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Why is the lessons for french much easier and better than the lessons for Japanese?

I Just started learning French and I realized the lessons are SO much better then the ones for Japanese. I feel like Japanese is harder so they should have such as good of lessons for it as they have them for French. They need better Japanese lessons!!!

March 30, 2020



The courses vary greatly. Arabic, for example, is stunted (1053 words, 155 crowns), and that is a constant complaint from learners in the Arabic course. Catalan is also very short (2051 words, 315 crowns). Compare those to French: 5490 words, 792 crowns. Or to Spanish: 4321 words, 797 crowns.

Japanese is actually fairly long. It has 4133 words and 460 crowns, according to duome. It may be that the tips are not as detailed as some other languages. The quality and quantify of tips & notes varies greatly from language to language. It may simply be that even basic material is going to seem more difficult in Japanese than in French, because it is so exotic. I know that this is the case in Arabic, where sentence structures are radically different than Indo-European languages, and a new character set must be learned in order to read and write it.

Finally, note that some courses get updated more than others. French and Spanish, in particular, are frequently updated. In the two years I have been here I have won the owl in French five times (lost it four times due to "updates"). There was a time when French only had about 2000 words, and few tips & notes. The most popular courses here are:

English from Spanish: 28.4 million learners

Spanish from English: 25.5 million learners

French from English: 14.2 million

English from Portuguese: 11.1 million

German from English: 8.1 million

Japanese from English: 6.7 million

English from Russian: 5.9 million

Italian from English: 5.5 million

English from French: 4.7 million

English from Arabic: 4.7 million

More learners probably also means more contributors and staff dedicated to writing sentences and making "updates" so it is likely that Japanese will have a smaller pool of exercises, and a smaller set of feedback from users who find problems.


Wow, thanks for all of that info!


Japanese is a harder language....


There's nothing wrong with the Japanese lessons. If you find it harder to do Japanese lessons than French ones, it is because Japanese is harder to learn than French for English speakers.

Maybe Duolingo just isn't the right resource for you.

Here are some other resources to help you get started:



There are also good books out there, such as Genki I & II, Minna no Nihongo I & II, and Teach Yourself: Complete Japanese by Helen Gilhooly.


As someone who has once completed the Japanese tree, the lessons are great and fairly hard enough to learn. Unlike French, Japanese is very dissimilar to English. So it is pretty usual for you to struggle as you are learning based on English. Also, the French tree conforms CEFR at A1-A2; it is supposed to be easy.


If English is your first language, then French or Spanish would be easier to learn because it has the same letters. Japanese is just a harder language for English speakers in general.


I agree. Maybe it is just the people who made the Japenese lessons. Maybe they just weren't as good at teaching them. I don't know...


Japanese has a lot of different letters, so it could just be harder for someone because they speak English as their first language and the letters are different and pronunciation is different.


Also take into account that Japanese wasn't as popular, so there are less contributors.


And the course is newer, so they have not had as much time to implement all the suggested corrections that people have reported.


That too, thanks.


True. French has more lessons than that of Japanese. Maybe because Japanese is more difficult than French. They really should update or add more skills to it and stories too.


Some possible reasons: French is a more popular course than Japanese, so they put more effort and get more contributors. Also, from English to Japanese is a lot harder to learn, so there are less contributors that speak both.


Every course is put together with a different group of people. Further, there are hundreds of years of material teaching English speakers French. Finally, English and French are very similar languages.


i have many gripes with the korean material on here but my primary gripe is that it moves much much too quickly. i'm on the 9th or 10th topic at the moment and it's introducing question structures, the imperative and propositive tenses and a new mood all at once, with five lessons only to practice at level one. maybe japanese has a similar problem


French definitely has the opposite problem..


There's a whole Theory behind this in linguistics, where the more similar a language is to your native tongue - the easier it is to learn. I find that French Grammar is more similar to our grammar (as English speakers) than Japanese grammar - I wish I could give examples but I don't know enough Japanese.

I could do this with French and Russian: (With Russian being further away on from English than French)

Russian: Можно меню, пожалуйста? (Literal : Can menu, please. better translation : Can I have the menu, please?).

French: Puis-je avoir un menu. (Literal: Can I have a menu).


Russian: На двоих, пожалуйста (Literal: on two, please. less literal: for the two of us please).

French: Pour deux, s'il vous plaît (For two, please(I forgot the literal translation for please))

Here's an article with stuff like hours that can explain it better than I: https://www.mustgo.com/worldlanguages/language-difficulty/


The French and Spanish courses are spread over many more lessons than the other languages so you don't learn many new words in each skill. In the Spanish you start to learn a few more words per skill once you get to the fourth section, I don't know if that happens in French. The German course seems to have twice as many new words per skill than the Spanish or French. I haven't done the Japanese but I imagine it's similar, along with being a harder language.

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