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Frustrated by new words introduced in fill-in sentences

I'm just starting with Duolingo Japanese, and I've run into a situation that is pretty frustrating. I just finished Hiragana 1-5, and am now starting the Intro lessons. It started by introducing アメリカ and 人, with the sentence "I am American" being "アメリカ人です". However, in the freeform translation section, it asked me to instead translate the sentence "I am from America" into Japanese. The accepted answer for this required completely novel words and sentence structures that I had no way to "learn" other than cribbing off the error message as I failed to type it in exactly correctly several times in a row.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/HtBUR60tMBR3zEss1 https://photos.app.goo.gl/IqUSeTwKQCnJUzpF2

から, ました, and 来 were all never seen before this question, and it's not like introducing them this way really imparts any meaning to the symbols. Also having different accepted answers for "I am American" vs. "I am from America" seems like a really fine hair to split at this point in the lesson.

March 11, 2018



Those dots you see underneath the words in the source language sentence... If you click on those words (or hover over them with a mouse if on a computer), then it will give you hints as to what the translation of that word might be. ^^

から, ました, and 来 don't need to be used for the answer, since you could have answered correctly without them by instead using しゅっしん and です:


Was lesson 3 of the "Intro" skill the lesson you encountered this sentence in? しゅっしん and です are two of the four words listed for that particular lesson on the "Intro" skill page:

  • です
  • はじめまして
  • しゅっしん

Some pretty nice clues available if you know where to look. ^^


Ah, right, it did not occur to me that I could select English words to see translations of them. I find that whole interface very unintuitive and only found out about its existence accidentally.

I did not realize that a sentence with しゅっしん would also have been accepted, as that's not what was presented in the message when I got it wrong. That would have at least been a lot less frustrating since it would have been based on vocabulary that was actually included in the lessons.


This is often the case with Duo Japanese. Characters not previously introduced is suddenly used in a sentence. Not optimal but funnily enough you end up learning them anyway.


I also started learning Japanese from scratch with DuoLingo and found it a frustrating experience. Japanese is a challenging language, but the way it is "taught" in DuoLingo makes it even more difficult. This course is still in development, so it might improve. In its current state, it is not ideal for the absolute beginner.

I recommend using other resources to learn the basics first, then use DuoLingo to test your understanding. Much less annoying and you will understand the lessons better with a proper introduction.

LingoDeer is my favorite. Similar style to DuoLingo, with better organization and grammar explainations.

Memrise also offers a Japanese course. I haven't gone very far in it yet, so I don't know how it compares.

You can also check the resources page at the top of this discussion stream for some valuable information that is not available in the app.

Japanese is a fascinating language. Don't give up!

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