Currently, the app's instructions are in English, there are English translations for each word/sentence (albeit only during card creation, not review), and the individual instructions within the review sessions (“What’s this?” “Spell this word:” etc) are in English.
For the moment we will stick with this structure. Down the road, we're definitely looking into the ability to switch the app’s interface language, or at least for the “What’s this?” and “Spell this word” stuff, at the very least, if not the overall instructions as well i.e.“Watch this video” “When you know a word, it will no longer be bold” etc.
We'd actually like to auto-suggest this once we see that a user is either skipping a bunch of words (and is therefore intermediate/advanced) or has been using the app for a while (and is therefore pretty familiar with the various cues in the interface and wouldn’t be too spooked by switching them to their target language).
But for now we're starting with English instructions because that’s what’s going to make the app the most accessible to the most number of users without:
- Panicking new users (immersion can totally freak people out when they’re not ready for it).
- Damaging the learning experience of power users. Putting the English translations of vocab words and sentences on flashcards would make the app more accessible, but it would totally mess up the learning experience. But having English instructions on the flashcards doesn’t actually do significant damage, because once you’ve spent a day or two in the app, you’re no longer going to be reading those instructions. It’s just scenery after a while. Yes, it would be cooler to have those instructions in your target language, but it’s not disruptive enough to do damage after a day or two. So that moves it a bit further down the priority list in terms of features. We think it’s a nice perk that would be a welcome change sometime after release.
As for the English translations being available during card creation, we're currently planning on keeping those, though we're definitely interested in playing around with alternatives down the road (like making them hide-able) to see if people prefer them.