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Received an email about Japanese being available, but can't access it; help, please

I just received an email from Duo saying "Japanese is here!" with a link embedded. I selected the link from my phone, but it doesn't show anything Japanese--not a direct link to the tree, nor showing it in the 'select languages' dropdown. I tried looking at it from my computer, but it says available for mobile platforms. Can anyone help, please?

June 21, 2017



It is available for Ios and Android only, and from English as a base language.


Yes, that's what I said, but I also said that I can't access it or even find it on my phone even though I have the link. The link just sends me to the last place I was in Duo


What version of Android do you have? If you updated your app recently and still have no Japanese, it may mean you have an older Android, because I had the same problem with Android on my phone (with Android 4.0.3), but on my tablet with Android 4.4.2 I could see Japanese just fine.


Hmm...didn't think about that. I don't know which I have, but I'll try to update the OS...just checked: "Android 5.1.1"


Well, that's weird. You have to move this to the troubleshooting forum.


Go to "Add language" and select Japanese, it worked for me.


It's not even showing up as an option (on phone).


I am on a Samsung Galaxy Tab A, and it worked.


Afaik, all Android users should have received the update containing the Japanese course since two weeks ago (when the week-long gradual rollout sounded like it had completed).

What is your installed Duolingo app's version number?

You should be able to find it in Android settings → apps → all, and then click Duolingo.

The up-to-date version is 3.50.2. But I think as long as it's version 3.49 or higher, then it should have the Japanese course. ^^


That was it! Thanks!! Out of curiosity, how are you doing Japanese on computer?


Step 1. Be on the discussion forum. (Since you're looking at this page, you've done this step without needing to do anything!)
Step 2. Hover over your course flag at the top of your page, to see your "learning" languages drop down list.
Step 3. Right-click on the name of the course you are currently on (i.e. on the word "Spanish").
Step 4. Click "Inspect" (Chrome) / "Inspect Element (Firefox) / (might be called something different in other browsers).

The highlighted line in the code should be the element you clicked. Three lines up in the code you'll see the following line, which is the only line in the code you need to edit:

<li class="language-choice active" data-value="es">

Step 5. Double-click that two letter language code (es = Spanish) and replace it with ja (for Japanese).
Step 6. Press Enter (to confirm your edit).

That line should now look like this:

<li class="language-choice active" data-value="ja">

Step 7. Now, back on the learning languages drop-down list, left-click that course you edited (the name it shows will still say Spanish or whatever, but this doesn't matter.)
Step 8. DONE!

Sadly you'll have to repeat this quite often, as it won't show Japanese on your drop-down learning language list. Whenever you do something that causes you to be kicked back to the "Japanese is not available page", just pick Spanish (or whatever) and repeat steps 1-7 again.

As long as you stick to just doing the lessons and strengthen skills, you shouldn't get kicked out at all. Just don't try to do things like open pages in new tabs, refresh the page, or go on other features of the site. It's really easy to put up with once you learn what it dislikes, and it takes seconds to repeat those steps once you've done it a few times. ^^


OMG! Thank you so much for sharing this!

I wrote a Tampermoney script that does what it says in the instructions automatically. You need to install the tampermonkey add-on on your browser and add this script:

// ==UserScript== // @name Access Jap in duolingo // @namespace http://tampermonkey.net/ // @version 0.1 // @description try to take over the world! // @author You // @match https://www.duolingo.com/discussion // @grant none // @require http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.js // ==/UserScript==

(function() { 'use strict'; $(".language-choice.active").attr("data-value","ja"); // Your code here... })();


No problem. ^^

I've made my own Tampermonkey script already anyway. Mine works a little differently using keyboard shortcuts, but yours is simpler and looks like it should be equally effective.


Hacking skills: ACTIVATED


It doesn't seem to accept me typing in Japanese, which is a bit tough. But a nice trick nonetheless.


Actually, both. I don't have the keyboard to type the characters in, [...]

Ah, ok. You don't need to buy any new hardware to type Japanese. You can type Japanese on any normal English keyboard.

The proper way to type Japanese is to use an IME (Input Method Editor), which is software to convert the romaji you type automatically into hiragana (and for conversion to katakana/kanji also).

"Google Japanese Input" is a good IME and is very quick 'n easy to get. Here's the official download page:


  1. Click that link.
  2. Click "Accept and Install" button.
  3. Save the installer somewhere.
  4. Run that installer. (It then does everything for you.)
  5. At the end of the installation, click "OK".
  6. DONE!

Google Japanese Input will now be on your language bar. You can switch to it if it hasn't automatically switched, and you'll see an A icon next to it on the language bar. Left-click this and it will toggle between (hiragana) and A (English).

With it set to , simply type some romaji and it will automatically appear as hiragana on your screen. If you press Spacebar after you've typed some hiragana, then it will suggest kanji to convert to.

Have fun. ^^



I can't reply to your question due to the way Duolingo works (there is no reply button because the replies have branched out too far).

I actually currently use Microsoft IME instead of Google's one. Both are roughly equal in how good they are. The reason I gave instructions for getting Google instead of just saying to get the one that comes with Windows is mainly because the steps for getting Google are easier to explain.

That problem you are having is because you've set the input method to "kana input".

The default setting is "romaji input" and is what the vast majority of people use to type Japanese characters.

If you change that input method setting back to romaji input, then you should be fine.

If you have an older version of Windows, you might have a button which says KANA on your taskbar. This switches the input method to kana input! Make sure you don't click that button if you've got it; make sure it is off.

I actually use kana input myself (actually an even more complicated version of it called 'thumb-shift kana input'), but only because I'm strange! :P


Microsoft seems to have an IME keyboard on it, however, when I try to type romaji -- it gives me incorrect characters

For instance, I try to type something simple like "ichi" and it comes out as:


Which is not even remotely what I asked for, it should have come out as:


Which I had to type "E" and "A" to get.

It could be I simply don't have a handle on how the keyboard is actually supposed to work. But even so, it's a little confusing XD


Can you elaborate on what you meant by "it doesn't seem to accept me typing in Japanese"?

Do you mean that you type sentences in kana/kanji but it wrongly marks them as being incorrect?

Or do you mean that you can't type any Japanese characters into the text box at all?

Or something else?


@Brook561195 You can type in Japanese withough any special keyboard, just use an IME. I made a tutorial. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVlQk8rXc2Q


Actually, both. I don't have the keyboard to type the characters in, and they aren't offered as clickables (like accented letters are in French, Spanish, etc) but when I cut them out of another program and paste them in, like this: お さ け, . I get the X, and it shows the exact same characters as the correct ones. It might just be that I am pasting a bit of extra code or space or something, and that if I was copying from somewhere else, it would accept it. In which case, i just need to have a txt file or something handy that has the hiragana listed so I can assemble the words. That sounds like a big hassle later on, but I'm so early in Japanese, that it would be useful now. I'll look into that.


I copied some Kanji from the Duo interface (into MS-Word) and pasted them back in and that worked. Not ideal, but a decent workaround considering I'm using a non-released version of things.


Thanks a lot for this brilliant way of getting to the course but I can't find the line <li class="language-choice active" data-value="ja"> when I click on Inspect... The highlighted line is <main class=main-right" itemscope itemtype etc. and 3 lines up I see <div id="fb-root" class=" fb_reset">_</div>


What you said happened is what will happen if you right-click on the background of the page instead of right-clicking on the very specific thing I wrote on step 3.

I've tested my instructions in Chrome, Opera, Firefox, IE11, and Edge, and it works correctly for all of them.

Firefox, however, was a little bit strange... Before you can click "inspect element" in the right-click menu (step 4), the languages drop down list disappears... It still works correctly for me on Firefox, but there's more of a chance something might go wrong with it.

If you are on Firefox and followed my precise instructions for step 3 to-the-letter but it still doesn't work, then try this: after right-clicking on what I said in step 3, in step 4 simply press the Q key on your keyboard rather than trying to click on "inspect element".

Best of luck. ^^


Thanks a lot! I swear I was clicking on the name of the course but I was on the wrong line all the time. Nevertheless I found a way by simply searching for the correct line by Ctrl+F and I made it!!! I'm so happy that in barely 2 hours I made it to the 6th level. Thank you once again, magician! By the way, I normally use Safari (my default browser) but did all these steps on Chrome.


No, what I was describing happened when I was learning a new lesson. Now, after reading @piguy3's answer, I'm beginning to think that it might have been because of the character lesson bug you mentioned.

For one reason or another, I wouldn't recommend practicing Jap on desktop just yet.


@testmoogle We noticed that the Japanese course is only giving us two or three words to work on per lesson, when we use the desktop. Is this what is happening for you, too?


Yes. I believe this is simply due to web not having the content where single characters are taught individually. This means, if the make up of a certain lesson is 10% sentences and 90% individual hiragana symbols, then that 90% of the lesson will be missing on web, resulting in an almost completely empty lesson containing only a couple of questions.

Earlier skills are pretty bad for this, since I assume they spend more time teaching individual characters than the later skills. Later skills are pretty good. The course is fine on web once you're further along down the tree and using the "strengthen skills" feature rather than lessons.

Both app and web should have exactly the same amount of sentences. It's just that web isn't able to show any of the special individual character teaching questions that app has. Web isn't supposed to be working fully yet, as otherwise it would have been released by now. ^^


Ah, now I see. I am not past the 5th lesson, yet. :-) Thanks for explaining.


I'm quite deep into the lesson tree, but I still had that problem. The same 3 exercises kept repeating. I don't think it's because of the character exercises.


@mattpier, Oh. Your problem sounds like something different to what I was talking about.

Strengthen skills works by testing you on the skills that aren't golden. It goes through each of your non-golden skills in the tree in order, starting from the beginning of the tree. It won't start testing you on skills further down in the tree until you turn the earlier skills golden.


In this situation, even though I've completed the tree, strengthen skills will continually quiz me on content I need to review from only the Food 1 skill, because it's the earliest skill in my tree which isn't currently golden (it decayed over time). Strengthen skills won't move on to a different skill until I turn this skill gold. (In truth, it actually often tests you on 2 or 3 skills at a time rather than just one, but hopefully you get the point about it going through the non-gold skills in order.)

I think Strengthen Skills or Practice may have functioned a bit differently at some time in the past. But what I explained is how I understand it to currently work.

Hopefully I haven't misunderstood what you meant. Hope this helps.


@mattpier There are character-teaching exercises throughout the course. Later on it's kanji and katakana being introduced.


If you have started the course on android or Ios it shows on your profile, even though it's not available on the web yet.


Yet I didn't start it on Android or iOS...

I have a 60 day streak so far on just the Japanese course, even though it released on iOS only 5 weeks ago (35 days)... :P


I could not get Japanese on 4.0 but got it on 4.4, so the limit seems to be somewhere in between these.

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