Skill lessons not sufficient
I have now completed all of the skill lessons in Spanish. The recommended translations I am being given are all level 10 sentences, and they are far too difficult for me. I am becoming confused and frustrated. I have learned the different grammar tenses/conjugations - in isolation. I have learned a moderate amount of vocabulary, and the words I don't know I can easily look up. However, the sentence construction in level 10 sentences is completely foreign to me. I understand the individual words, but I'm having a horrible time figuring out the overall meaning, or how to translate it into comprehensible English. I think more lessons, introducing more advanced sentence construction, are badly needed.
I should do what? I said I need more lessons, introducing more advanced sentence construction. Where am I supposed to get those? My point is that for duolingo to be effective on it's own, more instruction is needed. A television program - which goes by faster - would be even worse for me. Where am I supposed to find Spanish reading material that is at my level? Duolingo isn't providing that.
One possible solution, for me, would be if I there were a setting I could adjust that would determine the level of difficulty of the sentences given to me. Duolingo seems to think I'm ready for level 10's - but I'm not. If I could go back to level 5 or 7 for a while, I could perhaps learn by doing. As long as I'm stuck at level 10's, I'm quitting and duolingo is losing a translator because I can't do it.
With the new format of the Translations page, hopefully you will find it easier to pick and choose which articles you want to tackle. I think it's helpful to find topics you're interested in first, then regardless of where Duo points you to, start working on the easiest sentences within (usually the title, and a couple of the lead in sentences).
If you find yourself on a sentence that's too advanced, just leave it for later. And always follow the link to the original website first - you can scan it over and usually make a fairly good judgement about whether it's up your alley or not.
I keep recommending this link to Destinos - I strongly recommend it because it starts off easy, has a great story line that keeps you engaged, and increases in difficulty with each "episode": http://www.learner.org/series/destinos/watch/
The Difficulty rating on the sentences has nothing to do with the actual difficulty, it just reflects the length. I've seen very easy 15-pointers that were just lists of items, and very difficult 7-pointers that left me stumped.
And how does one get the new translations page?
I think you're wrong Kelvinsong. A month or two ago when I was translating level 5ish sentences, I was able to understand most of them without too much trouble, and I was enjoying it. Then I decided to focus on the lessons for a while and didn't do much translating. Now that I've completed the lessons, it only gives me level 10 sentences and they are all too hard - I keep getting frustrated and giving up. It's not the length that is the problem, it's the complexity of the grammar and phrase structure.
You can pick and chose which sentences to translate. If you cannot translate level ten sentences, then translate the lower level ones. You can pick a level that challenges you but still allows you to figure out the meaning. If you had stayed with the translations, you would likely not have this problem.
xoviat, the articles I am being given to translate are almost entirely level 10 sentences. There are maybe one or two lower level sentences per article - usually the title and the conclusion, which are often not even complete sentences, so I'm not going to learn much translating those. You are right that if I had stayed with the translations earlier I would not have this problem now, but I didn't anticipate this difficulty and now there is no way for me to go back.
I think Kelvinsong is right that the algorithm that rates the sentence difficulty isn't doing a really good job and mostly consists of a simple word count. You can definitely see a simple item list for 15 points but it is also more likely for the 15 point sentences to be harder which I think is caused by the fact, that a really long sentence is bound to be more complex - consist of unusual tenses, verb forms, phrases, etc...
@ purplegamba, I think don't fully understand the problem you're experiencing then. I go searching for things to translate that interest me, Duolingo doesn't assign them to me. I watch what other people in my stream are translating and if it interests me, I try it - if not, then I keep looking until I find something that does. Based on my skill points, they could suggest more "difficulty 10" articles, but I don't have to do them if I don't feel I can (or don't want to, or whatever). Can you elaborate more on what your process is, i.e., how these level 10 articles are coming to you?
@Gumbee Today I had the new Translations page available to me for the first time - this is much better. Now there's a whole list of articles I can pick from. I can select a category, and look for an article on a topic I'm actually familiar with or interested in. If a particular article is too hard, I can leave it and pick a different one. I translated a whole article just now. Prior to today, and when I posted this question, I was on the old translations page. It was giving me only two possible articles to translate (and they weren't changing from day to day). Both were too hard for me and topics that weren't even remotely interesting to me, and nothing I did made them go away or get replaced by others. I'm not following anyone (other than you) who is actively translating, so there isn't much in my feed either. So I was stuck with those two articles. Now that I have the new translation page and can pick & choose what to translate, this is no longer a problem.