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  5. I feel the Japanese course do…


I feel the Japanese course doesn't have enough grammar.

I have to look online in order to look up slightly more grammatically complex clauses than the ones Duolingo gives me. This course is good but it's too vocab-based I find.

April 19, 2018



The Japanese course could definitely use an expanded tips and notes section. Most lessons don't have any at all, and in a language where there's many ways to say a single thing depending on politeness level, and has an extremely different grammar structure to english, it's really complicated for beginners to just be thrown a bunch of sentences to memorize without learning how they break down. The discussion pages on each question tend to do better at explaining what a sentence means better than the lesson itself.


Hey Mod, if you see this, why not a new section of stories in Japanese just like there is for German?


Mods and contributors have no control over the stories; those are site functions programmed by the staff. The stories function itself is still fairly new in comparison and is only available for the original Duo languages Spanish, French, German and Italian. One day they will be expanded to the many other languages Duo offers but it will take some time. Since the Japanese course is also fairly new and is still working through and updating its main course it'll probably take a bit longer til we see stories and bonus features for it.


You forgot to add Portuguese to the list of original courses/languages.

So many stories are available yet (like Spanish) and great web T&N are also there.


This course is very useful for me because already studied for 4 years a long time ago, so it works great to remember and learn with a previous grammar base, but I guess it's a challenge to learn without a grammar support. I hope you can find some auxiliar material while they don't improve.


I agree.

The reverse course (English for Japanese speakers) includes a ton of grammatical constructions that never occur in the "forward" course.

Watering down the language like this makes the course less useful. The Spanish course teaches subjunctive, conditional, imperfect, perfect, and so on, and I've found that you actually need to know all these tenses if you want to be fluent and literate in Spanish. I can listen to love songs on the radio, or a news broadcast, and hear all these tenses.

Same for Japanese...read any basic stuff on the web, watch a TV show, a news broadcast, it's chock full of stuff not covered in this course...and not just vocab but like, constructions.

I think it's especially important for Japanese because the internal logic of the language is very different from English. With other Indo-European languages, it's easier to kinda figure out what an unfamiliar grammatical construction means. I also think it's a bit harder because Japanese is not as much of an analytic language. Chinese is equally different from English but something about how it is structured I think makes it easier for me to infer or figure out from context, what an unfamiliar grammatical construction means.

With Japanese I think more exposure to these things is essential.

The course as it stands isn't adequate. They need to add more material if they want it to be as useful as the other courses.


The Japanese course is still in beta, so it may take some time to update with grammar and everything else like in other courses. I agree though, and hope they update soon.


I'm 80 percent done with the course and there is some truth to this. However, if Duolingo is your main means of learning Japanese, or any language, you will be in trouble. Japanese, by many, is rated the hardest language to learn for English speakers. I read somewhere 1600 hours is required to be fluent vs about 600 for french. I have been using iknow.jp for about 2 years and that sysem has the same problem. It is PURELY vocab and sentences. If you want grammar, use punipuni or Japanese from Zero. George Trombley is a great Japanese teacher and his videos on YouTube are FREE! So I have been using Duolingo, iKnow.jp and taking grammar lessons from George.


You do realize there are 25 levels, right?


you have finished course already?


This is actually a very good question.

But the Japanese course could be better anyway. I miss the Japanese informal verb endings the most.


Yeah. It doesn't even teach the informal verb forms, unlike Korean, which teaches 3 of the most important verb forms.


Does this just include the ones who have checked their profile once on there? I'm not sure if duolingo.eu checks every profile there is until you enter its specific duolingo.eu url.


No, why would I have?


I think he meant that it is weird to complain about something that someone have not fully tested yet. I finished 0.825 of DL Japanese course in beta and so far I am really glad that I could practice grammatical constructions that I was never aware of before. This course is obviously not perfect yet, but it is better than nothing.

There are grammatical constructions in these lesson, but unlike in other courses where grammar is introduced in lessons named "prepositions", "past tense", "plurals", "pronouns", "infinitive"; in Japanese course, grammar is hidden behind skills like "clothes", "nature", "classroom" etc.

Btw: After I finish this tree I am going to give my own review.


This is the only online Japanese course that has held my interest. Sure, it is not perfect, but I augment it with some reference books and websites. I have learned more with Duolingo Japanese than any other self-teaching method I've tried.


I've been thinking bout this a little more. I believe the reason I don't miss the grammar tutorials is because I learn by making mistakes and then intuiting the correct patterns of the language from the accumulation of mistakes and corrections over time. "Why does that work here, but not there?" or " What is the difference between these two sentences that makes this one correct, and that one incorrect?" It's like doing puzzles, and that's what is keeping me engaged.


Two years later and I think there have been improvements, but it's still not enough of the grammar. DuoLingo Japanese should only be a secondary practice source for us. Find a reliable main source of information, like the Genki series or Japanese from Zero.

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