https://www.duolingo.com/fringenious

Technical problems after introduction of Japanese

Hi guys, I am trying out the Duolingo Japanese course since it came out last night and I had a couple of problems.

First, strangely, is Duolingo's main page. (Using Firefox 53.0.2 on MacOS Sierra 10.12.4)

When the Japanese course is my main course on the app, and I try to access the website, the page I see is the one with the tagline "Japanese for English is not yet supported on web. Want to try learning another language while you wait?" and the multiple languages to choose from. I am logged in, since I can see my picture and Japanese flag in the upper right corner.

However, I don't want to learn a new language, I merely want to access the forum to report an issue with the app. BUT the main page does not give me that option. There is no footer with any links, so I can't take this route. When I click on my picture, the only option on the menu I get is "Log out". When I click on the flag (to change language into French which I am also learning), it only gives me an option to pick a NEW language from the list.

Essentially, it traps me on the main page until I log out. But if I do log out, even though I can access the forum via link in the footer, I can't post, because if I log in again, I land on the same "Japanese for English is not yet supported on web" page. The only solution I found was to go to the iOS app, change the language there, and then log into the website. Which seems a bit impractical. You might want to forward this user route to your UX people or whoever takes care of user paths.

Now, onto the issues with Japanese I wanted to report (iOS app):

  1. In the first lesson, when you're learning hiragana, there are questions that ask you to pick the correct reading for the displayed character, e.g. the big image is に and you're supposed to pick one from among 'n', 'ha', and 'ni'. Now, since Duolingo READS OUT the character for me as it loads, the task is useless.

  2. There is a similar problem with the task where you're supposed to tap the pairs. If the set is made of hiragana characters and their readings, and I tap the Japanese character first, it reads it out for me, so I can cheat even if I don't intend to.

I am not entirely sure that this is the best forum to post these issues, if I should go elsewhere, I will be happy to post these again in a more appropriate space. I have screenshots but I can't attach them here :)

Thanks! Aldona

May 18, 2017

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky

I have the same issue. I have to switch language in the app before i can log on to the website - thrn hit refresh ( no need to log out) and its ok.

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield

Please report problems with the course as you answer each question. There will be an option to report a problem after completing each question. This ensures that the Japanese team will see your reports and fix the issues.

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/fringenious

OOOOH, there's the option to report. Damn, I didn't see it before at all :O. Thanks a lot, I will absolutely do that! Too bad I can't comment on what I'm reporting though, it's just a button. My report regarding the main website is still unreportable in the app, though, I think?

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield

Unfortunately, the Japanese course is only available on iOS right now. I don't know why the team would wait to announce this at the last second, but that's just what happened. I advise you not to use the web version, because it is very buggy. Although it won't erase your progress on other languages or do any serious harm, it's pretty inconvenient since there are a lot of problems with the web version of Japanese. If the website forces you to choose another language, just choose one that you've already been studying and everything will be back to normal.

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/fringenious

It's not a problem for me, I don't want to learn Japanese using the website. I just noted that if the Japanese is the language currently active on the iOS app, I can't access the website at all, not even forums or my own profile, nor can I change the language.

Because that's the point: I would love to change the language on the website into one of the other languages I am learning, but I can't. The website doesn't give me the option to do that. It only proposes that I choose a NEW language to add to the collection. Which is why I find it strange and frustrating.

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield

Sorry, I must have misread your post. Have you tried changing your learning language on the iOS app and then returning to the website?

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/goosefield

I agree. It's very inconvenient. But this is the only way for now. Hopefully Duolingo will fix this issue in the coming weeks.

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/fringenious

Like I said in the original post, yes, that is a solution I found. I still wanted to report this as an issue since I don't think this is a very clever path to have on the service—if I have to use my phone to change something on a website I am browsing on my computer, there is surely a misalignment in user paths happening.

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/InuzukaShino

Regarding the methodical issues in the app will not necessarily prevent you from learning the hiragana (btw. is there also a katakana section?), as there are about 50 of them and you will recognize them quickly by yourself. I would suggest to use one of the many tools on the internet (i. e. http://unckel.de/kanateacher/index-en.html) instead to strengthen the japanese characters, so that you won´t need these early lessons anymore. Learning the Kanji would be a much greater challenge, but in the EN-JP course are only a few of them. Normally there are more. If you are really interested in Japanese, you should learn them as early as possible little by little (but not too slow!), because Japanese texts use them frequently.

May 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/donmacfar

I have to agree about the site http://unckel.de/kanateacher/index-en.html to learn Kana. It is the one tool out of many that I can truly say, besides DL of course, that has helped me the most. I did need to look-up or devise some mnemonics for all 2x46 characters to personalize them but it was the only thing that could make Kana stick for me. The site appears a bit dated but it is really powerful as you can select individual sub parts of each alphabet and it includes the "ten-ten" syllabary as well.

April 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ashley2446

I had the same issues

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/InuzukaShino

Me too.

May 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/schwigri

Is there a way to contact the Japanese team other than the report button on the app? I want to share some screenshots!

I find the way of picking Japanese words from the given selections is very confusing and hard to follow.

For example, I was told to translate the sentence "The restaurant at the corner opens at 10."

So, in my mind I am looking for かど の レストラン は 十時 に あきます。

However, the way the little "words" you choose from were laid out, my choices were this: "どの", "レストラン", "ます", "か", "あき" etc

I gave up thinking there was no word for corner and than came back later to realize that the かど の was separated into boxes like か and どの which, since どの is a word and か is often a question particle I didn't think to put the か in front.

May 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/InuzukaShino

I encountered the same problem. I do not know why they decided to divide the words. Why not use かど for corner in one box? It is a bit annoying. I understand, that they only use a few kanji in this course, because they are too difficult for the learners to recognize and one can´t see on the Kanji or a Kanji compound how it is pronounced, but dividing words, at least subjects may be useless in my eyes.

But I´ve seen this also in the JP-EN course as well. May be the underlying reason is in the way, Japanese conjugates the verbs, adjectives and so on (stem + endings), may be, but I think, they exaggerated it a bit.

May 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cosmist

There is a problem on Hiragana 4, Lesson 7, where I'm asked to translate a word ("natto"), but the right answer isn't among the options to select from, and therefore I'm prevented from finishing the lesson and moving onto the next one.

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/InuzukaShino

Do you know, how to write "nattou"? It is "なっとう". Maybe, they provided the letters in individual boxes? This indeed is often irritating.

May 20, 2017
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