There's No Babbel Japanese But Here Are Some Better Options

  • Ichika Yamamoto
    Written byIchika Yamamoto
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There's No Babbel Japanese But Here Are Some Better Options

Babbel currently does not offer a Japanese version despite there being high demand for it.

As one of the most popular and well-marketed language apps, Babbel has been extremely successful with other major languages, but hasn’t broken into the East Asian language market yet.

You can see this Babbel review or Babbel vs Duolingo comparison to learn more about the app.

As for Japanese, the good news is that despite there being no Babbel Japanese yet, there are some fantastic alternatives available. I’ve listed a few of the best ones below, but you can find my more comprehensive list of Japanese courses here.

1. Rocket Japanese

Rocket Japanese

Rocket Japanese (both web and mobile app) as a Babbel Japanese alternative is definitely suited to the structured learner type. If you’re looking for a straight progression from the basics (incl. writing Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana) up to to advanced level content, you’ll enjoy it.

This one’s always been the top of my recommendations for Japanese learners (see this Rocket Japanese review).

Of course, you don’t have to learn in a straight path and can choose your own path if you prefer.

The course is primarily made up of podcasts that teach Japanese in a fun, clear and relaxing way but there also natural dialogues and plenty of other content delivery styles within the courses. The 3 levels cover all language skills equally well, and their inbuilt voice recognition is very accurate (it uses one of the best speech recognition technologies available).

For a solid, high quality Babbel Japanese alternative, this is my first choice.

2. JapanesePod101


JapanesePod101 is a first-class, online resource for learning Japanese (especially listening comprehension). It’s definitely very different to the style you see in Babbel but an excellent substitute.

JapanesePod101 uses podcast lessons to teach Japanese. Lessons are suitable for beginners through more advanced levels, with content being regularly updated.

The instruction not only includes listening skills but also incorporates essential vocabulary and grammar with loads of other useful features.

The best part about JapanesePod101 is that it’s very inexpensive (cheaper than Babbel in fact).

3. Pimsleur Japanese

Pimsleur Japanese

Everyone’s heard of Pimsleur by now. They also offer Japanese.

Pimsleur is an audio-only, SRS (spaced-repetition) language course so it’s very different to Babbel in its approach.

The lessons focus on practical vocabulary and expressions one might need in various scenarios. This includes greetings, common phrases, and vocabulary you might need when visiting Japan.

The Pimsleur method prepares you for the necessary Japanese you need to get by in your travels in a short period of time (see this Pimsleur review).

You have the option of buying the course outright or subscribing online as you would with Babbel Japanese (very inexpensive option).

4. Mondly Japanese

Mondly Japanese

Mondly is a fairly new concept for Japanese and many other languages.

It’s quickly becoming a close contender to Babbel and uniquely offers VR (virtual reality) learning as well.

Mondly is quite similar in style to Babbel so might be a great alternative option for those wanting Babbel Japanese.

It’s a beautifully-designed web app and a pleasure to navigate the course content.

Available to use as both a web and mobile app.

Despite there being no Babbel Japanese, you still have great alternatives

So I hope that helps.

I also can’t end this without recommending italki for Japanese lessons. There are some amazing teachers on there at extremely low hourly rates.

For a unique, story-based Japanese course, definitely check out Japanese Uncovered by I Will Teach You A Language too. It’s pricey but very good (read Japanese Uncovered review).

In addition, there are free alternatives to Babbel like Duolingo (the closest in style) and Memrise for learning Japanese vocabulary.

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Donovan Nagel
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I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
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