https://www.duolingo.com/Space_K-051

Will there be a Japanese course for English speakers?

I really want to learn Japanese, and was sad to find that there is no course for it. I hope that it gets made soon.

1年前

11コメント


https://www.duolingo.com/moeka518
moeka518
  • 16
  • 11
  • 8
  • 6

He he he--don't worry, I have been working on it for hours for the past few months.

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/mhagiwara
mhagiwara
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4

Yes, there will be. We are currently working hard to release the Japanese for English speakers course on May 15th, 2017. Stay tuned!

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/Demon-Kiyomi

:3 Until then me and a few others are posting lessons in the forums... alternatively I have an ENTIRE LIST OF FREE RESOURCES! That I've spent many many years compiling. :) All the Japanese I know I've learned for free.

Good luck!

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/Space_K-051

thank you :)

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/helifreak
helifreak
  • 18
  • 13
  • 5
  • 2

I wouldn't hold your breath. The main thing about Duolingo is that you can just jump in and get started right away. Kanji screws you over in that regard because you have to learn the symbol, meaning, and pronunciation in one go (Chinese, while simpler (only one pronunciation per character) and having many more speakers also doesn't have a course) whereas other languages simply have notes on the writing system (Russian for example, which also allows you to swap between cyrillic and latin if you wish).

People have suggested effectively modifying the language by adding spaces and dropping kanji in favour of kana or even romaji. Both of these mean that when you go to read a newspaper you'll find you can't. On the other hand, if you go full kanji right off the bat most people are going to bail really fast - I know I did until I spent a hundred or so hours on kanji. I'm not knowledgeable on the full extent of customisation that's available to a course, but it seems like rubies on the kanji is the only real way to do it (toggleable between off, hiragana, and romaji) - however due to the character set swapping in Russian I'd imagine it's technically possible.

Politeness levels are also an issue, with the Duolingo format there isn't really anywhere to go into enough details on the intricacies of it all. Half the time when you introduce a new grammar point you would need a second version of it to teach the polite form as well. You can't just learn one without the other.

There's also this thread recently about it, and many threads before it.

That said, I want as many people as is possible to be able to learn Japanese because it's such a beautiful language, I just don't know if Duolingo is really the right place to do it.

Everything I've learnt so far has been self study, the only textbook I bought was Genki (which was a waste of money in my opinion), and I learnt basically all the grammar from Tae Kim's guide. It suffers from the same issues of full kanji right away but it's coverage of grammar is unrivalled (apart from Japanese books on Japanese grammar).

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 10
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 2
  • 3

Not to disagree with any of the points you are making, but honestly, you could write a book about the potential difficulties you might face when learning English. Or Russian, or German, French or Polish, or any language really. Irregular verbs, a plethora of cases, unpredictable genders, strange idioms, perplexing grammar, inexplicably confusing prepositions, indefinite and definite articles, alien writing systems abound in any language. Enough to make anyone sweat really. Oh the humanity.

It doesn't really do anyone any good to worry people about things they haven't encountered yet. It is a lot easier to do that than it is to point the way. You have to promote a positive mental attitude.

Japanese might have challenges and differences that throw people off, but I think for anyone that has their heart set on learning it, it really makes no difference. I don't think it really helps anyone to point out that a language has difficulties to face, unless at the same time you are pointing out ways to face those difficulties.

Japanese may have two alphabets or syllabaries, but that's no more than we have with cursive and print writing and we have no trouble reading or writing either.

Japanese may have 'kanji', and it may be an integral part of the writing, but it is no more convoluted than the bewildering array of euphemisms, latinisms, maxims, symbols, acronyms, truncations and txtspk that people use every day without batting an eyelid, it just happens to be a completely different bewildering and convoluted system that we haven't been indoctrinated with, nothing to say we aren't capable of grasping it.

Japanese might have different levels of politeness, but it doesn't exactly own the concept like it wants to think it does. You would never address the Queen the same way you'd chat shit with your mate Barry down the pub. I find this one particularly frustrating, it's the same thing that people use to make French and German look scary, but it always presents itself in different ways in every language. Some languages may be so straight laced that they have codified this stratification of society deep within every spoken utterance, but it isn't as if the concept has not touched the Anglophone mentality as well. One shouldn't dwell over it, why make such a fuss about it, what's the big deal, why you be trippin' etc... there are always different registers of speech in every language, they just aren't always acknowledged so officiously.

You're falling into the trap of thinking that any course should teach the perfect language, and that Japanese is too complicated a language for it to handle - but when Duolingo is teaching English, it isn't teaching people how to appreciate Shakespeare. It is teaching people to say 'The duck drinks water'.

Kamo wa mizu o nomu

鴨は水を飲む

There, I'm satisfied.

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/Space_K-051

Yeah, I figured. I know the kanji is complicated, and the poliness levels are just another battle. So I figured Duolingo wouldn't have it. I'm going to learn though because I really want to.

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/Demon-Kiyomi

About 6 years ago I couldn't even read Kanji... and my ability to read Kana wasn't much better. I remember in a Japanese chatroom one of the guys was typing in all sorts of Kanji and I thought to myself "I will never be capable of doing that...." ... when I got to the point where I felt I could start to tackle Kanji (I could read kana-ish... REALLY SLOWLY)... at first it was a little bit difficult and daunting... but after a little bit something just clicked... and now picking up and reading Kanji is like NOTHING. ... and reading kana with no kanji makes me want to slam my head into a table..... and TBH I don't even attempt to read romaji. XD

So you'll get there. Even the different readings isn't hard at all... it's like "99% of the time it will sound like _... and when 2 kanji are together it will sound like__" Nothing. Think of it like when you're reading Tear (water drop) VS Tear (to rip). Or Read (present tense) vs Read (past tense).

The levels of formality aren't that bad either. You have 4... you'll only really ever use 2

SUPER FORMAL (unless you're seeing the emperor you'll probably never hear it or use it)

FORMAL (you'll use this most often it's the -masu stems Not hard to pick up)

INFORMAL (These just have the -ru -ta/-da -nai, you'll hear them often as well, not hard to pick up at all.)

SLANG (... you'll hear it occasionally... you'll pick up some of it... but it's nothing to freak out about)

So yeah. :) Good luck to you. Don't let the language scare you, just take it a step at a time and eventually you'll be fluent too.

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/DBrine

I'm sad to hear that a english-japan course won't be likely.

For now though, I've made a work-around, by setting my native language to Japanese on this site, and then "learning English".

So far it's been interesting this way, though I find that I miss out on knowing the pronunciation of new words(i have to copy paste to google translate to see the romaji), I am getting much better at comprehension/knowing what a sentence is talking about, along with sentence structure.

Of course, Iv'e been trying to learn this for years, so am already aware of hiragana/katakana.

This has been ONE way, but certainly not the most convenient.

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/L-native
L-native
  • 25
  • 25
  • 16
  • 3
  • 515

Actually Duolingo is user-generated, which means anyone theoretically can start to build a course. This is how it works, so maybe you want to be the creator of the course, others may follow up. :)

1年前

https://www.duolingo.com/RWDJ
RWDJ
  • 11
  • 5

The issue, from what I gather reading other discussions, is the kanji and the programming. The devs will have to help us by changing how letters are read as words just so Japanese will work. Like helifreak said, the solution there is to add spaces but that'd screw... something up. I can't say what that something is because these aren't my words and I'm not clear on that specific detail.

I really want an English to Japanese course and would love it if the devs could look into it.

1年前
英語を無料で学ぼう。1日5分ゲーム感覚で学習できます。