Diacritics and capitalization for Spanish, French, German and Russian

Several of our motivated learners have been asking for strict diacritics, capitalization (accents or capital letters are required to be typed in, in order for the answer to be counted as correct) and uncapped characters in the guess box.

Go ahead and +1 if you find this feature valuable and let us know at which point in your learning you realised you would like to have it.

In the meantime, you can bring up the diacritics menu by clicking the icon in the bottom right corner of the card, or typing Shift+Up Arrow on your keyboard (if on desktop). Mac users can use the built-in feature of pressing and holding the letter to show diacritics.

last edited by Marina

@Lisa-Ockinga Thank you for bringing this up to attention I hope it'll get feedback from everyone!

I think an optional strict mode would be really helpful for me. I constantly find myself getting the accents wrong in French. I don't feel like there is the opportunity to learn proper spelling if words I misspell are not repeated.

My view of German is different. Umlauts are not just accents. The letters they go with are completely separate letters of the alphabet. I think marking should always be strict regarding umlauts. On the other hand, I prefer not having to capitalise. It would be too much of drag. An auto-capitalisation feature would be cool.

With Russian I'm not sure what the situation is. I believe Е/Ё is marked strictly, although there's a case for it not being. If I remember correctly, И/Й is marked non-strictly, which seems wrong, as they are separate letters.

By auto-capitalisation I mean that the first letter of a noun shows up as a capital as soon as you type it, no matter whether you typed an upper or lower case letter.

Huge +1.

"Clè" should never be marked correct when "clé" is the proper answer. It's a completely different word! We need to divorce ourselves from the idea of teaching French from an English perspective. These aren't the same letter with accents being an afterthought -- they're entirely different letters with their own pronunciation.

Another way to think about this? Lingvist is teaching sloppy French. Or, if we want to get product-specific, even Lingvist's new pronunciation feature via voice doesn't agree with this.

This has to be language-dependent. For French accents and for German umlauts (änd för Estonian õmlauts...) -- those are strictly different letters. In contrast, Russian Е/Ё is better to be treated as the same, however, there is a kind of holywar on it... maybe, from the perspective of studying Russian as a foreign language, treating them as separate could be configurable (better results vs easier progress).

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"

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