Best Japanese Language Learning Resources
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.
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 10+ years as a helpful resource for language learners.
Best online Japanese audio course
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.
Join The Guild by clicking here, select Japanese and I'll send you a unique offer for Rocket Japanese exclusive to my readers only.
Japanese fluency courses and guides
An extremely well-made and very unique Japanese course aimed at teaching Japanese through the unique “StoryLearning" method.
If you’re looking for a full Japanese curriculum that leads you all the way through to fluency, and are facing difficulties getting your head around how Japanese works, this resource definitely help you (Japanese Uncovered review).
Nihongo Master is a popular course offering hundreds of high quality Japanese lessons from beginner to advanced, an advanced built-in dictionary and active community of dedicated Japanese learners.
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.
Free Japanese Lessons
Despite it's name, Free Japanese Lessons offers both free and paid Japanese lesson content.
The premium content is phenomenal value, and was put together by a family of Japanese translators who put a surprising level of detail into their course material and recordings.
Use code MEZZOGUILD for 20% off a premium membership.
Learn Japanese with podcasts
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.
Use code MEZZOGUILD for 25% off any of their course options.
Best audio-only Japanese course
Pimsleur is a household name and one of the most famous Japanese courses ever made.
It's a research-backed, proven method that is audio-only and gets you speaking quickly through spaced-repetition of situational phrases.
One of my personal favorites.
Read my Pimsleur review.
Inexpensive Japanese lessons via Skype
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.
Learn Japanese using video
This is a fantastic tool for learning Japanese using subtitled video (see my FluentU review).
It has many of the same features as Yabla but a wider array of video content to choose from.
Other free tools to help your Japanese
Jisho: Arguably the best online dictionary for Japanese available.
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.
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