I want japanese lessons !
I am sure in time the duolingo team will add more and more languages. However, it takes some time to establish a solid base for each language, so I'm guessing it will be a while till japanese is avaliable here.
Also, japanese has a different way of typing, which makes the learning curve a lot steeper than latin-based languages. (plus I don't think so many has a japanese keyboard) Still, if it came available I'd definately try to learn it :-)
Both Japanese and Chinese are easily typed out using the Roman alphabet (Romanji and Pinyin respectively.) It certainly works well enough for an English speaker anyway.
Korean is also doable with a typical keyboard, but it's much harder, since the Korean characters no longer roughly correspond to the same sound as the Roman character sharing the same keyboard key. So Korean is possible, but requires memorization. Japanese and Chinese are much easier.
I already learn japanese since 4 years (i'm french actually!) and i think it's more and more popular ! It's really fun to learn it, but it's hard to practice. And duolingo is so great to practice languages! :D With my keyboard, i can change language into japanese: when i type normal letters, it converts into japanese letters automaticaly !
http://www.memrise.com/course/12/introduction-to-japanese/ <-- that link is to another website that has an interesting way of teaching japanese. You download something that lets you type in japanese characters and it's a fun way to practice japanese. I only wish it were more complete and more than just a basic course. I hope Duolingo does something like this as inspiration to get some JP lessons on the go :)
I've been studying Japanese for several years, majored in the language in college, and lived in Japan for a couple of years. This point is absolutely vital. Far too many introductory courses in Japanese do not teach the writing system, and it's such a waste! There are vast resources available online, but it's a massive proposition to integrate some of that stuff into DuoLingo. Typing in Japanese is no problem if you've enabled the language in your OS, but handwriting is a whole other problem. If only we all had tablets! But there's a lot of new software infrastructure that would need to be implemented on this site for it.
As someone who also studied Japanese in college and is currently living in Japan, I disagree that learning how to write kanji characters is vital. Nearly all of my written communication with others is done via e-mails and texts, which only require being able to read the characters. Learning how to write even the most common 1000 characters requires an enormous time investment, even with SRS apps like Skritter. I believe that time would be better spent strengthening vocabulary and listening and reading comprehension. Admittedly I did use some kanji on the blackboard when teaching grade school English, but I would have been forgiven if I had just used kana. I will agree, however, that using the roman alphabet as a crutch for not learning kana is unacceptable, but that is not an issue with which most learners struggle beyond the very early lessons.
if you learn how to correctly type in romanji, then you could go to your control panel in your computer and make it so that they could make it into proper Japanese writing. while it may not be helpful for if you would actually want to write it out on paper, it would make sending emails or any type of social media a possibility.
When I signed up here I was actually hoping for some Japanese practice - my skill in that language is pretty rusty and I have a hard time focusing myself to practice without some sort of guidance. This is working well for my German, so I hope Japanese eventually comes on board.