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Reports from people trying the Japanese alpha?

I really want to know what the course is like. Is anyone willing to do a write up? How are things taught? How does it handle the writing systems? What are your impressions so far?

Really wish it were open to people without an iOS device.

April 18, 2017


[deactivated user]

    Technically we're not supposed to share details of alpha course: “we ask that you please not share screenshots or course release information with others.”

    It has 40 skills and 185 lessons, making it the shortest tree on DL (skills-wise and lesson-wise)


    It has 40 skills and 185 lessons

    Do you know if this number is the final number that will be in the beta course or are the contributors still adding more?

    [deactivated user]

      I don't know, they might add extra skills and/or lessons


      Ah, I see. Nevermind then I wouldn't want anyone to break the terms of their alpha participation.


      The alpha might not include all the skills, I'd guess.

      A question you're probably able to answer:

      Is the teaching method the exact same as other Duolingo courses or are there some differences? Yes ./ no.


      From what I have seen so far (I have only completed two skills in the tree), I would say it is fairly different from how the German tree (the one I have explored the most) handles things, mainly because German uses the Latin alphabet while Japanese has a completely different writing system. So expect to have a lot more alphabet-based questions compared to most other languages on DL (even Russian).

      [deactivated user]

        It is the same but the first few skills are identifying hiragana and some basic words


        I actually just received an email today saying that I was accepted to be an alpha tester. I already completed a few skills and I would be happy to write up my preliminary review of the course sometime tomorrow if anyone is interested. PS: This is not my current alpha testing profile


        EDIT: It turns out I can't really talk about the course in too much detail unfortunately, however I can say that it teaches the Hiragana characters fairly intuitively on iOS, especially if you couple the lessons with practice mode frequently.


        The course is fantastic, let me assure you. However, we can't share information about the course. But it is very good, and teaches the characters well. You'll just have to wait.


        That's good news! How long till it releases?


        The estimated completion date (according to the status page) is May 15 2017


        Yeah but that hasn't been updated since two months I think


        Maybe that means that they still think that's a realistic launch date. If the team are testing at the moment, that seems reasonable.

        ...but the date always slips. Course teams always underestimate how long the Duolingo team's part of the process takes.


        Not an alpha tester, so I don't have an accurate version of the tree (used the glitch last week), but I'm also not under any strictures about talking about it.

        It begins with 4 Hiragana skills, made up of 22 lessons. What I can access is obviously incomplete, but some are simple words that will be unfamiliar to those with no knowledge of Japanese; some will be immediately familiar to most English speakers.

        Then there are three Introduction/Greeting skills. They use Katakana, Hiragana, Kanji as necessitated I suppose by the standard written forms of the words concerned. (I know essentially nothing about Japanese, though, so I base this merely on my verification that those characters I see do, indeed, come from all three writing systems).

        And that's as far as I have gotten. Caveat lector.


        Do you remember what the glitch was? I accidentally did it a week or two ago and can't remember how.


        Japanese just appeared in the course selector menus. I think if you deleted the course at that time, you'll have to wait for the course to go into beta.

        For anyone interested in the course, though, I just randomly got brief access to the iOS version (the above account is based on the desktop). Having chosen to do a hiragana strengthening, it looks like Duolingo has finally focused in on teaching alphabets! Some good news in the gloom of activity stream, gems, etc.


        I too am curious. I really wanted to alpha test, but, the only ios I have is an ipad. And, in the past ipad has not been the most reliable device for Duolingo lessons.


        We are not able to share info unless it's with the course moderators sadly but,so far it's a pretty good course


        I'm testing it (on another account) and there are some bugs, but it's good so far. I'm not permitted to share anything else. I think that you'll enjoy it when it's to be released.

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