Rocket Languages Blog Exciting news! New Rocket Languages design just released!

Exciting news! New Rocket Languages design just released!

jason-oxenham-ceo

Bonjour tout le monde (Hello everyone)

I hope that you are all safe and well in these unprecedented times. 

If you have been in lock-down then I hope you have taken advantage of the opportunity to hone your language skills!

New desktop members area

A short while ago we released a new version of the desktop members area.

This release has been several months in the making and will hopefully make your language learning experience with Rocket Languages that much better.

There have been general improvements around the look and feel, as well as some minor functional improvements.

I know we wont please everyone but our testing has been fairly unanimous in liking the new design.

If you do discover any functional issues then please let us know!

An update on sub-titles

We started adding sub-titles to The Interactive Audio tracks at the end of last year. The feedback on those was good, so we have continued with that roll out.

Currently the following languages have subtitles;
  • Rocket Spanish
  • Rocket French
  • Rocket German (Levels 2 and 3 only)
  • Rocket Italian
  • Rocket Chinese
  • Rocket Korean
  • Rocket Portuguese
Rocket Russian is in the process of having them added, and the remaining languages are time-tabled to be completed before the end of the year.

Rocket German

If you recall from my last post about members area changes, we were re-recording Rocket German Level 1. Unfortunately, this project was rudely interrupted by Covid-19.

We are now back on track and hope to have this up and running within the next couple of months.

Other projects

We have 2 other large content-based projects kicking off shortly. Namely, a complete revamp of the Language & Culture lessons for both Rocket Italian and Rocket Japanese. 

And, of course, we have the Android and iOS apps being updated to more closely reflect the current desktop members area design.

More exciting times ahead!

On behalf of the Rocket team,

Jason Oxenham
CEO

ClaudiaR-sc5G

I was just between Japanese Play It! lessons when the new look appeared.  Fantastic!  It looks so clean and modern.  Great job!  I'll be looking forward to the revamp of the Language and Culture lessons.

Ray1615

I prefer the old look.  At the very least could you please keep the left pane, the one with the My Progress and Quick Tools fixed so that it is always visible no matter where you scroll.  When I'm working on the exercises at the bottom I like to track my points and enter searches without having to scroll all the way back up.  The way it was before was perfect!

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Claudia - Glad you like it!

Hi Ray - We will look into the placement of the side bar tools!

sfpugh

It is always a bit of a surprise when things suddenly look different, but my first impression is good. A nice new look.

ChrisM108

Clean design; I prefer it. Functionally: the speed of recording is much slower than yesterday, and I get the response “Whoops! Looks like there is a networking issue in obtaining speech recognition results. Please try again later”. The recording on the app has been hit and miss for a week, and often needs to be re-recorded. No doubt due to back end changes, and I do understand this is common with new software upgrades. 

MCK

Another positive view of the new look. Very 'fresh and clean'. It just looks less old-school style, and a pleasant interface does have an impact. In contrast to ChrisM108, I actually found that the connection was surprisingly good for a Friday afternoon (when the local internet often seems to get overloaded). No obvious technical issues seen on this first use.

Meriel

Started off okay then, halfway through a lesson, I'm getting a message "Whoops looks like your browser does not support speech recognition!" (which it did a few seconds earlier?!) to all the spoken exercises.   Now I can't even play the lesson.  There's no sound.

Google Chrome.

Anyone else having this?

ClaudiaR-sc5G

I've been getting a lot of "Sorry.  I didn't get that." on the recording part.  It will go along fine for a while and then everything is not working.  I also use Chrome.

Meriel

I have just restarted the laptop.  It seems okay now.

Wonder if it's a bit glitchy...?  

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi all - Thanks for the feedback!

We haven't made any changes to the functionality of the Interactive Audio player or the Rocket Record voice recognition tool.

In saying that, if problems persist I would recommend either a hard refresh (CTRL + F5) or logging out and logging in again, in case it's a caching issue.

If there are still issues then please get hold of customer support providing as much detail as possible and we will get onto it!

CJ Dukaine

It looks like still we're not able to see the gender and number distinctions on the flashcards and Know It. There are so many answers  that could have multiple translations based on these factors and you don't know which one until after the fact, which doesn't help. 

FrankT14

I'm a new member thanks to COVID. I've been spending as much time learning as I can while I have it. The new design looks great. I'm excited for what comes next!

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi CJ - There are now notations on the FlashCards (top right) for Rocket Spanish and Rocket French. We will be rolling these out to the other languages in the coming months.

Hi Frank - Thanks! I know the Rocket team are looking forward to getting through some more projects!

revani

It looks so much better! I've been using Rocket French for around two months so this new UI was a much needed breath of fresh air. I normally don't take UI changes well, but I got used to this instantly. Thanks!

MarkZ11

There seems to be a problem in Safari in that its not just the content pane that scrolls but all the dashboard data and progress.  This should be anchored as before.

Otherwise it looks okay.

Meriel

Just to say all seems fine today, after some issues yesterday.

Thank you.

Steven-W15

Nice presentation. I suggest though cutting the size of the play and microphone icons in half to see more text at a time without having to scroll. Thanks.
 

exacto63

Hi Jason,
As you state, there are now notations on the Flashcards in Spanish (and French) to let us know which gender and number are expected in the response. It is a big improvement and much appreciated. However, that still doesn't seem to be the case with the Know It! section of the exercises. Hopefully you'll continue to resolve these known issues. Cheers.

exacto63

Jason,
As a follow up to my previous comment, I just now completed the Module 1 certification for Level 1 Spanish. Even in the module certification test, there are several questions which do not indicate the number and gender expected, which is the very thing being tested. Please understand this isn't just counterproductive - it is discouraging. I know you've put heaps of effort into making your courses the best, and hope you will address this important issue soon. Best wishes.

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi all - Thanks for the feedback!

In the whole scheme of it the new layout has worked well. There are of course always going to be a few things to sort out.

The 2 more major things are making the "Progress" sticky again and sorting out the notations on Know it!. We will be looking into these asap!

MidknytOwl

Glad you're fixing the progress bar being sticky, that was the main thing I was coming to ask about. 

My only other complaint with the new look is it is much less distinctive between the interactive audio, culture, and writing sections now. This wouldn't be a problem if you go in order, but I've just completed Module 1 in Japanese and it's obviously designed that you should go first lesson in each, then second lesson in each. (e.g. lesson 1.0, 1.5, 1.10, then 1.1, etc.) With the previous design these different sections were in very clear, separate chunks, so that was easier to navigate. Now that they're in a line with just a different (small) icon on the side, it takes longer to figure out where to go when I start a new lesson. 

(As a side note, it would be great if it was explained that not going in numerical order would be the better way to go through the lessons. It was a bit frustrating to go on to the first culture lesson to find out it tied in really well with the first audio lesson and would have been better done then. At least I finally realized why the quizzes would sometimes ask questions I would have no way of knowing!)

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi MidknytOwl  - There will be a review of the new layout and all feedback will be taken into account! 

Due to the sheer amount of lessons, the Dashboard design has proven a little problematic. And the script languages, like Japanese, more so as they also have Writing lessons for the characters.

Meriel

I think I'm right in saying that the option to just play the dialogue has gone now.  That was a useful feature.

CJ Dukaine

Meriel, I miss that feature too. I found it in the quiz portion.

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi all - As I am sure you noticed, the progress section is now sticky, and the notations used in Rocket Spanish and French are now visible in Know it!

We are still working through some of the other suggestions!

AC747

When you hit a "PLAY" button and that little fake equalizer display starts bouncing around, does anybody else want to stick a Post-It dot to the screen to hide the stupid thing - or - is it just me? Couldn't y'all have come up with a less manic button?

Meriel

Hi CJ Dukaine, thanks, yes I noticed that.  I don't want to have to re-do the quiz every time I'd like to hear the dialogue though :-)

ChristineD23

Hi Jason, l am having a lot of problems with the audio side of the italian course, there is no sound at all on some of the activities also no sound on the phrase of the week. Can you help with this please. My chrome is the latest up to date download, and l can't see how to resolve this. As you can imagine it is interfering with my learning process thanks chris

TravisB13

I would vote to eliminate the manic talking.  It is kind of nice to know the machine is working, but if I can hear the audio, then it is redundant and too gimmicky (B movie suspense builder!).
I want the my Progress points to follow me down the page.  Sorry, but I like to see those points increase.
Thanks for the Plural-Fem-etc info.  It is annoying to be ambiguous-ized, ha.
 

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Meriel and CJ - We are looking at options for adding the conversation only audio back in. However, I can't promise anything as yet.

Hi Christine - Rocket Italian works fine at our end and we haven't had any other reports of it not working. Please try again and if the problems persist then contact customer support!

Hi Travis and AC747 - We are looking into the manic nature of the audio play feature!

jason-oxenham-ceo

Well, sometimes things can happen faster than expected...
  • The conversation audio is now at the top of Play it!
  • And the streaming audio now has a pause button instead of the animated spectrum!

Meriel

Thank you.  That's service for you!

exacto63

Greetings from Spokane, WA. I'm having trouble in my Rocket Spanish course with the interactive audio tool and numbers, where the tool is sometimes listing the numbers I speak in numeral form rather than written form (200 vs. two hundred, but in Spanish of course). This seems to happen more frequently with monetary amounts than with other numbers, but it happens with both (but only sometimes). The reason it is a problem is that when the software displays in numerals, it grades the response as incorrect, although I suspect it is reasonably accurate, given that it displays the correct amount in numerals. This may be a bug you'll want to review. Thanks!

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Exacto - This is a known issue with a complex solution! For clarity we write out the numbers in the target language, however the voice recognition system returns the number itself. This means there can be a mismatch if the entire phrase is not correct.

Long story short... we are working on a solution but it's not straight forward.

CJ Dukaine

Thanks so much for the dialogue and notations! Also, thanks for keeping us informed of the progress of our feedback and suggestions. It's so great to know that we're heard, even if the suggestion isn't taken or possible. Appreciate you guys!

ClaudiaR-sc5G

Thanks, too, for the literal notes to some phrases in the Japanese lessons.  I just noticed them and I love it!

CJ Dukaine

Today I was doing Write It! and I ran into this: il connaissais, ils connaissaient. They both sound the same, but there's no notations on Write It! so I don't know which to write! Is this something that can be taken care of?

CMcHan

I had finished this program (Spanish) several months ago (maybe a year ago) and thought to come back for a little vocabulary review just to gauge my retention level.  I was not able to find the vocabulary review as in "vocabulary words beginning with A-C, D-E" etc., that was at the very end of the series (Level 3).   Has that been removed or am I just not looking in the right location?  If it's been removed, that is too bad since it is another useful means as a quick refresher to go through all the vocabulary introduced throughout this program.

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi CJ - That can be an issue with the odd French word or phrase where the audio sounds the same but there is more than one possible matching word/phrase. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often, in saying that we will look into it.

Hi CMcHan - Yes, these were taken out a few months ago as they were essentially vocab lists, which were not used by many people, and were causing page performance issues due to their size. 

ChrisM108

Hi Jason. Re vocab lists: I appreciate the issue, but could the data not be transferred to PDF for each language as a library? No bandwidth issues. Grazie, Chris 

Alice101

I think that the new look is great, and I have not experienced any glitches with the recording feature.

CJ Dukaine

I would say it happens often enough. Almost all of Module 3 in the French Language and Culture was a nightmare! Any lesson that has verb conjugation has this issue, so notations would be super helpful.

RobS49

Please use Nik and Paul if you re-record German Level 1. I wouldn't have made it through if not for those two--especially Nik.

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi CJ - We are still looking into it. French is a little painful with its homonyms!

Hi Rob - Unfortunately neither Nik or Paul are on the new Rocket German Level 1 course. However, you could download the current tracks if you prefer to keep using those. The new lessons are looking great though and we hope to have them online in the next few weeks.
 

RobS49

Hi Jason, thanks for the heads-up about the recordings. I've downloaded all of them so I won't be disappointed.

P.S. To support what Rocket German, I've been viewing videos on YouTube about special topics such as the use of "doch". I'd love to see you include videos like that in the program. They are incredibly helpful.

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Spanish trial here .