Duolinguo doubts

I’ve been trying the new Japanese course on Duolinguo and I have some doubts about it. It tells me that this sentence is correct and is quite adamant about that. But is there a は behind おおさかに? In my opinion it should be いいえ、おおさかに住んでいません。

Does Duolingo give any explanation on the usage of には in general?

You see には pretty frequently, actually. It just means that the location is ALSO the subject, kind of? This Person on Stack Exchange does a better job explaining than I do.

That being said, Duolingo in general isn’t a perfect language learning tool, and a lot of its issues become worse in the Japanese course because of the difficulties translating Japanese to English and vice versa. It’s fine for really basic grammar, but I’m skeptical whether it can even get you to a Genki I level.

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No. As far as I can see, they don’t give much explanation at all. Just quizzes. And sometimes you can click on a word to get a translation or something.

Ok, that makes kind of sense. Thanks, your explanation helped me a lot already!

my coworker is Japanese- I just asked him. He said the ni wa is correct. with using just ni, you are just making a simple statement. If you use ni wa- maybe you are replying in some way to someone and your answer is not quite as expected. For example- with just the ni- I don’t live in Oosaka. the the ni wa- maybe the person you are talking to has just mentioned that you know a lot about oosaka, or you have an Oosaka accent and they ask if you live there - No, i don’t live in Oosaka.
That is how he explained it to me - I hope it makes sense. they are both correct, there is just a slightly different feeling with the one…


Thanks! That helps a lot!

That’s my understanding of the grammar as well.

My (native) Japanese teacher used the analogy of a “spotlight” used to highlight the phrase before the “niwa”.

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I read a review of the new JP duolinguo and heard that it just randomly introduces grammatical concepts without really explaining them first.

It randomly introduces everything and never explains any of it. I’m doing it, because why not, and it’s a little annoying when the first time I see a new word it’s asking me to type the translation in English. If it’s multiple choice I can figure it out usually because I may know the other words, but if it just asks for the translation I’m like…?? And you are grading me? WTF?

Are you using it on Android or IOS? I have only experienced the app on Andriod, and I had this problem when I was learning Duo to learn some German. There are no explanations on the Android app, but I heard you can view the info on the IOS app cause they have a tips section that gives explanation and teaches some grammar. I found this same information was also viewable on the website for the German course as well thanks to lurking around the Duolingo subreddit. Where as a sole Andriod user, I had no idea they were providing this information, because it is no where to be found on that app. Without this info I was kind of in the same boat as you. I felt that I was just learning vocab and not much else and had to basically infer any language rules from their small subset of exercises. To be honest, without finding this information on their website I would have left Duolingo because the app without this information seems like nothing more than a vocab test. Unfortunately, I cannot confirm whether this it true for the Japanese course as I don’t have an IOS phone, and the Japanese isn’t out for desktop.

I’ve found that I’m oddly reliant on kanji. It showed me きょうだい and I was like… 何?
Once I realized it was 兄弟 I almost face palmed. :smile:


I find that reading without kanji is like pseudo-listening practice since you have to “sound it out”. I have this experience with iknow.jp sometimes.

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Interesting concept. I should read the sentence out loud from now on and see what that does. Thanks!

I know it’s unrelated, but my worst part of the Kanji Kentei practice I’ve been doing is the homonyms. Where they give you two sentences each with one word written in katakana. The words will have the same pronunciation but you have to write the correct kanji version for both.

I don’t know how many times I’ve just stared cluelessly.


This is something I realised when I started reading Japanese books. Learning to read kanji is one thing, learning to recognise the words in when they’re in kana is another.

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@Leebo @Kumirei

Thanks. Glad to know I’m not alone.

Seems like I need to REALLY start reading more Japanese. Now that I’ve come across this I’ve really started to appreciate kanji more. I remember running into this when I checked out Yotsubato awhile back. It’s funny that my strongest point is viewed as the most difficult thing to learn in the language. :laughing:

I recently picked up Kiki’s Delivery Service in Japanese and am enjoying it so far. If you’re looking for something to read I’m sure you’d be able to read it without too much trouble.

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I’m using iOS, but I haven’t found the tips section you speak of! I’ll look harder i guess.

Also @alexbeldan et al: yeah, reading the stuff in kana IS disconcerting, isn’t it?

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Duolingo does give detailed grammar explanations… but only on desktop. Apparently, 85% of their userbase is on mobile, so it astounds me they don’t have that on mobile yet. That said, I never found them that helpful anyway, and usually relied on other sources – like about.com and the forums – for the grammar.

I actually found the question discussions on the desktop version to be better to learn from than the basic grammar points. At least that was my experience with Swedish. There were a few points like the basics V2 word order and the difference between ja/jo that were in the questions but not explained unless you went into the discussion.

It’s kind of a shame that they don’t let people on mobile know about what you get on desktop. It might not be an option for everyone to use, but a lot of users would probably like to know.