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What Should I learn before Android Version release?

Hi :)

I guess you realized now, I don't speak english well, it's not my native language and I'm still learning it. I know I should wait for the Spanish-Japanese course but I don't want to wait and I think I'm able to try it.

I want to ask you (people who already started japanese course) what you think that a beginner needs to benefit from this course. I already learned Hiragana and Katakana and I would like to know if I need something else to make the learning easier. And also, what do you think about this course? I'm very excited every single day I've opened the app waiting for the releasing of this course

Sorry, I know my english is poor, but I am gonna work hard to explain it better the next time. Thanks for all :)

May 31, 2017



Your English is fine! Don't count on there being a Japanese course for Spanish speakers anytime soon. This is because Duolingo focuses on language courses that are most in demand first (but I'm still not sure why there's no Finnish course). I think the fact that you already learned Hiragana and Katakana puts you at a great advantage. My recommendation is to wait until Japanese releases on the web and use the Google Translate option in Google Chrome to translate all English into Spanish. You can also try doing the course in English (this will help you improve your English since it will make you think and write in English).

¡Tu inglés es bueno! No cuentas con que haya un curso de japonés para hablantes de español pronto. Es porque Duolingo primero concentra en cursos que son más populares (aunque todavía no sé porque no hay un curso de finlandés). Creo que el hecho de que ya has aprendido Hiragana y Katakana es una buena ventaja. Recomiendo que esperes hasta que el curso de japonés salga para la versión de computadora y uses la opción de Google Translate en Google Chrome para traducir todas las palabras en inglés en español. También se puede tratar de hacer el curso en inglés (esto te ayudará a mejorar tu inglés porque te hará pensar y escribir en inglés).

By the way, how's my Spanish?

A propósito, ¿cómo es mi español?


your spanish is fine. Thanks for those suggestions, and just to get better. it's ''la versión'' y la frase en negrita de arriba la escribiría como ''No cuentes con que haya un curso de Japonés para hablantes de español pronto''. The rest is really good :). I am gonna try the android version anyway I want to improve my english and I can't wait more time. Thanks to answer my question :)


I fixed my response. Gracias :)


FYI The Android version is out now.


I heard some one say it's being rolled out over a week. I saw the update and downloaded it. When I saw this nessage I checked APK Mirror and they didn't have the new update yet either but if you still don't have it soon you can check there. They might get it first.


All Android users should have the Japanese course by mid-next week (probably sooner).


It would be interesting if someone uploaded the beta apk ;)


It doesn't have to be the beta, the official one is released now.


You've already got a decent headstart learning Kana before you start. This is a good idea to do. The start of the Duolingo tree is intended to do this anyway although I've heard some gripes about it. I learned Kana on memrise before the release and raced into vocab fairly smoothly.

There are also various Japanese dictionaries, Kanji Apps, and Youtube channels if those are your thing. My personal recommendation is "Kanji Study"





This also gives you the option to learn the readings and practice the strokes on a touch device. These are not a requirement for the Duolingo course but they are sorted by JLPT level so the N5 set will match those you will use on DL.

Your English seems fine to me but I will caution you on a few issues to be aware of jumping into the DL Japanese course (in Beta).

It does not give many hints on grammar in the JP-EN questions. I suggest you pay careful attention to the word order in examples and google "particles" (e.g, は, が, を) if you get stuck on it. Japanese grammar is supposedly fairly flexible once you get used to it but the SVO word order is notoriously difficult for Westerners using native SVO to learn. Just keep practicing you'll get used to it.

Duolingo is supports American English much better than British English in the Japanese course (at the moment). Japan largely uses American English so it makes sense but it's something to bear in mind if you're an L2 learner in Europe who learned British spellings. It may not be your English, I'm a native speaker and they're marking my English wrong at times. Don't worry, we Kiwi's, Aussies, and Brits are reporting these as errors. I don't have this issue in Italian so I think it will be addressed eventually.

Japanese language is highly dependent on context. I think a native speaker of a romance language will find the missing pronouns a lot easier. However, Japanese culture emphasises politeness when speaking to anyone who is not close to you. Most of the phrases DL teaches you are fairly polite and safe to use to order your coffee. You may hear different more casual language used between Japanese speakers who are close friends (or in anime, this is not necessarily polite). There are also some terms only used by either gender. There is also highly formal/polite Japanese called "Keigo" which uses different words, it is outside the scope of the course but we aware of it, people serving you in stores or restaurants may use formal language.

In some cases Duolingo will use several different Japanese words for the same English translation. This can lead to some confusion. Some of these are discussed in this forum, others you may need to search online to discuss with other Japanese speakers (if you're lucky enough to know any). Some examples:

・Respect for others is incredibly important in Japanese culture, you will notice different words for (humbly) referring to your own family when talking to others. e.g., 母 "haha" for your mother (when talking to someone not in your family) and お母さん "okaasan" for theirs (or addressing your own directly). Note word beginning with お and the honorific さん are both used in more polite Japanese.

・Saying thank you: どうも (thanks), ありがとう (thank you), どうもありがとう (thank you very much), ありがとうございます (formal thank you)

・Saying good morning: おはよう (casual), おはようございます (formal)

・Saying goodbye: No one uses さようなら (much like no one says "farewell" or "arrivederci"). I often use またね but that is quite casual like "see ya later".

・Referring to things close to you これ "this", close to the listener それ "that", and distant from both of you あれ (also) "that". (see my post on gripes with the directions lesson)

Oh and Japanese doesn't have articles and plurals so just forget about them. Again it doesn't make the JP->EN translations much fun though.

That's probably info overload but I hope it serves as some things to look out for. All the best with your learning, I wish you good luck! 頑張って!

Disclaimer: I learned some Japanese over the past couple of years so can't comment on how well you'd learn the basics scripts and grammar solely from DL.


Learning multiple languages in a Ladder system has been proven to strengthen the learning of previous languages. I think that it is a great opportunity to learn Japanese through English rather then basing all of your learning on your native Spanish; it will help you strengthen your English.

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