How to translate English sentences into Chinese?
There are tasks here when one has to translate from English to Chinese by clicking on tiles with ideograms. Do you have any tips how to do it in a simple, effective way? So far I click on them rather randomly until either I get it or get stuck and lose all the progress.
There are grammar rules for translating sentences into the correct Chinese word order. I am only scratching the surface here, but the main structure is:
S + V + O (Subject + Verb + Object) 他爱她。 他们跑快。 她吃饭。 她吃饭了。
To add time you can use:
T + S + V + O or S + T + V + O 今天两点她吃饭了。 我们今天七点吃早饭了。
To add place to SVO：
S + 在P + V + O 他们在饭店吃晚饭。 我在北京工作。
When you have time and place use：
S + T + 在P + V + O 我们星期五在家看电视。 她昨天在图书馆读了历史书。
This of course gets more complicated, but this is a start.
Some references: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/
I think Chinese grammar is not that strict. Many parts can be put in differet places while the meaning of whole sentence doesn't change, so what you need to do is just to make it clear what each words means. And I think “两点她吃了饭” or "两点吃过饭了" is a little better than “今天两点吃饭了”.
I've been to allsetlearning.com and it is a godsend! I don't have to muddle around with how the grammar works and then hope I remember how to do it when I come across the sentence again. ^_^ I hadn't come across the other two but I've bookmarked them and am planning to check them out in full later.
I think the general idea is that you remember the appearance and pronunciation of characters from the character exercises. It might help if you wrote down new characters as they are introduced (in electronic form using a Chinese IME if you don't know how to do it by hand; or, if using the web, just copy/paste them into a list to which you can refer back when stuck).
This is currently impossible because I am a complete beginner and it is hard for me to remember how all these ideograms look and tell them apart.
You will only get more familiar with them by more exposure to them. You can copy/paste them to google/wiktionary/cdict/etc. to get information on stroke order and etymology. Have you tried creating mnemonics for remembering characters?
Yes, I agree, so after a week of learning I recognise the ideograms that appear most frequently, like pronouns, 不, 是, 吗, 的. What kind of mnemonics do you talk about?
Whatever works for you to relate a character's elements to one another. To give a popular example: '字' can be remembered as a child (子) sitting in a house (宀) studying Chinese characters.
I would advise you to not use the word bank (tiles) at all. Just type the characters. At the bottom of the screen it gives you the option to use the keyboard. Not only is it more practical, you'll learn more too.