What am I missing?
I just started the Chinese from English course. What I miss is basically a list like: - chinese character; - pinying; - meaning ( in the course sofar ). Now, characters are introduced without explaining their meaning. This can't be right.
I agree that this aspect of Duolingo Chinese is unsatisfactory. It's true that the translation exercises (Chinese to L1) give you the opportunity to see the Chinese words in context and deduce meaning and usage, which is quite good as a learning strategy, but I find my memory doesn't really cope with this. Partly, I feel this is because the presentation and use of characters is not systematic enough. We need: character presentation (hanzi + pinyin + pronunciation) > word presentation (most Mandarin words consist of two characters/syllables) > Chinese sentence presentation (= work out the meaning in L1) > translation of L1 into Chinese. Then repeat! And repeat! Sometimes the exercise requires, at an early stage, an English sentence to be translated into Chinese via selection of character/words, when there has been no presentation at all of the meaning of the Chinese, one has no guide to the syntax and there's no pop-up translation available. That simply generates error with no positive outcome. Crazy!