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Just noticed a small error (?)

I reported this but I'm not sure if anyone will notice why (I can't seem to write reasonings on the app) so I'm posting something here just in case.

In the Japanese course on IOS, while doing general practice, I noticed that it wanted me to select the pronunciation of 中. The sound kept giving me なか (as in 田中) as the answer, but it was not only absent, the correct answer was ちゅう (as in 中国). I'm not saying that either pronunciation is wrong since kanji have multiple pronunciations but it's a little unsettling to hear one thing and have to select something totally different.

Just a heads up for learners and course contributors.

August 6, 2017



It is good to note that Japanese Kanji has different pronunciations (On-Yomi) and (Kun-Yomi) for how it is used within a word. Google search these terms or find the other discussion that addresses what these are and what they entail.

While 中 is read as "naka" on its own, to mean "middle, center, inside," when places with certain kanji compounds (a word containing one or more kanji characters) the kanji character 中 gets read with its On-Yomi reading.


That's good to know, but the course itself doesn't teach this. As such, the problem is that the audio provided gives one pronunciation while the exercise asks you to pair 中 with the other. There's no way a learner would realize the reason for this, and as such the situation is highly confusing and counter-intuitive.


I figured that the sound was it's kun-yomi reading, and it wanted me to select the on-yomi. I had to think for a bit when I didn't see なか in the options though.


You can write reasons when you report on the Android app (and on web). Seems very strange if the iOS app isn't the same, especially when it was the first device they released this beta testing phase course on.

I went on my Android account and tried to find the thing you are talking about. Found it in a "tap the pairs" question within the "Intro" skill lessons:

じ o pa ぱ ho
中 ほ お ji ちゅう

Clicking the tile plays the sound なか (a KUN reading of 中), but it has to be paired with a tile that reads ちゅう (the ON reading of 中). I agree that this doesn't seem sensible.

On Android, when I clicked the report flag, the only option it gave me was to write an explanation of the problem. I wrote this:

"The audio for 中 plays なか, but the tile you have to match with it is written ちゅう."

Is it not possible to report errors this way in the iOS app?


I clicked on the report button and it didn't seem to give me a pop-up, just a report option. :/

Good thing that you reported it too!


I've noticed this too in the Android version. Things will probably be cleared up after the web version is released. Kanji and readings will probably bee elaborated on in the lesson notes. Hopefully.


I noticed this too. A little research says naka means central on its own, which is part of the word for China, but when it's in the country name it's said chuu. (Because China is... the central country? Or something? I don't remember exactly.) Very disconcerting indeed 8-o

(I posted a thread about it, but initially couldn't find and then couldn't move it to the Japanese forum - that was disconcerting too LOL - I'm glad it finally has a note in the right place.)


China is "middle land" (in both Chinese and Japanese). It's not really surprising given the influence that China had across Asia, and where it's located.

I think that the ちゅう reading is the on-yomi (close to how the Chinese read a character, not based off Japanese words). When more than one kanji are put together to make a new word, it often takes the on-yomi reading. Of course there are some exceptions, like names (田中, for example, is read "Tanaka", a Japanese name). The Japanese reading always differs from the "Chinese" reading (although being a student of Chinese also, the on-yomi was probably taken from older pronunciations).


Sounds like you know much more than me!

I reported it from within the app and made a post here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23826381 because initially I couldn't even find the Japanese forum lol I guess it's all we can do for the moment.

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