Detailed language evaluations

Description of your request or bug report:

Something which might be useful down the line is more detailed evaluations of the language contained in books. I notice people often comment on some of these specific aspects of the language in their reviews, so it could be useful to have these things quantified in some way.

Below is a basic idea of what this could look like. A slider may be better than a rating for encouraging users to evaluate.

Grammar easy ╞═▰════════╡ advanced
Vocabulary common ╞═══▰══════╡ rare
Prose dialogue ╞═══════▰══╡ descriptive
Language standard ╞▰═════════╡ non-standard1
Clarity simple ╞═════▰════╡ complex2
Content3 general ╞══▰═══════╡ specialised

1. Slang, dialect, etc.
2. Idioms, abstract ideas, etc
3. Not strictly related to language, and general / specialised may work more for non-fiction. For fiction something like simple / complex might be better (convoluted plots, large cast of characters, etc)

Trello link:

Prose would need to be flipped, no? Otherwise that’s a neat idea!

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I think prose works either way, bc I feel like dialogue vs. descriptive isn’t necessarily as clean-cut as easy vs. hard (or hard vs. easy). There are times where the dialogue is easy and makes it go quicker, which would make it easier, but then there are times where there are multiple characters talking and/or it’s difficult to tell who’s saying what, which would make it harder. Descriptive writing gives you more context to work with, which is why a lot of people find novels to be easier than manga, but depending on the author’s style, those sections could be more difficult than the dialogue. More dialogue could also make it pass quicker by inflating the page count, while more description takes up more page space. It could also depend on what someone’s used to reading

Speaking of manga, actually, I guess it could have “text density” rather than “prose,” with “sparse” on one side and “dense” on the other? There are manga with more narration etc. than others, but I feel like the text density plays a bigger role in difficulty than what percentage is dialogue

If each of these is optional the way the separate entertainment and language-learning star ratings are optional, that would be nice too. I get the feeling I wouldn’t always be able to accurately judge all of them for every book I reviewed, but that wouldn’t mean I wouldn’t be able to do at least some (e.g. grammar. I don’t pay attention to the grammar unless there’s any I struggle with, and that doesn’t necessarily relate to how advanced the grammar point is)


I think having a slider (without any indication of rating/difficulty) is useful in this regard, because it can just be indicitive of the ratio of dialogue to descriptive text. Although having it next to all those other evaluations which do suggest that one side is easier than the other may give that impression anyway… :thinking:

Agree! I think that something like “visual storytelling” might also be useful as a complement to this, as the two don’t necessarily have an inverse relationship.

I definitely think they should all be separate and optional - not all measures will apply to all books, and some aspects of language are easier to judge than others. You want users to be encouraged to use the evaluations rather than feeling overwhelmed or confused by them.

Perhaps, since there are lots of ways to judge language, and not all measurements will apply it all book types, they wouldn’t all be visible on the book page at first. There could be a masterlist that you could choose from via a drop-down or search bar on the item page or the additional options pop-up. And once one person has rated a specific value, it is displayed on the book/item page, so you don’t see lots of empty evaluations, only ones that have already been rated by at least one user.

Another way might be to detect specific keywords in a user’s review. For example, if they use the word “grammar”, a suggestion for “Grammar: easy / advanced” would appear, in order to encourage evaluations on relevant aspects of the language.

Some more possible evaluations:
Furigana: all kanji / none
Kanji / kana use: normal / unusual (children’s books written in hiragana, experimental writing, used for specific effects, etc)
Language: modern / old-fashioned
Style: vernacular / literary

All this might also be useful for the ideas about recommendations discussed in the other thread.

Full of ideas, but no clue about coding or tech stuffs… :rofl:


Approved! I really like this idea… but I think this functionality is more general than just ‘language’ evaluation!

I would call this a ‘slider tag’. Namely, it’d fit into the current tag functionality when it comes to search and display (has a user voted percentage, will appear in the current tag display locations), just the input is a slider between two tags rather than voting on one.

Stealing from StoryGraph again, we could add things like:

  • Pacing (slow/fast)
  • Plot-Driven Or Character-Driven

Like you say, these things should be focused on the type of content/language it is and not objective difficulty… so we might need better descriptors for these things or remove them altogether. However, we can fine-tune and debate these things when the notion of a ‘slider-tag’ begins to be worked on :slight_smile: