Hey WKers! I’ve looked at this forum enough to know that Duolingo for Japanese is quite consistently disparaged here. I know there are good reasons for that, but I’m wondering if anyone here uses it anyway and likes it despite its shortcomings.
I got into Duolingo many years ago with French (for which I think it’s better suited, as an English speaker) and so it was where I started last year when I decided on a whim to try Japanese. It piqued my interest, but almost immediately I decided to learn kana outside of Duo, and then I found its way of introducing kanji/vocab pretty confusing and overwhelming. Before too long, I’d discovered WaniKani, and I put Duolingo aside.
Since then I’ve returned to Duolingo from time to time, though only sporadically. Now I know most of the kanji I see there, so that part is pretty easy. I find it a decent way to practice reading and writing full sentences. I’m aware that LingoDeer is a similar-but-much-better tool, but LingoDeer is a bit pricey while Duolingo is free.
The thing that irks me most about Duolingo is when you do the “click the individual word tiles to construct the answer” exercises, it says the words/phrases out loud as you click them and very often it uses some default reading for a kanji, but not the reading it should use in the context of the current word. Once you level up a unit enough, you can type in your responses freeform, which avoids this (and raises the challenge level in a nice way) but otherwise you just kind of have to ignore it. Since I know most of the words anyway from WK I can let this slide, but it’s a pretty bad flaw.
I’m curious if there are other major flaws that bother people. But moreso—does anybody here actually use Duolingo as part of their Japanese practice and find it valuable?