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Font for japanese characters in web version

Please change the font of japanese characters - it is very badly readable, it looks like some 8bit semitransparent font from some old NES games, and at the same time it is so thin that it is hard to spot a line, so i can barely recognize symbols

i'm using Google Chrome

October 18, 2017



Poor display of Japanese characters on the web is generally an issue with your OS's fonts, not an issue with DuoLingo. I had this problem on my computer a while back and I fixed it by installing a better font package.

Do you have trouble on other websites or is it just DuoLingo?

The font looks beautiful and very clearly readable on the DuoLingo exercises on my computer now, and has for some time.


Here's how to install the additional Japanese fonts which come free with Windows 10:

"Settings" → "Apps" → "Apps & features" → "Manage optional features" → "Add a feature" → "Japanese Supplemental Fonts" → "Install"

(I just found out that the font "Meiryo" only gets installed by doing this; it's not installed on Windows 10 by default.) ^^;


I do have an issue making out some of the characters. It does not help to have such poor eyesight.


Basically what Cazort said. Duo doesn't specify a font your browser should use for the Japanese text on its site. You have to make sure you've got some decent Japanese fonts installed on your computer (such as "Meiryo", which comes free with Windows, but may need to be installed).

Longer answer

Duo uses the same font stack for both English and Japanese text. This is what it is set to:

museo-sans-rounded, sans-serif

Duo uses this font stack pretty much everywhere on the site — source sentence, answer typing, tiles, discussion posts, menus,... Duo uses the Museo Sans Rounded font from an online source, so the font doesn't have to be installed on your device to work.

However, Museo Sans Rounded doesn't contain any Japanese characters, nor even the romaji long vowels written with macrons above them (āīūēōĀĪŪĒŌ). So, for these types of characters, the browser has to use the next font in the font stack.

So the fallback is "sans-serif". This isn't the name of an actual font, but is instead a keyword instructing the browser to use its default sans serif style font.

I'm on Windows 10 using Google Chrome. For me, Chrome's default sans serif style fonts are as follows:

  • English text: Arial
  • Japanese text: Meiryo

Example sentence:

ローマ字 is written as rōmaji in romaji.

  • 31 glyphs = Museo Sans Rounded (24 letters, 6 spaces, 1 full stop).
  • 1 glyph = Arial (the romaji long vowel ō)
  • 4 glyphs = Meiryo (2 katakana, 1 kana prolonged sound marker, 1 kanji)

That example sentence contains 36 glyphs, and that list is a breakdown of which fonts it gets displayed in on my computer on Duolingo. ^^


yes, it convinced me i need megane... and i need them fast...

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