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Language Studies: Japanese, Korean, & Chinese

Japanese Language Resources

 

Tofugu: The "I want to learn Japanese" Tofugu series starts at the very beginning of your Japanese language learning journey. This series assumes you have zero knowledge of the Japanese language and will guide you through each step. The series covers reading, writing, speaking, and listening. And explains what you should use, when, and why.

Renshuu: Renshuu is a fantastic, unknown Japanese language learning and practice website. When you sign up for free, you will have a dashboard filled will resources such as a study center, kanji index, grammar library, and even games to help hone your Japanese skills!  

Wani KaniCreated by famed Japanese-culture website Tofugu, WaniKani strives to teach Japanese learners 2,000 kanji and 6,000 vocabulary words in a little more than a year.

Japanese Lesson: Japanese Lesson is a simplistic website that will teach you basic Japanese characters and vocabulary. There are even drill exercises to develop basic conversational skills. Their resources tab also offers printable PDF charts to help beginners with stroke order.

Grammar CourseJapanese Page's 100 Grammar Points is a great resource for those who appreciate organization. Grammar points are divided into lessons with explanations and examples of each grammar point described. 

JGram: This site covers all the grammar points for every level of the JLPT. The page for each grammar point provides an explanation, plus loads of sample sentences. The sample sentences are user submitted, so there’s always a big variety.

Tae Kim's Guide: This is one of the best sites to learn Japanese grammar. It’s a comprehensive guide to Japanese grammar, from complete beginner level up to some very advanced phrases. You can access the full content of the guide for free on the website, or you can also download it as a free pdf or app.

NHK: Aside from being a TV and radio station, NHK also offers a Japanese learning program. They have a lot of free materials from PDFs to audio files! They even have quizzes and grammar lesson for those who wants to be challenged. Oh and the lessons are offered in 17 languages.

 

JapanesePod101: The Language Pod resources are some of the best YouTube channels for learning a new language. They’re comprehensive and well-produced, so you can start out as a beginner and stick with them all the way through more intermediate lessons.

Japanese Ammo: Japanese Ammo is a great way to level up your Japanese without moving too quickly. Misa covers a variety of basic vocabulary, as well as how to write hiragana, katakana, and kanji. She also has videos on interesting topics such as texting in Japanese and “Must-know phrases when living with a Japanese partner and roommate.” 

Learn Japanese from Zero: This YouTube channel is designed to get you comfortable with Japanese grammar and pronunciation from Day 1. Hosts George and Yukari will literally take you from zero to 100 million with their video lessons on Japanese numbers. There are also playlists in which George translates and analyzes video games and other media in Japanese to help you understand real-world usage of words and phrases.

Japan Society NYC: Japan Society NYC is an organization based in the U.S. dedicated to forging cultural ties between the two countries. Their YouTube channel offers a range of resources to level up your language abilities, from the basics to more advanced topics. Start with their playlist on how to read and write hiragana and katakana, then check out their videos on “levels of politeness” and common mistakes made in Japanese. 

Tae Kim's Guide: This channel is less exciting than some of the other channels here since there’s no host on camera, just words on the screen. But that makes it perfect for studying hiragana, with videos that walk you through the pronunciation of each symbol. You can visit the Guide to Japanese website for free resources and grammar guides that explain some of the concepts you’ll learn in the videos.

Yuko Sensei: Yuko Sensei has been teaching Japanese at the university level for many years. For those learners who cannot attend classes or do not know where to start learning, this channel is good for online learning courses. She also offers free trial courses.

PuniPuniJapan: PuniPuniJapan’s videos are well-illustrated and narrated with clear explanations. It is more recommended for beginners who started learning Japanese. They cover topics such as katakana, grammar, vocabulary and more. Besides that, PuniPuniJapan also uploads videos about Japanese culture.

 

JapanesePod101: This site has thousands of podcasts to download, from total beginner level right up to advanced. Each track teaches a short conversation in Japanese, with explanation of the new words and grammar in English. You can access all the new lessons with a free membership.

Tofugu Podcast: Tofugu is a long-running podcast. The hosts take a silly and conversational approach to Japanese but deal with practical lessons, such as learning how to use counting words for objects and living things.

Learn Japanese Pod: This Japanese learning podcast is hosted by Alex, who created the website to improve his own language skills, and Asuka, a native of Japan who speaks several languages. It’s a good choice for the beginner who needs to master useful Japanese phrases and vocabulary. The typical show format features a handful of short conversations between the pair, conducted in Japanese. They’re designed to illustrate how certain words and phrases are used.

News in Slow Japanese: The title says it all. This fabulous learning resource features a different fun news topic every week which is read out in slow, clear and precise Japanese. Every syllable can be easily heard. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to stretch yourself a little, you can listen to a faster version of each slow news story.

Bilingual News: Bilingual News is one of the best podcasts for people looking to improve their listening comprehension. You’ll hear casual conversation about the latest news in both English and Japanese, and you can follow along with the transcripts that are available on the downloadable smartphone app.

Easy Japanese NHK: NHK is Japan’s public broadcasting station. They offer free audio lessons for students of Japanese. There are 48 “Easy Japanese” lessons and PDF transcripts on the site which you can listen to online or download to listen to on your favorite podcast app.

Learning Japanese Podcasts: This webpage provides links to supplementary Japanese podcasts, some of which are listed on this page.

 

Dr. Moku's Mnemonics: Dr. Moku’s Hiragana and Katakana Mnemonics are 2 separate apps. One for Hiragana and one for Katakana. In the app,  they associate all the kana with pictures, making it easy for you to remember them.  It is also very efficient as it makes use of mnemonic hacks as compared to just rote memorization, which is a lot more useful when learning vast amounts of information.

Japanese: This Japanese dictionary understands how a user thinks: on opening, it presents you with a search bar to immediately type in, but also a handwriting, has an incredibly useful list of conjugations for every verb.kanji component and SKIP search option, all on the same page.It contains an audio clip for all entries and has the clearest layout for examples with hiragana above the kanji used and each kanji displayed underneath with their meanings. Japanese also has an incredibly useful list of conjugations for every verb.

Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese: Tae Kim's Guide s packed with logically organized lessons, beautifully clear explanations, and conjugation tables, and there are even some exercises for the first chapters on basic grammar. A list of vocabulary used in examples is given for every lesson, with the kanji, readings, and English meanings, allowing you to pick up new words whilst also seeing the grammar work in context.

Tango.Risto: A Japanese learning app that will allow you to pick the materials that you would like to read and then turn the words into different vocabulary levels. Tango Risto is a graded reading application that is developed by an engineer and researcher of language processing.This app is unique because you can import your own documents and read them in Japanese.

Todai: This app is a great way to learn Kanji while keeping up with the latest news in Japan. On top of all the kanji appearing in the news articles, there will be furigana provided so that you can familiarize yourself with the various kanji readings. It also serves as a simple way to practice your Japanese reading skills every day while learning relevant information about what is going on around the world. 

Learn Japanese - Phrasebook for Travel in Japan: Learn Japanese is an easy to use mobile Japanese phrasebook that will give visitors to Japan and those who are interested in learning Japanese a good start in the language. Learn Japanese is recorded using a native speaker to be authentic in the pronunciation whilst ensuring it is easy to understand. 

Mango Languages: The sweet and simple language learning app, this app is geared towards teaching you practical phrases and having you use them in everyday life. The content is very auditory-heavy, with clear voice recordings of every phrase and prompts to repeat and record yourself. Vocabulary and grammar lessons are combined together in units called “getting around”, “asking opinions”, and similar phrases. We loved the timer feature on the lesson quizzes, which added a competitive edge, as well as the option to download lessons offline.

DuoLingo: You can begin the lessons without any previous knowledge of hiragana or katakana with DuoLingo and testing past beginner levels is available. All the lessons are grouped into fun categories that range anywhere from food and family to subculture. There’s even an Olympics category in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 games.

Drops: All the new verbs are 100% illustrated which reduces the chances of you using another language to identify and then translate. The short duration of each gamified session is both fun and addictive which is key in learning a new language. You do have to remember that Drops only offers verbs. There aren’t any grammar or expressions. So if you want to expand your vocabulary and know more words, this is the ideal app for you.

Memrise: Memrise is a free app that has tons of user-created courses. These can be anything from characters to restaurant items to slang words. It’s sort of a gamified flashcard system that you can use to learn new characters. It also uses mnemonics but the quality can vary significantly on a course by course basis.