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https://www.duolingo.com/Faisane

Japanese to English - beware!

Faisane
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Now that I've finished the tree (and even had it golden for like 5 nanoseconds) I thought I'd try my luck at the reverse tree.

Bad idea! Basically, that course is a whole different ballgame - at least at first glance, impossible to understand for someone at my level.

Even worse: I changed the interface to Japanese, and then I was not able to change it back. (The steps that Duolingo lists on their support page do NOT work - there is only one course to select on the Settings page, so changing the interface that way is impossible.)

I'm not sure what we did (it involved pointing a phone with the Google Translate camera activated at the site, trying to figure out what the various buttons meant). I think at some point I had logged out, and then logging back in all of a sudden the site changed back to English?

At any rate: you have been warned. And if anybody wanted to document how to switch back from Japanese to English in an organized fashion, that would certainly be a public service.

1 year ago

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/InuzukaShino
InuzukaShino
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I finished now about 3/4 of the English from Japanese course and yes, it certainly is a challenge to beginners. You have to imagine, that the reverse tree is aimed for Japanese native speakers. While the Japanese from English course uses mainly hiragana and simple constructs, the English from Japanese course will use at least a normal amount of chinese characters (kanji) and words written in kanji compounds and also more vocabulary, than the Japanese from English course.

So before you cannot read some kanji or at least recognize them to look them up, it is nearly impossible to work successfully through that course.

Try to learn something about radicals, as common dictionaries (online same as printed) use them to arrange the kanji, so that one can found them more easily. As radicals can (but not must) be kanji by themselves, you will learn also some new kanji. Additionally you get an idea, how to distinguish the kanji and how they are structured, so that you can recognize them better.

A good online dictionary with different searching methods is this

Jim Breen´s Online Japanese Kanji Dictionary WWWJDIC

Where you can search for words and single kanji in many different ways.

Here is the link to the multi radical selection, where you can click on some radicals you see in a kanji and will be presented by the kanji, where these radicals are used.

Multi Radical Selection on Jim Breen´s WWWJDIC

To get more precise results, you can limit the results to the Jōyō kanji list and/or the whole stroke count of a kanji respective the rest after the radical (but you have to know, how you have to write it correctly). That´s why it is also important to learn how to correctly write the kanji.

For learning, you could try the books from Heisig: Remembering the Kanji. If it works for you, it´s really fine, if not, try another method. ;-)

Tae Kim wrote about his experiences in his blog

Final thoughts on Remembering the Kanji

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Faisane
Faisane
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Ah, I was hoping you would say something about this.

Yes, I think some sort of kanji study will have to be next. (I don't have Heisig but I have a more or less untouched copy of Hadamitzky - you probably know it.)

Also I believe imiwa? has Jim Breen's dictionary integrated, so I guess I'll have help.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/InuzukaShino
InuzukaShino
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If you have a mobile phone, the are some good kanji dictionary, where you can search also by writing, one of them is this (I use it by myself):

WishoTouch

A quick search in the internet:

This Handwritten Kanji Search seems to be nice.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JadenPotatoes

If you have android on your phone, I suggest "Japanese", a dictionary with an icon red and write in the middle 日本語. It has handwriting, multiple definitions and examples.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JadenPotatoes

I tried Remembering the Kanji when i started to study Japanese, but it doesn't work for me. I prefer to learn kanji like they are words in an other languages, like 学生(がくせい)= student.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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Even worse: I changed the interface to Japanese, and then I was not able to change it back. (The steps that Duolingo lists on their support page do NOT work - there is only one course to select on the Settings page, so changing the interface that way is impossible.)

On any page (except forum ones, but ok on the homepage for example), simply hover over the flag on the left of your username. A list of all courses you're following (so at least "JA from EN" and "FR form EN") will be listed and you just have to click on one to switch to it.
Clicking on any course "from EN" will switch you back under English interface.
For more ways to switch between courses, see here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/testmoogle
testmoogle
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On any page (except forum ones, but ok on the homepage for example), simply hover over the flag on the left of your username. A list of all courses you're following (so at least "JA from EN" and "FR form EN") will be listed and you just have to click on one to switch to it.

I don't think that works at all when on the JA→EN course. The Japanese interface version of the site doesn't appear to list courses from other source languages yet.

https://www.duolingo.com/testmoogle
https://www.duolingo.com/droidmoogle

↑ I made the "droidmoogle" account purely to see what the Japanese courses are like on the app. As you can see, both these accounts have the same three courses: EN→ES, EN→JA, and JA→EN.

Obviously the EN→JA course isn't going to show up on the list no matter which tree I'm on, but both EN→ES and JA→EN should, right? Here are the results of my testing—all while on the "home" page and on the desktop version of the website—for each of these trees:

On my "testmoogle" account:

  • EN→ES tree — list shows EN→ES
  • EN→JA tree — list shows EN→ES
  • JA→EN tree — list shows JA→EN

On my "droidmoogle" account:

  • EN→ES tree — list shows EN→ES and JA→EN
  • EN→JA tree — list shows EN→ES
  • JA→EN tree — list shows JA→EN

So there must be an A/B test going on with this, as there's a difference between these two accounts. ^^

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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I see all my trees in the dropdown menu whatever the course i'm currently "logged into", including when on the EN-JA (English from Japanees") course:
.

So there must be an A/B test going on with this, as there's a difference between these two accounts. ^^

Given what happens to me, if any A/B test then it means there ae at least 2 A/B tests on the same thing...

Sure you don't have any userscript "messing" with this dropdown menu?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/testmoogle
testmoogle
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Not sure what the best way to post this is, but here are the screenshots of each one, with userscripts disabled:

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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After looking more closely to your two accounts, I'd say it's more due to the fact that you have 0 XPs for various languages.
My guess: courses with 0 XPs aren't displayed (except when you're on them), which makes sense. Doesn't seems (to me) to be linked to an A/B test, but it could have been.
Note that Level 1 (but not 0 XPs) courses are displayed, only "0 XPs" (hence Level 1) ones aren't.
My account is coherent with that and, as far as I can see, yours too! ;)

As you said, "JA<-EN" will not be displayed anywhere because it's not supposed to be available on website. So excluding "JA<-EN" in the description below:

  • On "testmoogle" account: 0 XPs in ES<-EN and EN<-JA, hence
    • EN→ES tree — list shows EN→ES as it's the current course not JA→EN as it has 0XPs
    • JA→EN tree — list shows JA→EN as it's the current course not EN→ES as it has 0XPs
  • On "droidmoogle" account:
    • EN→ES tree — list shows EN→ES as it's the current course and JA→EN because you have strictly more than 0 XPs
    • JA→EN tree — list shows JA→EN as it's the current course (and you also have 0XPs but it doesn't matter here) not EN→ES as it has 0XPs
1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/testmoogle
testmoogle
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Good point! You are very likely right. It would be easy to test too: simply earn XP in some other languages. However, I'm very stubborn about what languages I do on which accounts. I don't want to earn XP or streaks from any other languages. ^^;

I actually have three accounts.

  • My main account = only JA→EN (phases 2+3), using web only.
  • testmoogle = only EN→JA (phase 1), using web only.
  • droidmoogle = both EN→JA and JA→EN, using app only.

When I'm on my main account on the JA→EN tree it doesn't list my 0 XP courses either. I decided I'm not going to add the EN→JA course to my main account until it properly reaches phase 2 (released on web officially).

I'm reluctant to break my rigid code. But I guess I don't really care too much about what happens to my "droidmoogle" account, since I wasn't a fan of Duolingo apps anyway. I'll try earning XP on that account on a different tree, to see what happens. It won't confirm for definite whether my "testmoogle" account isn't affected by an A/B test on this feature, but will be interesting to find out at least this much. ^^

*** UPDATE ***
Ok, I added the EN→Polish course on my droidmoogle account and earned some XP.

Now when on the JA→English tree:

  • JA→English = 2108 XP (level 9)
  • EN→Japanese = 1660 XP (level 9)
  • EN→Spanish = 0 XP (level 1)
  • EN→Polish = 10 XP (level 1)

Both Spanish and Polish are still level 1, but Polish is shown while Spanish isn't. This looks like it's because Polish isn't on 0 XP.

Seems you were completely correct! ^^

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/testmoogle
testmoogle
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https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22930532$comment_id=22930694

  1. Hover over your name and click "設定" (= settings).
  2. Then, on your settings page, click "学習中の言語" (= learning language).
  3. Then pick any of the courses in that list which say "(I know English)"—whichever course you want to be on.
  4. Finally, click the green button above it "変更を保存する" (= save changes).

*** EDIT ***
Since the website revamp, the above steps are no longer correct.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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With the new "Switching course" default menu staff release recently, it's far faster now(*) to switch to any course (whatever the "source language") you have already started: only one "hovering" and one click to switch to any course (that you already started).

(*) working in most Duo pages, but not on forum ones (for example).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Faisane
Faisane
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@testmoogle: Weird - it seems when I tried something similar, there was only one course that showed up, i.e., the "learn English" course. I'll try again soon, following the steps you've outlined. Thanks!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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Weird - it seems when I tried something similar, there was only one course that showed up, i.e., the "learn English" course

Indeed, in testmoogle's process, you need to replace from step 3. by

\3. Click on the blue button (under the dropdown list)
\4. Select the source language (dropdown list on top-right corner), and wait for the page to reload
\5. Click on the language you want to learn and wait for the couse's page to load
\6. Click on the corner-rounded rectangle button (located at the center of the top half of the page)

testmoogle's process was working before staff revamped the website some weeks ago.


The, the simpliest is to go to hompage and follow the 1-click action described in my first comment. ;)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Faisane
Faisane
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Thanks much - I'm going to give "Japanese-English" another try soon! Ganbatte!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/testmoogle
testmoogle
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Oh yeah, you're right. Looks like it has changed within the last month. My steps worked perfectly a month or so ago, back when wrote them intitially in my linked comment.

(Oops, just noticed you mentioned yourself that it changed with the website revamp...) ^^;

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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I don't have access to the English→Japanese course, so can't compare, but I have done the Japanese→English course. I did 4 years of Japanese at high school almost two decades ago so I wasn't coming in fresh but I did have a little more under my belt then it sounds like you get from the English→Japanese course. I felt really accomplished when I completed it but the two things I made a lot of use of going through was google translate (to get readings/meanings of kanji I didn't know - which was most of them) and googling for the grammar items as they came up (because you don't get any explanations in the course and i didn't know all of them).

For those who keep trying failure is temporary. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Faisane
Faisane
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Interesting. How exactly did you use Google translate? I'm asking because I have tried to use their kanji drawing feature but haven't been real successful - it keeps thinking I'm done drawing when I'm not. So did you use the camera?

Also: nice motto! At this point, I could probably write a book (ok, lengthy blog post) about the many ways in which Japanese has frustrated me, including a very memorable language meet with native speakers where I understood exactly nothing.

So: Fail. Fail again. Fail better.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh
HappyEvilSlosh
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Sorry only just saw your message.

Basically when I come across kanji I don't know I copy and paste it from Duolingo to google translate so it will tell me the reading/meaning. Not so helpful if I ever need to write them but, y'know. :)

For drawing kanji I usually end up using http://kanji.sljfaq.org/ because it's the first result when I google for "handwritten kanji recognition" for me. :P

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Akuhime-sama

I have a Japanese Account on here, I could possibly be of help. I haven't used it in a long time though, because there was too much kanji in the lessons that I didn't know, and I figured I would take Japanese (for English Speakers) later on down the road to help me, instead of trying to keep going with the English (for Japanese Speakers) course. What I need in the English (for Japanese Speakers) course is furigana. If I had that, It might be easier for me.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JadenPotatoes

What is your level in Japanese? If it is not a problem to you to say it.

1 year ago