https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tina787195

You should be able to turn off kanji

Kanji is important, but currently Duolingo is really terrible in successfully teaching the kanji and its honestly just getting in the way of my learning grammar and vocabulary. There's no real structure to when you learn a kanji in Duolingo - if a word is part of a lesson you 'learn' it in kanji, regardless of how important a kanji it is, or whether you've learned the component kanji that make up the term yet. What with the sound being broken so often still and the fact that they don't show the hiragana when you mouse over a kanji term, I'm struggling to remember what terms sound like in Japanese. Sometimes when you mouse over a kanji it will read the sound, but that may not be the on'yomi or kun'yomi that is actually used in the term!

I was learning Japanese better before they implemented the changes and currently feel very frustrated with it. It would really help if kanji were toggle-able off and on or even if kanji would only show up in the later levels of a category so that you could integrate kanji when you felt ready. I started the free lessons of WaniKani to help me learn kanji and it really highlights how Duolingo is bad at teaching kanji. Admittedly, kanji seems hard to teach correctly, so that's why it should be toggle-able, because its really not helping people learn currently on this site!

June 25, 2019

23 Comments


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

i agree. furigana would be nice.

June 25, 2019

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

Agree, Also getting really frustrated at the way some lessons just don't play the sounds of the words, and obviously not having been exposed to these kanji before (I can read hiragana/katakana fluently now), I have no chance trying to guess what the Kanji is saying if it doesn't read it out. It's really gotten in the way of my enjoyment in Duolingo after this update.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tina787195

Yes! It's like, 'have fun randomly guessing and then the next time it shows up you still will have no clue'.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonathan700637

On the other hand, I would like it if they'd universally accept kanji in answers. The listening exercises are particularly bad about this. Early on the solution to this was to only answer those exercises in hirigana, but later on some require the use of very common kanji while still disallowing other kanji. These questions become a guessing-game of which kanji will be allowed and which will not. I can understand not having every iteration of how to say a given sentence as an accepted answer from the get-go, but not allowing kanji for words introduced in that lesson in answers is mind-boggling. Most of the time I'm not even able to report the lesson in question.

It seems like this is getting better, though.

June 26, 2019

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

If you come across any problems which don't accept Kanji then just report it. They are supposed to accept both.

June 26, 2019

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

quite honestly learning kanji is more about memorization than anything else. It's a good thing to start with it early.

June 26, 2019

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

Perhaps Duolingo should only use kanji at level 3 onwards of the skill or smth to let users lock down on the hiragana b4 the kanji

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eva146385

Kanji is part and parcel of Japanese. Just jump in. It's amazing how just knowing 100 kanji is helpful, which is not that many. It gets easier. I love my "Midori" app on my phone. It will give you the radicals, stroke order, examples and the different pronunciations. just go for it.

June 26, 2019

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

thanks for the tip on the midori app - i will def check it out! i agree that knowing some kanji upfront is helpful. i think the OP was just trying to say that introducing kanji a little later in lessons might make learning the language a bit easier than having to absorb them right away along with hiragana, katakana, and basic grammar.

in just the first four lessons, hiragana 1-4, there are 51 kanji characters or words, including the numbers. that's kind of a lot for new learners to absorb, esp since there's onyomi, kunyomi, and rendaku. at that point, beginners are still trying to get a grasp of the hiragana and katakana characters, dakuten, the small tsu, the katakana long dash, the small や/ゆ/よ, pronunciation of the は particle, etc... so i can understand why some learners might want the option of switching off the kanji and then coming back to learn them once they've nailed down the basics.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/monney30P

This is false - no kanji are taught in hiragana 1-4. Though words are accepted in kanji, the words are taught in hiragana. The kanji for the numbers, for example, are not taught until Time 1 and Time 2. This list shows in what skills words and characters are taught in the new course.

June 27, 2019

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

wow, thank you for sharing that list - that's kind of exactly what i've been looking for in another thread!

although the list shows what skills and words are taught in hiragana 1-4, that's not exactly what is presented. i recall, for example, duolingo displaying kanji like 犬 (いぬ)、猫 (ねこ)、鳥 (とり)、部屋 (へや)、甘い (あまい) and several others instead of the hiragana on occasion.

i'm not sure how to reset individual lessons without clearing all of my progress in japanese, but i just practiced hiragana 3 and was presented with kanji options. here are a couple of screenshots:

"Hiragana 3 with Kanji"

"Hiragana 3 with Kanji"

maybe it's a bug and duolingo is displaying kanji instead of the hiragana equivalent, but it is indeed happening.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/monney30P

I think wrong answers are randomly generated because they often have nothing to do with what is being learned. Since none of these wrong answers are taught in hiragana 3 (including the hiragana words), there’s no expectation that they are learned in this lesson. The only thing you are expected to know to answer this question is そと - if Duo was teaching kanji at this stage, it would require you to select 外, which isn’t an option.

June 27, 2019

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

i've also seen it in the display sentences and multiple choice questions, though. maybe if i have time at some point, i'll start a new account to grab and report screenshots since it sounds like it isn't supposed to be happening. or i'll take a look through the updated lesson tree once it goes live for all.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tina787195

I have been learning Kanji. Mostly not from Duo. And I'm pretty confident with around 100 by now. It's Not Enough. Not nearly enough since the update. And I'm not even halfway through the tree.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eva146385

imagine you are Chinese, and you want to learn English, or French, but you do not want to learn the alphabet.

June 26, 2019

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

Except Hiragana is the actual phonetic alphabet, and kanji can be read in your own language, without ever learning Japanese. A more accurate comparison would be someone who wanted to learn English, but didn't want to be learning ASL Sign Language at the same time (if ASL was widespread).

June 27, 2019

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

i think a more apt analogy might be: imagine you are chinese and want to learn english, but you do not want to learn cursive

June 26, 2019

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

This analogy would only really apply if English was written entirely in cursive almost all the time. Japanese is written almost entirely in kanji almost all the time.

Yes, hiragana is the phonetic alphabet of Japanese, as it were, but Japanese isn't written phonetically, and that's just something you need to get used to sooner rather than later.

June 27, 2019

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

true - it's an imperfect analogy, as is the one about being chinese and learning english but not the alphabet. even native japanese speakers are not totally fluent in the basic joyo kanji identified by the government for everyday use.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eva146385

Only one thing to do when learning kanji. Jump!

June 25, 2019

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

Learning kanji is an absolute necessity if you're going to learn Japanese. Yes, there are a lot. No, Duolingo isn't up to the task of teaching them all to you. You pretty much have to use an outside source for kanji study. I recommend wanikani.com

No one ever said learning Japanese was going to be easy. :D

June 27, 2019

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

the OP didn't say they didn't want to learn kanji at all - just that introducing it to novice learners before they've got a grasp on hiragana, katakana, and basic grammar may not be ideal.

it's like a beginner maths student learning algebra and calculus simultaneously. both are necessary to become proficient at mathematics, but one builds on the other and it's better for most people to learn one before the other.

thank you also for the wanikani recommendation!

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tina787195

I'm almost at the end of the free 3 levels of wanikani. It's not enough. Duolingo just keeps giving me kanji that are too advanced for my current level. Not all vocab you learn should be kanji right away. It's too much too fast.

June 27, 2019
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