Here are some websites to help you learn Japanese. Suggestions for additional websites welcomed.
Last updated April 14, 2018
Bunpro – Grammar explanations and reviews with spaced repetition and links to various grammar sites. Subscription required to see most of the site.
Cafetalk – Skype lessons from Japanese tutors available for a range of prices.
Conversation Exchange – A website for finding language exchange partners. You can create a profile and search for people by language spoken and language begin studied. You can find partners who want to be e-pen pals, meet on video chat or even meet in person if you happen to be close enough. Free.
Kanji – Actually, this site doesn’t really seem to have a name, but it’s incredibly helpful because it lets you find kanji by selecting from a visual list of radicals or by using your mouse to “write” the kanji and then it tries to identify the kanji from your drawing. There are various other “identify the kanji” options.
Kanji Hybrid Times – An interesting method to help you learn Kanji. News stories are written in a mixture of English and Kanji, like this: “漢anji 字haracters and the 英nglish 語anguage are so 美eautiful.” Free.
FluentU – Lots of real world videos with subtitles. You can pause and rewind. Subscription but has a lot of free material available.
Foreign Service Institute – The language course used by the American Government to train diplomats. It is intense, repetitive and primarily audio based. It won’t entertain you, but you’ll learn. Free.
Furigana Webglasses – Stumped by the meaning of those Kanji? Type in the link, and this website will add furigana to the Kanji to help you out. Free.
Hukumusume Fairytale Collection – Reading practice. Classic tales in various languages, including Japanese. You can read the stories in English and in Japanese (hiragana), and you can also listen to the stories read aloud. Free.
JapanesePod101.com – audio lessons. Charges a subscription fee.
Japanesetest4you.com – grammar lessons separated by JLPT level with tons of example sentences, flashcards, kanji information and vocabulary. Full of lots of good stuff. Free.
Jisho – Online dictionary with all kinds of search options. Free. (Thanks, rold2007)
JLPT N3 Grammar Videos – It has a Japanese name, but I figured that a descriptive English name would be helpful. This is a series of YouTube videos with excellent explanations of N3 level grammar, all in Japanese. Free. (Thanks nahcirn)
Maggie Sensei – Lots of thorough grammar explanations by Maggie Sensei (who happens go be a dog, but don’t let that trouble you any). Free.
Memrise – Lessons on a variety of topics, most including audio. Free but additional features available if you pay. Learn Kana, Kanji, vocabulary.
Nativlang – In depth reviews of some common Japanese learning tools (and various others things, too,). Free. (Thanks nahcirn)
News Web Easy – As the website puts it: やさしい日本語のニュースです. News stories in easy Japanese. You can read the story in Kanji with furigana or you can watch a video and listen to the story. Free. (Thanks, Yannick
Nihongoshark – Niko’s website. Lots of good information and home of the Hacking Japanese Supercourse. Lots of excellent free material and some lessons accessible for a fee.
Satori Reader – Annotated reading keyed to your level of Japanese from the people that brought you Human Japanese. A really innovative site with a lot of cool features. Limited free access and a paid option. (Thanks, rold2007)
Scripts in Japanese – Scripts for Ghibli movies in Japanese so you can watch the movie and follow along. Free. (Thanks, Etienne)
Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese – Just what the name implies, really. Lots of resources, especially the Grammar Guide. Free.
Takoboto – Japanese dictionary and language learning tool. Look up words by roumaji, kana or kanji. For each word you can get the translation, the reading, the meanings of the individual kanji, stroke order for the kanji and sample sentences. Also available as an app. Free.
That Japanese Man Yuta – Yuta’s blog contains a lot of social information about Japan and Japanese culture. He also has 100+ videos on his YouTube channel. Many of these are “social experiments” such as walking up to nonJapanese looking people in Japan and speaking to them in Japanese or walking up to Japanese people in Japan and speaking to them in English and tabulating the results. You can sign up for occasional emails with links to video language lessons.
Udemy – “Online Courses – Learn Anything, On Your Schedule” and that includes Japanese. For a one-time fee, you purchase a course which generally consists of videos and written ancillary materials. Once you purchase a course, you can stream it or download it, and you get lifetime access to that course. Prices vary depending on the course.
The Ultra Handy Japanese Verb Conjugator – Kind of self explanatory, really. Give it a verb in the dictionary form, and it will give you the conjugation in all kinds of tenses, including some you might now even have known existed. “The only website featuring Japanese verb conjugation and gratuitous pictures of alien monsters.” How can you beat that? Free.
Wikibooks Japanese Reader – Reading practice. There are things at various levels (from Children’s to Advanced) to read, all written in Japanese. Free. (Thanks nahcirn)