Thanks for Japanese, Duolingo
Hey there :) Long time no see. I just returned to Duolingo as I noticed it has Japanese course and Chinese is coming soon too ^^
I study Chinese and Japanese at my university. I was having problems with Japanese at first, due to so many alphabets (there are 2 alphabetical systems and plus Kanji - the logographs derived from Chinese Hanzi logographs). But after I started doing Japanese course with Duolingo, I began remembering all the letters so well that I was able to write a Hiragana dictation test without any major mistakes! ^^ It was such a huge achievement in just two days! My sensei even told me I did great :D (she hasn't told me so before). I'm so happy ^^
I'm waiting for Chinese course, so I can finally master Chinese as well ;) (I have already studied Chinese for 1 year and I still continue my studies, and now I firmly believe Duolingo will help me remember Chinese hieroglyphs as well ^^ )
Duo's the best! :)
I don't want to sound like a pedant, but the linguistic term for Kanji and Hanzi characters is "logographs," not "hieroglyphs." I don't quite understand what the difference is, but it seems that "hieroglyphs" refers to the Egyptian writing system in particular, or to a logography that is pictographic in a way that's reminiscent of Egyptian hieroglyphics.
"Hieroglyph" comes from Greek and means "holy writing". In past centuries Europeans falsely believed both Egyptian and Chinese characters to be ideographs with no phonetic information, so they started using the word "hieroglyph" for Chinese characters too (I think Russian still has this word), but today more accurate words have become standard.
Hey, I remember you! I remember because you were a native Georgian speaker (correct?) and I thought that was interesting. Welcome back!
So you study Japanese and Chinese at university? That's quite a lot of work! I am glad to see that the Japanese course is helping you and I hope that the Chinese course will be just as effective. Good luck with your studies!
It is good that you are finding Duolingo helpful in your studies!
Here is a fun fact. Both hiragana and katakana are syllabaries rather than alphabets, because each character represents a whole syllable, rather than just a single consonant or vowel. "Syllabary" is a good word to know. :)
When I want to refer to a single element in the writing system of a language, and I don't necessarily know whether it represents a letter, a syllable, or a whole word, I just call it a "character", and that seems to work. So I might say that Japanese has three distinct systems of characters.