Feature Request: Hard Mode

In “Hard Mode”, you have to translate entire sentences from scratch, not just one word. It would give you a sentence in English, and you’d have to translate it into your target language. It would work the same; with the green letters showing up as you type correctly, and the sentence turns red if you type a wrong letter. Except instead of only writing one word, you write the sentence. If that’s too hard or takes too long, you’d be able to switch back to keep the feeling fresh. You could also offer more points for translating a whole sentence! Right?

This would force you to memorize the WORD ORDER within the sentences. Learning new words is great, and seeing the sentence order is helpful, but unless you’re tested on the word order, I find that my brain reverts to the original word order I’ve learned in English. I think hard Mode would help foster a deeper level of recall. Simple sentences would be made more difficult. You would be forced to think about the proper tenses that could be used with every verb you encounter. In some sentences, “hard mode” might not be helpful. Most sentences, I believe it would be.

What do you think? Good idea or no? If it’s not a good idea let me know why you think so!! I thought of it while I was using Radio Mode in the car on my way to school this morning. How can we squeeze some more mileage out of the same set of sentences?? Make the exercises harder!!!

Maybe one day close master will hire me for all my sweet ideas. I dont just learn italian, I do computer science too, man.

Love Vito (canadese)

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I would really like to see this implemented. In a previous thread, I attempted to propose this enhancement. However, your explanation of it is much clearer. Thank you.

I like the idea, but I’m afraid this sounds like “Impossible Mode” to me. :slight_smile: It only “works” in Duolingo due to the course creators having defined a set of possible translations, and yet it often fails, when people venture outside that set.

Clozemaster works differently: for a given sentence in the source language, it picks one translation to the target language and presents only that; that might not be the most natural pick or the best possible translation, but that’s what you get. So in Hard Mode, a learner would be steered to favor whatever translation Clozemaster has picked, even though it might even be a bad choice (some “naughty” interpretations of seemingly innocent phrases come to mind).

My suggestion for this is not to use text input, but let the user contemplate the sentence and construct a translation in their mind until they press a button and can see a suggested answer (preferably with all parallel translations presented alongside). They can then press a button saying “Success” or one saying “Fail”, or “Ignore” for that matter.

I think my suggestion would be more similar to a speaking situation, where you can’t really expect to be correct in all senses, unless you already have a very high level, but where you are expected to use the right words in roughly the right places, and to be reasonably quick about it. So maybe there should be a countdown timer, to make it a bit harder? :wink:

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Have you checked out The Great Translation Game ?

There’s an explanatory/demonstration video on the first page of the site.

It’s written by the same team as Clozemaster (aka @mike) and has the functionality that you mention, whereby you translate whole sentences. You first import the sentences and either get a machine translation or else provide your own, and then you get the red/green lettering as you type in the answer.

I think that I read somewhere that this might be incorporated into Clozemaster itself at some point, but I can’t recall where I might have read that (or else perhaps I imagined it).

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I just tried it…pretty cool! But I guess in the end the lack of flexibility makes it a bit frustrating for me. In other words a science, not an art. I may try again later.

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While I like the idea too, I have the same reservations as @morbrorper about it not becoming absolutely impossible. There are some really odd non-literal constructions and translations, and it would require endless searching trying to even get a lot of sentences started, let alone being able to handle the various expressions. Perhaps all the current linked sentences could be alternative answers, but that will lead to you probably always picking the one you’re comfortable/familiar with, as well as indeed not covering as extensive of a range as e.g. Duolingo like @morbrorper also said.

I’m wondering though if the new grammar breakdown feature might come in handy here though if wanting to implement something like this. You could at least be shown the expected construction of [adjective] [noun] [adverb] … to have an idea of what the sentence should become like. It could perhaps have corresponding text boxes for the amount of words expected, and also with the appropriate box widths. This might also allow for preventing accidental submission of incomplete sentences and be able to evaluate it on a word-by-word basis. In this sense it could perhaps become a more useful implementation of the Great Translation Game?

Another thing could be to (only?) have it for the Listening mode (as a toggleable option), to be able to habituate yourself to typing out the full sentence (just like I like to speak out the full sentence in the speaking mode), which might already give you a better overall sentence construction retention.

However, I find that the current system works quite well for me too. You see each sentence multiple times, not just as you “review” the cloze word multiple times, but also with different cloze words from the same sentence, and then with the different alternative cloze options in the same kind of sentence construction. So as you’re getting further along, I’ve really found that you do passively absorb a lot of sentence construction rules, and genders of words. For example, I realised that nowhere do we specifically practice genders (e.g. article + noun), only in the context of the sentences, but I’m still finally somehow getting a handle on the fact that it’s “il sistema”, “il problema”, etc. which would normally be the “tricky” gendered words.

It of course all depends on how you use Clozemaster in the first place, how much you get out of it in the end. I don’t like having the translations enabled by default, preferring to focus on getting the cloze from the context of the source sentence, thus already paying close attention to it. Then I’ll listen to the audio at least once, or a couple of times. Ideally I’ll do the sentence first a couple of times in Listening mode, thus having listened to the complete sentence already a number of times, and then review with Speaking mode, speaking out the whole sentence.

But for example I could imagine there’s a proportion of users too who have translation always visible, and perhaps use multiple choice all along, no audio playback enabled, even after having solved the cloze, and without paying much attention to the whole sentences structure, just treating it as a word by word translation for the cloze. Which is completely fine too, and which is how I’d approach a language when I didn’t know all that much about it yet.

But in my opinion there is already quite a lot of room for picking up lots of things from Clozemaster with the current range of settings, but it does mean you do have to stick with it and work your way through quite a lot of the corpus in order to benefit from it. Clozemaster to me isn’t really a method for instant grammar success, but rather a long beneficial process of subtle exposure.

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Very true. The way I use it, the “hard mode” would work. I use listening mode with auto-display of translations disabled. So basically it is listen, mentally translate, type the cloze, and then reveal the translation (and sometimes change the translation when obviously wrong or regionally awkward for me). The only difference is “hard mode” would be typing the entire sentence instead of the cloze word. Multiple translations aren’t an issue this way because I am typing the target language, not the translation.

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@dav573: that is exactly what I do as well.

Exactly, this was the easiest implementation I could envision:

The only additional thing might be that, since there wouldn’t be a specific cloze word anymore when using that option, you’d want only one copy of the same sentence, otherwise you’d end up seeing a sentence with 4 cloze words in it, 4 times as much (so 16 times to fully master all 4 instances, if making no mistakes or manual adjustments), compared to a sentence with only 1.

Though I guess it might theoretically be the possible that a sentence with more cloze words in it might be more complicated gramatically too, and thus warrant more practice of the same instance.

Either way there’s more words to master in that sentence, though that brings up another potential complication, you might be exposed to having to type out cloze words of e.g. the > 50,000 Most Common Words category, typing out the full sentence for a cloze word merely in for example the 2,000 Most Common Words category.

So I don’t think it could simply be added as a togglable Listening Review option necessarily, unless the current sentences already take this into account (the whole sentence consists of words up to and including that category at most, which I don’t believe is the case, I’ve definitely seen quite niche words I’ve not encountered as clozes before).

Then again, when speaking out the whole sentence, you could also read out these words you haven’t encountered yet. So for a more “hardcore” Listening review option it should still work fine.

But in order to implement it as a “hardcore” option in the Vocabulary mode, the sentences would definitely need to be tailored to suit the appropriate criteria (only using clozes in the category level(s) that you are playing/have mastered).

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