Would Japanese be a possiblility for Duolingo?
Heya, I really like Duolingo have been using it for quite some time and have learned a great deal of german.
But I would love to learn Japanese because it a beautiful language, but rather difficult to tackle yourself.
Anyone else agree?
I speak Japanese and I think the speaking part is not particularly hard to pick up -- it is very regular and forms and tenses are limited. The hard parts is speaking formally or politely (and correctly), and writing (kanji). It is unlikely that Duolingo (or any other computer-based course can help with the polite and formal speech, because it requires a context (real people and situations) to master. Though it would be nice to have Duolingo course for basic grammar -- the basics of Japanese can be learnt Duolingo-style very fast, if one can keep up with the totally new vocabulary.
I agree that formality is one of the most difficult and worrisome aspects of Japanese. Initially I always felt like I was walking on eggshells, over-thinking what might be the most appropriate verb form for, say, another teacher my age. I eventually found that, for industries accustomed to having foreign employees, like primary education, polite speech (丁寧語) was sufficient and allowed me to become used to speaking in a native environment more comfortably. Everyone has different things they require from a language, but for most, until they feel comfortable speaking Japanese at an advanced, N2-ish level, I don't think honorifics should be a concern. In DL's case, I don't believe it would be wise to introduce honorifics as part of its elementary or intermediate curriculum, as is typical for traditional courses.