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Will any part of EN→JP require a Japanese keyboard?

Hi, I'm wondering if the reason the course was made available on iOS only first is because some of it will require you to type in kana? So far I've only been required to translate from Japanese to English and use the blocks to build sentences in Japanese, but if anyone is far along in the course I'd love to know if we get to type our own sentences in Japanese.

June 6, 2017



I'm not sure why it would make a difference whether it's iOS, Android, Windows phone, or web browser (Win/Mac/Linux). All of those devices and operating systems support typing in Japanese.

However I wouldn't get your hopes up about typing Japanese coming to the iOS app anytime soon...

I tried out the Android app version of the EN→JA course today. No typing Japanese on there either.

But what's even more crazy is the JA→EN course (designed for Japanese people to use) -- on that one on the app there doesn't seem to be any typing Japanese either! It uses the silly blocks for giving Japanese answers—just like the EN→JA course...

On the web browser however, both the EN→JA and JA→EN courses require lots of both English and Japanese typing! There are no click-the-blocks-in-the-right-order style questions on the web browser.

The apps are just easy mode. The website is the real thing. ^^


Sweet. I'll definitely use the web version when it comes out


The En->Ja web version requires more target language typing than I've seen in any other tree's lessons. I can't imagine it'll still be like that when it becomes generally available.


I don't know. I haven't noticed any difference in that regard in comparison with the JA→EN tree (which I've been doing for a long time on my other account).

Although I haven't been paying any attention to it, I'd say both courses seem to be around 50/50 for typing either English or Japanese answers.

Maybe it might be because there are no speaking/listening questions (yet)? Those probably count as answering in the target language? If they get added, it might lower the rate of target language typing questions... Idk.

I also have speaking and listening questions disabled on my other account via turning off the mic and speaker settings. So for me the JA→EN course is in the same position as this EN→JA course.

I hope it's not going to change too much, as I like it how it is. ^^


I completed the first 7 skills and I haven't been asked to type in Japanese at all. I'm very disappointed by that. It's a problem I have with the app in general. How am I expected to learn from this without being asked to produce my own sentences? When talking in a real world situation I'm not gonna be handed a sheet of paper with multiple choice answers on it. It's a shortfall of the system. It's especially problematic with languages like Irish and Welsh where there aren't a lot of sources anywhere to get feedback from.


You wouldn't think it would be too difficult for them to add an option in the settings of the app for it.

"Replace click-the-boxes questions with a text box instead" [OFF / ON]

↑ Something like that. Turning it on would make the app function the same as doing the course on the web browser on your phone, which is the same as desktop. Most people would likely still want to leave it set to the default "off", but it would be nice for those people who want to turn it "on".

They wouldn't have to code in any new features. There are already questions which have a text box for typing English answers in the app. They wouldn't have to create their own Japanese input software, as people should just be expected to set up Japanese input the proper way on their devices. And since the web browser has Japanese answer typing, it's not like they'd have to code anything new for handling the typed answers on the app.

*sigh* Oh well. I don't know if I'd really use the app still anyway, as I prefer having a real physical keyboard over touchscreens too much. ^^;


I think it's always a good idea to attempt the translation before looking at the word boxes.


I agree, and I do that often, but it would be easier if it translations were a bit more demanding, rather than having to cover the answers with my thumbs. Plus there are people who won't or don't think to do that, and it affects their learning as well. I'm probably expecting too much of Duo, but I really just want it to be The Best.


Anything that makes it more demanding (except Health, allegedly, somehow) decreases their usage metrics - right the way down to taking away the capitalized letter from the first word of the answer in the word boxes. The only hope seemingly is that they make progress on figuring out how to increase diffficulty for learners further along, which they also say they are working on.


If you got to settings you can add on a Japanese key board


Yeah I have one because I like the number keypad better but I was just wondering if we'll ever use it in the course.


Hi Carine, I finished the course a couple of days ago and unfortunately there is no direct typing in the app, just word block selections as of right now. (For the Android version, at least) I'm unsure whether direct typing will be added in future, but I believe it would likely be a frequent feature of the web version once it's released. :)

(Additionally, all updated mobile devices have the option to download other keyboards on your phone, so this wouldn't be the reason for releasing initially on iOS.)


Just chiming in to add I'd also love for their to be a way to disable those stupid blocks, AND the auto-capitalisation of the first word. Both of these "features" make it feel like I'm just coasting through lessons, and I'm never actually using my brain


You are using your brain, you still have to know the right answer, you're just not using it as much as you'd like. Plus there are some that ask you to type the answer manually, just not in Japanese.


If you practice enough, you'll know the (well, a) translation before you even manage to read what's in the boxes. Until that time, just don't look at them if you don't want to ;)


Good question. So far it's just been the blocks whenever it asked me to type Japanese. I don't really have an issue though I have SwiftKey with the Japanese add-on and of course I have an IME on my desktop for when that eventually comes out.


I wouldn't suppose that's the reason. All the other language courses using non-Latin writing systems came out on the web first, and they all require typing in those writing systems. I have to suspect Japanese came to the apps first because so much of the course is dependent on question types only available on the apps. I'll be curious to see what the kana and kanji introduction "sentences" look like on the web.

I'm not exactly shocked the En-Ja tree doesn't seem to have Japanese typing. It's at a very basic level. Definitely surprised it's like that for the Ja-En app though.

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