Request for status update from contributors?

Hello Japanese for English contributors!

I wanted to thank you for the wonderful course you've created, and all the hard work you've put into it during its beta phase. It has certainly helped me a lot as I prepare to relocate to Japan this July.

If you have a clear idea of it, I'd like to ask what some of your future plans will be. How soon do you foresee the course leaving beta? Are there any plans for a Tree 2.0? What has been the most constructive feedback you've received, and how do you plan on implementing changes going forward?

I greatly look forward to hearing your responses, but please take your time.


April 16, 2018


I'm not sure if anyone will read this, and this may be quite a personal opinion, but I'll leave my feedback here for any contributor that would like it:

First, don't see this as complaining, on the contrary, I love this course, I'm practicing and I thank you all!

These are some things I think would make my learning better:

  • You need specific lessons for Katakana just as you have for Hiragana
    • At the end of the course my hiragana was quite satisfactory, but katakana was still very hard and unknown
    • I know this involves programming, but: if there was the possibility of identifying in the pictures which character is katakana and which is hiragana, it would be easier to not mix them
  • Exercises that involve translating kanji to hiragana or hiragana to kanji often don't teach anything if we're not quite used to the meaning of at least one of them
    • I see "what?" tranlated to another "what?" and the result is I can't memorize that because I understand nothing at all.
    • There should be exercises teaching how to pronounce kanji in different positions
    • A three-part exercise with Kanji + Hiragana + English would be much more efficient in my opinion, show two, ask for the third.
  • A lot of hints contain only kanji, which makes them not useful for tapping exercises
    • Either hiragana is missing from the hints or the best answers are written in kanji (which leads to the following suggestion)
  • How about a new japanese tree, like "Japanese 2 - Learn Kanji" teaching heavy kanji?
    • While the first tree focuses in teaching Japanese based on hiragana and very little kanji
      • Best answers should be always hiragana
    • The other tree focuses in teaching Kanji
      • Best answers should be kanji
    • This reminds me of an old idea I'd like to see
      • Create "dialects" on Duolingo, and let us, for the same sentence, add two kinds of best answer:
        • Best answers for dialect 1
        • Best answers for dialect 2
        • Additional translations
April 16, 2018

Create "dialects" on Duolingo, and let us, for the same sentence, add two kinds of best answer:

This reminds me of a very old and popular request (from and among contributors) made to Duo...

That's said, why only 2?

For French you'd need at least 4 (FR, QB, BE, CH) and for ES... I don't even want to start listing them. ;)
It may be one reason why it'd not be done even if Duo would ever consider it.

April 16, 2018

Yep... I know what you're referring to....

April 16, 2018

Have the moderators provided any update in the last 6 months? Can you ask a supervisor or something if they are still active?

April 18, 2018

I also want them to revamp the Japanese course. In its current form, it's not good enough for me to want to put my time and effort into it. I've done about half of the "reverse course" which I think is much better in many ways -- especially in that it uses full Kanji. Without full Kanji or the option to turn it on, I see the course as a waste.

The course also doesn't go as far as the other ones. With languages like Spanish, German, even Russian, I went maybe 1/2 way through and I started to feel some ability to communicate taking form; the Japanese reverse course is a lot like this, but the "forward" course feels like it covers WAAAAY less material...nowhere near enough to get to the level of being able to go the rest of the way by immersion.

Because Japanese is a very different language from English, if anything, I think the tree / course may need to be slightly longer and more extensive, in order to achieve the same effect. Words need to be presented in more different contexts for us to really understand the essence of what they mean, because there is less of a one-to-one correspondence between words than in the different Indo-European languages.

Yet the Japanese tree is short. It's inadequate.

It's a useful start, a useful alpha-level test to experiment with, but it's not a full course. In my opinion it won't be a legitimate, full course until it's as good as the other, established Duolingo courses which in my experience (Spanish, German, Portuguese, and currently working through Russian) are good enough to get me to where I can go the rest of the way by immersion.

April 19, 2018

They must be somewhat active because I feel like some English to Japanese translation questions are accepting kanji in the answers that they didn't previously accept. Or it's just my imagination.

April 22, 2018

@Luke_5.1991 - I see we have a new contributor on our course:

I believe you might have some luck getting a status update from him. :P

May 23, 2018
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