do you only learn about hiragana or are learning about katakana and kanji as well for Japanese
i am curious because i only see hiragana on the home page.
From what I understand, Katakana started off as a shorthand to Hiragana but is now used to represent capitalization or foreign words. That's why most American names (like my own) or foreign words (like Bleach) are represented in Katakana. I believe Hiragana is the building blocks for both Kanji and Katakana, so it makes sense that it's taught first and has the majority of the focus on it for beginners.
Since I'm now used to hiragana and katakana, I can say that a lot of kanji (at least visually) are composed of "katakana" characters, two or three of them together.
But that is the only thing I can say though. Haven't really learnt anything about kanji except for seeing a few.
Close, both come from shorthand of Kanji - I believe katakana used by monks to study ambiguous/complex kanjis in their scriptures - and hiragana from Sosho script, a cursive script primarily used in poetry or by women or such things non-official and have become adopted to supplement Kanjis. Its interesting to use katakana for loan words/gairaigo, and hiragana to supplement kanji such as conjucation? Both very useful culturally. Just some things I picked up on.
When I originally started learning japanese i used 2 games what taught me all hiragana and katakana the games are learn japanese to survive (There is one for kata and another for hiri). It teaches the pronunciation and stroke order (which I hear is very important). The game makes you remember them by making you use them in battles. Like how duolingo is with the repetition. This helped me alot to remember them. Also if you need help with kanji in august a kanji version will be released with over 800 kanji (according to the kickstarter page) so it would be helpful to learn more and I presume it will teach the meaning of them as well
Japan at the time had no written language, so they adapted Chinese Kanji and assigned their own words to it. Only the wealthy really learned it, commoners weren't taught. Women in Japan didn't agree with it, and designed Hiragana as a phonetic syllabary, so they could sound out words rather than just memorizing a Kanji for a specific word. Women in general weren't taught Kanji in those days either - so they took the idea of how Kanji looks, but simplified the characters, gave them specific sounds, and essentially created the more modern Japanese writing language. Over time, Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana were all used together. This is a really brief overview, there is a lot of stuff to read about how and why they developed Hiragana - I found it all fascinating, personally.
There are separate lessons for hiragana only. Katakana appears gradually throughout the whole course, new signs are introduced when they are needed to construct taught loanwords and names. Basic kanji appears too, although there's not that much of it (about 200; 198 last time I checked) - it's introduced similarly to katakana, it appears when new words are taught.
For learning katakana and kanji, I'd recommend using other apps and sites.
"Write it! Japanese" app allows you to practice stroke order.
"Kanji study" app contains the basic kanji (all the kanji for JLPT are available in the paid version) and teaches kanji radicals, readings and meanings. It also has kana practice for both hiragana and katakana in the free version.
There are many more apps like that and also worksheets available on websites. Here are some that I have bookmarked:
So far, there is some katakana, but I have seen very very little kanji.
On one hand, this is good, I would get really confused for learning kanji all from zero.
But it seems I'll not really learn it on Duo.
(I had completed the tree once, before the Crown Levels, my knowledge of kanji was almost none, don't know if Crown Levels will show more kanji as I up them.)
Some kanji characters that aren't taught by Duolingo are still accepted as answers. Which means if you use the website (not the app) on a mobile phone and install a Japanese keyboard, you can learn additional kanji via the keyboard suggestions and comments left by others on the questions.
Katakana needs its own skill modules. Suddenly teaching a completely novice person the katakana character for a sound that you just spent four lessons teaching the hiragana character for is going to be very confusing. It momentarily confused me (rusty beginner experience) when I started 'Intro' module because I wasn't expecting it.