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I wish the Japanese course showed kanji all the time

When you see the JA sentence, it would be written in kanji if that’s the custom, this will work because there will be furigana for the hover-over hint. Then if you saw あなた you could hover-over for the 貴方 showing that it’s okay to write that word in hiragana and the kanji is not always used.

I’d love to practice Japanese here, especially as the tree 2.0 comes (hopefully next year), but the all-hiragana is so demotivating.

August 26, 2018



I do both the normal and reverse Japanese trees. Often, many of the hiragana only sentences in this course take me considerably more effort to read correctly than the complex Japanese sentences in the reverse tree!

However, I kind of like the extra challenge of trying to read these fully hiragana sentences in this course. I mostly use timed practice, where these long jumbles of hiragana feel like I'm doing some frantic word search puzzle. If they were to change these to use kanji, it would lose how hard it is to read. :P


what is the reverse tree?


English for Japanese speakers.

[deactivated user]

    I do too. I know I need to learn the furigana for these words, especially since I use a IME to write in Japanese, but for reading practice I would prefer the course was more consistent in using kanji, especially with common words.


    I agree but for another reason I guess. I don't remember the Kanji reading , and sometimes I just mix it up with other possible readings.

    It would be nice if we could have Kanjis in sentences and hiraganas as a hint, so we could at least check if we are reading the Kanji right (and we'd get to learn more Kanji without even trying to, well at least more than we do now).


    I find duolingo overall to be weak on teaching reading of languages that use different writing systems from English. When I studied Japanese in uni, though, we had separate classes for reading/writing and speaking/listening. I think it's helpful to think of the current tree as a speaking/listening class, and to seek out other resources for reading/writing. If you just listen to the sentence and try to answer without reading it, the lack of kanji becomes a moot point and you can build up your listening skills. That's my way of using duolingo, anyway. I use renshuu.org for reading/writing.


    It really depends on your level thought ... If you are a complete beginner, it'll be harder to do listening than reading I think. I remember when learning English I could understand most of the things I was reading (news, novels, even school lessons) but I couldn't get any of the words I was listening to ! Great thing is that I had a big listening exam and with a lot of work I was able to resolve the problem. But before that my brain couldn't get the words (what phonemes, where that word started and stopped ...) Even if I had the vocabulary to understand. This is why I believe immersion is more important than real listening comprehension for beginners, and highly recommend watching news, TV shows etc and get as much vocab as you possibly can aside. I totally agree on the fact that you need to do other things like reading and writing out of DL, I went to see the website you linked and it seemed quite good, thanks :)


    Yeah, definitely, level is important, as well as your own learning style and aptitude. You have to find what works for you.


    Beginners definitely find listening easier than reading. That's why we talk to babies instead of holding newspapers up in front of their faces.


    Hey there! One of the contributors here, currently working on the outline of Japanese Tree 2.0. The second version of the course will include a lot more kanji (we're attempting to cover JLPT levels 4 and 5 instead of just level 5), but a kanji-all-the-time course won't be coming to Duolingo, ever.

    Why is this? Japanese people rarely, if ever, write 貴方 instead of あなた。To most Japanese people, 色々な林檎が有る looks a lot weirder than いろいろなりんごがある。We're going to side with what's most natural in everyday life over what kanji purists insist upon.

    That said, don't get me wrong--I love kanji. I wish we could teach a lot more kanji early on, but pedagogically, it doesn't work as well as teaching them gradually. The next tree will teach about 400 kanji, and the tree after that even more, but the introduction of kanji will be conducted systematically and with appropriate planning. As with all things, planning is paramount.


    Hi Luke! Thanks for replying, it’s always great to hear from a contributor! Your middle paragraph underlines just what I would love to have here! Going by the customs of Japanese people! When Kanji is not needed, it would be written in hiragana in the sentence, though the kanji could be added to the hover-over hint to show/teach exactly that the kanji is not needed even though it exists. However this is not primary priority compared to the furigana additions to the hover-over hints for example. I’m glad to hear the approach will be ‘what’s most natural in everyday life.’

    The reason I am concerned is if we’re barely going to see the N5/N4 kanji and will instead have sentences written all in hiragana which is more difficult to read vs kanji+kana in the long run.

    I’d love to hear what would be the plan of how to introduce the N5 and N4 kanji in this course. I don’t know about the software development but if the kanji were always shown on higher crown levels for example and you’d have them in hiragana for L0,L1 and maybe L2 would be a middle ground. I would definitely love that, it would really make the crown system succeed in what it was implemented for! I’m just not sure if it’s possible?

    Can contributors e.g. create 100 hiragana sentences and "submit" them to specific skills at specific crown level, and then create same sentences but in "natural Japanese" utilizing kanji of N5/N4/other-already-added-kanji and submit them to those same sspecific skills but to their higher crown levels?

    If this was possible I actually would have kanji all the time, in a natural way (and not in a purist way, that was not my intention), after I proceeded to the higher crown levels! That’s is my dream!


    Oh, how exciting! I can't wait! When is the expected release for the 2.0 tree?


    Hello, I am new to Duolingo and very much enjoying learning Japanese here. May I ask what is meant by "tree 2.0" ? Will this be an extension to the current lessons or will it replace the current set entirely? Sorry for the newbie question but some of the jargon used about the system is eluding me as yet.


    That's a perfectly acceptable question. It's a new version of the course tree. No Duolingo course so far gives you multiple trees. They extend, restructure and improve (hopefully) the material of the course. From the user perspective, this almost inevitably means more and better content. You may see some skills deplete (as there's now more to them) or move positions.


    Thanks, I'll look forward to that.


    That's so true... It happens that I can't even figure out what written there with only Hiragana... Please introduce Furigana ASAP. Thank you.


    duolingo cant differentiate any word of kanji of the hiragana. is hard because if I answer in hiragana duolingo corrects me with kanji, then i don't learn how to write in hiragana, it doesn't work. then I PRAY FOR YOU CAN FIX THAT. thx for listen me

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