So many things to love. Starting with your list:
The minimalist design - oh my goodness yes. I'm so tired of gaudy, overdone designs in every app that's trying to sustain me through my supposedly limited attention span. I appreciate the clean and calm.
Milestones and progress at bottom; separate stats page - yes, both of these. I appreciate the understated but immediate feedback on where I'm at, and being able to get a more thorough look at how far I've progressed through the content, how that relates to reading text.
The fact that it teaches words by frequency - Absolutely appreciated. Especially appreciate how you have them set up so that it's not thematic from the start, like most programs' beginnings.
The example sentences - While I don't necessarily love the business focus that I hit early in Spanish, I can appreciate that they are frequent words and thus included. Otherwise, I've been impressed with selection of sentences, with some using more complex grammar than I can yet decipher, but it gives me that first exposure. Related, I also love the reinforcement of vocabulary throughout your example sentences. For example, I first learned "señale" as a new word in a sentence. Maybe 5 minutes later, I learned another new word but "señale" was part of the sentence. Reinforcement without testing that word again! I've seen this over and over again, and it's a strategy that has really been missing from many other programs I've tried.
The voices that read the sentences - I don't know about sexy, but the voices are truly great. They are clear, distinct, faster paced without being incomprehensible, and consistent throughout. Voice recordings vary in quality/volume/clarity in other programs, so I appreciate the selections (for French and Spanish, at least).
(haven't seen the forums until today; grammar is definitely helpful on a few words, but hasn't been one of my key strategies since this is based on contextual learning. I get more grammar through my supplemental learning, and don't crave it here--contextual learning and simplicity is perfect for this!)
And some other things:
Some offline - I highly appreciate that I've been able to use the app for a while even though I'm offline, not connected. It meant I could continue to train in one of my languages while on a flight recently, and that in general I don't have to worry about maintaining steady connection (hello Metro). Don't know how far I can continue offline, and haven't been able to switch languages while offline, but it's still better than any other apps I've tried. (Of course, would love to have the option to have everything work offline...)
Simplicity of offerings - You do a few things, and you do them really well. As much as I really want other offerings (videos with subtitles! long passages! audio to follow those passages! Live conversation! Role playing! Compose your own text!), there is immense value in what you already offer, and I'd hate to see you suffer by stretching too thin. The contextual, production-based, smart SRS training that allows you to test into a higher level and is useful to intermediate learners is not something I've found elsewhere, and really needed. (haven't tried your conversations much, seem to be less enthused with those from my limited exposure, but I'm still happy with the primary service!)
Backed by research - Everything I've been reading up on emphasizes contextual learning of words, reducing the use of translation as much as possible, SRS, etc. This fits in with this. There are some things missing, but I don't think you'd be able to scale them to this app (recall images--Memrise tries to do this but it doesn't really work; pronunciation trainers--haven't seen anything effective for this yet). But what you can do? You've developed into this.
Gentle gamification - There is gamification, but it's not extra. There's goals to meet, but there's no made-up story line, no incentive for cheating, no daily notification or guilt-trip to get me to come back in if I need to take some time off, nothing superfluous. This ties back into the minimalism mentioned above, but it goes beyond design to include the experience. It's simple, enticing for those of us that are intrinsically motivated, and I love it.
"Immersion" via text - Tying back into the comments on contextual learning, I love that I'm not translating full sentences--I'm reading full sentences with one word missing, and only that word is a translation. It would be hard to do this without that one word of translation, so I can't begrudge that, but otherwise reading everything in my target language? Talk about a confidence builder! And for those sentences I just can't figure out, there is the optional translation--I pull that down, review the sentence to decipher what I was missing, and then the next time I see the sentence I usually don't need the translation again.
Not just for beginners - I'm a beginner in Spanish, but have a fair amount of imperfect French under my belt. I'm missing some basic words and a lot of grammar, but also have an odd collection of advanced terminology. So, testing in to a higher level to skip all the basic stuff I definitely know? Invaluable. This app has really helped me start to pull that all together in a way that verb drills can't, because I"m not training on a particular verb tense at one time (and thus committing the structure to short-term memory), I'm training on all of them as used in the language (and thus getting used to thinking of those verb tenses in different contexts). There's a lot of beginner friendly apps, and not a lot of intermediate/advanced, so this definitely meets an important need.
So... kind of a lot. Sorry not sorry for the book, but since I know there's real people on the other side of this technology, I decided it was worth laying this all out. I appreciate the work you do, that you've created this app that is essentially what I had spent a couple years looking for. Thank you!
I would say make sure there's some note about the change that is visible to users if they become mandatory. I got tired of typing üöä and capitalizing because I was trying to just breeze through the words fast. But I was never wrong about whether I thought an umlaut belonged there, and I certainly never was wrong about whether a word ought to be capitalized. I just got more pressed for time.
Although I guess the first word I missed for diacritical reason I'd realize "oh they're mandatory now"
Can I switch off the words I find “unnecessary”?
This is not possible at the moment, but we would love to hear your thoughts. If you were able to choose the type of words you could learn, reply below to let us know how and why you would use this function!
@miguel_condesso Oh, your language skills are impressed. Technically after you finishing your another courses you can register with your email one more time, just some change it, for example "email@example.com" change to "firstname.lastname@example.org". You will continue get emails from lingvist on your account but technically it will be new one.
@Kathryn-Reid-Moore I now have more information to answer your question. The problem is that multiple factors go into the decision which courses to add to Lingvist. How many potential customers express interest is one of those factors. Others are how big the potential market is, how much capacity Lingvist's experts have for that specific language (from linguistics to tech to marketing) and so forth. It also takes a certain amount of time to build a course.
So, if a potential customer expresses interest in, say, an English -> Italian course today, it may take one and a half year until he would be notified that the course is ready. I'm not sure how many potential customers will keep their interest for an elongated period like that.
So, unfortunately there probably won't a notification feature like you described.
Здравствуйте, благодарим за столь высокую оценку нашего приложения, мы стараемся сделать его максимально полным и удобным. Скажите пожалуйста, когда вы говорили про русский курс, вы имели ввиду изучение русского языка или других языков на базе русского?
Thank you for the feedback, we will consider your idea if there are more people wanting to use "space" instead of "enter". Let us know if you have more ideas on how to make the app more comfortable to use.
In some languages (French for example), "space" needs to be used - so using "enter" is more universal.
@marina Thanks for the reply and work with Lingvist! Regarding the streaks, I was refering to something like Duolingo's streak feature that tracks how many days in a row you've met the daily goal. Once your streak gets longer, you can get a fear of loosing it that helps motivate you to practice on those days when you don't really feel like it. That fear of loosing a streak wouldn't work for everybody, especially since it's just a number, but for some it really does help motivation a bit.
Sorry for the bad experience you've had. The placement test can be quite harsh at times leads to frustration. However we're looking at ways to improve this (especially by taking into account words with a similar meaning) and your feedback is definitely valuable to us. In this case the best way would be to get through these initial easy words - if you get them correct on first appearance, they won't appear again for months. Alternatively you could create a new account and try the placement test once more but this obviously isn't an ideal solution.