English speakers who want to learn Japanese on DL
Why isn't there a Japanese for English Speakers course yet? See Kippis English comment Here for some explanations of the situation. It is the top comment in the comment section.
EDIT: Hi folks, I have posted the first in the series of walk-throughs for the English for Japanese speakers course. This walk-through is intended for English speakers who are taking the reverse course. It covers vocabulary, grammar, and other notes. You can find it here
I've noticed that there is a lot of interest in learning Japanese from English. But, it looks like we might get an English to Japanese course first.
BUT here is an idea for English speakers who want to learn Japanese on Duolingo: Once DL gets the Japanese to English course, try taking it. This is what I plan to do. It will be certainly be a different path on the learning curve. But with a few off site learning resources, it will be more possible to advance while you wait. :)
Please see announcement at end of post for when the English for Japanese speakers and Japanese for English course will be released.
Some resources I suggest from when I was learning and tutoring are as follows:
Start with pronunciation a) Human Japanese 2.0 (free version)
Get a good dictionary a) Midori for iPad (might cost a few dollars,
I use this more than anything else) b) http://Tangorin.com (free online)
Learn hiragana and katakana (free)
Have a good kanji stroke order reference a) Midori for iPad (maybe $$) b) Japanese-lesson.com Kanji (free)
Use kanji practice sheets (free)
Practice listening comprehension: a) Sazae san (free)
Learn some grammar (free)
Keep a journal of your progress (free)
Get your keyboard to type in Japanese (free. Scroll down to Japanese tools and techs guide)
Set an alarm to practice each day.
And most importantly: Join Duolingo's Jpn to Eng when it comes out. :D
Duolingo makes money when we translate stuff. As a plus for DL: the more prepared we are when they start receiving Japanese to English material for us to translate, the more quickly we can contribute to the upkeep of this website.
When will there be a Japanese for English speakers course?
We don't know. They don't know. So, please don't ask the course contributors this question. Thousands of people ask this question, generating copious email notifications for the contributors to wade through. It is inconsiderate to bombard them when they don't know the answer themselves. Instead, we can put in our own work to investigate and keep about as informed as they are by following these steps: Learn how the [Incubator process] (http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Frequently_asked_questions/Incubator) works. Keep an eye out for any AMA (Ask Me Anything)/AUA (Ask Us Anything) which courses sometimes release. Watch for jitengore's Weekly Incubator Update where course contributors can submit reports for where they are in the course. (Hideki joins these from time to time.) And also keep up with Incubator updates the contributors sometimes write on the Incubator page. See Hideki's current Incubator notifications. Thank you for being considerate and letting Team Japanese focus their time and attention on creating the courses. ありがとうございます！
Would you add Tae Kim's guide, too? I think it is a wonderful free resource. It's a very extensive guide to Japanese grammar and the language overall. The link is: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/complete
It's great for complete beginners and all other levels and for anyone who wants to wrap their head around the ambiguities.. The approach is very hands-on with small translation tasks and therefore also aimed at people who have had bad experiences with grammar learning. ;)
And the Koohii forum: http://forum.koohii.com/viewforum.php?id=5 This forum is full of tips and explainations, with a very active community.
As a Japanese teacher in USA for 40 years and an Japanese textbook writer, your suggestion would be helpful. In addition to yours, I want my students to watch fun interesting movies/animes, etc,.. My favorite is MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, TONARI NO TOTORO. My textbook from Logos school of languages, Japanese for beginners, hajimete no nihongo is HTML format so that you listen to Japanese for the script such as drills, skits, songs. Another suggestion is Japanese songs with Japanese caption. by Noyuri Soderland
Hi everyone, I have a solution! I have engineered a hack using the Japanese -> English course and it is working REALLY well for me. I am a pure beginner in Japanese. I have successfully completed the first two modules, and I have good momentum. Here is my method:
Register for the English course, selecting Japanese as your native language.
First, learn Hiragana. It is simple, and it will take you a week. Alternatively, print out the Hiragana chart so you can refer to it while you learn.
You will need to be able to type in Japanese. So, download the Kitsune add-on for Firefox. Sometimes you will need to type Kanji - the Chinese characters. Just type Hiragana like normal (phonetically), and then press the space bar when you're done. It will give you Kanji script that correlates to your Hiragana.
You will need to be able to read Japanese (only in the beginning). So, get the Perapera add-on too. I stopped using it after one day, mostly because I can understand what I see due to the slow pace of Duolingo adding new vocabulary.
You will need to hear Japanese pronunciation. Copy and paste the Japanese into Google Translate and press the speaker icon. Do this every time you would normally hear the word in Duolingo. If I really already know the word, I just say it out loud to myself, so I get the practice.
This will take more effort than a normal Duolingo course. Maybe 2-3 times more work switching keyboard inputs and tabs in your browser. But, you are learning a new writing system, and I find this just as effective as a normal Duo course - I know this because I have already completed the French and Spanish trees.
One additional suggestion: when duo prompts you to type in English, first go type the Japanese word in Google Translate and see if it gives you the English in the translation. If it doesn't, you know you got it wrong or spelled it wrong. Once you've gotten it correct, then go back to duo and type in the English answer to proceed to the next question.
I find it very amusing that both Klingon and High Valyrian have made it to the incubator before Japanese. Especially given the comment on here saying that as soon as ENG for Japenese speakers made it to beta they would start work on the reverse course. I understand that Duolingo is free and that these courses aren't easy to make but it seems to me that with all the demand for a Japanese course on here it should have made it to the incubator by now. I think we'd all just appreciate an update on the whole situation. If we're not getting this course anytime soon then we can all start looking somewhere else but keeping us waiting with ifs and maybes like this is just taking the mickey.
it is in incubator now!!!
If you have an iPhone I recommend 'Learn Japanese!' it's very similar to Duolingo. I have Rosetta Stone but like this app better because it explains the grammar. The lessons are only for beginners right now (JLPT N5 level) but since I've used it they have added quite a few lessons.
I really hope this becomes a Sticky that way I can just link this to the discussions intead of haveing to do my long explanation with links XD Maybe you can add Jitengore's updates from the incubator here or Hideki. Users can get to see updates about the progress of the course. Too bad they keep asking but when? they just don't seem to read. :(
Done! Added to the end of the OP. Hopefully I didn't come off as harsh. I just wanted to get the message on the page with the links and be clear about the need for consideration and doing one's own investigating instead of constantly asking the contributors for information they don't have and adding counter-productive pressure on them in the process.
I just realized that Tangorin dictionary uses kana (Japanese characters) instead of romaji (English characters). Sorry! I just don't notice anymore. you can probably do a quick search to find one that uses romaji though. And, if you want to find out how to go from romaji to kana, or kana to romaji etc. I just found this http://www.romajidesu.com/
Learning to speak and learning to read/write can be done simultaneously but they don't need to be.
Children do not typically learn to read before they learn to speak words and sentences with adults in their native languages. Some adults never learn to read and write but otherwise communicate very effectively through speech.
In the case of learning a new language and particularly through Duolingo and especially in cases where the script is "exotic" and may be complex to set up the language packs, many people could meanwhile be learning how to converse through spoken word, and either practice the alphabets elsewhere or enjoy learning those when they eventually become available.
You're already a reader of Tofugu, so you probably already know of www.wanikani.com. I've found that my best resource for Kanji learning, so maybe add that to the list?
Also, thanks for the info about the Japanese > English Duolingo course. I've signed up, and it's almost just as good as an English > Japanese equivalent!
@rredfearn32 Unfortunately, wanikani is closed to all but beta testers. So, I haven't added it.
EDIT: for everyone, you can still put your name on the list. I didn't realize that the first time I went and checked it out. :P But, I've just added myself. crosses fingers
Update: I was just accepted into beta!
I hope they introduce learners to hiragana and katakana first, then have all the vocab in kana with the audio pronunciations (minimal romaji). Over time they should start introducing the kanji in a natural way -through vocab association-
At least, this is how I would want to learn.
I think this is why it made prefect sense for DL to create the Eng for Jap speakers course first. A lot easier to jump straight into English with it's 26 characters. Where as Jap for Eng speakers requires more consideration. An irritation of mine with Eng for Jap speakers is that when you roll over kanji you can't get the associated hiragana or katakana. If they would include another word association in the drop down for these it would make life so much simpler. Wouldn't have to research each new kanji just to learn how to speak it! (Of course it makes sense that it isn't included, as Japanese speakers would already know how to pronounce kanji, and also kanji would have multiple pronunciations. Which Is why i'm interested to see how it's handled.)
If you haven't already, you should download Rikaichan (a browser extension that does just what you said about showing the meaning/pronunciation of kanji when you scroll over text) https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/rikaichan/
Yes, that would be my preference, too. I don't think there's a lot of point in relying on romaji when people won't have them 'in real life', and kana seems to be a good kind of middle ground. If memory serves, some children's books are written in hiragana, yes...? And then when you have the kana down, use those to learn the kanji rather than romanising the pronunciation.
I am really sorry for asking this here but I haven't gotten to know DL well enough to figure out where else to ask the question. I just started the reverse course, using Safari and the Mac keyboard for Japanese. Here is the problem: every time I klick the answer box the keyboard changes back to German. In every other program and on every other website, I can type in Japanese just fine. So far I have worked around the problem by typing my answer into the search bar of my browser and then copying it into the answer box. However, it's getting old fast. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am starting to despair...
Two pretty awesome hover translators (that shouldn't be used too often because they make you lazy ;P ) are rikaichan for Firefox and safarikai for Safari As for online dictionaries, I like the set up of Denshi Jisho quite a lot http://jisho.org and the super awesome weblio http://ejje.weblio.jp which, unfortunately, is all Japanese when you klick on it, but it also has a Japanese-Japanese dictionary as well as a old Japanese- modern Japanese dictionary, which is all kinds of amazing! (Just search for it in the top bar)
I am willing to be patient for the JFE Team to make the course. I'm pretty sure it takes a long time to make these courses, which is why I will wait. But I want to learn Japanese because I am interested in linguistics, and I also think it would challenging. But I like challenges :D
Still, take your time. I'd rather have a course that is made well that took a while to make than to have a horribly made course that arrived in 2 weeks. XD
I meant to sign up for English to Chinese and clicked on one hoping to figure out what language it was, just looking around now all email comes in that language and I can't figure out how to change it since my whole site is now in a language I can't read. Very frustrated and can't even figure out how to unsubscribe to start over..
Is this still happening? I downloaded this app as an alternative for paying an insane amount (or pirating) Rosetta stone because I heard that it has a much better performance. My girlfriend and I are very much interested in learning Japanese, so this would be a real boon! In the mean time, I guess I'll busy myself with the resources you posted, and maybe brush up on my Spanish as well C:
@nathancoll4, yes this is still happening. You can check the progress at http://incubator.duolingo.com and you can even try out the beta version of the reverse tree, English for Japanese speakers at http://www.duolingo.com/courses Once END for JPN leaves beta (Phase 2), JPN for ENG will start in Phase 1.)
I too want to learn Japanese from this app. I've had a great experience learning French so far, but I downloaded DL to learn Japanese in the first place. I hope that it can be brought to us as soon as possible. The moderators are doing their best to get this all together so I'm certain Japanese for English speakers will be available soon. Arigatō, min'na!
It will probably take a while, OP gave a lot of great resources to give yourself a head start. I saw this post about 5 months ago. I've been working pretty hard learning different aspects of the language since then and I've seen some serious progress. It is a slow process since its such difficult language, but the sooner you dive into it the better. I wish that I had started years ago, waiting for duolingo is just an excuse, one which i've used before. So get on it! There are many supportive communities around that will be happy to answer any questions. Good luck!
as an absolute beginner Textfugu and Wanikani are invaluable resources. You'll grow out of Textfugu quickly, but WaniKani will keep you busy a long time. Once you get a good foundation you'll run into different grammar sources (IMABI, Tae Kim, etc.). The biggest thing I can recommend is that once you get started you have to put in a little effort everyday, even if its only 15 minutes.
I am a High School student who is fluent in Spanish and to a lesser degree Italian and Portuguese. But my true passion has been trying to learn Japanese. I absolutely love the culture and I am already making plans to go to Collage in Japan but first I have to severely improve my knowledge of the language. This site has really helped me with Italian and to a lesser degree Portuguese and I hope it can do the same with Japanese, hopefully soon.
Have you tried the English for Japanese speakers course that is in beta right now? It's challenging but it's a start. I tend to use the iPad Midori app to help me through it, as well copying the sentences I've gotten wrong to review later. And last night I signed up for the Memrise JLPT5 http://www.memrise.com/course/554/jlpt-n5-vocab/ So far, it's been free. But, it does expect you to know hiragana. I'm sure there are other Memrise courses that will teach you hiragana if need be. Good luck with your journey! :)
Hi babyelana, I just edited the main post and added the links to the review walk-throughs I've been created for the English for Japanese speakers course. The reviews are for English speakers taking that course while they wait for the Japanese for English speakers course. The reviews are best suited for folks who already know some basic Japanese grammar and vocabulary. I hope it helps!
I think Japanese would be a nice edition, but first I want Esperanto. Then they also have to do Turkish, Romanian, Yiddish, and more, and I also can't wait if they have Chinese. Japanese might be a long shot due to its complex and long structure even though it should be simple.
Thank you for the update regarding the intended start of Japanese for English speakers. I will take up your suggestions of various ways to prepare for the new Duolingo Japanese online course. The constant drip, drip action of a little learning every day, also makes sound sense. Regards to your team. B.R.
If you like to learn 2000+ kanji asap , Remember the Kanji book (google it) + http://kanji.koohii.com. You learn it by looking it in different parts rather than memorizing individual strokes and you make up stories and mnemonics. Takes 3-4 months and its the best time spent, you won't regret.
I too am interested in learning some Japanese. From the comments I've read it seems there are a few suggestions to supplement while we wait. For anyone interested there is a free site, at least last I looked into it the site was free, called Livemocha. There you can help teach people languages you are fluent in and learn others (Japanese included).
They have Korean, but they don't have Japanese???? I also noticed its been more than three years from the day it was posted but still no Japanese. oh well. I probably never happen anymore because the writing system is pretty different than ours. A friend of mine noticed that they have Japanese to English course. they just need to reverse it.
I've been doing the reverse course as suggested - it's really good, and about the right level for me (I can read hiragana and some kanji). In fact, it would be absolutely perfect if instead of reading out english and repeating english, the course pronounced the Japanese words. This seems like quite an easy change to make - does anyone know whether this would be easy to do to make a sort of intermediate course?
I checked the Duolingo Incubator site and it appears. But when I go to Settings->Learning Language->See All Language Courses it shows me the courses for English speakers that are both in the Incubator and out of the Incubator. Japanese is not one of the languages it shows does any one know why?
I'm not certain that section is as up to date as the Incubator is. Here you go: https://incubator.duolingo.com/courses/ja/en/status :)
On the incubator page it says the estimated date is May 15th