Duolingo Japanese course

The team at Duolingo have just released an article detailing some of the techniques they use to help you learn. Similar to WaniKani (and many of Duolingo’s other courses,) their learning methods are supported by education research and are interesting to read about.

The course seems to be broken into thematic sections, I believe other programs like Human Japanese [2] use a similar structure, or at least use Japanese culture to teach you Japanese.

The course is currently unreleased and available on iOS only. You can view the status of the course in the Incubator program [3].

hideki We are thrilled to announce that our Japanese course is now available on iOS. It’s coming to Android in a few weeks, and web will be next!

  1. How we invented a new way to teach one of the most difficult languages to learn
  2. Learn Japanese with the Human Japanese family of apps
  3. Duolingo

[Edit] The course has not been released, jumping to conclusions on my part. I have updated the post to reflect this.

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And yet I’m told they don’t know how は is pronounced.


Yeah, it seems to use the same sound for は the particle and は the hiragana. It’s really annoying. There are also some things that don’t seem to have sound at all.

Any idea when this course will be released??? I am not a fan of duolingo but i would give this a shot :laughing:

I’m currently testing out this program. So far, I can say that because it is (to my knowledge) in beta it has a fair number of problems. Issues are to be expected with a new program, of course. The pronunciation of は is definitely one and the one that irks me the most. Many of the items have no sound attached to them and over all the voice sounds irritatingly robotic. Sometimes, a lesson will start simple (how dog you say dog?) and then suddenly jump in difficulty (how many dogs sat on my grandmother’s fence last Tuesday) leaving you wondering how on earth you got there. I’m exaggerating a little, but not too much.
All this aside, if you can forgive the clunkiness and mistakes, there is something to learn from this program. Several times I encountered something that I didn’t know before or struggled with and felt like I walked away with a better grasp on the topic. There is a lot to fix for the team. This doesn’t mean it is a resource you should necessarily overlook. Try it out and if you don’t like it that’s ok!


It’s kind of weird. There was one I couldn’t figure out how to answer because they didn’t give 「は」as an option, and I was apparently supposed to combine 「はこ」with 「の」to make 「はこの」. I can’t understand why you would break it up like that instead of 「は」and 「この」. I tried reporting it but they don’t let you explain what the problem is when you do, I hope they figure it out.

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Out of curiosity, what is the program like? I’ve never used any of duolingo’s things before

Yeah, I did notice that too! I don’t know why they decided to break things up like that. All it does is make things confusing.

Also, the audio for 中 is なか when the answer choice you’re given is ちゅう

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It’s definitely weird and needs some work, especially with pronouncing は as “ha” and を as “whoa” when using them as grammar particles, but I think it could be a good place to start for a beginner. It doesn’t seem to offer anything past N4-ish level though.

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