Using Duolingo

Duolingo is one of the (unfortunately) most popular language learning apps these days. Everyone instantly thinks about using Duolingo the first time they decide to learn a new language.


  • It’s (allegedly) okay at teaching you hiragana and katakana


  • Watch this video
  • Duolingo actually teaches you wrong Japanese. It is not able to deal with compound readings and peculiarities of kanji. As an example: it teaches you that the word お腹 is read おはら because of the reading 腹 alone, and ignores the お in front of it that completely changes the sound. The word is actually read おなか.
  • The “human-like” phonetic system they use is not able to deal well with intonation and pitch accent of certain words or phrases. It actually teaches you bad and unnatural pronunciation
  • It is unable to deal with the complex context-heavy nuance of the Japanese language when compared to English. Most of the phrases it teaches you are awkward, weird, or unnatural. Some of the explanations are flat out confusing and sometimes even incorrect.

Conclusion: STAY AWAY FROM DUOLINGO. It’s decent at learning hiragana and katakana, but there’s so many resources out there to teach you those that I believe you shouldn’t even bother with giving the app your patronage. The less people use that terrible app, the better it would be for the entire world. Plus, you won’t risk accidentally getting addicted to their shitty system. Just don’t use it. Uninstall it now.