Top 10 resources to help you learn Japanese

Learning a language can be an arduous and repetitive process, but it doesn’t have to be boring. The Japanese language is regarded as one of the most difficult yet rewarding and enjoyable languages to learn, so we’ve compiled a list of resources that will help you take your Japanese proficiency level up a notch.

For vocabulary

Anki

With a dedicated community ready to help at the snap of your fingers, Anki is one of the most popular apps used for learning vocabulary and retention. The sophisticated software uses spaced repetition and brings words you find most difficult to the forefront whilst occasionally testing you on the basics you have solidified.

vector set :kanji with translation
vector set :kanji with translation

 

Memrise

A way to personalise your learning experience by creating your own deck of words and grammar lessons, Memrise is an efficient vocabulary learning website. As it is not language specific, it is useful for people learning multiple languages at the same time. With speed tests and daily reminders or quizzes to test your progress, you’ll be a pro in no time.

ALC Dictionary

Made by translators for translators, the ALC dictionary is an excellent resource because it is able to translate context sentences – with a lot of examples.

For grammar

Genki

Frequently used in classrooms, Genki is a good resource with culturally relevant grammar and vocabulary. To enhance your grammar learning experience, you can purchase the workbook too.

3611-genki-i-textbook

Japanese for busy people

Regarded as one of the most popular text resources for Japanese learners of all levels, Japanese for busy people offers clear and concise lesson structures which will enable you to learn and retain all your newfound knowledge at a much faster rate. This book is available in a kana and romaji version.

Imabi

A free and extensive grammar guide covering all levels of learning. The clarity of the explanations is what makes it a popular resource that you’ll turn to throughout your language learning journey.

For interaction

Italki

Italki is a language learning service that helps you find the best language teachers from around the world. Instead of signing up to a fixed course, you have more flexibility and can choose to take a Japanese lesson when and where it suits you.

Lang-8

If you’re planning on being able to read and write Japanese very well then we recommend you try Lang-8 at least once. All you have to do is write in Japanese and have your work corrected by native speakers. This is especially useful for people who like to learn by writing short stories, not only will you learn how to read and write but you can make a few friends along the way.

Language exchange

Want to speak to native speakers, exchange languages and cultures or possibly help them improve their language skills? Then we recommend trying a language exchange. You can have a pen-pal or meet up for coffee and talk in each other’s native languages for practice.

 

For fluency

Podcasts

Listening is probably one of the most difficult aspects of learning a language. If you can’t understand what is being said in a conversation, then it makes it difficult to respond. Podcasts are a great way to get used to hearing all the words and grammar structures you’ve learnt, allowing them to be put into practice. Check out some educational podcast on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Studying Japanese from music, television and film

Staying up to date with popular culture and what’s new and happening is a great way to start conversations with native speakers. You are also able to learn slang, expose yourself to dialects and stay relevant with regards to how Japanese people speak in real life. The reality is, people don’t always speak like you’re taught in textbooks. Checkout YouTube for some clips with subtitles.

If you have tried any other learning resources, please share them with us in the comments below.