Here are my most highly recommended resources for learning the Japanese language.
I frequently refer to them in many of the articles I write on this site because I know they’re fantastic and they’ve been crucial to my own learning.
Full transparency: From time to time I use affiliate links for paid products on this site which means I get a small commission for referrals. It doesn’t affect the price of anything but doing so has helped me continue to maintain and improve this site over the last 5 years as a helpful resource for language learners.
Learn Japanese With Podcasts
JapanesePod101: This is an excellent Japanese course in the form of audio podcasts and downloadable lessons.
As well as podcast-style lessons, you’ll find videos, a vocabulary database and dictionary, grammar explanations and various other useful features.
Best Online Japanese Audio Course
Rocket Japanese: This is one of my favorite online courses which has some of the highest quality Japanese dialogue material available.
Rocket Japanese doesn’t follow a ‘cookie cutter’ approach like other well-known programs such as Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur, and it has a tonne of excellent audio content for all levels ranging from beginner to advanced.
Here’s a video I made recently showing the new edition’s features:
Learn Japanese Using Video
FluentU Japanese: This is a fantastic tool for learning Japanese using subtitled video.
It has many of the same features as Yabla but a wider array of video content to choose from.
Learn To Speak Japanese With Music
Rapid Japanese: This is the most unique and effective Japanese phrasebook alternative I’ve ever seen and one I frequently recommend on this site.
Based on solid research into memory and ‘stuck song syndrome’, Rapid Japanese teaches you the language over the top of highly repetitive tunes that cause the phrases to ‘get stuck’ in your head.
It’s surprisingly effective and is so enjoyable that it doesn’t feel like study at all.
Japanese Fluency Courses And Guides
Glossika Japanese: This is another very unique product that improves your fluency through a highly repetitive ‘listen and repeat’ approach.
It is, in my opinion, one of the the most useful tools I’ve seen for training Japanese listening comprehension (read my Glossika review).
Definitely not a conventional course but you’ll be amazed at how effective it is at improving your Japanese fluency if you use it daily.
Inexpensive Japanese Lessons Via Skype
italki: Not too long ago it was really difficult or impossible to practice Japanese without actually traveling to Japan.
Thankfully, tools like italki have made it possible to connect with native speakers from all over the world to practice or to take personalized lessons over Skype.
The great news is, Japanese lessons over Skype through italki are incredibly cheap compared to most teachers in person. All the frustration of payments and scheduling is handled brilliantly by italki too which makes it very easy and stress free to arrange sessions.
Other Free Tools To Help Your Japanese
Memrise: This is an outstanding online vocabulary training tool that lets you select Japanese ‘courses’ to study (or create one yourself). Many of the courses also include audio.
AnkiSRS: A highly versatile flashcard app.
Forvo: If there’s ever a Japanese word or expression that you’ve seen written but don’t know how to pronounce, you can search for it here (or request it) and hear a native speaker pronounce it for you.
Check Out These Relevant Posts:
- The Most Balanced Rosetta Stone Review You’ll Ever Read
- Honest Pimsleur Review
- Frank Review Of Rocket Languages