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  5. Where dose kanji go???

Where dose kanji go???

[deactivated user]

    Kanji is a very important part of Japanese language. But our course haven't update it yet!!! 私=わたし 面白い=おもしろい お父さん=おとうさん 漢字=かんじ 同じく=おなじく …… There are over 1,800 kanjis in Japanese. Unless you learn all Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji well, you can't understand Japanese language at all. Or, if someone can explain me that Kanji will show up in the coming courses, I will be very grateful. I would like introduce Duolingo's courses to my cousin, who is also interested in languages, lives in Germany now.

    I am a Chinese who understands both Japanese and English. I am willing to help your entire course's building. Little poor in English :)


    July 22, 2017



    Of the few things I can confidently say in Chinese, 你好. And in Japanese, はじめまして.

    English and Chinese works in very different ways, so Japanese should be taught differently for each. Chinese speakers can already read or guess the Kanji, so they already have an advantage. English speakers can't do that, so it's better to teach the Hiragana and Katakana first and offer Hiragana pronunciation guides when English speakers start learning Kanji. Some English speakers will do this with Chinese too, learning pinyin to help with the pronunciation. The Kanji is in the course, but you have to get past the first four units to start seeing it.

    Little error in your title, a "dose" is different from what something "does". But the word that would be correct is "did", because of the tense. Other than that, your English is pretty good. Keep on going!


    It seems to me an odd choice to teach the characters for lots of the numerals early on (despite the fact the Western numerals are widely used in Japan), whilst apparently not teaching kanji like '私'.


    Yes, Arabic numerals are of course widely used in Japan, but numerals in kanji are common. For example, when I was in Japan (admittedly, 30 years back) I do remember many restaurants having prices posted with kanji. There is also the issue of numerical kanji being used as parts of place names.


    The characters for the numerals 一 to 十, 百 and 千 are taught in first year of elementary school in Japan. 私 isn't taught until the sixth year..

    私 is listed on Jisho.org as an N4 kanji. However, from what I understand, this course is currently only focussing on teaching N5 level...


    I understand that, but the needs of a Duolingo learner are different from those of a Japanese schoolboy. These lists are not frequency lists, but pedagogic organisations of material under the Japanese testing system; and whereas Japanese children have years in which subsequently to be taught all the common-use kanji, Duolingo course-users do not, and inflexibly sticking to one list means learners aren't being taught the kanji for words they will be using all the time.


    I didn't suggest Duolingo might be sticking to the Japanese school educational kanji lists at all. Rather, what I said was "N5", which is a JLPT level (the lowest level). JLPT exams are aimed at foreign learners of Japanese.

    If you want to talk about frequency lists though, Jisho.org uses one of those too—the top 2,500 most frequent kanji found in newspapers. Here's how those characters rank in order of decreasing frequency.

    一 = 2nd most frequent kanji
    十 = 8th
    二 = 9th
    三 = 14th
    五 = 31st
    四 = 47th
    九 = 55th
    八 = 92nd
    六 = 93rd
    七 = 115th
    百 = 163rd
    千 = 195th
    = 242nd

    By the only kanji frequency list Jisho.org uses, 私 again loses to all twelve of those numeral kanji. xD


    I did have a look at both the first school and JLPT lists before writing that, and the differences between them seemed pretty minor.
    I certainly wasn't suggesting that numerals are infrequently-used or not worthy of learning at an early stage. However, if a new beginner of Japanese wants to, for example, practise it online through some sort of text-based exchange, knowing 私 is likely to prove much more useful than 千. And learners of any language should absolutely be doing just this sort of thing.


    Incidentally, I just got 冊 in a tile-rearranging exercise, despite the fact it appears to be on the JLPT N2 list:


    Wow. That is rather odd after what we were talking about regarding 私 not appearing to be taught in this course.

    私 = JLPT N4; elementary 6th grade; 242nd in frequency list.
    冊 = JLPT N2; elementary 6th grade; 1,189th in frequency list.

    In any case, it seems it's not simply N5 kanji only then. Or maybe N5 only applies to which kanji are to be taught in the "character challenge" questions. I'm guessing the character 冊 wasn't taught separately before this?

    Has 私 been taught or used in any questions you've encountered so far? I haven't noticed myself, but then there are less chances to see Duolingo's kanji usage on web than on the app.


    The course does have Kanji. However, at this moment, they only contains Kanji in JLPT N5. You can see Kanji like 「書」「外」「学校」「見」etc. As for Kanji is very hard for English native speakers to memorize, I think it is understandable. I believe that your courses still can enjoy the course during their leisure time, and get access to more advanced materials after Duolingo. If you want to contribute this course, you can check out this: https://incubator.duolingo.com/apply/ja/en

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