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(updated since Sep 3, 2021)
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Japanese is a Japonic language spoken mainly in Japan by roughly 125 million total speakers.
This course was created by the Duolingo staff and released on the website version on October 11th, 2017.
As of January 2016, Duolingo staff noted that for Japanese:
"The biggest challenge for us is teaching the writing system. Duolingo currently does not have a good way of teaching new character sets, but we’ll be working on that soon", Luis von Ahn (2016) .
As of the summer 2017, Japanese is available to English speakers on Android and Apple devices, which first teach a few characters then teach simple words employing them. The first words taught are the counting words for one to four i.e. ichi, ni, san, yon.
Duolingo Course Binder PDF
The entire Duolingo Japanese Course as documented by the Fandom Community will be made available soon on PDF. Allow us to complete it first!
Main article: Guide to keyboard layouts and input methods
- Forvo Japanese
- Human Japanese
- Wiktionary has pronunciation for many Japanese words, in addition to romaji and kana for pronunciation of kanji.
- Midori for iPad (paid) (Dictionary,Flashcards,Search and Translate,Lists and Bookmarks,No internet required.
- Tangorin online dictionary
- Nihongo Master Online Japanese Dictionary (Words and Kanji and Example Sentences)
- Kanji Study for Android (free and paid versions)
- KakuYomu.jp - Write Japanese stories and read others'!
- SyoSetu - Just like above, with plenty of stories to read, and even download in PDF (from their story menu at the top).
- NHK Easy - NHK, but watered down! Everyday 4 short articles are released with Furigana. You can also scroll through past daily releases (bottom right).
- Hiragana and Katakana
- Japanese-lesson.com YouTube channel (Containing two extensive video courses for Hiragana and Katakana)
- Practice sheets
- WaniKani (Learn and practice kanji and vocabulary)
- Kanji Study for Android (free and paid versions) - writing practice for both Kana and Kanji
- Japanese podcast for beginners (Nihongo con Teppei)
- Animelon - Watch Anime while reading their speech Kanji!
- Duome.eu (All Duolingo Tips and Notes | Download PDF)
- Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese (website, Android app, e-book: Android reader (Aldiko), PC reader (Calibre))
- IMABI! (Articles from Beginner to Veteran)
- Like tae kim but more detailed and less beginner friendly
Language learning platforms
- Bunpo for Android and iPhone (subscription-based with a small amount of free content)
- Busuu.com (To learn and practice grammar and vocabulary, practice writing and have it graded by native speakers, and to live chat with Japanese speakers)
- Elon.io (For learning and practicing grammar & vocabulary, kanji & kana, and for (video) chat with peers)
- Lingoci Japanese tutoring via Skype (1-on-1 tutoring with experienced, native Japanese tutors. Cost is $20-$25 per hour. They offer a free trial session. Great for improving your speaking and pronunciation.)
- Nihongo Master (Learn Japanese online with lessons, tools and a big community)
- Minato (self-study courses, tutor-supported courses, and community created by The Japan Foundation)
- Tofugu Sensei (Has a little bit of everything that is Japanese related. High quality.)
- Sublearning - Movie subtitle flash card quiz in Japanese and many other languages
- Free Japanese Flashcards
- Kanshudo - Japanese teaching system with emphasis in learning kanji
- TTSmp3 - Japanese bot that reads Japanese text!
Duolingo vs. the JLPT
The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験, Nihongo Nōryoku Shiken) is Japan's official measure of a person's Japanese competency. The levels vary from N5 (lowest) to N1 (highest).
Taking the test has advantages. But up to what level can Duolingo take you, that is the question:
The graph shown (which is cropped; click on image to see in full) indicates Duolingo covers only about 15% the lexis for JLPT N1. Which means an additional resource such as this Memrise Course will be required to cover for the 85% defect, which is about 2000 more words.
This reddit user points out that the N1 is "at best a high-school level understanding", and is nowhere near native-level. However, despite the N1 is not comprehensive, achieving at least that level will definitely make progress towards Japanese mastery.
This Wikipedia page gives more formal vocabulary lists for all the N-level tests, but in a less-learnable and gamified format.