Rumor has it that a few of you have been patiently awaiting a Japanese course? For those not in on the joke, Japanese is by far the most-requested and highly-anticipated course launch in Duolingo’s five-year history. So I am thrilled to announce that our Japanese course is now available on iOS. (EDIT: Android rollout slowly started on May 31, and web will be next!)
Japanese is one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn, so we spent months creating a completely new way to teach the language and then designed a new course from scratch.
Here’s what makes our Japanese course unique:
No skimping on characters. While some courses get away with using only Romaji (the representation of Japanese sounds using the western alphabet), learning all three Japanese writing systems helps people communicate more effectively. Duolingo’s course teaches the shapes, pronunciations, and meanings of all Hiragana characters (there are about 50), all 50 Katakana characters, and nearly 100 basic Kanji (Chinese characters). Also, unlike traditional courses that structure character lessons alphabetically, Duolingo’s course introduces characters thematically.
Thematic lessons for real-life situations. Whether you’re trying to navigate Tokyo, order sushi, or watch anime without subtitles, this course can help. All lessons are based on themes like travel, food and hobbies, and are made up of a practical mix of vocabulary and grammar. And there are even bonus lessons at the end to teach learners phrases relevant to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and popular Japanese subculture like anime and manga.
Backed by research. Duolingo designed the course from scratch based on research-driven teaching guidelines. This includes JF Standard, a Japanese-language education framework for describing language ability. The course teaches all of the vocabulary and grammar needed to pass JLPT N5, the most popular Japanese language proficiency test in the world.
As a native Japanese speaker, it was an honor to help build this course so that millions of people can learn the language. We created new formats and content to ensure the course’s effectiveness, and we will be continuously improving the course based on your feedback.
I can’t wait for you all to try it out for yourselves!
Related: Check out "How we invented a new way to teach one of the most difficult languages to learn", posted today on the Making Duolingo blog.
That's poorly communicated by Duolingo, if not outright deceptive.
"Coming 18 may", without mentioning "only on Apple" (of which I have no idea why anyone would use it).
And with no mention at all of the website version it appears that it'll be a lot longer before I'll ever get to try this, if it ever comes.
I think that’s the reason why the web version hasn’t yet been released in the first place. The developers want to recreate the kind of exercises they made for the mobile version.
I think that, once it’s finally released, the web version will be very different from what it is now.
Disappointed!!! If you are going to say 'soon' then at least give us an order of magnitude. Are we talking, days, weeks or months for the respective android and browser updates? I ve literally been refreshing the incubator page all day to find out its going to be a phased beta... You shouldve extended the alfa and released beta on all 3 platforms, or at least browser first. 100% of people online have browsers. 85% uses android, 15% uses iOS (2016 global market share). Who of all people thought to push such a release to market?
So. Timeline? Days, weeks, months or duolingo development years?
Here is the guide on how to enable Japanese for the web. Though I have to warn you that the course is really buggy. You can’t use the strengthen skills button and it messes up with the forums.
It’s been that way for a month, but now that it’s been released on iOS, I hope they will iron out the bugs soon.
I figured out a workaround to get it working on Android, to some degree, so I'm sharing it here for anyone who wants to try it out.
- Open the app, and have the skill tree open in any language.
- Follow the guide @FilipFilip17 linked on your computer.
- Go back into the app and refresh it by pulling down.
- Quickly press the Japanese skill you want to work on when it appears, before the "Language not supported" dialogue appears. It will still appear, but the lesson list eventually takes priority.
edit: It's pretty buggy at the moment
If you install the Tampermonkey extension or Chrome or the Greasemonkey extension on Firefox, and then install this script: https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/29896-ninja-button-duolingo-japanese It adds a "Ninja" button that will let you access the Japanese course.
Lol. Why did my reply get downvoted? Was what I said wrong?
What I meant is, the reason the code doesn't show is because they changed the code on the tree viewing page (the "Home" page of whatever language you have open). What I was suggesting is to go back to the choose a new language to learn page, because there it still uses the old code displayed in the guide.
Better option though: Click "Add a new course", which takes you to https://www.duolingo.com/courses
On that page you should see the code shown in the guide too. So it will work if you follow what the guide said, but you just need to do it on that page instead now. ^^
Or simply do it while on the forums. Seems to use that code for the language list when on here too. ^^
If you have iOS, code and stuff isn't necessary.
Just make sure you're no longer in the Japanese course/switch to another language on mobile, go back to website, look at your dropdown of languages, and voila--Japanese is right there, like any other language.
Obviously not the finished web product, but who cares?
Hey, here’s another fun thing. If you followed the instructions I posted above (or below) you can also test the Japanese course on your Android device. Here’s how:
First switch to the Japanese course in your web browser, then open the mobile app. You will briefly see the Japanese tree, and then a message will pop-up. Select, for example, “Englisch von Deutch” and then click Cancel. Now quickly select a Japanese skill or try to scroll down (it’s not easy).
You won’t be able to practice skills but you can try doing new lessons. So far, I like the course, but scrolling through the tree is, understandably, frustrating because you will keep getting pop-ups, but it’s possible to access any skill (I think). Also, I notice that a lot of individual items don’t have audio (the sentences are fine though).
Credit goes to some guy who figured it’s possible to do this back when the Romanian course was not available on mobile. I can’t remember who that was...
This Year??. Are YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME?!! Screw the mobile, i know it's more convenient for people but the app is just for keeping the streak going it's pretty much just dumbed down version of web. Okay now im really mad, this is not cool honestly. I had my hopes up just to know that the release date is not actually the release date. I guess we are in for a wait here guys Message me after few years when it gets "released" in the future.
If it's any consolation, I think they have some customization that was better suited to mobile, so maybe the app will not have the same downfalls as other languages have apparently had. I use the app almost exclusively, but I've used the website more lately because the fluency meter doesn't change on the app. However, I haven't noticed a retention difference between the two. Which language(s) are you studying, and what do you see are the differences, may I ask?
I'm not so sure there's anything not updated in it. It's just missing the app specific features.
I've been reporting sentence I've typed that should have been marked correct, and I get emails usually around 24 hours later saying they've fixed them. Then, when I encounter the same question again, the fix has already been applied when I type the same answer. ^^
I'm mostly reporting sentences where they don't accept kanji. Like ones that accept かれ but not 彼.
Or questions where it doesn't accept British English I naturally type. Like パンツ not accepting "pants" as the English translation, (because "pants" in American English means ズボン, but in British English it actually means パンツ like the Japanese does...) :P
@Haelvatienn Ah, okay. I pretty much forgot that happened, as that mostly just happened in the early skills (particularly the "Hiragana" ones).
When I do strengthen skills now, I don't get stuff like that happening at all. Feels like a decent course that just could do with more web users able to access the beta test and report all the sentence errors.
Hope they're not going to dawdle with releasing the web version too long. I imagine web users report sentences more often than mobile users do.
That's an interesting perspective. I was coming from the "it's free" philosophy. This is a new viewpoint for me.
In general, I think companies tend to go where the money is. That seems to be the simplest explanation. (In many industries, I'm sure it's more complicated.)
I don't think that's the case with Duolingo, though. 85% of their users choose an app over web. It seems like a matter of priority, to me.
iOS does have the report button. Even so, I'd imagine a lot less people are active on iOS than on Web. I only opened the app for this first time in months to have a look at the course (which, for those interested, is well-made; I just personally am not interested in Japanese).
Yeah and pretty much use it only to keep the streak going. People who actually wanna learn use the web since app is just more dumbed down version of the web. Honestly this is the first time im seeing web not getting beta....i understand alpha whatever, but beta. That's not cool.
I'm certainly a web user myself, but it's trivial to make the app a perfectly challenging experience: just don't look at the word boxes at the bottom of the screen.
Although Japanese is a hard enough language that merely recognizing what's in those boxes is significant progress itself.
If they are catering, there's a possibility that IOS users may be more willing to pay to go ad-free or something. But that's sheer conjecture. (And I base that only off of some general stats between the two that I saw some years back.)
But I don't think they're catering. I think IOS is probably just easier to design for (fewer variables to consider).
Regarding Japanese, Luis said they were just farther along on IOS and launched it first.
"The course will be available on Android pretty soon. We mainly were just ahead on iOS and decided to launch it there as soon as we could."
Idk why they didn't just move the beta date back and say so. I think people would have understood. But, yk.
However, I don't think they will ever have IOS-only languages.
"My inspiration for Duolingo came from my experiences growing up in Guatemala which is a very poor country. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get a high-quality education and it changed my life. In many countries, learning English can double your income potential, but I saw that the people who most needed to learn English were also those who could least afford it. It didn’t seem fair, and that inspired Duolingo’s mission to make language education free and accessible to everyone. Eventually I would love to do this for all aspects of education so that everyone in the world, no matter how much money they have, would have access to a high-quality education through the power of technology."
85% of cell phones ruin on Android globally. That would take learning out of many people's reach, which is counter to their goals.
If that's any consolation.
In fact, since Windows 10, the Universal Windows Platform encompasses PC, XBox One, Surface, Phone and even HoloLens. A mention that Windows (Mobile, as such) has such a small market share is a fallacy. It includes all these devices.
Edit: when developed properly, it could work on Windows 10 IoT, too. Imagine using Duolingo on your Raspberry Pi. :)
That's not accurate. Every single Duolingo user is "on" the web and thus has the ability to access the web app (via a browser). Many (85%, according to von Ahn in his Reddit AmA) use a native mobile app (he doesn't give the iOS vs Android breakdown), but every one of those people could equally use the web app via their device's browser. And there are undoubtedly some individuals who lack access to a mobile device -- say, those sharing a communal desktop computer -- and thus can only use the web app.
I have Android, and my daughter has Apple. So, I decided to compared the two just now.
Downloads Android: 50 million category (exact figures unknown) Apple: ??? (Apparently, Apple doesn't share that info.)
Reviews Android: 4,464,271 Apple: 85
However, I doubt the number of reviews are any indication (I presume it must be FAR easier to leave reviews on Android or something).
But I doubt the number of users on IOS had anything to do with it. :)
Luis on his AMA said that they were simply further along on IOS and decided to launch it, first. He also said Android in 1-2 weeks.
That 85 is reviews for the latest version in the US App Store. If you look at All versions, it says 161,071 (again, in the US store). Mexico has almost 26,000 more, Brazil 42,000, Britain 30,000 and so on. Though even if it doesn't count one person twice it's still significantly lower than Android.
Yes, overall market share. Duolingo mainly has english courses, so duolingo does well in english countries or where english is a strong second language. So if you want to expand the service you should look at global audience, rather than current users.
Heck, duolingo caters to classrooms and those use browsers since not every student can have a phone...
Completely thoughtless to beta release the course where so few can have access to it...
Its a poor choice, but android takes another 1-2 weeks according to their CEO. There is hope of you have a phone...
The course with the single largest number of students isn't from English but Spanish. Overall it's about equal between English based and Spanish+Portuguese based, so in total English based learners are in the minority.
When 85% of your existing user base interacts with your product in a certain way, "thoughtless" doesn't seem like the right word to describe focusing additional products at that market slice. I guess everybody would be happier if they just didn't launch the app versions until the web version was ready? The technical interface is clearly touchscreen-friendly; as such it makes perfect sense devices with that sort of interface will get access first.
I have an Iphone so i'm not negatively affected but I have to say that it's really weak that you guys tell everyone else on launch day that it's not comming out for them. You must have known this weeks in advance. I literally counted down the days for this on my Calender and i'm sure many android/web users did the same. I'm happy to be using this but that does not make this fair at all. You should have communicated this better.
I know it's a bit like beating a dead horse by now, but I'm a bit disappointed that I've had May 18th marked down as an "Important Date" because of the long-awaited release of the Japanese course, only to find out that I will have no sort of access to it.
Back when I originally joined DuoLingo, the two languages in which I had the most interest learning were German and Japanese. The site didn't have the latter, and it felt like it'd never be released, but then I saw it pop up on the Incubator, and I had kept close monitoring its development.
Now, we've reached the time of Beta, yet with no sort of warning at all, it's only for iOS (and later Android) for the time being? Very disappointing. Most everyone should have access to a browser, whereas that is not the case in regards to particular phone architectures.
I respect the decision of the contributors to have gone this path (though I vehemently disagree), but I cannot respect there being no sort of communication aside from the vague "not all platforms" excerpt from the updates. One could have, and I believe more reasonably assume that the "extra platforms" applied to the mobile systems rather than the standard web system.
At any rate, I hope the contributors will be working to get the web version out as soon as possible. Please don't forget about it; we've waited a long time already.
I knew from the announcement a few days ago that "IOS only" was likely. Extremely disappointing and I do wish it had been communicated farther in advance, along with a time estimate for the wait. "Disappointed" is an understatement.
However, I do want to extend a sincere thank you to Duolingo for creating the course at all and for offering it for FREE.
I also want to give a special thanks to the team, many of whom I believe are VOLUNTEERS. I'm sure they have probably spent an unbelievable amount of time on this, and I hate for the backlash to dampen the excitement of their launch.
Well, I've only been waiting a year and half. What's a little longer? At least, that's what I'll try to keep telling myself while I wait. Lol I just wish I knew how long that would be for...
Edit: It will be 1-2 weeks, per Luis's AMA this morning. That's not so bad.
"...I hate for the backlash to dampen the excitement of their launch..."
I would have more sympathy if it was some kind of mistake, but they knew this would happen. I'm not in the worst boat because I have an Android phone, but teasing desktop users with a launch date and then saying "Oh yeah, you guys get it some time in the future." ON the supposed launch date is ridiculous. Probably one of the worst launch announcements I've heard in my life.
If they have paid any attention to the forums, they 'knew' this would happen
Duolingo: We removed Immersion.
50% of the users: Bring it back!!!
The other 50%: You could've at least warned us
Duolingo: We removed Activity.
50% of the users: Bring it back!!!
The other 50%: You could've at least warned us
Duolingo: Japanese!!! Oh, and it's only for some you.
50% of the users: Yay, Japanese!!!
The other 50%: You could've at least warned us
Congratulations on the launch, I've only joined Duolingo recently but I know it's been a long road to get this course up and running!
Bummed it's not available on all platforms immediately but it sounds like there are lots of complex things to work out, so I'm more than happy for you to get it working properly on one platform before rolling it out to everyone. That's what beta tests are for, after all!
Eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get started via Android and the Web... may have to see if I can get my elderly iPad up and running in the meantime...
Oh, interesting. Since I'm on Android, I haven't really peeked at it, yet. But I wouldn't expect them to have a complete course ready, start to finish, and perfected so quickly. (Actually, I'd rather see them start with saplings and grow as we go, rather than start with a whole tree.) It's a matter of learning styles to me. I tried so hard to get into Genki, but I just couldn't.
Thank you for your time and all the hard work you invested into building this course! I can't wait to start learning Japanese, and I am sure that this course will make it easier than any other online tools I could use. And it's also free! :)
I don't have an iOS device, but I'm sure there is a good reason for why the other platforms are not supported yet. And this is not a big deal compared to the efforts the Duolingo team must have put into this course. I will patiently wait for the Android/Web version and I hope to be able to contribute in the beta version with a helpful feedback and identifying eventual errors.
Keep up the good work!
While I do understand that it might take more time to bring this course to different platforms I do not understand why this was not clearly communicated to us. Duolingo got up everyone's hope that the course will be available on May 18th and only now we find out that it's for iOS only first and that other platforms will be added only in a few weeks.
I'm sure that most people would have understood why it can't be released immediately on all platforms if it was just explained more in advance. It would still have been a bit disappointing to wait longer, but still better than getting hyped for weeks and then let down like this.
Good luck with the future development for this course, I hope we can see the releases for the web version and Android soon.
For those of you without an iOS device, you can read up on what the course has to offer in detail.
Thankfully, it'll be coming to Android and web soon...
I have been waiting for this for years but I am not disappointed as the rest. I even not speak english. I wanted to try it just because I love that Language and Anime of course. But I cannot Complain it, If I waited for this for some years, some weeks or days its not too hard. Sorry I know my english is awful.
Why not just hold back release until all versions are ready? It seems kind of rude to taunt part of the community with a "It's finally here!" promo with a 'for iOS' in the small print. I don't even own any iOS devices, so this really sucks considering I've been waiting for this course since discovering duolingo.
Why couldn't the developers be straight up and honest about this release from the start?? Many of us had our hopes up on that deadline and now have to wait weeks or "sometime this year" for Android and desktop. We would've been fine if we were told the releases would be in increments.
hideki wrote 4 days ago "The Japanese team currently is putting a lot of efforts in finalizing the tree. The course will launch into beta phase on May 18. Please be patient until we support the course on all platforms. Because of "something new", we'll need an extra effort to support the course on different platforms. Thank you for understanding and look forward to the Japanese course!".
So, it was known that it was iOS only at least since 4 days ago, but for some reason he decided to omit that information. I found it very curious when I read it, but I thought it might have been just poorly written. I really thought that it was going to be released on every platform on May 18th, but they needed some time to fix some issues.
In conclusion, that 67% incubation was actually accurate, only 1/3 of the platforms got it. And then trying to blame the delay on a "new something", very misleading and very disappointing. Waiting this long just to find out the very last second it won't be accessible by everyone
All lessons . . . are made up of a practical mix of vocabulary and grammar.
I'm very interested to see how (i.e. whether) users can learn that grammar without tips & notes being made available on mobile. You get the odd little note like "you used the wrong article", but it'd be impossible to make any headway (as far as actual learning goes, as opposed to just rote-learning Duo) in Norwegian and Esperanto without the tips and notes, let alone in a language which is as different to English/as difficult to teach to English speakers as Japanese is.
After waiting years, then refreshing the page every half hour yesterday, the 18th, nothing, get up excited to use it knowing US must have caught up on date and it must be finally ready now.
No app for you.
First rule of development is to manage user expectations. You can't take a language loved by nerds, walk us up the path only to slam the door so hard in our faces it feels like my nose is broken and then tell us that people with phones for the technically illiterate may enter and we have to wait outside in the cold for a few weeks.
Worst. UX. Ever.
I hope your release manager gets fired.
Still I guess you know we'll all be there on other platforms on release day anyway, so see you all back here in a few weeks.
Thank you! My biggest critique is lb the release as well. Hideki delays the release date by 3 days, about a month ago. Today the CEO did a AMA and said on android it would grey released in 1 to 2 weeks and erb some time later this year. IMO the app releases should ve ben grouped, as 85% of their traffic is through apps. But seemingly the only released in iOS first because the new features were done those 2 weeks earlier and the released what they had anyway.
Heck, the alpha was iOS exclusive!!
Marketing shouldve ben smart and taken the 2 week delay.
"I hope your release manager gets fired."
Ouch. That's a little harsh, don't you think?
I was upset and disappointed at first, too. But I can't help but think that maybe we are all overreacting a bit. This is a free program that took a lot of time and effort by many people, including those who volunteered their time, knowledge, and expertise.
The other versions are coming. It's okay to be disappointed. But I think we should be a little more grateful that it's happening at all. I mean, it's a tremendous effort by all involved, with the end result being to give us free knowledge via a fun, effective learning app.
Let's not forget that.
No it isn't harsh, when someone can't do a job so simple and it negatively impacts the good work of the people who donate their time and effort, they are in the wrong job.
Do you feel it is right that whoever is responsible for deciding the release schedule has left all the developers responding to negative criticism of an upset user base when instead they should be feeling great that they have delivered a product?
*disclaimer: I'm a developer myself, I hate release managers who can't do their job and manage user expectations.
I know literally everyone has said this already, but i seriously wish this was mentioned in the "may 18th is the release date" post, as I like many others have been refreshing the page all day waiting for this to drop. In regards to the Android release, is "Soon" later this week? This month? This year? Can we get an official announcement giving an estimate?
All complaints aside from the two screenshots ive seen it looks like they did an AMAZING job and im not going to let this taint my view of the course.
I'm really thankful that you guys put so much hardwork on this so we can learn the language, but I can't help being a little disappointed to only be knowing now that the course would only be available for iOS today (and for the next few weeks apparently). It would've been nice to know that before, but regardless I'm still excited. ありがとございます
I've been following this for a while, and although it is unfortunate that it won't be released on Android or web yet, I understand some of the issues you can run across when trying to port it to several platforms. I am eagerly awaiting the android and eventual web release! Thank you all so much for the time and effort you have put into developing this course for all of us. We are all really grateful for you guys making this possible! Try not to take the negative comments on here too hard, perhaps it is best to view it as showing how much everyone is anticipating this course. I have been holding off on learning much Japanese until I can learn it through Duolingo, and it is super exciting that it is almost here!
"Try not to take the negative comments on here too hard, perhaps it is best to view it as showing how much everyone is anticipating this course."
I do hope they understand this part. The passion is a good thing, even if it's coming out negatively, at first. It is greatly desired, and they have not made a mistake with investing the time and energy they've put into it.
When I decided to learn Japanese a year and a half ago, Duolingo was the first place I thought of to turn. I was so bummed that it wasn't available. I've been practicing (and struggling) with other methods on a daily basis. Like others, I can't wait for it to come to Android. Duolingo is awesome.
First, I would like to congratulate the Japanese Team for the tremendous work that they accomplished. However, after reading the comments from the community, I do agree that Duolingo did make a pretty serious faux pas with this exclusive release to iOS before it is availiable on the website. Yes, I understand that they are pushing the iOS platform recently, but it is not a good thing to fragment your demographic, especially since we are essentially all capable of using the website and not have to worry about what operating system our phone has.
The only good I can see of this is if the Japanese release is some form of Beta testing for releasing future courses on the app, otherwise I am disappointed in Duolingo for not releasing the Japanese course on the website PLUS testing it in tandem with the iOS app.
I'm excited for this to be added for web browser and android. I was checking the site all day not realizing that it's only released for ios T_T. I don't really understand why they would choose to release it via ios first and not via the website, which more people have access too, but it is free so I'll try to be patient.
Thanks for making the course and I'm really looking forward to an Android/Web version. In the mean time, it hope some iOS user can make a video demonstrating it or something.
@hideki Maybe change the discussion title to "Japanese for iOS users", because many Android/Windows users seem disappointed when they open this discussion.
At first I was confused why it wasn't introduced on the website but after reading blog post I now understand that it required some new development in the current system and it is understandable that it would take time for them to develop the same features for other platforms such as Android and web as well.
Thanks so much for this! I tried out the first Hiragana lesson on my phone and am loving it so far. I've tried learning Japanese with other methods before, but none of them really stuck. I have successfully used Duolingo with other languages and was eagerly awaiting this course so that I could use the Duolingo method that works for me with a language I've never been able to learn properly. I realize Duolingo alone won't get me to fluency, but it's helping provide a solid framework, especially for the hiragana characters. To the people who made this course, I can't thank you enough!
I've had a look at the course on my regular account rather than the alpha tester one and you guys have really done some nice things with those first few modules! I also definitely retained what I've been learning testing as I was able to do some nice testing out of several sections. It's really looking great. Extremely well done. :)
I'm very happy that there is finally a Japanese course - thank you guys so much for your hard work! I will not be taking the course now, although I was one if the people who've been hoping and waiting for it for years, since I recently started learning Chinese and those two languages would certainly prove too much for my brain to handle at the same time. :-) But I will certainly try the course at some point in the near future. Thank you!
I have to admit, after being super hyped for this release, mainly to try and help my rusty grammar, I'm disappointed it's currently mobile-only (although I do have iOS so that's not my complaint).
I hear tell that's the more popular way to use Duo, but I'm almost exclusively a web user and find using the mobile version makes everything approximately 1000000% more tedious.
Thank you for finally releasing Japanese, I appreciate the hard work... but I guess it'll be a while yet before I can get genuinely excited about it. Alas.
Edit: Okay, it's possible (if likely not intentional) to access it from the web after adding it on mobile, I'm satisfied. Bitching retracted.
Maybe they're releasing it like this to A: Get a better idea of the numbers to expect when web comes out so their servers don't get overwhelmed and crash in the first 5 minutes after launch and B: So the web version won't be as buggy when it's first launched thanks to the additional beta testing. They still could've warned us more clearly though.
I am in umber. I download the app to learn japanese and korean only to find out you have neither. I decide to keep the app due the release date only to find that the release date was for the ios only. I spent all day in anticipation only to find out you guys can't even handle organizing basic information. I will be purchasing Memrise today, they have every language in the same game format, as well as colledge level subjects.
I'm sick of reading announcements for this and that "great" new thing - but soooorry, exclusively for iOS.... I don't have iOS. Not everyone has iOS, and not everyone has Android. But - surprise! - everyone has a webbrowser! Isn't that fantastic? It is possible to develop a thing once, on the web, for everyone to use!
Seriously, at least tell people in advance it's only going to be available for an elitist niche system, not for us unwashed masses that have "only" Android/Web at our disposal ;) Then we don't get our hopes up, only to be sidelined for an indeterminate amount of time (bots).
@FilipFilip17 posted a link to a Reddit AMA below. Luis said Japanese on Android is 1-2 weeks away. Not too horrible. :)
Now if only we'd hear about chatbots and Tiny Cards. Lol ;)
That is certainly, GWAllen, a matter of cultural variation, but I might be loath to invite you to dinner, if you were so hostile about the free food or the timeliness of dessert. I would, of course, invite kindly constructive criticism of my cooking, as I have generally found Duolingo teams to do. On these release schedules in general, I certainly would not plan anything around them, so it is no real loss to me when a release date is not met.
That's an argument that makes me grind my teeth every time I hear it. Doing something for free isn't a justification for doing it poorly or for miscommunicating about what it is you're doing. If you're going to do something then do it well no matter how much you decide to charge for it.
While I agree that the existence of such a forum means criticism of the program is acceptable, indeed probably even useful for the developers, your comparison is not apt. The reason most people consider it polite to complain about your public education, but not the sweater Grandma knitted you for Christmas, is that your parents did pay for it. Indeed, they would have been forced to pay for it, even if you had not attended that school. If Duolingo were funded principally through taxation, there would be a lot more things I would complain about.
I still love Duolingo. But they're not the best when it comes to Japanese or Korean. I just learned about this from Reddit.. there's a new app called LingoDeer, that's providing grammar notes and offline learning for Chinese, Japanese and Korean! Bam... everything I wanted from Duolingo is now there. It's even completely free, no ADs! I'd say go get it now before it starts showing ads and asking for subscription!
"JA<-EN is an exception to the rule." <- I'm fine with IOS getting it first but I wish this would have been made clear before release day. Waiting until today to announce it's IOS exclusive has no doubt left plenty of people, myself included, feeling disappointed. I'm still happy and grateful that Japanese is coming to Duolingo for everyone... eventually.
I see why the course isn't ready for the web. The early lessons only introduce one or two words, require little typing in Japanese, and don't have the hiragana cards like the mobile version does.
Hopefully the Duolingo dev team can work the hiragana into the web version soon!
Later skills (I've done a quarter of the tree on the web) actually have far more typing into the target langauge than any other tree I've seen on Duolingo, although there are still some funky lessons with only one or two "sentences" where the app version is introducing new characters and the like.
While it's true fewer users overall use iOS to Android, reviews/feedbacks are a poor way to judge it. iOS review numbers change every time there's an update (you need to select to view all ratings, not just the most recent), and it doesn't count reviews in different languages/from different stores (e.g. downloading Duolingo from the Spanish App Store will show the ratings in Spain versus downloading Duolingo in the US App Store showing ratings in the US). And finally, there's absolutely no filter on the Google Play Store, so even people who don't own the app can review, whereas iOS requires you have downloaded/purchased an app.
So there's a big difference in how review numbers on the two stores are handled and thus regardless of userbase, it's just not a great barometer to go by.
I think the biggest issue was that when the announcement was originally posted, there was no timeframe listed at all, and there was a definite fear that this was going the way of the bots and Tiny Cards.
However, I agree with you. Was just explaining for anyone who visited this post later.
Hideki, thank you so much for all your hard work to get this out on iOS a day before your estimate. It's frustrating either way - if the course comes out on the web first, you can't practice wherever you are; if it comes out on iOS first, there are no grammar notes, so you have to do your own research. If you are eagerly waiting for Japanese and don't have iOS then you can at least get started learning Hiragana with TinyCards. I also found this website useful - run it on Chrome as it uses flash - http://www.csus.edu/indiv/s/sheaa/projects/genki/hiragana-timer.html
Congratulations! Thank you very much for the wonderful job =]. I tried several earlier skills, and I really liked the way Kana was presented. For an online gamefied system, I believe the thematic approach used was extremely adequate. I really appreciated the choice to replace Rōmanji with Higarana and Furigana early on, too. Personally, I would have used more phrases and Kanji at the beginning, but there would be pros and cons to this choice, and I understand why it was rejected. This way, at least, the tree is prone to be easier and probably more likely to achieve popular success, and that is always a good thing. I think the final result was a great middle term between more immersive and more accessible approaches to teaching Japanese.
My only major issue with the current tree is its short length. To cover a similar amount of content to that covered by other trees, I think it would have to be at least two times longer. Even so, as it is, it already covers JLPT N5, which is a good start, especially for those that never studied it before. I'm curious, however; does anybody know if there are plans to expand it in future versions? I would really hope so, but, either way, the present tree is amazing already. Thank you once again for this great learning experience!
Thanks to everyone who got this out there so quickly. Starting to do some business with Japanese partners at work these days so the timing is good.
A couple small criticisms on the course so far: 1) Skills weaken WAY too quickly. When I get 100% correct without peeking, it's still no longer good the next day. At this rate I can't even keep the tree gold doing 8-10 practice sessions per day. This is not the case with other languages on Duolingo, and it's frustrating. 2) Probably because it's iOS-only, there is a lack of instruction to help the learner understand what they're actually saying. Sometimes there are little structural particles in the sentence that I have no clue why I'm using them, and sometimes there are whole sequences of hiragana [きではありません] where there's no granular information given on what the components mean. This makes it necessary to just memorize long kana sequences without really understanding anything.
The latter may be a greater issue with the Duolingo app where no guidance can be given on mobile. I hope they fix this.
Interesting language though! It's the ultimate challenge. Two long alphabets and then they add Chinese characters on top of that. Seems like the hardest language I've tried to learn, beating out Polish, Russian, Turkish, Hebrew, Hindi, Mandarin, etc.
It'll be very interesting to see how this works. I've tried the reverse tree with Japanese->English, but when getting to the higher levels the translations get more and more contrived. I eventually gave up because it was too frustrating. Definitely one of the issues with ENG<=>JPN is that so little of the languages map nicely onto each other, but forcing the pluperfect (using しまっていた) and definite articles (using その) into Japanese is just wrong, especially when translating その as 'that' is marked as incorrect. I hope English->Japanese isn't quite so artificial.
Hello all, while their communication could have been much better on the matter, we need to realize that these 3 releases are written in 3 different coding languages, so one team may have run into bugs/issues or it simply took longer to write in that language, or that team may have even been smaller!
I also wish I had known the ios release was first, and while I think that that platform is the least helpful among the 3 for everyone, again, perhaps it was just finished first in the coding realm.
While I am saddened that I wasn't warned the initial release would be completely unusable by me (at least not warned here on the Duolingo updates, I don't know about anywhere else), I am excited that this next step has been taken! I can't wait until I can access it on my android/desktop.... just please be forthright in future communications, so as not to unnecessarily get people's hopes up too soon.
Good luck with the beta testing, and thank you for all your hard work!
As someone who had this date marked on their calendar for about a week eagerly counting down the days and refreshing the incubator page every hour, I feel totally blindsided that only now do we find out the beta will be for iOS only for the time being until the Android and Web versions come out.
This seems like such an important detail to just throw in last minute as it severely limits who's going to be using the beta course. If it was intentional to use the smaller market first, I would have liked to know this way in advance.
BUT I'm not one to hold a grudge so I'll keep my bitterness in check going forward being sure not to get my hopes up again and also hope this site will offer more precise communication in the future to avoid disappointing many eager fans (especially after acknowledging that this is the most requested course among all of the courses).
Back to occasionally checking for updates.
I found this quote today in the Forbes article and thought, Uh Oh! "In fact, the course includes all of the vocabulary and grammar needed to pass the JLPT N5, a proficiency test that I personally took two years of Japanese classes in order to pass." I have finished learning N5 and am currently learning N4, will this course be of use to me? I wish to also continue on to N3 and beyond! I am an android user, so I cannot check yet.
So excited this is coming out! I downloaded it for iOS. And it is pretty fun. One big issue though is that when you are selecting Japanese words for an answer. The audio says "ha" when you select the particle "は". This should be fixed given it used in like every Japanese sentence.
Why are the IOS People always first? I feel like duolingo sometimes really doesn't care much aabout the android users. Why not just wait those extra weeks for the IOS People aswell and rellease it at the same time then? We have allready waited so long anyway ... But no, IOS people are pulled in front of the waiting line
I guess with 2.0 we could get N4, no more than that. Which is:
Elementary Level: The ability to understand basic Japanese. Reading
One is able to read and understand passages on familiar daily topics written in basic vocabulary and kanji.
One is able to listen and comprehend conversations encountered in daily life and generally follow their contents, provided that they are spoken slowly.
N5 is not much use. Still, it is a stepping stone on the road to really learning Japanese. With only ~90 kana (phonetic characters) and ~100 kanji (Chinese characters), it's not going to be much use in the real world. BUT, I have to at least give props for teaching to that level and not settling for writing everything in romaji. 俺なんてには、この課程が役に立たないと思うけど、初心者にはもう便利そうです。
As a Japanese learner of many years, I understand how difficult this task must have been. This is a great achievement. Thank you!
These folks that feel like victims because they have to wait a couple weeks longer to take advantage of your hard work, they should probably shut up and be patient.
Android user here, and I look forward to seeing what you folks cooked up. Thanks again
The announcement itself is ridiculous. It released on iOS five weeks ago, started rollout on Android three weeks ago, and should have completed the rollout two weeks ago.
The email says nothing about which devices it's for... It says "NEW! Japanese", as if this is something new, and is next to "NEW! Romanian" (a phase 3 course + actually available on web...). But, alas, Japanese still is phase 1 on the incubator page, saying course unavailable on web. _
↑ (screen shot of that email)
I have been using the Japanese course and am really enjoying it. I have been waiting for this course and was excited to discover it on my Android phone. Learning to speak and read Japanese are two different skills and combining the two is very challenging. Right now there is no mic input so I have not been practicing speaking as much as reading. For me, I would like Romanji as an option for speaking practice as it takes so long for my brain to recognize the characters and then remember how to pronounce them. At least for beginners, it would not be so overwhelming. I have had the privilege of living in Japan many years ago so I am not starting from scratch and find that I remember some of the language and alphabets. Can't wait to have it on my laptop as well as my phone. You are doing a great job. Keep up the good work. Now, if only I could write Japanese, which is a third skill, of course.
Due to some of the many reasons it has been tricky to make it at all, after alpha testing it, I can see why they couldn't just put it out on everything at once. Once you see it, it will likely make a lot more sense. I mean, it's a really solid course, but it doesn't even make sense in web format yet. If it's ready in one format, they may as well make that available so as to get as much beta testing in as they can as they prepare it for the other 3 formats.
Whatever platform you started with, I'm excited this is becoming a reality! Does lagging implementation on Android have anything to do with some of the technical hurdles (sometimes awful unicode rendering, wide spread of development targets, etc)?
Course developers, your work is appreciated!
I can't seem to get it. The course still shows 67% complete (I'm using an iPad).
Are you using the app or the mobile website?
I ask because since you refer to the percentage completion, it seems you may be using the (mobile) website and not the app.
- If you use the former, it's normal that you don't see it: it's only available on iOS app.
- If you use the later, did you update the app?
I'm so ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ annoyed IOS comes first before anything else. Like Tinycards "Yeah sure, first start with the posh people who have enough money to spend on a Iphone and ipad, they are the important ones!. Then we'll go about the mundane people, the poor people who cannot afford and they have a smartphone. or wait, even worse, they use the web sharing ideas and helping out people.
OMG. I hated Tinycards because of this. It took too much time to get it release via web (like two three months? are you kidding me?) that I'm never using it for life. You're super happy friend with IOS and do not give a shit about web or android users? FINE, I do not care about you either.
Really, I don't know what's wrong with Duolingo's thinking but they can't just stop letting web users down again and again.
Don't worry if you're missing out on it, guys. The Japanese in beta is currently garbage with some really terrible translations and limited content, and the jumble of hiragana/kanji is awfully balanced.
In fact, there are several cases just now I got answers wrong for using "I" instead of "you" when there was absolutely no pronoun used in the Japanese. So, don't worry. Give it at least 6 months.
They specifically said they need people to report what should have been accepted (Are you doing that?). They are giving us the core course. We need to help fill it in a bit. That's partly what the beta is for. Personally, I probably have an amount of knowledge now that I'm not expecting the content to be new to me, but the practice and method of learning is valuable. (And if it truly goes up to JLPT 5, that's a good, solid foundation for beginners.) Also, I want to help fill in those gaps. They're giving us a great gift with this tree, but we have to help it grow, too.
Can people just calm down. Stop complaining that it is only for iOS. The post says android and web will be out soon. Is it so hard to just wait a few weeks? And don't blame the people working on the courses... it's not their fault. They're making a course for Japanese on a platform that was designed for the romance languages. They're doing the best they can with what they have available... it's a miracle it's possible on iOS. If you wanna blame somebody, it would be the duolingo developers for making the technology to make a course for the Japanese language only available on the iOS. But not the course developers, they're doing everything they can.
I've been using it for two weeks and I'll post my observations. I am sure some are duplicates. Sorry.
First, let me say thanks for putting this out there. It's been a great addition to Japanese learning for my son and for me.
When I visit the comment section, including this comment, duolingo told me Japanese is not available on the web. I have to reset my language to something else like German, and then reenter the forums. I have to do this every time I visit the forms if I've been doing Japanese at all.
For some reason many of the Japanese characters and fragments don't give their pronunciation when you're dragging them into the window to construct sentences. Most of them do, but some don't. This leaves a gap in the learning experience. I'm not sure if it's a bug or content that just hasn't been added yet. It seems like missing content because it's always the same words consistently.
It's a shame that there isn't any speech recognition for Japanese yet. I found it useful in German and Spanish, even if it's not a perfect indicator that you're speaking with a proper accent. It's at least a good exercise to make you move your mouth and make the sounds. :)
The health bars decay way too quickly. I'm doing practice every day and I'm only at level eight, but because it starts me at the simplest level I am constantly practicing the first four here Agana sections. I realize that the Japanese seems to be on an older part of the software platform, but this is by far my biggest complaint. Please, have The practice feature find your least recently practiced but completed lesson. Don't start it back at the beginner lesson every time just because the bar is artful. It becomes very repetitive and a lot less useful. Given the changes to other languages, I guess this complaint would probably go away when Japanese moves ahead to the more current format.
Again, thanks for this wonderful new tool for learning Japanese. I appreciate it very much, and I hope you take my comments in the spirit in which they are intended.
Hello! That's close, but there are a few minor mistakes. In some 'set phrase' words, the WA sound is really the は particle. The WA sound following わたし is also the particle は. The は particle makes the topic (but not necessarily the subject) of the sentence, conversation, etc.
Fixing those tiny mistakes, you would have: こんにちは、わたし は りあ です。
Hope that helps. Good luck in your Japanese studies! 頑張ってね！
Indeed. Colloquially, this is used to give your name in a less formal way. You'll also sometimes see people say things like わたし の なまえ は name です。 This is more literally, "my name is xx". Less formal Japanese often chooses to omit more specific clauses, as this is understood by context.
If you're in a slightly more formal situation (introductions at school in front of a class, at a job, with superiors), you could say something like: 「name」と もうします。
This is something akin to saying "I am called 'name'." or "You may call me 'name'." It is the keigo (polite Japanese) equivalent of 「name」と いいます。I don't hear people use 「と いいます」though. In situations that aren't formal, people would just use です instead.
While です is more polite than using だ, introductions are polite enough that using です is still fairly casual.
Old thread, but I've been seeing a lot of correction approval activity etc in the past few weeks. If any of the course maintainers read through here, keep up the good work! I'm sure it seems like a thankless task at times, but I feel like the course has been maturing a lot! Thank you for your continued efforts.
As soon as I read that beta testing was only going to be for iOS I knew I shouldn't get my hopes up for the web version. Looks like I was right. I had decided already that learning Japanese is not one of my priorities right now but I was still looking forward to learning Japanese on Duo one of these days.
This is really disappointing.
I think you've got the wrong mindset buddy. The consumer isn't here because of a product, but the opposite is true. They're here because of us and should be thankful for the userbase even tolerating their junk after the last few flops they've made. But the flops just keep on coming anyway... and I can't say when people will actually have enough of their bs. Lucky for them, that a big part of their userbase are children who couldn't care less, so they still have a pretty good shot at monetizing. Sad.
I'm a bit tired of reading all the comments about how iOS is this or that, or it gets things first etc. You have to understand, iOS is much simpler to develop for, because developers know the configurations of iOS devices, because there are relatively few models available at any time, and their specifications are consistent. With Android you have thousands of screen sizes, memory, processing power etc, that you have to develop apps in a way that maximizes compatibility and that is much trickier to do.
Also it's disappointing to read how entitled people feel about not getting this or that. Nobody owes you Duolingo, it is a great tool that is offered freely. Reading alot of the comments you would feel as if it is your right to have a free japanese course, on the platform of your choice, with the number of kanji you want, when you want it, and if you don't get that, all the hard work done so far, isn't good enough and the whole Duolingo team are a disappointment. This is simply not the case.
IF having access to Duolingo is so important, and you're an avid user / Polyglot and plan to spend alot of time using it as a primary learning tool, why not consider switching to iOS as an investment rather than a hindrance, knowing courses will probably arrive there first? You can start with a lower cost device like an iPod Touch and get the same results. Additionally there are many other competent iOS-based language apps which would make the efforts worth it, rather than throwing out the 'elitist Apple' argument which is frankly stale and somewhat immature.
Those complaining that they can't use Japanese on web, Romanian was available for web only until recently, I didn't allow that to frustrate me, I just went to learn by watching shows and reading grammar books and other sources using the available Duolingo web course as a bonus.
Duolingo is a tool. If you really want to learn Japanese (or any language), there are many many other sources you can begin with, you do not need to wait or rely on Duolingo as the be-all and end-all of your language learning needs. Simply go out there, find the material you need to learn what you want, and as and when Duolingo launches whatever, it'll be there as a nice supplement to your efforts.
I am enjoying the Japanese course on the app though, I learnt Japanese a long time ago and it is a little basic BUT I appreciate it as a refresher, I like the interface and I see that work has gone into it and would like to thank the Japanese team and Duolingo for their efforts.
"iOS is much simpler to develop for"... from a development point-of-view, developing for the three platforms at the same time is quite possible (and more time-effective).
The Android app we now have is not doing anything so taxing that it is required to be a pure native, Android SDK, development piece of software.
There are plenty of multi-platform development tools that would allow development for all 3 of the platforms it is being created for. These are generic enough to not require customisation for each device or designing the screens to take specific platforms into account. The development argument is quite invalid in the current environment. (See Cordova, Xamarin, NativeScript, ReactNative, etc etc).
Also, development for web first, would've made far more sense (if you have to choose one), as it could've been used by people on mobile devices as a workaround, until the actual applications are developed.
I don't think they meant it that way. Some of us can't start learning the language and that's why we are disappointed. And we're blaming neither the Japanese team nor Duolingo. We appreciate the hard work they have put and are putting into this. The thing you saw in the comments was perfectly normal human reaction. We are sad because we can't start the long awaited Japanese course. I'm sure you have felt like this before when you were a child. When you were anxiously waiting to get to the amusement park but a stormy day stood before you playing to your heart's content. Of course you would feel sad or disappointed but you won't start bashing the staff of the amusement park. And those feelings are what they expressed in their comments and they weren't meant to hurt anyone. I think so anyway.
Could someone please tell me exactly WHEN its coming out for the web?
No, nobody can.
Because nobody can know (except, MAYBE, staff but it's very likely they don't even know "WHEN").
I NEED this!
If you absolutely need it urgently, the safest is to start learning it somewhere else (or to find a way to use the iOS app) because the waiting for the web version could be few weeks like it could be several months... (or in years?).
You do know this discussion thread says it was posted "10 months ago", right? The Japanese course has been officially available on web for nearly half a year now!
I don't use the Duolingo mobile app. I started the Japanese course on web nearly an entire year ago, as I used a trick that was commonly known to access it early. I created my account on the day I started the Japanese course on web, and my streak using it is currently on 342 days. ^^
Here's the link to the official announcement post of the Japanese course becoming available on web, which was posted on 10th October 2017:
That kanji count is pathetic. You won't get anywhere with grade 1 Jouyou kanji.
But Duo is all about pumping up those numbers to spam ads in the maximum amount of faces, not about helping serious learners succeed. We can't lazy language learners scared away with too many kanji. Coddle that lowest common denominator for the sake of the bottom line.
Who spit in your bean curd? They've started with enough for the JLPT 5, which is a good, solid foundation. The course is at a beginner level of the hardest language for English speakers to learn - and which is probably the most difficult and complicated to import into a course. Why are you being so negative? If you want them to eventually create higher levels, be supportive and use it anyways. If you only want to study kanji, there are plenty of free and paid apps for that. That is not the sole purpose of Duolingo's existence. Also, they are offering all of this for FREE. How do you propose they be able to function on a sustainable level without ads?
I'll try it whenever it's released on a platform I can use, but I'm not happy with the way they treated people. They wanted their press release in Forbes, while not actually doing all the work like other teams. That's cheating basically. There were better ways to manage expectation. But they chose to lie about the timeline, short term fame was more important.
All they had to do was note the release date percentages in the incubator notes for each release type (iOS, Android, Web). That would have communicated the direction they went, rather than like every other team who treated the entire project as an actual entire project. Thus the incubator page could still be in use still communicating. However as it stands, there are no further updates. At 68% what does that even mean now? It has zero context. Continuing to treat people like peons, free or not, isn't very nice.
Also JLPT N5 is about 40 hours of study. Barely A1 in the CEFRL. Most do up to A2. They clearly didn't want to put in the proper time like other teams have. People will be better off using Minna No Nihongo or the Genki I and Genki II series of textbooks.
I love how you have so many downvotes. Looks like the freeloaders can't stand not getting their own way!
For what it's worth, I too am disappointed at the lack of communication about the whole iOS thing, but I also recognise the fact that I am being provided a great, FREE service.
People on here are so negative and toxic, it is genuinely pathetic. Whatever happened to mature public discourse? It seems to have been thrown out the window.