Learning Japanese from English and English from Japanese
I've started learning Japanese both ways and it has worked so well! I fluently speak English and I'm hoping someday I'll speak Japanese fluently too :)
Learning even the basics in the English course for Japanese speakers has forced me to look up Kanji and I found myself using some of that Kanji in the Japanese course for English speakers. So I do agree that it is a good idea to do both. Especially to hone your Japanese typing skills.
I too have been doing this. So much can be learned when the system assumes you are fluent in 日本語. I just recently learned that writing 太郎で was the same as 太郎です, or at least valid by Duolingo because it was suggested as "Another correct solution".
Also, even if you are not ready to do the Skill tree, I suggest joining a club! Nothing can compare to actually speaking with the native 日本語 speakers in the club - as well as helping them with their English 英語!
It works well when I write in Japanese, and provide the English translation thereafter - using Emojis if I'm not able to convey what it is in Japanese yet. They will usually respond in the same manner, only their response will be English first. We both learn so much this way! It's incredible.
! Helpful sites I use daily alongside Duolingo:
jisho.org It's a dictionary but so much more. It breaks down a Japanese sentence into it's parts- highlighting the particles, and labels which are nouns, verbs etc. Clicking on a word provides definitions, common ways to write it, kanji and SO MANY (sometimes 100+) examples of it being used in sentences. <-- this! Verb forms! Click on a verb and find all it's affirmative/negative inflections! ます、ません the polite forms, past, it's て form etc. You can also search kanji via drawing the strokes, it also provides stroke order info if you click on a kanji.
Elon.io This online course was what I was using before Duolingo provided a Japanese course. They have great documentation and explain much of what is missing here, especially about the verb inflections. But where it lacks, Duolingo shines - Elon.io lacks in the area of endless repetition, showing you ways to say the same thing, and writing in hiragana - Duolingo is excellent for this. BUT it does have a mini sections where you learn to write hiragana & kana - via drawing in a box, and it shows you the stroke order.
fyi, in posting this I looked up the buttons:
投稿 「とうこう」(toukou) post (on a forum) キャンセル 「きゃんせる」(kyannseru) cancel
I tried to do it just now and it says "Switch to course". If I press that will I lose my progress on the English to Japanese course? Or do I have to make a new account or something? thanks
I made another account for the Japanese to English learning. I tried to switch o mine and had a heart attack because I thought all of my progress was deleted for a second lol (You don't lose anything, everything just switches to Japanese.)
Haha keweii, I had the same freak out. All your current courses for English speakers will "be hidden" on the iPhone/iPad App version because when selecting a language other than English (Japanese in this case) you move out from the "For English Speakers" course section, and into the "日本語から学ぶ" course section, where there is only one course to choose from: 英語 . To switch back to your courses in English - you will have to select add a new course, and in the "For English Speakers" section, choose any of the courses you were taking before and all your courses will populate with your current progress. Now the Japanese course will be hidden. So you'll have to do the adding the course process over to get back to it.