good if we accidentally step into a time portal to future Portugal with only robots there. We will thank duolingo then..
Still learning myself, but i think if it ends in a 'o' then it is masculin, and 'a' is femanin. Like the word for husband is 'marido', and wife is 'esposa'. Hope I'm right and hope it helps.
I'm a native speaker. Normally, it works like that (90%), but just as in any languages, you'd find exceptions. For example, mar, farol are masculine. Colher is feminine.
I'd suggest you to look it up in a dictionary. They normally state if the word is male or female.
https://www.priberam.pt/DLPO/colher "substantivo feminino"
If you can't, follow your guts!
it just sounded like "o livro" to me too, i agree... i don't think it should be necessary to press the "slower" button every time...
No, to me, a native speaker, i could perfectly understand she says "um livro". I think that, as "um" is pronounced like a nasal vowel, you could not distinguish between the two sounds.
"O livro" = a book, a specific book, "um livro" = one book, a book not 'important', some book...