the complexity of the French translations is MUCH more difficult than those of other languages
I am fairly far along in French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. I typically do timed exercises. The French phrases are significantly longer and more esoteric than those in the other languages. Also, French is less lenient with small, inconsequential misspellings than the other languages. So you'll have a really long, none-too-realistic sentence to translate, and get dinged for a slight mistake, then you're time's up! Also, correct answers for these long phrases don't get nearly enough time credit compared to other Romance Languages. Please fix!
Yeah, that's actually the fix. Timed practice puts no problems if we know the tree pretty well and also have a decent typing speed. It checks the spontaneity. If we need time to think, then we have normal practice.
I relate - I find that sometimes end up focusing on something within the long sentence that is a particular challenge to me, I end up getting something really silly wrong. I like to think that at some point the hard stuff will get easier and the easy stuff will become so solid I won't make the silly mistakes.
What you like to think is exactly what will happen if you keep practicing a bit every day.
Yes, the French "strengthen skills" exercises have longer, more complex, more idiomatic sentences than the other Duolingo language courses I am taking. I make much more mistakes in French than in Spanish, though I'm at level 25 in both.