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Starting from the Reverse Tree?

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Duolingo currently offers a wide variety of languages, but there are some that are not yet available for English learners, while the reverse tree already exists. This is true for languages such as Chinese, Arabic, and Japanese; you can learn English from these languages, but you cannot learn these languages from English.

For example, Japanese from English is still in the incubator, but English from Japanese is already available. So, if I were to start learning Japanese using the reverse tree(English from Japanese), how effective would that be? This would be considering that I can already read hiragana and katakana, while having very limited knowledge of the kanji.

Japanese from English is not projected to come out until May, so I was thinking about getting a head start by trying out the reverse tree. Does anyone have insight onto how successful I could be with this method?

1 year ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/BenZeller
BenZeller
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If you have prior knowledge, then it really just depends on how comfortable you are with the language. Especially with Japanese, you'll need to know how characters work, how to use them, what they look like, how to form sentences, how to use adjectives, etc. If you already know some Japanese, then it may be a good way to get a headstart while waiting for the English > Japanese course. However, if you don't know basic Japanese, then it'll be hell trying to get past the first lesson.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TASTSTN
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Thanks for the insight!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissCamden
MissCamden
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this wonderful duo user got you covered, basically https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7963862 lessons follow the japanese reverse tree, introducing the vocabulary, listing the sentences & explaining the grammar. a real life saver. & as someone that tried the chinese, japanese & korean reverse courses: as long as you find a good grammar source to complement duo, knock yourself out!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TASTSTN
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Thanks, this is really helpful.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oxq
oxq
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It's fairly difficult, but indeed doable. Although, I don't know how much you would get out of it. As for Japanese, you may face additional challenges as it is considered one of the hardest languages in the world. I've done a few lessons of the English for Chinese course and have prior knowledge of the language. It takes longer to get through lessons when you have 0 knowledge of the base language. If you want to finish the English for Japanese tree, you definitely can it's more a matter of how much content you can actually learn. You can view some free external Japanese resources here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TASTSTN
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Thanks for the help!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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I asked a question similar to this once and got mixed results. Some people say it wouldn't be a good idea, and others said it would be manageable but harder. One person that commented was learning Hindi using the reverse tree method while waiting for Hindi for English speakers, and he said he was using Wikipedia links to look up the grammar while using Duolingo for nearly all the rest. And I myself actually took a shot at this twice; English for Japanese and Spanish for Chinese. Doing a reverse or laddering tree is always harder, but it's extra hard when you don't have a main tree to focus on or you just plain don't know most of the language you must translate the language being taught into.

That being said, I think you should go for it if you really want to. And you should consider things like learning the grammar, too, not just reading kana and kanji (I can also do this to a highly limited extent). The reason I decided not to do the reverse course after all was because despite the fact I could read Japanese kana and some basic kanji, my understanding of Japanese grammar is even more limited and something I find very daunting to tackle effectively. I think the course for English speakers would help me a lot more than Wikipedia pages, to be honest, mostly because I'm a visual-kinetic learner. Until then I'll do my best to learn some Japanese using other sources.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TASTSTN
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Thanks! I already have a basic understanding of how the grammar works, so I think that I'll be able to start pretty well.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KurtSylveon

I took a Japanese class at my school. I still have the text book. Would you want me to send you some of the lessons from the beginner book?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TASTSTN
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Yes, please. That would be extremely helpful.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KurtSylveon

how would you want me to get them to you? If you have an email I can send them to you that way ?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
Thomas.Heiss
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Have you tried Mondly www.mondlylanguages.com and Japanese?

There are Memrise courses on Japanese to learn some words / basics.

www.language101.com has a Japanese (English) course where you learn phrases and speaking; but probably you should learn the basics somewhere else first.

The main problem on DuoLingo is, that "tips and notes" are written in the source L1 language, not a neutral 3rd German/English language (customizable settings).
When I take the Portuguese-English reverse tree all information is given in native Portuguese.

UPDATE:
I was wrong.
A) The whole web interface (3rd screen language) changes for texts to Japanese Kanji, as I switched to the Japanese-English course today.

B) When I had switched to my Portuguese-English course, subsequent e-mail message by DuoLingo where ONLY sent in Portuguese language from that time (e.g new followers, activity messages, new comments to my posts, etc.).
So I expect that once you switch to Japanese as source language, you will only get all DuoLingo messages in this source/target language.
THAT is not the solution DuoLingo!

DuoLingo really needs to introduce a 3rd screen language, which has nothing to do with L1 source or L2 target languages :-(

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TASTSTN
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I see. Thanks for the insight.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
Thomas.Heiss
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I updated my msg above. You will run into some more problems (3rd interface / screen languages + e-mails).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TASTSTN
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I started the course earlier, and everything is, in fact, in Japanese; however, it doesn't really interfere with learning since I have already memorized which buttons do what, and I don't get many emails from Dueling to start with, so I don't have to worry too much. Thanks for the help!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aerona0

I only have experience with the reverse Chinese tree, but I'd say if I started completely from scratch I'd be completely lost. Getting a little head start by knowing basic the characters and pronunciations has made it a lot easier! Saying that, I do think the reverse tree is more useful for me than a Chinese for English speakers tree would be. I have to answer in Chinese a lot of the time, I learn the subtle differences between different pronouns and verbs, and pick up new words quite easily.

I think it's different for everyone but personally it has been useful alongside the work I've already done. Japanese is a lot harder even at the very basic level compared to Chinese though, so I'd say to spend some time on other resources and just use Duo for helping to form sentences and learn extra vocab.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TASTSTN
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Thanks!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Helenzie
Helenzie
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Hiya.

My experience of the Japanese reverse tree is:

It is v helpful for me (somewhere between beginner and intermediate)

It is possible to use the web or app versions up until the point where you start encountering too many kanji that you don't know.

For me, that is about 1/3 of the tree, as I did know some kanji.

After that point, for me, the app version is too hard as it becomes "multiple guess", whereas the web version with a real keyboard is still possible and very helpful.

In order to use the web version, it is good to have:

1: Rikaichan chrome add on so that you can hover on kanji to see reading and meaning

  1. Japanese microsoft keyboard enabled so you can type the answers

It may be possible to make progress using the app and other strategies than I've found.

Good luck!

1 year ago