Skritter already asks you how to write down a character/word presented to you in English, or whatever language you are using the app in. Perhaps it doesnt direcly ask you the translation of a given word in English, but keep in mind that Chinese is a logographic language where characters are the written representation of a concept and the way you “say” such concept.
When drawing a chracter/word, you should think about it as more of a 3-in-1 thing: the way it’s written, its meaning and its sound; therefore, when asked to write down the word Communism, you should also internally think about how it’s pronounced (tone included!, you can’t separate it from the “sound of the letters”), the meaning of “communism” and obviously the way to write it.
However, to aid this issue, I’d like to see a new type of card where, e.g., the word “tree” is presented in English (or even the concept/definition of such word, which is already found on Skritter, to up the game if one chooses so) and you have to answer by:
- Choosing the correct card between 2 or 3 different cards with different characters each. This can range from simiilar characters with the left radical of 木, such as “林” or “村” or random characters to test that you are really sure the radical 木 belongs to tree.
I remember that when I was learning Multiplication tables as a kid, the teacher every now and then would ask us if we were sure about the answer we had given to her, even if it was correct, and that made us doubt ourselves, forcing us to think something through as opposed to rote memorization and therefore creating better neural pathways to reinforce our learning.
Of course this would also work by presenting the word or definition in Chinese, perfect for those in more advanced levels.