[Feature request] Show spelling of kanji

I have really been enjoying the Japanese course the last few weeks but am having some difficulties with learning kanji. I type in the characters with my regular qwerty keyboard which I read is a pretty normal thing for people to do in Japan. This forces me to learn proper pronunciation, as the autocorrect system translates the hiragana I write to the kanji I need. But there are two issues.

  1. Sometimes I forget kanji. Usually, you would just hover over the word to remember how it is spelled and pronounced. But with kanji, Duolingo gives me the right character but not how to write it. If I don't remember how that character sounds or is spelled in hiragana I can't pass that exercise!

  2. The same problem pops up when doing a mistake. Duo gives me the right answer, but not how to write it! Next time I get that question, I will still fail!

This could be solved by playing audio for the kanji or by providing an extra "hiragana only" row when needed.

Currently, I have to look up the spelling in an online dictionary. This feature would speed up my learning progress!

April 25, 2018


kana to show the pronunciation of a kanji over/next to the kanji are called furigana and are very common especially in media targeted towards children. Duo should definitely make use of them. It wouldn't be too hard to add a kana line or two to the definition box that pops up when you hover over it.

It'd be a lifesaver, especially since kanji have multiple readings and when you click on a kanji the sound it gives you is often not the one it actually wants you to use in context. (If it gives you a sound at all, some don't have one yet). Both On-yomi and Kun-yomi readings would be ideal.

April 25, 2018

I didn’t know it’s called furigana, thanks ;)

Also totally agree on your last point, forgot to mention it when writing!

April 25, 2018

I've purchased some kids books (Doraemon) specifically because in the cartoons it shows the Kanji and furigana.

April 26, 2018

(moving to the Japanese forum!)

April 25, 2018

I think what you may be referring to is the furigana? Furigana are the the reading of a kanji/of a word written in hiragana on top of a kanji, we often had this in my courses for the newly introduced kanji. The idea for duolingo would be to introduce kanji with the furigana at first, then remove them progressively.

I would otherwise suggest learning kanji the proper way on the side of duolingo. Pick up a kanji book that contains all of the jōyō kanji (here is one book that I would recommend, I find this one particularly useful as it gives an explanation of each radical within a kanji. After practicing a lot you can decipher the meaning by yourself, and with some more practice you may occasionally deduce a reading based on the radical. You can also pick up kanji books or revise kanji according to the Jlpt levels, the N5 being the easier level and N1 the most advanced, that'd allow you to go through each kanji with milestones.

April 30, 2018

Thanks for your reply! I defenetly intend to learn kanji ”the proper way” in the near future after grasping the basics on duolingo. I’m actually looking at some homepages that promise to do exactly that, like, but I will also take your book into consideration!

April 30, 2018
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