Immersion matching option
If I remember it right, earlier after finishing a lesson Duo was suggesting an article based on your acquired skills which more or less worked for me. But now Duo tells me I can translate 95,7% of all German articles and forwards me to different articles and the fact is that I go there and the articles have so many new words I end up just looking at other guys' translations and clicking 'looks good' because they really do for me based on my knowledge. But I guess this is not very helpful for my learning and for the quality of the articles as well.
I would suggest Duo to screen articles for us and before I pick them it shows me something like: "Total words - 100, Words out of your vocab - 10, Percentage of unknown words in the text - 20%".
Given that Duo already knows my Vocabulary that should be a piece of cake. Plus that would greatly help me to have an idea of how big the article is, with how many new words I will collide and finally how heavily the text uses the words unknown to me.
I'm saying this because I think this is a great way to make the immersion more effective and efficient and right now I feel like with this system I can't contribute to Duo as much as I'm willing and capable of.
I often use the Real World function which is geared to closely to my level. But, perhaps because I am learning Spanish and not German it is easier for me to decipher new words. It seems a fantastic suggestion but necessitating more algorithms to keep track of each user's level. Happy learning!
I guess simply for each level, or block should be a text for translating and thats all. for example you are at basics, so you can see texts for basic level. you move to another level, new text appears. Or there is list of text should have indications for level, or something like 70% for basic level. and so on.
I think your idea is great, I don't know if this is computationally too much to ask of Duo, especially if your asking for a stat report on multiple articles to choose from, but if its a simple addition relatively speaking, again great idea. I would be happy with a simple sorted list of articles. The first being the article with the greatest ratio of words you "know" over total words, second most, third most.....
Also reading your suggestion, since it was also hard for me to translate articles, I thought of an idea (inspired by yours) that would make immersion translating more fun. First of all I'm sure you know you can hover over any word, whether you know it or not, have been exposed to it or not, and get a list of possible translations, right? Since you talk about just clicking looks good and not doing translating yourself I wasn't sure. Well I was thinking they could make a feature where if you choose, it can compile all the words you don't have in your vocab list (preferably in a paragraph form, rather than a list) and you could go through a "pre-test" cram session and learn or get a sense of as many words you didn't know, so when you actually see the article you can better hope to translate without having to hover over every word and you could instead have the act of translation, serve more as a test. Granted is won't make it exponentially more fun, but since we are all here to learn, at least I would enjoy to through in a little study session and at least have a chance at some recall, rather than saying, jee which word of this list of possible translations to this word I have no reference to, looks like it would be best in this sentence" and then not having a chance to remember it because its out of your mind as you move on to the next word. You could actually stick to the same article, review the "not in your vocab" list periodically over a few days and then give a shot at the article.