Duolingo Japanese Club July 20, 2017 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Duolingo now offers Japanese! (For iOS and Android phones, only. No web-based presence yet.) Since some Mefites previously expressed interest in Japanese, I wanted to invite folks to join the Metafilter Japanese Club I created on Duolingo.

Duolingo only allows 14 members per club (meh, wish they'd change this) but at the time of writing this post, I'm the only member, so feel free to join up!

The "invite code" you need in order to join the club is M3W273.

Full disclosure, I'm a longtime Duolingo Spanish student but I don't know a lick of Japanese. So this is all new to me. I'm hopeful that the club will encourage and challenge me to stick with it.

Still hoping they'll someday offer Arabic, and Farsi. Navajo and other indigenous languages of the Americas would be awesome someday, too. Curious what languages other Mefites have on their Duolingo wishlist?
posted by nightrecordings to MetaFilter-Related at 7:22 PM (26 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I joined! I think it over-estimated my skills in the pre-test though.
posted by ctmf at 9:58 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I took Japanese in high school, but that was a long time ago, and I hardly remember any of it. I'd love to learn Arabic for sure, although you'd really have to have a dozen different Arabic programs unless everyone was just going to learn Standard Arabic.

Indigenous languages get into a little bit of a tricky area, I think. There are already people working on apps for teaching indigenous languages, but from what I've heard, I think opinions are divided with regards to who should be allowed to use them. For some people, language is an important part of their culture, and the way it's passed down can be very important and sensitive.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:01 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Yay!! I am learning Korean through Memrise and would love to be able to supplement that with courses from Duolingo. I feel like a really fun final exam would be to do subtitles for a short clip of an episode of your favorite K-Drama or J-Drama. I would be so motivated to get everything just right.
posted by Hermione Granger at 12:05 AM on July 21 [3 favorites]


I joined. I work for a Japanese bank (in London) so I really should actually learn some Japanese!
posted by Stark at 4:50 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, thanks for sharing this! I took a couple semesters in college over a decade ago and love Duolingo for casual language learning and refresh.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:28 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


And still no Chinese . . . sigh.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:40 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


This is really exciting. As someone who also took Japanese in the past and has forgotten more than he remembers, I look forward to getting back in the Duolingo habit. Thanks for sharing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:52 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Thank you all for joining! And I agree chainsoffreedom - Mandarin / Cantonese seem long overdue.

About Arabic, there have been a few discussions on the Duolingo boards about how they are still working toward it and that it would be Modern Standard Arabic only. I kind of wish I had taken it in college when I had the opportunity to learn it in a classroom.

And that is an excellent point about indigenous languages that I failed to consider, shapes that haunt the dusk. I had read long ago about Google adding Cherokee to their interface, and that the hope among elder indigenous Cherokee was that it would encourage younger Cherokee to use the language to ensure its continued preservation within their community.
posted by nightrecordings at 10:30 AM on July 21


Arabic & Farsi are at the top of my wishlisht. I think they're such beautiful languages and would love to learn them, even though I don't really have a use for them at this point. Also, as someone who lives in Arizona, with the history of the Navajo in this area as well as the historical importance of the language, I think preserving and learning the language would be wonderful. Hopefully someday they'll add it to Duolingo.
posted by TurquoiseZebra at 11:10 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I joined the club but have no clue how to say 'hi' in the club interface.
posted by tofu_crouton at 1:38 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I joined. I've been meaning to brush up on my (almost nonexistent) skills for some time now. I was considering a trip to Japan next year, so it would be nice to be a little more functional there.
posted by Aznable at 2:45 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Joined. レッツゴー!
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:33 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I just joined as well. I took a beginning Japanese class many years ago, but I've forgotten a lot of what I learned then.
posted by rakaidan at 7:33 PM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I joined! One of my students has been trying to teach me about gharials and rudimentary Japanese, and as they don't have gharials on Duolingo it's going to have to be the Japanese.
posted by monster truck weekend at 6:25 AM on July 22


Nice! Thanks for setting this up! I joined (I'm raanve there.) I am glad to have this MeFi club to help keep me accountable.

I had some beginning Japanese in college (nearly all of which I've forgotten), but I struggled with Hiragana and couldn't really read anything unless it was romanized. I'm so glad to see that the early lessons focus on helping get that foundation, while also hearing the language.
posted by dryad at 1:12 PM on July 22


Full, boo! Ah well, I'm excited to finally play around with it.
posted by Recliner of Rage at 4:35 PM on July 22


I created a second club for us latecomers. Code is JNB6J5
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:57 PM on July 22 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the latecomers club!
posted by snorkmaiden at 11:46 AM on July 23


One thing I'm finding helpful is to close my eyes when it reads me a sentence and try to understand without reading. I find in Japan, even simple sentences I can read on paper, I can't follow when someone speaks to me. Also in the "construct the Japanese sentence" ones, to not start until I've decided what I want to say and said it out loud.

I wish I could focus the practice sessions on one or the other.
posted by ctmf at 4:25 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


I joined the first club. I find it useful to use Duolingo in conjunction with Memrise because Memrise has nifty little mnemonics for the kanji.
posted by holborne at 9:20 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Joined the second club. Though I'll definitely fail to stick with it if the app doesn't work offline (which I don't think it used to, but the site says it does now...)
posted by hoyland at 3:50 AM on July 24


I joined the second club! :)

I'm using Duolingo to refresh German and advance on Japanese. I've found it easier to use when you have some knowledge of the grammar beforehand. At least, the web interface for German gives you some grammar lessons, but in the phone version Japanese doesn't have anything like that which... would be cool. Anyway, I'm learning vocab and it's fun to build up sentences.
posted by sukeban at 4:28 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


I joined the second club! I'm partway through Hiragana 4 in Japanese, and I'm also returning to Spanish after an absence (I tend to get into waves with my DuoLingoing).

I wish there was a really good way to learn Bengali, since that's my family's language (calling it a 'mother tongue' is complicated). I have tried Memrise for that before but it's kinda meh.
posted by divabat at 5:46 PM on July 29


/r/LearnJapanese is a good resource to dig up study further study material.

For example:
I'm going through Genki right now and am just about to enter the grammar section. I learned how to transliterate hiragana and katakana separately from the text. With grammar should I do anything in addition to going though Genki or would that possibly mess things up learning-wise? If it is OK, would you have any suggestions?
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:32 PM on July 29


I joined the second group a few days ago, I studied Japanese a few years ago but have forgotten most of it.
posted by kumonoi at 2:26 PM on August 6


Yeah, I'm a recent add to group 2, too.
posted by deludingmyself at 4:46 PM on August 6


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