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Reverse tree; your thoughts

Hey guys,

So I finished the English to Japanese tree a long time ago and I noticed that I just didn't know much Japanese still, so I was browsing the fora and I saw a post that somebody advised to do the tree in reverse. In other words doing Japanese to English. And thus I started that.

I kinda wanted to share that tip here too and I was curious about the thoughts of people who also are long past with the English to Japanese tree and need a new challenge/putting what they know in practice.

What I immediately noticed is that the tree is much bigger, and there are words in it that the course English to Japanese doesn't teach, like the word "apple" (りんご、リンゴ). So keep the website www.jisho.org open in your browser.

Also my question to the contributors/mods/whomever it may concern: Why is the tree so much bigger? Aren't a lot of the exercises, especially when it comes to vocabulary easy to copy? Clearly the vocabulary for both languages is available. I understand that it's harder to reverse the grammar, but clearly that knowledge is available.

January 26, 2018



Eh it still won't be enough if a person uses only Duolingo..I too completed the Japanese skill tree and i just reset it and now i'm doing it again.. it only prepares you for somewhere around JLPTN5 level and the lack of kanji is DISAPPOINTING.. If you wanna learn Japanese to at least an intermediate level, i suggest you to keep learning Kanji on a daily basis somewhere else..Just kanji..Also you can use Tae Kim's guide which is elaborate and very useful IMO..And go watch some Anime or Japanese shows as it helps in creating a web of associations for the learner..You would remember it way way better if you practice daily and then see/hear it in any sort of anime/Japanese show..That's what i'm doing right now and i hope what i wrote makes sense to you.


I absolutely agree that you shouldn't rely on Duolingo alone, I stated before that I relied on LingoDeer a lot for understanding of basic grammar, which isn't explained at all by Duolingo. The basic stuff like when to use 〜ます/〜です, the particles, or negatives (the difference between 〜ない and 〜ません) that aren't explained in Duo

I already made a couple of lists, where I write down the most common and important nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in both hiragana and kanji. Furthermore I have the book "Genki" digitally, and I'm also reading that one.

It's indeed important to look for information after you're done with the normal course, I just wish it was more complete, preparing you eventually for N4 level, or even better: N3. But at this point it doesn't even prep you for N5 level, so I'm hoping that the reverse tree would teach me more. (I'm out of health right now.... :') )

As for anime, what I've heard from some Japanese friends: don't try to learn stuff from there, it can be useful to get a sense of listening to the language and vocabulary, but they use keigo and non-keigo in a way that's not commonly spoken in Japan.


I joined yesterday and started my reverse tree today. Honestly, I like the reverse tree much better so far! I feel like the Japanese for English speakers requires parts of the sentence that would be dropped in real speech but the reverse accepts the more natural one (i.e. アレクスと行きました instead of アレクスと私は行きました)


Definitely not a Japanese contributor, but it seems like they set themselves the task of getting a Japanese tree out quickly. That necessitates its being shorter. Also, I think they wanted to be able to get it to a high-quality state faster. The English for Japanese tree actually had the longest time in beta of any course so far: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Course_list By keeping it shorter, I suspect they wanted to keep such a thing from happening again. The fact it's still in beta and the "early beta" (i.e. many valid translations yet missing) feel even fairly early in the tree attests to the wisdom of this. Undoubtedly a longer tree is on the to-do list, but they've got to get this one to a better state first.

I haven't looked at the Japanese reverse tree, but I suspect it's organized very differently: probably grammar-focused? The team deliberately took a different tack for Japanese from English, so making it longer would have required a lot more planning to keep with the thematic, as opposed to grammar-centric set-up. Undoubtedly that limits borrowing. Also, the two trees with Japanese were built on entirely different architectures in the Incubator. This probably limits carryover (which I've read contributors sometimes actively attempt to limit anyway, to keep better control over courses and make bug-finding easier).

Generically, there is very little connection between the length of a "forward" and reverse tree. For example Dutch for English just got a major upgrade. Now it has 123 skills I think. It used to have about 80. English for Dutch meanwhile? 55. And they can't even manage to remove flagrantly unnatural English sentences that got inherited from some other course in the early days of Duolingo.

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