Level 25 in Japanese today!
I am very pleased to have finally achieved my goal by completing the Japanese tree and reaching level 25. I completed four crowns on each skill before ever taking a test. Then I tested out of most of the level 5 skills in a little over a day. The practice had prepared me well for the tests, by I had shied away from the more difficult timed practices. But no more. The payoff is in the timed practices. They continue to challenge me, but now I am ready and they are really reinforcing what I have learned. Once I can consistently answer all questions with lightning fast accuracy, I will memorize and practice saying the more complex sentences until they become natural. I struggle and sometimes wonder why I'm not more fluent, but the fact is I really enjoy the journey and I greatly appreciate DuoLingo and all the work that has been done by the course contributors. 皆さん、本当に感謝しています。どもありがとございます。I would also like to give a shout out to Nathan, a Duolingo administrator who has been a constant source of encouragement to me and to everyone in our Japanese club. Your interaction keeps us coming back, and that's why we have a great club!
Danke schön and どうもありがとう! Thank you for your encouragement! I noticed there are a lot a questions out there about learning kanji. Doulingo exposes you to a little kanji. If your goal is to learn the kanji, you need to know that the tortoise wins this race. The rabbit won't even remember there was a race when the tortoise is still chugging along. I'm not sure that you ever win the Kanji race. It's kind of like "when are you fluent in a language". How do you define fluent? Set achievable goals like learning ten kanji in a week. That is achievable, and you should feel good about that! I have been at this for some time and I am getting to the point that I can read bits from a book or pieces from almost anything written. But I sure can't sit down and read a whole newspaper. Being able to read a newspaper is a distant long-term goal for me. In fact, reading children’s stories at a 1st grade level is very challenging! Children say a lot of things (like googoo gaga) that are not likely to be in a newspaper. I have started going to the NHK News site because it prints news at a 5th grade level. My comprehension is improving and occasionally I hit a story that I can almost fully understand. Most of the time I read as much as I can and then just dump it into a translation software program. But I'm not recommending this to you. The trick is to find what works for you and stick with it. There are more language tools available now than ever before. Learning a language is personal. A cross cultural psychology class taught me that children bond to the parent and the language they speak. I was an adult, but somewhere along the line I developed a connection with Japanese. While the kanji is deep, it also opens a world that you cannot experience through western languages. I wish you all the best and encourage you to continue to pursue your goals but be sure to take time to smell the roses and experience the joy of learning. 頑張ろう!
How do you understood the writing? Do you check some extra resources? for me it's very hard the writing in Japanese.
I use many other resources in addition to Duolingo, but there are not many other resources that will provide a comparable approach as consistent and organized that will get you on your feet in a language.
Learning to read takes a little extra effort when you are just getting started, but don't give up.
Japanese has 3 primary forms of writing.
• The best place to start is by learning hiragana (ひらがな). It is no coincidence that your first four Duolingo skill training exercises are hiragana. It is very similar to the English alphabet. Hiragana has 46 basic characters, but it’s easier than English because it is completely phonetic. You can master hiragana in a week or two. But don’t worry, set goals that work for you. Here is a nice table of the hiragana: www.dartmouth.edu/~introjpn/text/hiragana.html
• Once you have hiragana down, then move on to katakana (カタカナ). You will see numerous similarities that make it seem easy. Katakana is used for many foreign words that you will recognize. It’s fun when you start to see the connection!
• Don't worry about the kanji. You'll need to learn a few, but Duolingo doesn't introduce too many.
You can do it!
Have you begun to read Japanese books? Do you need Hiragana mastered and Katakana too before you read the Genki textbooks? How much Kanji do you need to know before you begin to read Light novels in Japanese?
おめでとう御座います、あなたは一生懸命勉強してレべル２５の目的を達成しました！ 日本語を勉強し続けて下さい。レベル25はちょうど始まるところです。 私は色々の凄い勉強の方法が見つかったよ！ よくネイサンと話をしたいのですが。
㉕ 次は ㉕㉕㉕㉕
Have you learned all of the Hiragana and Katakana? I've began on the Hiragana, and in a week or more will have mastered them and moved on to Katakana. But, my main concern is Kanji. Any tips for memorizing those instead of the basic reply of "Write them down constantly." All of the ways I've seen just look terrible and boring, but I'm fully prepared to do anything to increase my education in this language.
Not sure if I'm allowed to refer to other apps here but for specifically writing Kanji is use the app "KanjiStudy" by Chase Colburn. I find it perfect for learning, reviewing and writing Kanji. There are different Language Level presets you can choose from (I use the most common JLPT levels) and (i think in Pro Version) you can make your own Sets. Unfortunately there's not automatic sorting of which kanji you know and which not (you have to mark them manually) but it still has a lot of extra functionality and infos. - also good for hiragana and katakana learning. For plain learning of kanji I actually use "cram.com" and wrote flashcards for all the kanji I learned till now. It sorts automatically while you review them (in cram mode) :)
Your 火 burns bright! I was much like you in my desire to learn kanji many 月ago. I kept my nose in books and soon found that I needed 眼鏡. I am very visual and find that once I learn a kanji, I can read it faster than the hiragana which conveys sound, but not meaning. On the other hand Kanji depicts meaning but not sound. Sometimes I know the meaning of something written, but I don’t know how to say it. Despite my fascination with word pictures, I now feel that my approach to learning the Japanese language as a whole package composed of reading, writing, speaking, and listening would have been more efficient had it been more balanced. In your own words, the learning methods look “terrible and boring”. Many are, and many mnemonics that work for someone else will not ring true with you. What I have found works for me, is that I remember kanji MUCH easier when I already know the word in Japanese. You don’t have to spend so much time trying to remember both the sounds and the meanings. Japanese don’t generally start memorizing kanji for words they are unfamiliar with. And don’t take your Kana for granted. When you study kana, you are already studying kanji. They are connected. For instance the katakanaタlooks a lot like the kanji夕. That is no coincidence—Can you find more examples? The textbook that I am reading, “Kanji Isn’t that Hard!” explains that the kanji 夕 was derived from a pictograph of the slope of a mountain (bottom) and another pictograph of the sun which was squared off for asthetics. This made a strong connection in my mind, so I remembered it. If you are pushing too hard to remember symbols that seem like random lines, you will lose interest quickly, as I have done at times. Instead, consider burning through all five Duolingo skill levels of the Hiragana1 through Hiragana4 skills in your Duolingo tree. Once you get them down, do the timed drills until you get fast. Then as you progress through the remaining skills, you can focus less on the 平仮名 and more on the meaning of the words! Keep blasting through and slowly you will be introduced into kanji as you go. Remember, Japanese students continue to learn kanji even in college. It is a long term goal. If you always try to sprint, you won’t get there as quickly as a fast walker. And when you do want to look something up, I have found no better tool than jisho.org. But I think the folks at Duolingo got it right. If you are consistent, you will progress through the levels fairly quickly. And you should be doing other things too, like reading a book. I’m almost done with my textbook by Yoshiaki Takebe, but I’m also still here connecting with great folks like you and doing drills--it raises my interest, satisfies my desire to interact with others on the same journey, and keeps me sharp. I hope to see you continue to blaze a trail on your road to success! 頑張って下さい！
That's definitely true what you said about kanji. It helps a lot knowing the the word before learning kanji for it. Duolingo mixes this a little but since every word is always spoken loudly while its being shown it's easier to understand. Also it tries to teach you kanji by "what sound does this make" and shows you kanji where you have to select the hiragana writing. I'm not that far yet, that I learn new Kanji in the courses yet, so I can't tell for sure how effective learning kanji is with duolingo alone.
jisho.org is definitely the best suggestions for looking up ANYTHING. You can even paste whole words or sentences and you can click yourself through the words and meaning. super useful!! Also for verbs for example, if you searched for one it shows "show inflections" one the left. Similar in its use is the "Takoboto" App. I believe it uses the same database like jisho. Phrases and inflections are also shown there in a nice overview. Very useful! I love using jisho as well as takoboto and I'm using it all the time.