https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

Tree 2.0 Update [Contributor Post]

みなさん、こんにちは!

This is Andrew from the Japanese and Norwegian teams, and this is me on top of Mount Fuji last week:

fuji

I moved to Tokyo, Japan about a month ago, and in that time, I've been working quite a lot on an outline for an expansion to the Japanese course (I've also been eating tons of soy). Today, I submitted the outline to the other team members for review.

The new course will expand into material from the Japanese Language Proficiency Test levels 5 and 4, roughly corresponding to CEFR levels A1 and A2. We will let you know when the outline enters "construction mode" in the incubator, and then when the course enters A/B testing after that, in several months' time.

Japan is currently experiencing the warmest summer in its postwar history, complete with massive typhoons, earthquakes, mudslides, and floods. It's quite frankly a miracle that this course outline ever got finished.

However, fear not! There are people behind the scenes working on improving this course, and we couldn't do it without your understanding and support.

本当にありがとうございます!

September 5, 2018

59 Comments


[deactivated user]

    Thank you for this very informative update! I appreciate that you shared some of the outside factors that contributors are dealing with. Too often, users here complain about how long it takes for courses to come out or be updated, and they don't think about how the people working on most of these courses are mostly volunteers who still have to deal with whatever in going on in their lives that they have no control over. This has definitely been a very difficult summer for Japan. Best of luck to you and rest of the Japanese contributors!

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Faisane

    Well put!

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Funris

    I like your streak xD I lost mine

    September 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/funtimeduo

    That is helpful thanks!!

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jiiwooo

    Hope you have a great time in Japan, I'm still learning with duolingo and I'm still in Hiragana and Kanji, I get Katakana basics later for Foreign Words, Btw how did you learn japanese, I'm going for my 3rd language. 日本で楽しもう,

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

    I learned Japanese mostly through rote memorization of hiragana and katakana, then moving on to iknow.jp, a paid website for learning tons of Japanese vocab and kanji. 頑張ってください!:]

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fuurinkazan.

    Hi, that’s so cool. They have core 6k vocab there and I’ve heard good things about it, would you tell how long have you practiced the language now and did you go through all core 6k over at the iknow and how long did that take?

    Thanks for updating here on the forums from time to time, especially considering the situation over there. Much appreciated!

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fuurinkazan.

    Oh and also, did you ever try/do something like Remembering the Kanji or Kodansha Kanji Learner Course to learn kanji, maybe wanikani?

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zorayas

    I have tried both 'Remembering the Kanji' and 'WaniKani'. Out of the two I personally preferred WaniKani due to the spaced repetition system and the fact that you learn the pronunciation and vocabulary alongside the characters.

    I do not remember any of the stories from either one though, and I forgot the meaning of most RTK characters that I did not use in any other context. It does work for some people, but I don't think it was the right method for me. Currently I am using Anki for studying kanji and words I come across in day to day life and the White Rabbit Press flashcards.

    September 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mokurai

    I have all of the Joyo Kanji by grade in Parley. I find it more capable than Anki. I also have Kiten, a Japanese dictionary program, that lets me search by meaning, pronunciation, and kanji.

    September 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zorayas

    日本へようこそ!私は三年間前から横浜に住んでいます。新しい授業を楽しみにしています。

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fuurinkazan.

    アップデートありがとうございます。 ワオ、富士山は誠に立派な山ですね。

    Please continue to keep us posted.

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsakNygren1

    I had to leave Japan a month ago. It was really sad and very hot. If you were at Fujisan last week (weekend?) you may have met/seen my former neighbors since they planned a joint trip with several neighbors. If you live in Inokashira then maybe you went with them?

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

    Oh, cool!

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

    Thanks a lot! It's good to know this since I have just started learning Japanese.

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toyo1999

    so whats gonna happen when it comes ?

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fuurinkazan.

    An A/B test. If (when) it’s successful it will be rolled out to everyone.

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

    Thanks for the update! Exciting!

    I've been seeing a ton of coverage on the damage the past few days. Airports flooded, roofs being torn off buildings. Looks scary. Stay safe!

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

    Thank you for the communication, and stay safe!
    PS Gorgeous background. Wow! :O

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

    Yeah, very cool!

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Lycc.
    • こんにちは :3

    • And thanks so much :))

    I only know to say "Thanks" :))
    • Hope you have a good time in Japan <3

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarshdaCha

    hope you have a good time in Japan.

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adalidm

    ありがとうございます!

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mar145211

    喜びは私たちのものです.

    i was very happy when i read the news

    ばんざい ばんざい ばんざい i hope that i will be able to master Tree 1 before the update. thank you very much for the good news.

    本当にありがとうございます!

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

    I think you will be able to complete the tree before the update. I also wanted to do so, but I'm really far. Good luck!

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/testmoogle

    This is nice to read on my 500th day of doing the Japanese course. ^^

    I remembered you mentioning in a thread you posted a few months ago that you were moving to Japan in July.

    I was receiving multiple sentence report feedback emails almost every day up until the end of June, and then it came to a complete stop early July. So, from this I assumed it meant you'd now gone to Japan (or were busy preparing for doing so at that time). :P

    Glad to see you're doing well in Japan and having a good time. ^^

    Still, it was rather sad to realise sentence report emails come to an ubrupt halt when just a single contributor is gone for a while... Almost felt like there are no other contributors besides you...

    [...] to the other team members for review.

    [...] fear not! There are people behind the scenes working on improving this course, and we [...]

    These two snippets from your post are, frankly, the specific bits I liked best! Very reassuring to hear this from you. ^^

    The reason I say this...

    The Japanese course is seeking two new contributors!
    ↑ Since this thread was posted two months ago, we've gone from having four contributors listed on the incubator page to having three! And it is Hideki himself, whom I understand to be the father of this course, who is the one no longer listed!

    I was wondering if anyone knows what came of the search for the two new contributors, and of Hideki? Hopefully the incubator page is misleading and that the contributor situation is actually much better than it makes out?

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

    I can't speak for the Japanese course, but, I can say in general, the end of summer break and the re-beginning of university has arrived for many course contributors. So, there will likely be drop off across the board for many courses with course contributors who are university students or teachers.

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/electricpenguin

    Thank you so much and best wishes.

    September 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

    Thank you!

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DiegoDutra

    Your contribution represents a lot to all of us who love the Japanese language. Thank you very much, bro! God bless you!

    September 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BiologicalLang

    Exactly.

    September 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fuurinkazan.

    Hi Andrew / Japanese Contributor Team! Can we expect any news update anytime soon? Best regards!

    October 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaron970839

    I second this. Should we expect something in 2018?

    Lingodeer Japanese 2.0 tree is Nov 1st; All N4 + N5 content (and they state more to come afterwards!)

    October 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Nanachi_

    Thanks a lot for your effort! =D

    September 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mksubramanya

    Thank you very much

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Milos_from_Mars

    Thanks a lot! I hope things get better soon in Japan

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FilipFilip17

    I always upvote and give a lingot when I see your post before reading it. After I read it, I feel sorry for not being able to upvote it again. Well, at least I can give you another lingot. :)

    September 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gummysaur

    Awesome!! I can't wait to see it. Hope I finish golden-ing the current JP tree before it comes out, haha

    September 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaserDuck

    Are there any plans to make typing for the Japanese course an option on mobile? As far as I know, typing in courses only available on the website. I wish to type instead of using these blocks. Also, thanks for your work and I hope you’re having a great time in Japan!

    September 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JovemImortal

    More precisely waiting for new particles and uses like だけ、しか、とき、たら、ただ etc etc... hohoho it would be a gift of Santa Claus

    October 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MustafaOuz526752

    Will there bonus skills with new update ?

    September 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

    The bonus skills (for almost all Duolingo courses) are still stuck in limbo. There's no timeline for when, or if, they'll be released.

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MustafaOuz526752

    Okey, by the way thank you for updating new tree

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mariichan4510471

    お疲れ様でした。楽しみにしています(*・ω・)

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ricksen_Gauthier

    I just started Duolingo 2 days ago, and I've been having a good time since. Thank you for making this website entertaining whilst increasing my ability to learn another language.

    Edit: Don't worry I'm taking Japanese.

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark_Dunan

    楽しみです!

    September 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mopmop111

    Awesome! I hope you had a great time at the mount of Fuji, the best place to ski in the winter vacations. I will be learning Japanese too soon and I am excited to hear improvements!

    September 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fanatos

    Thanks for the job you done! ありがとうございました!

    September 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MDT3030

    Thank you for all of the work that you're putting into this. I will be taking the JLPT this coming December, and a framework here would be very helpful. Still, the major flaw of the JLPT is its lack of a speaking section. I'd really like to see more speaking prompts here in the Japanese section of DL.

    September 24, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

    I turned off my speaking prompts a couple of years ago when it got all buggy and replaced them with just saying everything out loud without waiting for a prompt. Prompts are only there to remind us to speak if we are forgetful. But, so long as you don't limit yourself to waiting for those, you can get much more speaking practice. :)

    September 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Faisane

    Wise words. The same goes for word lists - if you make your own flashcard sets for words or sentences (even better imo), you get automatic writing practice. (If the flashcard app has audio, there is also speaking practice.) In sum: don't just wait around for the app to do it for you - there are many learning opportunities you can create yourself.

    September 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MDT3030

    Most of us have probably made our own flashcards and studied independently before, but Duolingo is not here for us to write flashcards by hand. I have printed flashcards, hand-written flashcards, and Quizlet flashcards. The printed and hand-written materials get audio from my speaking them aloud. Quizlet speaks the words aloud. The problem there is that none of those things offer feedback on MY speaking. If the app speaks the word, that's listening practice for me. My speaking ability needs to be evaluated by something or someone other than me.

    September 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MDT3030

    I speak every sentence out loud, but that doesn't necessarily mean it sounds comprehensible to others when I do. The speaking prompts are there to give feedback on pronunciation. They are a very helpful part of studying a language, especially in the absence of live Japanese speakers who can tell you that you are speaking clearly.

    September 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

    You get feedback on pronunciation with the speaking prompts? Can you take a screenshot? The one's I'm used to just clunkily register if a person has said something vaguely similar, and sometimes will register a correct answer even if people say something unrelated, which a few people have done for fun. There was some sort of a/b test quite a long time ago that attempted to more closely guide pronunciation (if I correctly recall). And then it disappeared. I wonder if you are in a new a/b test or if it finally switched over.

    September 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Faisane

    I don't get feedback on pronunciation but honestly, I don't miss it. Hmm - do you think there are varying degrees of, Idk, "linguistic sensitivity" so that some people maybe do not notice when they don't sound like the auditory example? Because in that case feedback would be helpful, of course.

    September 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

    Yes. For instance, I doubt many English speakers realize that Japanese has hundreds of sounds fewer than English, and some sounds that English doesn't have. I think not only do some of us not hear sounds of other languages, we use but don't always recognize that we are using some sounds in our own unless someone else doesn't use them properly. In that case, we hear an accent. For instance, English has 4 L sounds.

    I don't know how legit these claims are in terms of official research, but people are experiencing that others from various language backgrounds don't recognize certain sounds in various languages here.

    And this article from University of Pennsylvania talks about toddler's distinguishing between "meaningful" and "unmeaningful" sounds at very early ages.

    I wish the Dutch for English TTS were better. If so, then speaking practices with feedback would be amazing. Until then, I think it would be a bit of a nightmare. >.>

    September 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/testmoogle

    For now, if you want Japanese speaking exercises, I highly recommend giving the site I mentioned in the following recent thread a go. ^^

    Speaking exercises for Japanese?

    September 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eddkenjiro

    Looking forward to it.

    September 26, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JovemImortal

    God bless you man!!! I am waiting anxiously!!!

    October 18, 2018
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