Duolingo’s Japanese Course Rollout is live!

Duolingo’s Japanese Course Rollout is live!

Jun 1, 2017

Duolingo is adding its most requested language.

Fans of the free language learning utility will be happy to know that the gradual unveiling of Japanese is on now.

Per the press informational:

– This course pioneers a new way of teaching Japanese, focused around useful themes like food, travel, activities and topics of interest like Japanese anime and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
– The course teaches all three Japanese character alphabets and is designed to help users pass a basic proficiency exam by the end
– It is by far our most requested course ever. No matter what Duolingo does or says on social media for the past few years, someone will always ask about Japanese!

It’s free with in-app purchases.


[via Duolingo]

Theme Thursday: Z Fish

Theme Thursday: Z Fish

Apr 26, 2012

It occurred to me that after doing so many of these Theme Thursday blogs that sometimes more attention is paid to more serious, usually darker themes. It is good to reach out and look at a great theme that is more likely to be found in a local coffee shop as opposed to a board room. This week is a beautiful Asian-inspired theme from Zero Designs called Z Fish. As the name implies, the main wallpaper is an authentic looking Japanese ink painting of a bright red fish leaping out of the water. The entire theme carries out the inky black on tan parchment color scheme and is sure to give an incredibly unique feel to any Android device. Unfortunately, for some reason the wallpaper has a ton of pixel noise that can be very distracting and really ruins the whole feel. And, like other themes that specifically dwell in the monochromatic realm – including apps that have icons that do not come with the theme – this is a problem. There is no option to simply turn the icons to grayscale, and even though they are encompassed in a inky black halo the bright colors seem very out of place against the muted, natural tones of the rest of the theme.

All the icons look great, and give a wonderful feeling of being truly handmade. Again, this feeling is tempered by the unsupported app icons but that is to be expected. The app does not come with an amazing number of icons but the necessary ones are included. In order to take this app to the next level, the developers need to take the time to really put out some quality icons for common apps like many other themes that I have reviewed in the past.

For anyone who uses GO Launcher’s weather app, GO Weather there is a skin for the weather widget that is a skin available on the Play Store that makes the time and weather appear to be a classic Asian watercolor painting. I had used this theme before and it never worked with any other theme until I started using Z Fish. The Widget skin works beautifully with the Launcher theme and it would be a mistake not to install the two side by side.