I finished the Japanese tree today! (^_^)
Because there isn´t a forum for Japanese from English, I post it here.
All circles golden and my fourth golden owl here :-)
Sadly there are still many problems with this course (I posted some of them in the troubleshooting forum), but I love this language and hope, there will be an improved version also available on the website soon.
They added the completion certificate to the tree yesterday, didn't they? I saw that. I clicked on it and it congratulated me too. But was a bit late to see it now, as I'd completed the tree over a week ago. xD
I'm still trying to turn the whole tree gold. So well done for managing to do that. ^^
I'm trying not to use test out and just doing strengthen skills instead, so it's taking a lot longer. Also, it's quite challenging on the web browser as I don't have any Apple devices. It doesn't accept much variety in sentence wording yet, so it makes things pretty difficult without the app. Like on some questions it accepts kanji but other ones it doesn't; sometimes it accepts British English and other times it doesn't. Almost have to be psychic to get through it. But the course is improving pretty quickly. :)
Spits out tea looking at all those XP level ups within a couple of seconds of one another... Spits out more tea looking at a Level 10 in Welsh, but num_skills_learned=3 and Next Lesson=Greetings 2...
All in all not too bad for a 5 day old account... A really impressive use of the XHR replay! :-p
I rushed through the course as described in the initial post. Since then I keep the tree golden by doing the strengthen exercise of the whole tree 5 times a day, additionally that circles, that may getting coloured. For this I need about 25 min a day.
Sadly I've been forced to use the app instead of the web version. I would prefer to use the website, especially for Japanese.
Wow! Congratulations, you did an entire language tree in your spare time this week! Now I understand why you “only” have about 500XP this week in our Polish Club instead of your usual 2000XP.
I’m taking more of the slacker’s approach and knocking off just one complete Japanese skill per day plus doing some gilding. I have 25 of the 40 skills done; so I guess I’ll be finished 15 days from now.
You got it! ^^
Thanks, but it was only just for fun. I learned Japanese years ago and was interested in my remaining knowledge. I would say, compared to the Polish tree the Japanese tree is shorter and not so difficult. Hopefully there will be more advanced exercises over time. The main problem in Japanese is the reading, but if you are already able to read Japanese fluently and know some grammar, the course is fairly easy.
Regarding the Polish tree: I finished the Polish tree about two or three month ago and worked through it 3 or 4 times, the tree is stable golden over 6 month and more and I can answer nearly every question in this course correctly. Because of the paltry grammar information, it is no challenge to work on it anymore. The system seems to ask me only questions, I already know, they are too easy (yes, I also exercise Strengthen and Timed practises), there are no new questions and it´s get boring to answer all these well known questions without any effect, as I reached the highes XP level and the "fluency" value is fixed at 37%, beside of that, the XP points are useless...so the "game" factor disapeared for me. A few weeks it was fun to beat you all in our Polish club and I´ve seen, that some of you accepted the challenge, but for me it is only time consuming, to useful anymore.
So I´ll do some exercises on it every day to keep the circles gold, during I am awaiting the "Polish tree 2.0" :-). In the meanwhile I now learn more with Polish textbooks and real Polish.
And it was a nice change to work through the Japanese tree. I would like the help them to improve the tree as a beta tester, this would be a nice challenge for me now :-)
So let´s hope, that the Polish Tree 2.0 will be published soon :-)
Congratulations! It's a nightmare trying to keep my tree gilded, so you get a second Congratulations! for that :) !
Did you already know any Japanese, or did you start from scratch? Do you plan to keep studying Japanese / What methods are you planning on using? I'm about halfway through my tree, I started with next to no knowledge of the language - I have pretty mixed feelings about the course, but I'm confident once I finish it I'll be ready to start using some textbooks (which completely overwhelmed me the first few times I tried to use them!).
To be honest, I have already learned some Japanese some years ago, but sadly I don´t do it anymore. So it needed three turns, to finish the Duolingo tree: One turn with the initial test, where I get about 3/4 of the course gold and then two turns where I rushed through the last circles by using the "Test out" option.
But I was surprised (and a bit proud, of course), that it was so easy to finish this tree. Maybe this means, the tree is not too difficult...?
The main problem in Japanese is learning how to read Japanese and this can be a real challenge. But when you mastered it to a certain grade, you can learn this language like any other language in the world.
I would suggest you to learn the hiragana and katakana tables as fast as you can. It can be done in two weeks - one for the hiragana, one for the katakana table ;-) Every reading exercise after that will strengthen your recognition and reading abilities, so do not waste time. And please don´t forget the katakana, because they will definitively appear in Japanese texts. There are so many foreign words in Japanese and you will recognize most of them as English loan words :-). Afterwards you can concentrate yourself on the meanings and on learning the Kanji and Kanji compounds.
That in mind, I am impressed, that you are already about halfway in the course now! Gratulation for your success! :-) Have a Lingot :-)
I learned mainly with the podcast japanesepod101.com and had there a "Premium Plus Elite" account over many years, where I could speak with a Japanese teacher two times a week. This was really very helpful and I would recommend that - but you can´t get this for free, of course.
By the way, a funny site, where I got my first reading experience is botさんのお話し (Bots stories)
The advantage for beginners is, that there are blanks between the words (not normal in Japanese text for adults) and aside from some simple and well known Kanji are mainly hiragana used. Furthermore there are small cute pictures for the nouns and other meangings in the text, so that you can identify the meaning more easily. I had really much fun by reading this small, cute texts. I think, you will love it too ^^
Next I bought the series レベル別日本語多読ライブラリー (Level graded Japanese Library)
More information on the following websites
There is also an iPad version available (whiterabbitpress)
It is really worth the money, especially the audio recordings are really professional made with real japanese actors and the selection of the stories is great. It is really funny to read and make the experience, that it IS possible to read and understand written Japanese. My favorite is a in Japan well known, very emotional and sad story about the love between two young kids, called 野菊の墓 (Nogiku no haka, "Tomb of wild chrysanthemum").
Get an impression here (Level 4, Volume 1, the last story)
There are some good reading and listening exercises on japanesepod101.com, especially the advanced audio blogs.
And those who like japanese horror stories should search on youtube for 怪談新耳袋 Lots of short japanese ghost stories... ;-)
How I studied and which methods I used and talking about my experiences would be too much for this thread and forum, as it was - and is - a long, but interesting journey. One of my other main ressources were the textbooks みんなの日本語 (Minna no Nihongo) from 3anet. This publisher has also other good learning materials for Japanese and the 日本語能力試験 (JLPT). Perhaps you could send me a save email in my activity stream, so that we could communicate through email?
Thanks! Sadly the web version is not available in my account anymore and on the mobile version (iOS) i have only one option: "There is a problem in this exercise." So I couldn't explain in detail, where the problem on that specific question was.
Because of the japanese sentence structure "Naninani wa ..." and the wrong pronunciation of the particle "ha", I had to mark at nearly every question, that there is a problem.
But as I described in another post, there are many other issues and I am afraid, that I've seen only some of them, because I rushend through the tree very quickly.
If I could have access to the web version and could use the problem link where the comment option is available, I would work through the tree normally providing you with detailed information about issues I noticed.
Yeah. Reporting on the web version of the Japanese course has more checkboxes to tick to explain the problem.
However, they haven't added the text box for typing your own detailed description, and also the "Discuss sentence" feature hasn't been enabled either... Until today that is! They've now added the text box and also enabled the Discuss sentence feature! ^^
(At least that's how it is on my account. Still can't see a Japanese from English forum section though, which seems strange when sentence discussions are possible now...)
* EDIT *
Spoke too soon! o.O
I am not sure, where your question belongs to, but I guess the Duolingo level?
If yes: You get xp for every exercise, you do in a language tree and after getting a certain amount of xp you will reach a new level. The highest level you can reach is 25 and it depends only on the amount of exercises, you do in the particular language aka the time you have to spend learning the content of the particular learning tree.
That's why some reached the golden owl at levels around 10, because they already had some knowledge before or they are very effective and fast learners. If you make more errors, have to use more hints and more time, you will reach the golden owl at a later level, maybe at 25 (or even more xp, because you get further xp after reaching level 25).