Penalties for missing an accent mark?
When a word is spelled right but missing an accent mark, we get an alert about it but don't lose a heart. Most of the time I'm definitely thankful for that, but sometimes I'm afraid I'm not going to learn where they go--accents have always been one of the hardest things about French spelling for me. I think this could be fixed one of two ways:
Have accent mark penalties as an optional feature that we can turn on and off, like the microphone questions. That way, each person can decide for themselves which they prefer. Or:
Have accent mark penalties in the Vocabulary section, but nowhere else. The Vocab section is the place to really focus on correct spelling, anyway, and people who have trouble with this aspect of language will still be able to get through the lessons.
Do you guys think this would be helpful? And which one?
I think both of these are really good suggestions and I think it could be implemented to give you the option of both. Something like - Turn on penalties for missing diacritics: ☐ in vocab review only; ☐ everywhere. (I've used the word diacritics because that is their formal name across all languages e.g. umlauts in German, slashes through vowels in Danish/Norwegian, swung dash over n in Spanish etc.)
I think the current system is good. It will keep reminding you that you are wrong. If you had to correctly remember the accents on words you had only seen once or twice before it might be very hard to complete the lessons. As per your suggestion, having an option to enforce it might be good if you wanted to be strict with yourself. If it's non-optional, then having it on the vocabulary and possibly also on the refresh/practice tasks seems good to me.
If it were possible, it would be good to take account of the context of an error. In a lesson on adjectives, for example, then enforce strictly on the adjective but be more forgiving on other elements.
there are also addons for firefox that will help you with accents. I've got https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/abctajpu/ for german, and it's really great.
If I press "alt+F2" after a vowel, it adds umlauts to it.
+1 Just wanted to throw my support behind this idea - I noticed that I became a bit lazy when I realized I could just leave out the accents when writing the French, but more recently I've been trying to get them down (in fact, I still sometimes write it out first without any accents, just to transcribe quickly and then go through and add them in where necessary.) I think I'd probably use this feature if it were available!