It’s never been easier to learn Japanese!
These days we Japanese learners are spoilt for choice. There are so many Japanese language lessons available online, in our colleges and in the bookstores.
But the question is, what is the best Japanese language lesson for you?
Do you learn best through reading? Speaking? Through interactive teacher-student sessions?
Of course it is possible to enroll in an instructional course, perhaps at a college or community center, but with these sessions, you have to attend when they are scheduled, and they allow no flexibility if you have a busy schedule.
With so many options online, which you can take at your own pace, an online course might be a better option for you.
We’re going to talk about some of the best Japanese language lessons out there to help you choose one that is the best for your needs.
Rocket Japanese tops our list as the best all-round Japanese lessons. It’s an online course which is available through your computer or as an app. The course is broken into many parts for effective learning:
- Audio lessons
- Conversation transcripts, which you can replay line by line
- Voice recognition software to help your pronunciation
- Motivational tools
The Rocket Languages system has truly great reviews and has helped thousands of people learn a language, even after they failed at more traditional methods. Read our full review here.
The Michel Thomas Method
Michel Thomas was a famous linguist and language teacher who developed the now well-known Michel Thomas Method. The Method is available in 15 languages, including Japanese (in a 1 hour and 8 hour version). The Japanese course is not taught by Michel Thomas himself, but it’s based on his famous teachings. The method aims to get you speaking a language confidently and fluently. You’ll learn how to take one simple phrase, and use it as a building block to create lots of different sentences. The course is entirely audio-based, so it’s perfect for someone who likes to study in the car, although maybe not the best option if you like to see things written down.
JapanesePod101 is another audio-based course that we love. The main content is their podcasts. Similar to Rocket Japanese, each lesson usually centres around a conversation in Japanese, with two presenters who then discuss the conversation and break down any new words or grammar points. You can download selected podcasts for free, or subscribe for full access to all content. JapanesePod101 also have some great YouTube videos which you can check out for free to get an idea of their teaching style.
Japanese Ammo is one of our favourite online Japanese resources. It’s created by Misa sensei, a multilingual Japanese translator and teacher. Misa teaches through her YouTube channel and blog posts. All of her content is currently free. There are loads of lessons suitable for beginners. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to check out this series on basic Japanese grammar. If you’re more advanced, you’ll love her Japanese-only videos.
Nihongo no mori
Nihongo no mori offer some of the best free Japanese lessons for JLPT grades 1, 2 and 3. Taught entirely through YouTube videos, the lessons are produced by a team of Japanese university students. They talk you through every grammar and vocabulary item you need to know to master the JLPT. The higher level lessons are all in Japanese, which is great for immersion and also for students who don’t speak English as a first language. They also have a few beginners videos which use more English, like this one: