The Japanese course is seeking two new contributors!

We would like to reach out to the community in search of volunteers.


Here is the important information:

  • Right now, we are seeking two contributors, one native English speaker fluent in Japanese and one native Japanese speaker fluent in English.

  • Applicants should already be enthusiastic, active users of Duolingo who understand well how it works, and how it works most effectively.

  • Applicants should have a passion for the Japanese language, particularly its grammar.

  • Applicants should have at least 10 hours of free time to contribute every week, preferably more.

  • Applicants should be "functionally bilingual" in both written English and written Japanese, about B2/C1 level on the CEFR scale or higher. In addition, they should be willing to seek out help from other team members when vocabulary or grammar usage comes into question.

Additional positive, "plus" qualifications:

  • Having lived in Japan and an English-speaking country for an extended period of time.

  • Being active on the Japanese Duolingo forum in terms of vocabulary and grammar guidance.

  • Having a background in linguistics and/or language teaching is a major plus.

If the description above sounds like you, please send us an application through the Incubator. If you've already applied, please apply again, as it may have gotten lost in recent months. Please keep in mind that longer, more thorough applications have a greater chance of success.

We wish you luck in the application process!


June 25, 2018


Applied a while ago. Native English. Been speaking Japanese since 1990. Spent ten years in Japan. Passed level one 日本語能力試験 1995ish.

June 27, 2018

Good luck!

June 27, 2018

Do you know what would really help get quality people doing your work for you... PAY THEM!

You pay your programmers, your PR people, your admin staff, your HR office, all the executives, the IT department, and everybody else, but you won't pay your language specialists?

Considering that finding people who can talk about language in a meaningful way AND are bilingual surely has to be a lot harder to finding anybody else on your staff. In my life, computer programmers are a dime a dozen, but people who can knowledgeably talk about grammar in a bilingual educational setting are exceedingly rare. Yet, you pay your programmers a ton and give nothing to your language contributors.

Have you ever heard the saying, you get what you pay for?

July 9, 2018

It is interesting how long the brief is for a volunteer.

July 11, 2018

Cannot wait for the second tree! Will we be getting it by the new year?

June 26, 2018

That's very hard to say. Creating a new tree is a multi-step process:

  • First, we build the new course, which takes several months.
  • Second, we enter a testing phase, where 50% of learners try out the new tree. This also lasts for several months.

If the new course performs poorly, we need to start over. If it performs well, we can publish the tree to everyone. The entire process takes time, and just how long it takes is anyone's guess.

June 26, 2018

Love, love, love. Thanks for being transparent and invigorating things!

June 26, 2018

You could try contacting a Yuta man :)

June 27, 2018

Excited for it!

June 26, 2018

I applied a while ago but never heard back. I guess I can try again!

I'm a native English speaker and JLPT N1 certified (2009). I have a master degree in Linguistics and 6 years of Japanese-language teaching experience. I have also lived in Japan in the Kansai region. So this sounds like something I could help with, for sure!

June 29, 2018

Jeez you're probably the most qualified candidate for this position lol. Hope you hear back from them!

July 4, 2018

amazing I hope you reach it

July 7, 2018

Wow, you're great!

July 15, 2018

I really hope they hire you, you sound like just the person for the job. Currently the Japanese course doesn't seem to teach much in terms of grammar.

July 20, 2018

I'm going to toss this in here, just while I'm thinking about it. I've been slogging through the Japanese course as a kind of "false beginner." I lived in Japan for years and speak it reasonably well, but my grammar is awful because I didn't really study it in a formal way. But I can read and write (well on the computer screen, and some on paper) and don't have that much trouble understanding everyday talk.

I don't really know what things are like at the tail-end of this tree, since I'm not there yet. (This site has been great in its repetition. Exactly what I need for repairing my laziness about learning proper particles and word order.) But I'm finding it very short on production. To me it feels like 30% writing in Japanese and 70% writing in English. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Perhaps things turn more towards the production side closer to the bottom of the tree. But if not, would you consider more Japanese writing for the next one? It's a request, but at the same time I understand that beginners need listening and reading practice too. So I understand if it's set up that way deliberately. I know I'm in kind of a strange situation. But I thought I'd toss it out there.

June 30, 2018

Maybe try English from Japanese course? (add new course, then choose "I speak Japanese" and choose English)

June 30, 2018

Haha! Maybe! That’s some good out-of-the-box thinking. :)

June 30, 2018

That's pretty clever.

July 20, 2018

I strongly agree with this. A lot less English and a lot more Japanese is needed. Most of my mistakes are in my native language because I don't want to focus on it. Doulingo could do so much better using more extensive use of immersive methods. Japanese questions and with multiple choice answers in Japanese could be used much more. All answers could link to the explanation in English for those who need it. I would also like to see Japanese get on the bandwagon of storytelling.

June 30, 2018

It's good to see Duo is giving more dedication to the Japanese course! I can't wait what the new contributors will bring to the course.

June 26, 2018

I would love to contribute to this course! Any chance you would take on more than two volunteers? The odds of being selected look pretty low!

June 26, 2018

I sent my application in! The "Submit" button didn't seem to work so I clicked it multiple times, and then got three automated e-mail messages thanking me for applying, so I suppose I accidentally clicked "Submit" three times. Please take this as evidence not of me not following directions, but rather of my eagerness to contribute!

June 27, 2018

Wow! I'm really looking forward to this. May I ask what you have in mind? It is clear that greater extensive use of kanji and furigana are in high demand.

June 26, 2018

I'm going to apply.

June 26, 2018

I have been studying Japanese for so long, but the first time I had a conversation with a native speaker all my knowledge collapsed.

June 29, 2018

I applied the other day. I'm an American born Japanese. Fluent in both English and Japanese. I just completed the entire Japanese course tree to level 5 so hopefully that could count for something. I'd love to help with anything I can.

June 29, 2018

I applied for the same position a while ago, perhaps a month ago, but I have never heard from anyone since then.

I am a native speaker of Japan, and I am a professional Japanese language instructor with the teaching experience both in the US and Japan more than thirty years.

I hold a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from Georgetown.

July 4, 2018

See, here’s your guy. Perfect for this course. Go ゆじなかざとさん

July 21, 2018

It's the 3 month birthday of this thread today. Is there any news yet? ^^

It sounded like some great people applied. However, the only thing about the contributor team which appears to have changed in these three months is that Hideki is no longer listed on the course incubator page...

So, as far as a regular Duolingo user can tell, it looks as if, rather than gaining two new contributors, instead the opposite has happened... We lost one? (and a very major one at that...)

(Of course, the incubator page could well just be very misleading. Reassuringly, Hideki is certainly still alive, since his streak is currently up to a very impressive 1,530 days!)

September 25, 2018

not trying to apply but can you please ad a sketch feature so you can basically draw a sound out to help you memorize what that sound looks like and not get it confused with similer looking sounds

June 26, 2018

I use pencil and paper on the side while on Duolingo. It feels like it helps more to put things on paper and is easier and neater than mouse/touchscreen.

June 26, 2018

Writing things out is great for kinesthetic learners. I've printed out some worksheets that have stroke order diagrams. I put them in plastic sleeves and write on these using dry erase markers so I can keep reusing them. If you want to draw freehand, a small whiteboard might be useful. (Not sure where you're from or your situation, but I picked one up at our local dollar store.)

July 11, 2018

Yes! That's the way to do it. And really if you can make hiragana and katakana muscle memory, then you'll enjoy Japan a lot more. But this is the way to learn. With a new writing system you really need to put pen to paper.

July 11, 2018

On windows you can use Microsoft IME-pad for that. Just install Japanese Keyboard, switch to it, put cursor in a text field and press [ALT]+[~] (switch to hiragana), [CTRL]+[F10] (IME options menu), IME Pad.

June 26, 2018

To bad... I'm not even fluent in Japanese, but I'm a native English. But Good Luck if you are a contributor!

June 26, 2018

Ahh this is so exciting! I've only just started learning Japanese and I can't wait to see what else is to come! My only thought so far (having only completed the first segment of the tree) - could there be a little more kanji? I find it a bit frustrating that sometimes an image will show kanji, and then other times it's only visible as hiragana.

June 27, 2018

I would have followed this.

June 27, 2018

I applied for a similar position a while ago, but I have never heard from anyone.

I am a native speaker of Japanese, and I hold a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from Georgetown. Also, I have been teaching Japanese as a foreign language more than thirty years both in the US and Japan.

July 4, 2018

More editors and course makers the better!! :D

July 6, 2018

i am final the English skill tree

July 8, 2018

The Japanese course needs be improved much more.

July 12, 2018

Good job

July 13, 2018

Can u go to VietNam

July 13, 2018

When the course end the reformation, we can make the new things even if we already have done with the old course?

July 13, 2018
Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.