Ever since I saw that the Japanese course was starting to be developed on Duolingo, I have been hyped up about it. I have only completed about 5 levels so far, so I figured I'd give my feedback on the basic lessons (at the very beginning of the course). Though there are many great things about the new Beta course, there are also many flaws that I think should be fixed:
Vocals The voice recordings need to be remade and changed out. Many of them are unclear and are very splotchy on their pronunciations.
Character Sounds When I tap/click the Japanese characters, they say how they are pronounced. This makes it too easy to complete the beginning lessons (matching and so forth), being that the letters you match them up with actually spell out the sound produced.
I do have to give the developers credit, though. I am very thankful that they have taken the time to create the Japanese course here on Duolingo, and have been open to any and all comments/suggestions we learners have been giving.
I agree with your view, that the sound playing with the character is too much of a help. If you want, how I rectified the problem was simply muting my computer when going through the Hiragana sections, so I could learn to match them by sight, and not sound.
I do hope this helps you! ^w^
I just had this realization for myself recently. Kicking myself for not coming to it earlier. Definitely finding it a valuable tactic even beyond the hiragana sections. Japanese is one of those languages that is easier to understand than read.
I agree with both these comments. Also - asking to match pairs before a character in the match has yet been introduced (common in the hiragana sections) is nonsensical. I am finding it far clearer to learn Hiragana on Tiny Cards than DL..
But I do appreciate having the Japanese course - so exciting!