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More Success in Japanese Studies Thanks to Duolingo

Hey guys :) I encourage everyone to study Japanese with this amazing site! ^^ I had a mid-term exam at uni in Japanese, and while I was not so good (okay I'll be frank - I was bad xD ) when I still hadn't taken Japanese on Duolingo.

Once I started it, I gradually became better. :) And now when I had a mid-term in Japanese, I had the best results in group (among 28 students) - the highest score with only 2 minor mistakes! :O It was such a shock!

Thanks for being so awesome Duolingo! ^^

November 19, 2017



I so which I'd has Japanese on Duolingo when I was taking a class outside of Duolingo.

Personally, had I used Duolingo to try to learn Japanese from scratch, I wouldn't have succeeded. Japanese tops the hardest of the hard category to learn for native English speakers. Even for people learning Japanese in university classes and tutors, there are many people who will not succeed. When they add Duolingo's course, I'm sure their chances increase.

I've read feedback in the forums from people who were completely beginners learning it through Duolingo, and they were making really good progress. So, it depends on the person and I don't plan to blame Duolingo for that. That said, Duolingo's course is on beta. And, I would consider it to be at a much more experimental stage than other courses that have been in beta on Duolingo in the past. However, like other courses, it will receive updates in the future adding more content and more Tips and Notes. It will continue to improve over time. :)


Hi Usagiboy7!

I know I'm late to the discussion, but I'm inclined to agree. I think if I did not know hiragana and katakana before starting the course, it might have been difficult. (And I say that because I am STRUGGLING to get through the Korean alphabet, even though it's supposed to be the easiest one in the world.)

The Japanese course isn't perfect, but I've learned more from Duolingo than from about any other option I've tried so far, and I'm so looking forward to whatever the future holds. :)

Also, as an aside, you are always so helpful and positive on the forums. Just wanted to say thanks! It's very inspirational.



↑ I learnt the Korean alphabet in just 90 minutes using just those two links above.

60 minutes on that first link, going through each of the different modes learning and memorising all the letters simply through trial-and-error. I focussed mainly on speed and on trying to notice patterns, and went through the modes in roughly the following order:

  • vowels, 5 choices, hangul to roman
  • vowels, 5 choices, roman to hangul
  • basic set, 5 choices, hangul to roman
  • basic set, 5 choices, roman to hangul
  • full set, 5 choices, hangul to roman
  • full set, 5 choices, roman to hangul

30 minutes on that second link, reading all the useful parts such as the details of letter placement within the blocks. For some reason, the part of the page I found most useful has been replaced—the following hangeul cheatsheet image:

After those 90 minutes, I didn't look at anything written in Korean again until four days later whereupon I saw a youtube comment written in Korean and found I could read almost all the hangeul in the entire comment without looking anything up. (I couldn't understand what any of it meant though, as I hadn't even begun learning the language at all besides hangeul!)

That was a few days before the course became available on Duolingo. I only tried the course for a few days back in August/September. I did the course on my PC, typing all the answers and learning the hangeul keyboard layout. But even now after not learning Korean at all for seven months, I can still more-or-less remember and read all of hangeul, even though I spent hardly any time learning it.

Might not work the same for other people, but for how well it worked for me I wanted to recommend giving those links a try. ^^


Hey, thanks so much! I've tried other methods, but nothing has stuck, yet. (I think I struggle with homophones and the similarity of how the letters look.) I'll definitely give these a shot. Thanks again!


You already knew Japanese when you started the Duolingo course, but for someone who started it from scratch I find it impossible, they say "Learn Hiragana", but it's mixed with Katakana and spiced up with unexplained Kanji. I actually learned the Kana very quickly using Youtube, but the way Duolingo presents them is not helpful at all, I wouldn't recommend this course to anyone. Hopefully it will become better after beta, but right now I wouldn't even call it alpha.


What are you talking about? There is no Katakana in the HIragana skills, at least, not for me.


Yes, they only pop up after. Maybe ruferales is confusing the ones that look and sound the exact same in hiragana and katakana, such as へ. I did not find any katakana in the hiragana skills; they began to pop up in Intro 1.


No katakana in the four hiragana skills for me either.


Sounds like you might want to try Lingodeer.


Yes, like other users already noted, in "Hiragana" lessons you are not introduced Katakana letters. But to distinguish them better before Duo mods add more explanations and rules (which I believe they will eventually add ^^ ) you can look up letters for both Hiragana and Katakana, review them, and only then compare them with Duolingo. When I started Duo Japanese, I only had Hiragana and Katakana letters written down, I wasn't gone further ahead at uni course. But that too helped a lot to get the maximum from Duolingo. :) So I'd recommend making letter lists first and then going with Duo. :)


Year right.... I just have learned Japanese and i feel it so cool. You had the best result ? Just congratulation for you. Duolingo is so awsome. Thanks for your posting.


This is amazing! I hope you continue to prosper with your Japanese studies!


Thank you so much! ^^


This is really good news! Congrats!

I think this reinforces that DuoLingo really has something special...even with all the weaknesses or shortcomings of the new Japanese course, it seems like it can still be tremendously useful to people!


Yes, it truly does :) I appreciate all the effort Duo staff and mods put in to make these courses as perfect as they can be ^^ No matter Japanese and Chinese are still in early Beta, they can still bring major benefits to learners :)


Question: Which is the best course/app/method?

Answer: All of them!

Read: find the optimal mix for yourself.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.