I feel like this course has been largely neglected by duolingo.
If you look at Chinese in comparison, the tree is 10x richer in content than the Japanese one. I know that they wanna make the Chinese tree into their 2nd flagship right after Spanish. But I feel like this tree could do with more tips and just general expansion because right now the tree can be completed in 10 levels or less. It's so obvious that they don't care about it right now and only released it because so many people kept asking for it.
Japanese is still really rough, but it’s still in beta. I’ve been keeping my tree guilded by redoing modules I’ve already finished, and I feel like some of the things I keep flagging as wrong are getting improved, slowly but it’s happening. Having multiple readings for kanji and things like は (ha and wa) are surely complicated to program.
I would say the Chinese tree has more errors than the Japanese one, but maybe that's because I know Chinese.
I would check out other resources. My plan is to finish the Japanese course on here and then use it purely for practice to build the words/Kanji here as a vocabulary base. Then I will go into way more depth using websites like japanesepod101 and another highly regarded app called Lingodeer. Another good tool is to look into Anki to help memorize Kanji and vocabulary.
Agreed, WaniKani is a great product doing one thing and doing it well. I am also using KaniWani to exercise the English meaning to Japanese translation.
LingoDeer in my opinion is way better than Duo when it comes to actually teaching some Japanese basics.
Delvin Language is another pretty cool tool to practice listening from the real Japanese videos.
Bunpro is a nifty helper with grammar studies as it categorizes grammar by JLTP levels and links online grammar resources with thorough explanations.
Another recent poster had the same sense of discouragement from using DuoJ. I would suggest that if you are already passionate about learning Japanese and you have been studying recently, try using other materials (books, software, YouTube programs, etc.) to improve your knowledge. Who knows how long it will be before the program is improved enough here to warrant the time, energy, and emotional investment required.
I must say that as someone who has studied Japanese for coming on 5 years, I was excited for the course on here. Needless to say, I've been a bit dissatisfied with it. As soon as I get done with the course to really see how it is all the way through to the end, I'm sending in an application to become a contributor to it so that these issues can be addressed.
I may not be a native speaker, but I do know several (that don't speak English, unfortunately) that could help with certain things such as cultural notes, vocabulary, kanjis, etc.
I wouldn't be surprised if they've already had well over a hundred suitable people apply to contribute to this course. For some mysterious reason they don't seem to want more than the current four contributors...
I've just reached 365 days streak on my main account doing the reverse tree, J→E. I find the reverse tree easier than this course, certainly not due to the difficulty level of the questions but simply how it actually accepts the correct answers you type! xD
I’m glad that Duolingo released the course so early so that we could enjoy it, but what I am disappointed in is that they don’t seem to be making any progress. It’s been months and nothing seems to be improving.
I really wish that they are doing something behind-the-scenes. It would be nice if they just gave us a sneak-peek.
As a native Chinese speaker who has observed the Chinese course for a long time. I'd say that the quality of the Chinese course is as CRAPPY (if not more) as the Japanese one.
Not all of the sentences in Chinese course are written by native speakers, some are just mildly irritating, some are downright wrong. The course design is weird too. You can see people complaining about all kinds of funny flaws in the discussion page. They even made a browser plugin for the course (which is really a slap on the face of the developers).
In short, Duolingo never bothered to make the Chinese course usable, just like the Japanese course.
I'm inclined to agree, unfortunately. Some of the Chinese being taught is truly atrocious!
Besides which, when Japanese came out, there were a lot more Japanese-proficient (though not so many native) users helping out in the comments and discussion section to explain things and post tips and resources; the Chinese course has virtually only new beginners. I and a handful of others have been trying to help out, but we can only do so much, especially when the course quality still needs so much work.
That said, Tips and Notes as well as quantity/organization of content is much better in the Chinese course. I can only hope that our concerted efforts will gradually smooth out a lot of the kinks, and hopefully Japanese Tree 2.0 will bring the standard closer to that of other more mature courses.
I'd really appreciate it if they added a list of kanji (along with their pronunciation in hiragana/katakana) for each skill tree section. Sometimes I just need a quick reminder for a word, and going through a skill tree just to find it is a pain. Even more so if you're unlucky enough to get the same question 3-5 times in a row.
First I wanted to say that the icon and title combination here is perfection.
Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur also had pretty limited Japanese options when I was comparing them all a couple years ago, which does seem odd. Other languages go to level 10+, Japanese stopped at 3 or something like that. I really wonder why.
My two cents would be neither the Chinese nor the Japanese course in Duolingo are very good. For Mandarin there are many high quality apps that are solely focused on Mandarin which I sadly lack for Japanese (even though there are some that are better than Duo's Japanese).
I guess Duolingo finds itself in the waters of the “let's have everything” problem. Offering many language courses while only some of them are really solid. The Duolingo Plus also doesn't offer much to make it worth of subscribing and thus bringing more money into the platform.
I don't want to sound ungrateful and downplay the hard work and effort put into making the Japanese course, however, there are many things missing to make it a really useful tool on its own – using kanji for god's sake, explaining randomly appearing grammar over the course, solving the a/the hell in J→E translations, solving the pronouns hell in J→E translations, solving the singular/plural hell in J→E translations, using vocabulary that is both commonly used in J and maps naturally to the E translations (e.g. the 家庭 vs 家族/home vs family problem), trying to make the hints any useful (suddenly there's kanji everywhere, meanings don't match to the answer at all), somehow giving more context to the ambiguous translations.
Let's see when and if at all these things are addressed.