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Which website/app is better than Duolingo?

I like this platform for learning other languages because you get to strengthen skills and type out sentences often, but I feel like it's counterproductive to be constantly penalized for using kanji that the course itself does not teach.

Is there any other service where you learn by typing sentences and that teaches you the kanji?

October 19, 2017



The course will eventually accept pretty much any normal use of kanji you can throw at it. It's just that the course is still in the early part of its beta testing phase.

Technically, people should've only been able to report alternative kanji usage in their answers for two days so far, since typing on web didn't "officially" exist until then. I've been typing Japanese answers on this course on web since April though, and it has progressively got a lot better at accepting more kanji in my answers. In April almost no alternative use of kanji was accepted.

Here's an extreme example of what some of the questions are like now:

  • English source text: Of course I'm fine.
  • Duo's default translation: もちろんげんきです。
  • My answer: 勿論元気だ。

And that answer I typed was actually accepted! It accepted plain だ instead of です, and accepted full blown kanji use, even with its expected answer containing none of this. That first kanji 勿 isn't even one of the 2,136 常用 list characters! :P

Just need to help by keep on reporting correct answers that weren't accepted until the contributors get around to adding them as correct alternatives. I agree it's frustrating having correct answers so frequently rejected during this beta testing phase though. Would be nice if we could just time travel to a date when they've added virtually all the correct kanji alternatives which users have reported. ^^


Looks like there's light at the end of the tunnel after all. I'll continue my journey on here, thanks for the response.

How do you like the Korean course btw? I'm thinking about starting it when I finish the nihongo tree. Hangul looks so pleasing to the eyes.


my personal experience with the korean course was quite nice. the alphabet was a little hard to get past! however, after doing the nihongo tree and the [ dun dun dunnnn !! ] kanji, hangul should be no sweat. think of the characters as addition and subtraction ~~ the vowels and consonants, in circles and sticks, build characters.


In my opinion, no. I don't think that websites excel at teaching Kanji in general. I personally think a combination of books and flashcards are the best way to learn Kanji.


I feel like kanji is best memorized by just writing it often or reading. There is a huge difference between typing Japanese and writing. Computers make life easy!

However, there are some apps that are good for practicing kanji.
Kanjibox is one that I like (only iphones, sad times). It keeps track of the kanji you are weak in and recycles them like duolingo. You don't type the answers out like in duolingo, you just choose from four kanji that usually look very similar (so you have to remember the small differences).

It is a very good practice tool to use a little every day in addition to other study tools. There are also different ways to study, like kanji to hiragana, hiragana to Kanji, or English to kanji.

It is only a vocabulary and kanji app though. No sentences. There are a few apps like this. If you browse through your app store you might find a good one that you like.

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I use Memrise for vocab/short sentence courses (although the tool is not as gracious/flexible as Duolingo is when it comes to spelling typos/multiple answers). It has a ton of Japanese courses but I have not taken any yet since I am not done with the Duolingo tree. I also use Google translate, Forvo and wiktionary. You may also want to check out verbix, which is a great tool but I have not used it with Japanese verbs yet. HTH, Daniel.



In another post you mentioned that you knew quite a lot about the deep learning machine translation done by Google Translate. Do you have some simple explanations about how that is implemented?

See also e.g.: Computer: Editor: Text: TSE: Machine: Learning: Simple: How to install and run Google TensorFlow (on Microsoft Windows 7)? [deep learning / artificial intelligence / Python] https://goo.gl/JsYTYh



I think watching Youtube clips is the best way and you can practice the characters on your own while watching, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPppVDX_GiY


personally, I use wanikani to memorize my kanji, but it's just memorization


It's a bit late to answer, but it could help someone passing by. Duo is great, but in addition I'm using Wanikani (https://www.wanikani.com/). It's really helpful for learning kanjis. You don't learn sentences, but vocabulary. And it uses a great technique to optimise the learning process, likes flash cards. Besides there are memo-techniques tips. Anyway, hope that could be useful !

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