WanaKana Integration with DuoLingo
I would love to see DuoLingo integrate WanaKana into the Japanese course. For those who aren't familiar with WanaKana, it is a script that automatically converts your romaji typing into kana, without the need for an IME. I find it much better than using an IME for learning because it won't try to convert to kanji like an IME does, which btw, DuoLingo will say you were wrong most of the time if you use any kanji, even if you are really right!
I know there will be people who will say this is stupid, just use an IME, and I get it. I use an IME all the time when writing in Japanese, but it really is annoying to change the settings to not convert to kanji when I want to study on DuoLingo, and swapping between keyboards can be annoying too. WanaKana is great, and also works on mobile.
Check it out by googling WanaKana (I don't know if I am allowed to put links in here). You can play with it and see what it does for yourself on its website. All of the code is available on GitHub and I'm sure they would love a collaboration with DuoLingo, because the guys that made WanaKana made WaniKani, the kanji learning system (which is great btw).
Anyway, Happy learning!
If you're using Microsoft IME on a Windows PC, there's a "No Conversion" option under the "Conversion Mode" menu heading from the taskbar. Takes like three seconds to toggle it on at the beginning of the session and then toggle it back off when you're finished on Duo. ^^
I like the idea though. I actually already made a userscript myself for Duolingo for typing hiragana and katakana without an IME. It's not perfect as I was just messing around, but can get through most of the course without any problems when using it. But I use IME anyway. I made it at the time when I thought they were going to replace typing with those silly word tiles permanently, to make a point that it's easy to provide a method for typing kana without an IME. Thankfully it wasn't necessary to demonstrate it as we have typing back again now. :P
There's one major problem with not having conversion to kanji though: Some of the sentences actually don't accept kana instead of kanji! I know usually it's the other way round, but when it comes to numbers it seems to only accept kanji. I've been reporting things like "きょうはにがつふつかです。" for months but not a single one of them have been added as acceptable answers. It tells you off and says it wants 二月 instead of にがつ and wants 二日 instead of ふつか... ^^;