Flagging words you want to learn
I enjoy reading over other people's translations and the articles as language practice. I often find I am scanning for words I don't know. It would be nice to be able to flag these words and have them appear in an organized list (that I curate) of words I'd like to remember to practice or learn later. Currently, I find myself opening my notes on my iPhone to record words I'd like to remember, which is taking me out of the experience and a bit of an organizational mess for me. Adding a feature like this would help me practice. You could also use the words in my future language lessons where possible.
If you really want to practice words (and other things) rather than practice translating, I think Anki is a great supplement to duolingo -- the desktop version of Anki is free. Adding words to practice to Anki is easy and it is kind of like an intelligent flashcard deck -- you only see cards when you need to practice them (you don't see cards you already know, you just see cards you need practice on, all done automatically for you).
In most traditional textbooks, frequency of word use is taken into consideration. I wish the Duolingo course builders would do this too. I'm at level 13 in Swedish as I write this entry, and I know the words for "moose" and "reindeer," but I don't know how to say, "You're welcome."
Has there been any progress on something like this? I think it would be extremely valuable, both for users to flag words they know they have trouble with, and for duolingo to get more metadata on which words cause people the most trouble. I feel like it'd be fairly easy to add a feature to at least "star" a word in the big "words learned" list, as a first step; likely just an additional field in each user's "words learned" database marking flagged/unflagged. Once that's there, creating a "practice starred words" quiz in a similar way to the "Strengthen Skills" quiz (but pulling words from the starred list rather than randomly selecting weak words from an early section) shouldn't be too tricky....
Yes! Adding a flag feature would further increase the efficiency of learning. When I'm practising a lesson and working on those strength bars, I often find that there's only one or two words per lesson which I can't remember, whereas the rest of the vocabulary might be stuff that I got right on the first attempt six months ago and again on the second attempt three months ago. This makes it slightly frustrating to do the drills on basics.
What if Duolingo had a button where the user could mark certain words as "important" or "requiring special practice"? Those words would then stand out and be featured more often in the exercises. Conversely, words which the user has repeatedly got right would not be recurring so often.
Maybe DL's algorithms already aim at accomplishing this without the user playing any active part in the selection process? However, at least in my case, I often know which words strike me as unfamiliar, illogical or otherwise challenging; I'd be happy to enhance the owl's artificial intelligence a bit.
Moreover, the algorithms don't always get it right: I know that a certain word in my vocabulary is shaky, yet it shows up in Duolingo's word list with full strength bars. I'm feeling it would be useful to be able to manually mark it for future exercise on the fly.