Thank you nóng fū for this very helpful explanation. Such an explanation would have been very helpful to have in the study materials before many of us struggled hard, like the salmon swimming upstream to the upriver spawning grounds. I hope the Rocket German team will get your permission to had your excellent and clear explanation to the next version of this great product.
Perhaps, you could also help us new students with a similar explanation of the Chinese character entry keyboard provided in the second writing sections, (which are new to me as they are not in the other language courses I've taken from Rocket.)
I also only just learned the lesson of the tones changing in context by reading the sections on the Writing of characters or somewhere where the instructions says when two "3rd tone" words are together the second one shifts to a different tone. So I look forward to learning more about this.
At first I was in the process of writing a feedback comment to suggest this second keyboard entry system was broken, as the when selecting the keyboard on the right of the entry box, an English keyboard comes up, and there are no characters on the "ALT" selections. I have accidentally chosen this "Write Up" section thinking was in the first Write Up lessons and this was a broken keyboard missing the second page "ALT" accent characters to specify the four tones.
While trying to be as helpful as possible in documenting for the Rocket Development Team what I mistakenly thought was a software bug, I realized that there are different keyboards for the two different "Write Up" exercise section." Then it took me more than an hour reading up Chinese character keyboard entry systems in Wikipedia before I have come to my current understanding of how I think this second keyboard entry system is supposed to work.
Again, there were many missteps along the way. I then thought the way forward was to select the keyboard option for Cangie characters, and looked on the internet for instructions on how to use this system. But, as you must already know learning to use even the simplied Cangie enter systems by recognition and decomposition of the component radicals is a highly advanced skill that could be a longer course than even this one.
So only later did I come pack to poke around with what seemed mistakenly called the PinYin keyboard that has no accent characters did I realize that by typing the PinYin characters with only English symbols with no accent marks this new mystery keyboard provides a look up table provides a "look up table of the 7 to 9 different Chinese characters that the ambiguous English symbol Pinyin enter system might imply so then the new student is apparently expected to look back way "uppage" to see the correct character from the original instruction material, come back down and select the correct Chinese character, and then repeat this for each word in the sentence.
So the good news is that this does now seem to work. However, as someone who always aspired to be a "scholar" and good teacher, my concern is that many other new students will have given up long before this time and just assume that the software is "broken," or more likely not even be aware of the potential great learning value this section of the software is capable of assisting.
So I was just in the process of writing notes for a Feedback Comment, or perhaps a "Hints For New Users" so others could have a simple explanation of what to expect, how to use it, and why it is important. But, you would be a much more knowledgeable person to make such a note.
I've noticed that you have many hundreds of thousands of points and seem to have been working at the highest daily rate in the world for all courses for what appears to be a very long time, perhaps many years. You may be the most advanced student here, so any advice or tips for new students would be most appreciated.
I have a short-window of time where I can study many hours, sometimes a whole day. I just finished the Level 1 German course in one month, and am now well into Level 2. I've spend nearly eight hours a day over the last three days, just trying to get a good start in this Chinese course, while also maintaining a similar effort in the German course, which I have a better chance of achieving proficiency in. (I am 61 so time is sadly limited by mortality. ) I do not know how long this window will last. As soon as I get another consulting contract, a will only be able to put in a couple hours a day.
Since my son is CEO of a company that has many suppliers in China, and I have been to the ROC many dozens of times, I decided to buy us both this Chinese course for his birthday so we could learn Mandarin together. One of Jason's articles reports that Mandarin may become one of the two most important languages for business in the next decade, if it is not already.
I am finding so many of these hidden challenges my concern is that we may not get far enough into the language before our motivation wanes. So I've bolstered my own energy by trying to write helpful comments for other new students which is something I know how to do.
So thank you very much for your helpful insights.