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Typing Japanese: A/B test?

When the Japanese course came to the web I (we) had to click on the Japanese words when translating EN > JA, just like the mobile app had. Some time later I suddenly had to type the Japanese characters myself. After the first "shock" and having figured out how to install an IME I was finally able to type in Japanese! =) While being a bit harder than just clicking on Japanese words it was really satisfying to "produce" Japanese sentences myself =)

However, since last week or so I'm back to "just" clicking on pre-typed words? Why? Was the typing just an A/B test? While it may be a bit harder I thought it forced you to learn the Japanese better: instead of just character recognition you had to know the pronunciation in order to be able to type it.

Are there more people who experienced this return to "the old ways"? I do hope the typing returns soon!

November 1, 2017



Check out the previous thread about this topic. In it we found out that being allowed to type in Japanese on web is an A/B test.

If you check out your extended user profile (in your case https://www.duolingo.com/users/Jersebas) you can look for the option web_tap_toggle which should be under informant_reference. I would guess that you are no longer in the experiment group, or (I really hope not) the A/B test was ended unsuccessfully.

What does web_tap_toggle say for you?


First of all, thanks for the link! I didn't see that one (obviously) and it's an interesting read! The value for my extended profile reads:


Indeed looks like I'm in the control group for the toggle-button. Thing is, I never had (noticed?) such a toggle button, but I did have the "manual" typing, which kinda suggests there's another testing variable/group. From my quick read of the other thread that may have been a rare situation? Unfortunately I don't have any screenshots of my old situation to check. I'll have a look at my extended profile to check if I have some other interesting variables there.


Hm, that's interesting. It would be really interesting if the other 2 or so people I know had the typing but not the toggle button were also effected. Please do tell me if you have an idea what your test is called.


I will, I happen to have a Oct 12th version of my extended profile on my laptop so I'll compare that one with my current one and see which variables changed in the meantime... curious what it'll show (may take some time, have some other things to do as well hehe ;))


It might be an A/B test. I was still able to type in Japanese today. I'm glad that I am one of the people who get to type answers because choosing words does not help in retaining any information.


Totally with you there =) And glad for you that you're still able to type! I'm hopeful it will return for me one day as well, until then... patience =)


On web I get a faded button at the bottom of the screen that lets me switch between typing or clicking words.


I hadn't heard of that option before today, thanks for telling. The link provided by Rhabarberbarbara contains some screenshots so I had a look and I'm pretty sure I didn't have such a button back when I was able to type in Japanese. Sounds like a nice option though, for those people unable or willing to install an IME.


As for mobile devices Google Japanese Input is just adorable, try it, you'll love it, for sure!


Ugh, I hate how DuoLingo does A/B tests on us without our consent. I hate being treated as a lab rat.


Then don't use their site. A/B tests are an essential part of product development.

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