Should I keep going with duolingo?

Duo says it’s either Japanese or you lose your knees.

I don’t have any advice I’m just here to warn you to be careful when leaving Duolingo 0-0


I’m buying tofugu recommended books and just recommended books in general. Elementary japanese, a dictionary of basic japanese grammar, genki etc

1 Like

Well, Genki seems good from what I’ve seen in samples. The DoBJG seems to work very well for various people on these forums too. I don’t know much about the rest, because the only reference books/study materials I own are

  • Le Japonais (Assimil) – I don’t know what they call this series now. Used to be “sans peine” = ‘with ease/without toil’. Basically a fairly substantial and condensed textbook from a French publisher, supposed to take you from absolute beginner to an (upper) intermediate level. Worked well for me, but I’m a Chinese speaker, so I didn’t need to learn kanji. The English translation still seems to be in the pipeline. There’s an old English edition in the market, but it’s almost impossible to get hold of now.
  • Tobira – intermediate textbook. Slightly more advanced than my Assimil textbook. Didn’t really pay off for me because most of the grammar was stuff I already knew, and many of the words were things I could work out using my kanji knowledge/Chinese knowledge/context. Still, it’s a good textbook overall. I’d recommend it.
  • 日本への招待 – intermediate to advanced textbook. Feels significantly more advanced than Tobira, because even the first lesson contains 2-3 phrases I don’t know in the very first sentence. It looks good, but I haven’t read much of it yet.

Tobira is the only one I have on hand now, because I’m overseas and Tobira is the only textbook I brought. I use the internet and the Japanese dictionaries that are pre-loaded on Mac (Wisdom EN-JP and 大辞林) as reference material for grammatical study. I sometimes look words up on because the Wisdom Dictionary doesn’t contain every word I need. I’ve also got a friend who helps me with stuff I can’t figure out on my own from time to time.

Yeah, so… I don’t have any reference material recommendations for your current level, but maybe you can keep these for consideration when you advance? Tobira is also releasing a beginners’ textbook in 2021, if I’m not wrong, so you could look out for that and see if you want it (provided it’s being released in early 2021, that is).


I agree that LingoDeer is worth a look, particularly if you want an app to help learn. It’s not free, but if you are already paying for Duo pro definitely look to switching to LingoDeer instead of that. Your money would be better spent there.

Lingo Deer is really good! The phone app has a lot of extras over the desktop version, but you can sync them together and work how you want to.


  • grammar explanations before the lesson and during if you click on the words
  • native speaking examples
  • flash card and review decks for both vocab and grammar
  • responsive customer support
  • worth the money
  • stories and articles
  • new vocab and concepts are structured well
  • slow down sentences to 80% speed, and you can record yourself saying them in the app to compare it to the example
  • the extended app Lingo Deer Plus is also very fun and useful


  • costs about as much as textbooks
  • the exercises where you have to type a sentence back character by character are annoying
  • there is only one right answer for every question, even if there is another way to say what you want to say
  • the extended app is an additional cost
1 Like

I used duolingo for a while and its really bad when you compare with other apps.
I think Torii SRS is the best option for learning pure vocab, its simple and has the option to exclude vocab you learnt in WK, and the SRS magic works really well. There’s also an app called Drops, thats better than DL imo, you can choose what kinda of vocab you want to learn, and it uses SRS too, which does not work as smoothly as in Torii imo.

1 Like

Thanks for the Torii suggestion. I just tried it out an realized this is basically the Anki core 10k but better. I only wish I could make the font for the example sentence bigger. I’m old and my eyes don’t work well anymore, apparently.

1 Like

i think there’s a desktop version, maybe it has bigger fonts.

Im not using the core 10k, im currently doing the kana only vocab :), ill do the 10k later :stuck_out_tongue:

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.