Practice with an emphasis of native to foreign translations
I'm currently taking up German and I'm not very far into the skill tree (Highly dyslexic, so this is very slow, but I'm persistent) and I tend to do a lot of the "Practice" just to make sure that I really know the words. Unfortunately it asks for many translations from german into english, which I find relatively straightforward. Is it possible to change a setting or something so that the majority of the translations are from english to german, as this would be far more useful in gaining proficiency for me?
Duo staff have done lots of testing and found that students retain more knowledge and stick with the program longer if they do more translation into their native language.
After you've completed the "German for English speakers" course you might enjoy the "English for German speakers" course. It will have you translating into German more, plus all the tips and sentence discussions will be in German.
[...] students retain more knowledge [...] if they do more translation into their native language.
That would seem counter-intuitive. Also, to my knowledge, Duolingo only ever measures user retention and engagement, not learning outcomes. Knowledge retention would thus have to be an assumed secondary benefit of retention. Am I mistaken?
I believe there's an emphasis on " (students) stick with the program longer if they do more translation into their native language". It is harder to translate into a new language, as you're learning more. People wont stay with the service if they're finding it hard/discouraging and that's less good for duolingo, even if it's better for language learning.
Wouldn't it be good if after a certain point the balance began tipping more and more towards target language translation exercises rather than remaining constant? Especially after a user has reached level 25.
By level 25, I'm sure people must be able to remember most of the native language sentences off the top of their heads. All I need to see is the Japanese for "my dog" (わたしの犬...) and I can translate the whole sentence without looking at the rest of it (="My dog sells hats."). There's not much benefit to be had from situations like that, but I agree it does take less effort to keep logging in and answering those kinds of sentences... ^^;