THE BEST RESOURCES FOR LEARNING JAPANESE

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On this page, you'll find our list of the best resources for learning Japanese, organized into different categories. Browse through them and click on a title or image to try one out and start learning Japanese today. Happy learning!

Memorizing Vocabulary

Techniques and apps for learning words and phrases

NHK World - Easy Japanese

A language course created by NHK, the public Japanese television and radio broadcasting company. Each lesson is based on a conversation or dialogue and accompanied by notes about grammar.

Minna no Nihongo

Minna no Nihongo is one of the most popular series of language learning books for Japanese.

JA Sensai Mobile App (Android)

A whole Japanese language course based on the Japan Activator website, right in your pocket! There's a free version, with additional features available for about $15.

Online dictionaries

Jisho Japanese Dictionary

A powerful English-Japanese dictionary, for words, expressions, and kanji.

Rikaikun (Chrome)

A dictionary extension for the Chrome browser. Just place your mouse over any word to see its definition.

Listening Comprehension

Online courses

Japanese Uncovered

A comprehensive method for learning Japanese with an engaging story. Created by polyglot and linguist Olly Richards, Japanese Uncovered lets you learn the basics of Japanese, with a focus on listening comprehension and vocabulary.

Videos

Erin's Challenge

A complete video course in Japanese, published by NHK, the TV channel we mentioned before. Comprehensive, fun, and suitable for beginners.

NHK For School

A series of videos made for Japanese schools, so it's perfect for beginners.

YouTube channels

MosaLingua's YouTube Channel

Come check out our YouTube channel for tons of videos with tips and tricks to improve your language learning skills, including Japanese. Don't forget to turn on your notifications (click on the bell icon) to stay up to date on new videos!

JapanSocietyNYC

A YouTube channel with lessons on a variety of topics (writing, grammar, vocabulary).

JapanesePod101 YouTube Channel

A comprehensive YouTube channel with videos for pronunciation, writing, reading, plus common phrases and expressions.

Podcasts

TBS Radio Podcasting 954

An important and well-known Japanese radio station produces this podcast.

JapanesePod101 Podcasts

From the same makers as the YouTube channel above, with tons of content for learning Japanese (registration required).

TV channels and radio stations

NHK World

Watch a live feed of Japan's NHK public broadcasting station.

i-radio

A popular Japanese radio station, accessible online.

Speaking and Pronunciation

Language exchanges

iTalki

Meet lots of Japanese speakers who are interested in forming language tandems (partner up and chat with someone who wants to learn your native language), or book paid lessons with a Japanese tutor.

How and Where to Find a Conversation Partner

Chatting with a language partner online might be the most entertaining and overall best way to learn Japanese. Work on various skills, from speaking and pronunciation to vocab and listening, and even culture and confidence. We tested the most popular language exchange websites and created a guide to help you decide which one is best for you.

Guides and tools for conversation and pronunciation

Forvo Japanese

Forvo is a "pronunciation dictionary" that lets you listen to the pronunciation of almost any word in a given language, including Japanese. The recordings come from users on the website, so you can get a feel for different regional accents.

Reading and Writing

Newspapers and other media

Yomiuri Shimbun

Founded in 1874, Yomiuri Shimbun is one of the most widely read newspapers in the world. It speaks to a more conservative audience.

Asahi Shimbun

The second largest newspaper in Japan is more left-leaning than many of its counterparts.

Mainichi Shimbun

The oldest Japanese newspaper, founded in 1872, with centrist reporting.

Nikkei/Nihon Keizai Shimbun

The most widely circulated economic newspaper in Japan, and a liberal publication. It's comparable to the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times.

Sankei Shimbun

The last of the 5 biggest Japanese newspapers. Very conservative, with an eye for business and economics.

The Japan Times

The largest Japanese newspaper for English speakers. Useful for staying aware of current events in Japan while you work your way up to Japanese newspapers!

AERA

The Asahi Shimbun Extra Report and Analysis is known for its feature stories and covers a wide variety of topics.

Writing resources

Kanji Koohii

A site for learning kanji, based on the Heisig method.

Guide to Japanese

This website brings together numerous resources in English for learning Japanese, especially Japanese grammar. The content is collected and produced by Tae Kim, an influential blogger in the Japanese language learning sphere.

Other Japanese Guides and Resources

MosaTraining: How to Learn Any Language

This course was designed to give you the tools, techniques, and best resources for learning Japanese (or any other language!). Learn the secret techniques used by polyglots, practice the most effective learning methods, and stock your proverbial toolbox with every resource you could possibly need to learn Japanese quickly and have fun doing it.

You can find all of our blog posts about Japanese here, including a series of articles on learning the Japanese alphabets.

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We hope these free online resources for learning Japanese will be a big help to you. We’re constantly searching for the best resources to help you improve your Japanese skills and updating this page, so be sure to come back from time to time. And finally, if there are any great Japanese tools or resources we didn’t mention but that deserve to be on the list, click here to let us know about them.