I really like this approach! It's like being in the field with only a very basic understanding of the language, working to figure it out as we go along. Even better, we have written sentences to ponder over (we are not left wondering if we heard correctly), and we have a community of learners to ask. Plus, all the confusion and frustation will help deepen the understanding of these concepts, which inevitably occurs with enough practice.
My apologies, Jane, but I think that implying people are whiners because they are frustrated with a certain approach is also unacceptable.
In any case, the suggestions made in this thread are good and I hope they are taken into a consideration. I think that even having a simple idiom marker will help people think differently about a sentence.
I have just translated it (30/12/14) as: "Is it worth trying?", which was accepted. I agree with the original point that beginners won't be able to translate idiomatic phrases unless they've been expressly taught. If you know and literally translate each word, it doesn't come out as a sensible phrase in English.