Rocket Languages Blog The Launch of the Rocket Languages 2021 Edition

The Launch of the Rocket Languages 2021 Edition

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi there,

We have exciting news! We have just released our brand-spanking-new 2021 Edition on desktop/browser.
 

This edition is the result of a year-long project that involved updating our courses' user interface, functionality, and code base – all with a view to improving your learning experience.


You can see the 2021 Edition for yourself by logging in with your existing account and following the prompt in the Members’ Area. Or, if you don’t have an account yet, you can sign up for a trial.
 

You can still revert back to the old Members’ Area for the next month or so; however, support for the old/legacy Members’ Area will end later in the year.
 

Wait! There's more...
 

In addition to this new look and functionality, we will also be releasing entirely new content for the following courses over the next couple of weeks:

  • Rocket Japanese Level 1 (all-new Language & Culture lessons - and possibly new Writing lessons too!)
  • Rocket Sign Language (all-new Sign Language lessons)
  • Rocket Spanish Level 2 (all-new Language & Culture lessons to go with the Level 1 improvements released earlier in the year)
  • Rocket Italian Level 1 (all-new Language & Culture lessons)
  • Rocket Arabic (all-new Writing lessons)

As you can see, we have been very busy! I would like to thank everyone on the Rocket Languages Team for the huge amount of effort that has gone into making this vision a reality. Blood, sweat, and tears!
 

The team here at Rocket truly hopes that you enjoy the new edition!
 

All the best,
 

Jason Oxenham
CEO
Rocket Languages Ltd.

Peter--252

Thanks, I am about to check it out.

 

Just one point, “My tools” just takes me to the new dashboard. Has the forum etc been temporarily disabled?

Peter--252

As an addendum to that last comment - I eventually found the Tools section by clicking on “Visit to old site”, when the banner advertising the new site had disappeared.

So that might be what was messing it up previously.

I like the new additional option to report a possible bug in the left hand menu. Bravo! 

ChrisM108

Thanks to you and the whole Rocket team, Jason.  It's a fresh design, and doesn't take long to navigate to the content (e.g. user logo for forum, reviews, etc.).  Also, thanks for the extra content for Italian, as it adds even further depth to the market-leading content.  Cheers, Chris

TravisB13

Voice recognition seems improved.

I like the 6 icons on the left.  I prefer to hop around [non-linear] during a daily session and also complete a lesson over several days.  Perhaps allow the user to slide the vertical partition left and right…to allow me to increase/decrease how much room each side consumes.  Maybe even have a flyout?

Spot a problem?  ----excellent idea

I'll provide more feedback as needed.  Thanks for improving the platform.

 

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi all - Thanks for the feedback. As this is a complete redesign there are bound to be a few bugs in the system!

Travis - Re being able to slide the partition. That is very tricky due to having to make the site responsive for very small mobile screen sizes all the way up to the larger monitors that a lot of people have these days.

 

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Peter - I am not sure what has happened here with your account. In the new 2021 Edition you should be able to click the avatar at top right of the page, and then see a link to the Forum and Tools sections.

AC747

After quickly visiting the 2021 version, I note a couple of bumps:

I wanted to re-read the Announcement about the new 2021 site - but couldn't find the Rocket Language Blog anywhere in the 2021 site. Had to go back to the 2020 site to read it (and enter this comment).

Found the "Spot a Problem" links on the lesson pages but not on the module menu page or the forum page.
 

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi AC747 - In the 2021 Edition, you can access the Forum (and other Tools) via the drop down at the top right of the page by clicking the avatar. The blog posts are in the "Rocket Languages Blog" category towards the bottom of the Forum.

AC747

Jason,

In the 2020 Japanese forum, are four categories under the heading General:
  Feedback and Comments
  General
  Introduce Yourself
  Rocket Language Blog

In the 2021 Japanese forum, there are only two categories under the heading General:
  General
  Feedback and Comments

Or am I not reading your instructions correctly???

JoseAG

Hallo!

 

I just tried it in a couple of German lessons and I have to say that I love how everything is arranged. Thank you! As Travis said above, it seems that voice recognition has been improved - I wasn't sure whether it was just my feeling, but I can see I'm not the only one with that feeling.

 

Also, the “Spot a problem?” button is a great idea. Personally, I didn't like bothering you and the other users with technical problems in the forum.

 

There are just a couple of things that I miss a little bit (nothing serious):

  • The button “Next lesson”. It seems that now, when I finish a lesson, I have to go back to “All lessons” in order to begin the next one.
  • The “Vocabulary” section on the side. I used to find it useful to see the expressions that I had saved in the current lesson.

 

All in all, it's a delightful improvement.

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi AC - That is very strange. I will look into it.

Hi Jose - The voice recognition may be working better due to improvements in code efficiency with the 2021 Edition. 

We will have a look at the next/previous links.

The “Saved Vocab” showing on the left hand side of the old members area was a relatively new thing. In the interests of producing an elegant design we decided to take it off the main screen. Of course, you can still double click words/phrases to save them and then see them underlined within the lesson itself.

JohnB232

Thank you for a quality product.

:-)

Kai T

The new version looks great. Could you let me know what specifically was being revamped in the Italian language & culture lessons? I'm a returner and I want to check out that new stuff. Thanks.

Peter--252

In Rocket Italian on the new site there appears to be a minor glitch when recording one's voice:

In lesson 2.8, when you repeat the phrase  l'una di pomeriggio / le tredici 

the software marks it up (as 100%)  as soon as you record the first phrase before you get the chance to say le tredici.

Similar for the other double phrases in this part.

I tested it in the old site and it requires you to say both phrases, as it should.

I haven't yet tested it in the reinforcement activities.

 

Update I have tried it in the “Hear it Say it” and get the same effect.


 

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Kai/Peter - The Rocket Italian Level 1 Language & Culture lessons are going to be completely replaced within the next fortnight. If you did want to keep the current content then you could save the info as PDFs within the members area. Note that in the new members area you have to select Print > Printer Options > Save as PDF.

 

As far as lesson 2.8 goes, that is something we have to look into. The voice recognition system is faster at processing but it shouldn't be able to predict the future!

Karen-B1

Jason, I am just getting used to these new changes.  Clearly a lot of hard work has gone into this.  Thank you.  I am unable to find the resources under My Advanced Learning that was in the previous edition.  I did find that section very helpful at times.  Do you still have this content somewhere in the New Edition?

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Karen - We are revamping and condensing those articles with a view to adding them into the Interactive Audio lessons as short tips to aid peoples learning. We just have to sort out a couple of things first!

Nataevia

how do i go back to the 2020 edition?

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Nataevia - People who were members before last Thursday can access the 2020 Edition by clicking their profile avatar at the top right of the page. Then click the “Visit old site” link. All new members don't have that option.

JoseAG

Well, I finally had to revert back to the old version for two reasons:
  • When I try to record long sentences, the recording suddenly stops in the middle of the sentence and I can't finish it, even though I haven't stopped talking or even made any pause. In the old version there is no such problem.
  • In the new version I can't find the tests at the end of each module for the Rocket Certification. Have they disappeared?
I hope these problems are solved when the old version is no longer available.

CarolynK12

When I try to get to the different levels on the dashboard in the new 2021 version it just gives me the trial page. What should I do?

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Jose - Can you give an example or two of long phrases that do this?

To access the Rocket Certification and Benchmark tests in the 2021 Edition, just click the avatar at top right of the page > Tools. 

Hi Carolyn - That is a bug that we will get sorted within the next couple of hours! Sorry for the inconvenience.

JoseAG

Oh, you're right. I couldn't find the Rocket Certification. Thank you!

As for the long sentences that I cannot record, so far my problems have been the following:

Lesson 5.1:
  • Sehr gut. Möchten Sie einen Nachtisch oder einen Kaffee?
  • Wir haben Käsekuchen und Dampfnudeln mit Vanillesoße.

Lesson 5.2:
  • Ich suche ein kleines Andenken für meine Tante.
  • Ich möchte es verschicken, also muss es relativ leicht sein.

I had the same problem with these sentences both within the lesson and in the exercises. I suspect that the same will happen in the next lessons, but I haven't got beyond 5.2 yet.

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Jose - That is very odd. I tried much longer phrases (in other languages) and they were fine. I will get the tech team to look into it. What browser are you using? Chrome or Safari?

JoseAG

I'm using Chrome (version 85.0.4183.121) in Windows 10 specifically for this course, because I think I read somewhere in the website that it's the best option (I usually work with Firefox in Ubuntu Linux).

Thank you for your quick responses!

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Carolyn - This should be fixed now. Please let me know if you continue to have issues!

 

Hi Jose - We have managed to replicate this on your first 2 examples. We will need to dig a little deeper to see what is going on.

Peter--252

Hi Jason,

It looks like Jose's problem is the same one I reported in Rocket Italian (lesson 2.8).

Like Jose I am also using Chrome on Windows 10, and as Jose said it works fine on the old site, so perhaps there's a clue there!

In the meantime I'm continuing with the new version which, apart from these niggles, looks great.

IsabelleAb

Hi Jason,

I find Write it! Kana a really great tool and don't see sort it! kana as powerful. With Write it! Kana you really learn and train how to write the proper way. I think it's a pity it is not in the new version.

Cheers

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Jose/Peter - Ok, I think we sorted that voice recognition issue. Because the new site does everything a lot faster it caused a weird issue with some voice recognition phrases. Please let me know if you run into any other issues!

 

Hi Isabelle - Thanks for the feedback, we will take that on board! 

 

Michael-tB

In Rocket Russian, I seemed to notice that you are not requiring me to write out the sentences in the new version. It's some sort of shuffle the phrases into place based on what we hear. Is that true? If so, it seems that you are dumbing down that portion of the lesson which teaches me how to write. 

sfpugh

I also have the problem with recording in German. It often misses the last word in the sentence. The issue seems to be much worse when I use Play It tests. It's not so noticeable when I record sentences individually. My play back is loud and clear so it's not a recording issue, it must be something to do with the recognition. Windows 10, Chrome Version 85.0.4183.121 (Official Build) (64-bit).

JoseAG

Hi Jason,

 

Thank you! Yes, it's better now. I could record all those sentences that I couldn't before. Although, to be honest, I had to try and be fast in the second sentence of lesson 5.2 ("Ich möchte es verschicken, also muss es relativ leicht sein"). There's still less time to record it than in the old version and the recording stops if I take it more slowly.

CJ Dukaine

One thing I don't like about it is that the main page isn't centered. The giant blue side bar (Rocket French) draws my eye left and I have to look significantly right to do the lessons. I guess I could move my laptop over, but then I'd have to type way left.

Peter--252

Sorry Jason, I'm still getting problems with recording certain phrases in lesson 2.8 (Italian), e.g.:

l'una di pomeriggio / le tredici

where it stops recording partway through your answer and scores you 100% anyway.

This happens also in the tests, and in the module test (which I've just completed).

Another point - the points accrued in the module test have not been added to the daily progress total.

 

 

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi all - About the voice recognition timing issue on some phrases: We think we know what is causing this and are working on a fix.

 

Hi Michael - We replaced Write it! with Sort it! for Level 1 of Rocket Russian as it was, generally speaking, too hard for beginners. Level 2 and the Russian Travelogues have both Sort it! and Write it!.

 

Hi CJ - Unfortunately, with the large amount of screen sizes around today, it's difficult to get these sorts of things just right for everyone. I hope you will get used to it fairly quickly.

 

Hi Peter - We will look into that Module test issue!

Peter--252

Hi Jason,

Sorry, another minor issue: I can't find out where the lesson downloadable pdfs are on the new site.

Since Rocket Italian (among other courses I assume) is currently being updated I like to try to keep on top with the documents.  I'm currently having to visit the old site to get the pdfs, but will there be links in the 2021 edition eventually?

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Peter - The lessons can be downloaded in PDF format by printing the page and selecting “Save as PDF,” at least in Chrome. Other browsers should have similar features these days.

 

Also, about the voice recognition issue; we have just released a fix for an issue on some phrases. It should all work fine now.

 

Michael - You should see Write it! reinstated on Rocket Russian Level 1!

Peter--252

Hi Jason, thanks for that. I've tried it and it works fine.

Spanish51

I can't find the PDF transcripts.  Have they been removed.

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Spanish51 - As mentioned in the comment above; 

The lessons can be downloaded in PDF format by printing the page and selecting “Save as PDF,” at least in Chrome. Other browsers should have similar features these days.

 

JoeC74

I see that I just missed the cut-off for being able to roll back to the 2020 Edition. I have to say that it is rather disappointing. I just became a member about a week ago, was really enjoying the 2020 edition and rolling along. The bar enticing me to jump to the 2021 Edition claimed that I had the opportunity to ‘Try the 2021 Edition’ with no hint that there was no going back. Now I can't get the audio recordings sections to work correctly - they don't advance after recording and I can't manually advance them. It makes it impossible to actually progress in the lesson. I have tried different browsers and different operating systems, nothing has worked. This is basically the equivalent of trying something new on your cellphone and bricking your phone.

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Joe - We haven't had any other reports of this happening. Are you talking specifically about the Rocket Reinforcement activities? If so, is it happening for all of the activities, or just one? Any particular language? 

JoeC74

I haven't been able to do any of the ‘Play It’ exercises for this reason. I have tried both German and Italian with the same result. I can verify that my recordings are there and can be played back. I can do the other recording exercises due to the fact that the recordings are saved and acknowledged.  I appreciate your help and the effort that goes into all of this - I was really enjoying it and hope to be able to get back on a roll.

jason-oxenham-ceo

Hi Joe - What browser are you using? We recommend using either the Chrome or Safari browser as they support voice recognition. With Firefox and Edge you can record yourself but it's possible that some versions may cause “Play it” to not work properly.

JoeC74

I thought you would say that. I am not an Apple user and I don't use Chrome on my Windows computer. I can say that it didn't seem to work on the Chromium browser on Linux. I will give it a try and report back. Thanks for your troubleshooting effort.

 

Update: Using Chrome did, indeed, solve the problem. Do you have the recommendation or a note anywhere that users should be using Chrome or Safari?

Thanks Jason!

JoseAG

Hi Joe,

 

I hope you don't mind my stepping in. I'm a Linux user and I tried with Chromium, but the recording didn't work properly. Sometimes I also use Firefox on Windows 10, but again it's not good for this course. I had to install Chrome on Windows and now I use it only for Rocket Languages, and everything goes well. So I think that's the trick.

 

I hope that helps.

JoeC74

Jose, I appreciate your stepping in - It sounds like we were in the same situation but you were better at troubleshooting than me :) - I also had to install Chrome on my Windows computer and plan to use it just for Rocket Languages. Thank you!

JoeC74

Jose, I appreciate your stepping in - It sounds like we were in the same situation but you were better at troubleshooting than me :) - I also had to install Chrome on my Windows computer and plan to use it just for Rocket Languages. Thank you!

gustele

Some feedback and wishes about the new edition:

I like the new fresh layout of the site. 

Please don't remove the motivational figures from the main page. I still see the position and number of points at the top of the page, but these are not really motivational to get you back a the course every day. Please show there also the current streak.

I assume my private flash cards will also be moved to the new layout (currently unavailable tool).

Regards and thanks for all the work