https://www.duolingo.com/cazort

Hover-over Hints in Chinese Course Need Attention - Possibly Weakest Point in Course

I am starting to get really frustrated with the lack of attention to the hover-over hints in the Chinese course. I think these hints are one of the weakest, if not THE weakest aspect of the course at present, and I think the lack of these hints slows me down, hinders my learning, and in some cases forces me to consult external resources or take notes in order to just pass / get through certain exercises.

Some of the problems I've seen with the hints include:

  • Totally missing hints, especially on numbers, like in the payment section
  • Hints are often useless / misleading / outright wrong when it comes to anything idiomatic, especially on short sentences
  • Restaurant section has particularly terrible hints.

I think that the quality of the hover-over hints is one of the big differences between the excellent courses, like German, and the more mediocre ones. I also know that the newer courses can have good hints, as Russian has EXCELLENT hints (ones that adjust for and account for case endings, a tough thing to do, yet the team who runs that course has done a top-notch job of addressing that).

Is anyone on the contributor team even reviewing the hover-over hints or attempting to fix / improve them?

I would really like to see the team prioritize improving these hints.

It's particularly frustrating for me to go through a lesson that I was wrestling with weeks ago, and where I had reported hints, and see the hints still missing, misleading, wrong, or otherwise in need of improvement.

It's also frustrating because I've seen many, many alternate wordings and translations accepted, so I know the course contributors are hard at work, but I have yet to see any evidence that anyone has addressed any of the glaring deficiencies in the hints.

I think it would be a very efficient use of people's time, "low-hanging fruit" so to speak, for the team to focus on improving the hover-over hints in the Chinese course.

What do others think? Can we build a consensus around this and make it happen?

December 16, 2017

3 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/UnPolve

The biggest problem I find about chinese course is there is no way to know the meaning of the symbol when associating the sound to it.

So in time I know how to pronounce the symbol but I've no clue of what word is it.

December 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/derpderp17

My dad wants me to watch Chinese cartoons and I say the same thing. "There is no way to know the meaning of the symbol when associating the sound to it."

December 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cazort

I agree that this is a problem too. I think they could make a few very simple fixes to the web version (I don't know about mobile) that would facilitate this though.

One would be to change the code that makes it impossible to select things in the footer, because this prevents you from copying and pasting the correct answer when you're marked wrong, and if you can copy and paste more easily then you can use external tools like google translate, which you can keep open in another window or tab.

Another, along these lines, would be to make the hover-over hint bubble not close automatically when you select text in it. This would also make it easier to copy that text. Perhaps even better, make it auto-select the text on mouseover, facilitating copying it and pasting it into an external tool to look it up.

I hate the fact that this course has been out for weeks and they haven't addressed these problems yet. It's a huge waste of my time (and the time invested by thousands of other users) for something that would take minutes for a competent web programmer to fix.

December 17, 2017
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