33 Best Apps for Learning Japanese in 2024

Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Embarking on the journey of learning Japanese opens a world of rich culture, captivating history, and a language that’s both challenging and rewarding to master.

As you explore the best apps for learning Japanese, you’ll discover that the plethora of options available today caters to everyone from curious beginners to advanced learners.

These digital companions are designed to guide you through the intricacies of the Japanese language, making the learning process both effective and enjoyable.

Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Whether you’re looking to build your vocabulary, improve your grammar, or practice conversation, there’s an app designed to meet your specific needs.

Let’s delve into the diverse array of apps available, each promising to make your Japanese learning experience both effective and enjoyable.

1. Preply

preply Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Preply stands out as a versatile platform for learning Japanese, offering personalized 1-on-1 language classes with native speakers.

Its strength lies in its ability to match learners with tutors based on various criteria, including price, availability, and language proficiency.

This app is particularly effective for those seeking to enhance their conversational skills, as it focuses on real-time interaction and practical language use.

The flexibility of scheduling lessons according to one’s convenience makes it an ideal choice for busy individuals.

Additionally, Preply offers a trial lesson, ensuring that learners can find the right tutor fit before committing.

The app’s interactive classroom features, like file sharing and a whiteboard, enrich the learning experience.

2. FluentU

FluentU Best Apps for Learning Japanese

FluentU takes a unique approach to language learning by utilizing real-world Japanese videos, such as music videos, news, and movie trailers.

This immersion method helps learners understand the language in its natural context.

The app allows users to pause videos and learn vocabulary and phrases used in them, making it easier to grasp the nuances of conversational Japanese.

FluentU is ideal for learners who prefer a visual and auditory learning style.

The app’s subscription model offers a range of pricing options, catering to different learning needs and budgets.

Its focus on authentic content makes learning Japanese engaging and relevant to everyday situations.

3. Rocket Languages

rocket languages Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Rocket Languages offers a comprehensive Japanese course that integrates language learning with cultural insights.

This app is designed to guide learners from beginner to advanced levels, making it suitable for a wide range of users.

The course structure is sequential and immersive, focusing on practical language use and cultural understanding.

Rocket Languages is known for its emphasis on audio learning, making it a great tool for improving listening and pronunciation skills.

The one-time payment model for lifetime access makes it a cost-effective choice for dedicated learners.

Its blend of language and cultural lessons provides a well-rounded learning experience.

4. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Rosetta Stone is a renowned name in language learning, known for its immersive and interactive Japanese courses.

The app adapts to individual learning levels and sets new language goals, making it suitable for learners of all stages.

It employs a unique method of teaching Japanese through visual and auditory cues without relying on translations, enhancing the natural learning process.

The focus on all language aspects, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking, offers a comprehensive learning experience.

Rosetta Stone’s subscription model includes a free trial, allowing learners to test the app before committing.

Its user-friendly interface and well-rounded curriculum make it a popular choice among Japanese learners.

5. Pimsleur

Pimsleur Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Pimsleur is based on the Pimsleur Method, emphasizing conversational skills and practical language use.

The app offers five levels of learning, starting from beginner to advanced, making it accessible to a wide audience.

Its audio-focused approach is excellent for developing listening and speaking skills, though it may lack in writing practice.

Pimsleur includes cultural elements in its lessons, adding context to the language learning process.

The subscription model is reasonably priced, with a free trial available for new users.

While Pimsleur is great for foundational language skills, it may not be sufficient for those seeking comprehensive writing and grammar practice.

6. LingoDeer

lingodeer Best Apps for Learning Japanese

LingoDeer excels in teaching the basics of elementary and intermediate Japanese, making it ideal for beginners and those preparing for proficiency exams.

The app uses bite-sized lessons for convenient learning, focusing on core grammar elements and essential vocabulary.

Each lesson is themed and includes grammar tips, enhancing the understanding of language structures.

LingoDeer’s subscription model offers various pricing options, including lifetime access.

While the app is strong in grammar and vocabulary, it may not provide extensive speaking practice.

Its structured approach and user-friendly interface make it a popular choice for learners seeking a solid foundation in Japanese.

7. Duolingo

duolingo Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Duolingo is known for its gamified approach to language learning, making Japanese accessible and fun.

The app starts with teaching the Japanese writing system and progresses to basic grammar and vocabulary through interactive exercises.

Duolingo’s fast-paced nature is perfect for learners with limited time, allowing for quick, engaging lessons.

The app’s free version is comprehensive, with a premium option available for an ad-free experience.

While Duolingo is excellent for beginners, it may lack depth in grammar explanations and conversational practice.

Its wide user base and approachable format make it a popular choice for casual learners.

8. JapanesePod101

JapanesePod101 Best Apps for Learning Japanese

JapanesePod101 offers a range of learning materials, including video and audio lessons, making it a comprehensive resource for Japanese learners.

The platform includes a mobile app, YouTube channel, and various lesson formats, catering to different learning styles.

With a premium plan, learners gain access to a native-speaker tutor via chat, enhancing the learning experience.

While the app covers reading and speaking, it does not offer live conversation practice.

JapanesePod101’s subscription model is reasonably priced, with options for different budgets.

Its well-rounded approach and extensive content make it a valuable tool for Japanese learners.

9. Mondly

mondly Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Mondly takes a gamified approach to Japanese learning, offering fast-paced, interactive lessons.

The app’s exercises include translation questions, listening exercises, and writing drills, catering to various learning aspects.

Mondly’s dashboard and leaderboard motivate learners through a competitive and engaging format.

The app also features VR and AR apps for immersive language practice.

Mondly’s subscription model offers flexibility with monthly, annual, and lifetime access options.

While the app is great for basic language skills, it may not provide in-depth conversational practice.

Mondly’s innovative use of technology makes it an appealing choice for tech-savvy learners.

10. Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese is a straightforward, no-frills app focusing on Japanese grammar.

The app offers detailed explanations and exercises in all three Japanese writing systems, making it a valuable resource for learners.

Example sentences and dialogues in the app provide practical applications of grammar concepts.

Tae Kim’s Guide is free to use, making it accessible to a wide audience.

While the app excels in grammar, it lacks comprehensive lessons in speaking and listening.

Its focus on grammar makes it an essential tool for learners seeking to strengthen their understanding of Japanese language structures.

11. Drops

drops Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Drops is a visually engaging app designed to enhance Japanese vocabulary through interactive and fun lessons.

The app focuses on teaching simple words, verbs, and phrases across various themes, using repetition for effective memorization.

Drops’ lessons are beautifully illustrated, making learning an enjoyable experience.

The app offers a time-limited free version and a premium option for extended access.

While Drops is excellent for vocabulary building, it does not include grammar lessons or speaking practice.

Its user-friendly interface and engaging content make it a popular choice for learners looking to expand their Japanese vocabulary.

12. LingoPie

lingopie Best Apps for Learning Japanese

LingoPie offers a unique way to learn Japanese by watching TV shows, making it an entertaining and engaging learning method.

The app features interactive subtitles, allowing learners to translate and understand words in real-time.

New Japanese shows are added monthly, providing a constant stream of fresh content.

LingoPie’s subscription model includes a free access option and a monthly or yearly plan.

While the app is great for exposure to Japanese culture, it lacks structured lessons in speaking and grammar.

LingoPie is ideal for learners who enjoy learning through media and want to immerse themselves in Japanese entertainment.

13. Write It! Japanese

Write It! Japanese Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Write It! Japanese is dedicated to teaching hiragana and katakana, two essential components of the Japanese writing system.

The app uses tracing exercises and quizzes to help learners master hundreds of kana characters.

Its focus on stroke patterns aids in developing proper writing skills.

Write It! Japanese offers a free version with limited features and a full version at an affordable price.

While the app excels in teaching kana, it does not cover kanji or other language aspects.

Its simplicity and effectiveness make it a great starting point for beginners looking to learn Japanese writing.

14. Kanji Study

Japanese kanji study Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Kanji Study is designed to help learners master over 2,000 kanji characters through various exercises, including writing, quizzes, and flashcards.

The app allows users to create custom kanji lists for targeted practice. Kanji Study’s beginner level is free, with additional lessons available for purchase.

The app’s focus on kanji adds depth to the understanding of Japanese culture and expression.

While it is limited to kanji learning, it is an essential tool for those looking to master this complex writing system.

Kanji Study’s user interface may be challenging for some, but its comprehensive content makes it a valuable resource for kanji learners.

15. Obenkyo

obenkyo Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Obenkyo offers lessons in Japanese grammar, vocabulary, and writing, catering to learners of different proficiency levels.

The app includes flashcards for character practice and handwriting software to check stroke accuracy.

Obenkyo’s design is user-friendly, making it accessible to beginners and advanced learners alike.

The app is free, offering a cost-effective solution for Japanese language study.

While Obenkyo is strong in writing practice, it may not provide comprehensive lessons in speaking and listening.

Its focus on multiple language aspects makes it a versatile tool for learners seeking a well-rounded approach to Japanese.

16. Memrise

Memrise Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Memrise is a user-friendly app that utilizes technology to offer a dynamic approach to learning Japanese.

The app’s premium features, although not free, provide access to science-backed learning assets.

Memrise uses the Spaced Repetition System (SRS) to optimize memory retention, making it effective for vocabulary learning.

The app’s courses are community-created, adding a unique and diverse range of learning materials.

Memrise’s global leaderboard and contests add a competitive edge to language learning.

While the app is great for vocabulary and basic phrases, it may lack comprehensive grammar and conversational practice.

Memrise’s engaging interface and community features make it a popular choice for learners seeking a fun way to learn Japanese.

17. Busuu

busuu Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Busuu offers a structured and systematic approach to learning Japanese, ideal for those who prefer organized lessons.

Recommended:   11 Best Apps For YouTubers to Check Out in 2024

The app’s lessons progress from beginner to advanced levels, focusing on reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar.

Busuu’s unique feature is its conversation practice, where learners can interact with native Japanese speakers.

The app allows users to create custom study plans, fitting language learning into their busy schedules.

Busuu’s subscription model includes a free version and a premium plan for more in-depth access.

While it excels in providing structured lessons, Busuu may not offer as much cultural immersion as other apps.

18. HelloTalk

hellotalk Best Apps for Learning Japanese

HelloTalk is a language exchange app that connects learners with native Japanese speakers for practice.

The app’s text, audio, and video chat features facilitate real-time language exchange and cultural sharing.

HelloTalk’s built-in grammar correction tool helps learners improve their language skills efficiently.

The app also allows users to post “moments” to share their language learning journey and receive feedback.

HelloTalk’s community aspect fosters a supportive environment for language learners.

While the app is great for conversational practice, it may not provide structured lessons like traditional learning apps.

19. iTalki

italki Best Apps for Learning Japanese

iTalki is a platform that connects learners with Japanese tutors for personalized language lessons.

The app offers a wide range of tutors with different teaching styles, backgrounds, and specialties.

iTalki’s flexible scheduling allows learners to have lessons at their convenience.

The platform is ideal for those seeking tailored lessons and focused language practice.

iTalki also offers trial lessons, enabling learners to find the right tutor fit.

While iTalki excels in providing personalized learning experiences, it may require a higher budget compared to self-study apps.

20. Skritter

skritter Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Skritter is an app dedicated to teaching Japanese writing, particularly kanji.

The app uses a stroke-by-stroke practice method, helping learners master the correct writing technique.

Skritter offers pre-made lists and allows users to create their own for customized learning.

The app’s subscription model provides access to extensive kanji learning resources.

Skritter is ideal for learners who want to focus on writing skills, especially kanji.

While the app is great for writing practice, it does not cover other language aspects like speaking or listening.

21. Scripts

scripts Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Scripts is designed to help learners master the Japanese kana in a short time.

The app’s unique feature is its interactive writing practice, where learners draw kana characters with their fingers.

Scripts offer a free version and a premium option for more comprehensive learning.

The app is user-friendly and suitable for beginners starting with Japanese writing.

While Scripts is excellent for learning kana, it does not provide lessons in kanji or other language skills.

Its simplicity and effectiveness make it a great supplementary tool for Japanese writing practice.

22. NHK Easy Japanese News

NHK Easy Japanese News Best Apps for Learning Japanese

NHK Easy Japanese News is an app that provides news articles in simplified Japanese, ideal for learners to practice reading skills.

The app offers audio features, allowing learners to improve their listening comprehension.

NHK Easy Japanese News is a great way to stay informed while practicing Japanese.

The app’s content is updated regularly, providing a constant source of new material.

While it is excellent for reading practice, it may not offer structured lessons in grammar or conversation.

NHK Easy Japanese News is suitable for learners who prefer learning through real-world content.

23. Mondly Kids

mondly kids Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Mondly Kids is an extension of the Mondly app, specifically designed for young learners to start learning Japanese.

The app uses fun, interactive games to teach basic vocabulary and phrases.

Mondly Kids is user-friendly and visually appealing, keeping children engaged in learning.

The app covers essential language skills in a playful and educational manner.

While it is great for kids, it may not be suitable for adult learners looking for in-depth language study.

Mondly Kids is a great tool for introducing Japanese to children in a fun and interactive way.

24. Imiwa

imiwa Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Imiwa is a comprehensive mobile dictionary app that offers extensive Japanese-English entries.

The app functions offline, making it a reliable resource for learners on the go.

Imiwa’s search system allows for easy lookup of kanji and vocabulary through various methods.

The app is regularly updated with new entries and example sentences.

Imiwa is ideal for learners who need a portable and detailed Japanese dictionary.

While it excels as a dictionary, it does not provide structured language lessons.

25. Nihongo

nihongo Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Nihongo is an iOS-exclusive Japanese dictionary app that also functions as a flashcard app and reading assistant.

The app’s “clippings” feature lets users paste Japanese text from any source and add furigana or romaji for easier reading.

Nihongo’s flashcard sets are based on search history and clippings, providing personalized vocabulary practice.

The app is great for learners who want a multifunctional dictionary and study tool.

While Nihongo is comprehensive, it is only available for iOS users.

26. Anki Flashcards App

anki flashcards Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Anki is a popular flashcard app that uses a Spaced Repetition System (SRS) for efficient memorization.

The app is suitable for learning Japanese vocabulary and kanji.

Anki allows users to create their own flashcards or use pre-made decks.

The app is available for free online and on Android, with a paid version for iOS users.

Anki is ideal for learners who prefer self-paced, flashcard-based study.

While it is great for memorization, it may not offer comprehensive language lessons.

27. Clozemaster

clozemaster Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Clozemaster is a language learning app that uses sentences and phrases to teach vocabulary in context.

The app focuses on comprehensible input, presenting words in realistic sentences.

Clozemaster’s game-like format makes learning engaging and effective.

The app is suitable for learners who want to improve their vocabulary and sentence structure understanding.

While Clozemaster is helpful for vocabulary practice, it may not provide in-depth grammar or conversational lessons.

28. LingoDeer Plus

lingodeer plus Best Apps for Learning Japanese

LingoDeer Plus is an extension of the LingoDeer app, offering additional games and activities for Japanese language practice.

The app focuses on reinforcing vocabulary, grammar, and kanji learned in LingoDeer.

LingoDeer Plus is interactive and fun, making it a great supplementary tool for language learners.

The app’s subscription model offers various pricing options.

While LingoDeer Plus is excellent for practice, it is best used alongside the main LingoDeer app for a comprehensive learning experience.

29. Tandem

tandem Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Tandem is a language exchange app that connects Japanese learners with native speakers for conversational practice.

The app offers text, voice, and video chat options for real-time language exchange.

Tandem’s community aspect allows learners to find language partners with similar interests.

The app is great for improving conversational skills and cultural understanding.

While Tandem is excellent for practice, it may not offer structured language lessons.

30. HiNative

HiNative Best Apps for Learning Japanese

HiNative is an app that allows learners to ask native Japanese speakers questions about the language.

The app is great for checking sentence structures, pronunciation, and word usage.

HiNative’s community-driven format provides diverse insights and tips from native speakers.

The app is suitable for learners seeking real-time feedback and cultural nuances.

While HiNative is helpful for specific queries, it may not provide comprehensive language lessons.

31. WaniKani

wanikani Best Apps for Learning Japanese

WaniKani is a specialized app designed for learning kanji and vocabulary effectively.

It uses a spaced repetition system (SRS) to ensure long-term retention of characters and words.

The app introduces kanji in a structured manner, starting from simpler to more complex characters.

WaniKani’s mnemonic techniques aid in memorizing kanji readings and meanings.

The app’s engaging interface and progress tracking motivate learners to continue their studies.

While WaniKani is excellent for kanji and vocabulary, it does not focus on grammar or conversational skills, making it a supplementary tool in a comprehensive Japanese learning strategy.

32. Kana Dojo

kana dojo Best Apps for Learning Japanese

Kana Dojo is an app focused on mastering the Japanese kana, including both hiragana and katakana.

The app offers various exercises and quizzes to help learners practice and memorize these characters.

Kana Dojo’s user-friendly interface makes it accessible for beginners starting their Japanese learning journey.

The app provides immediate feedback on exercises, enhancing the learning process.

Kana Dojo is ideal for those who want a dedicated tool for kana mastery.

While it is focused solely on kana, its effectiveness in this area makes it a valuable resource for foundational Japanese writing skills.

33. Japanese Uncovered

Japanese Uncovered uses a unique StoryLearning® method, teaching Japanese naturally through storytelling.

The program is comprehensive, taking learners from beginner to intermediate level.

Japanese Uncovered focuses on immersion, making learning enjoyable and grammar intuitive.

The course offers a mix of reading, listening, and speaking exercises.

While it is not an app, it is accessible on various devices.

Japanese Uncovered is ideal for learners who enjoy learning through narrative and context.

FAQs

What Makes an App Effective for Learning Japanese?

An effective app for learning Japanese should offer a balanced approach, covering essential language skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

It should provide interactive and engaging content, utilize effective teaching methodologies like spaced repetition, and offer personalized learning experiences.

The app should also include cultural insights to enhance understanding and appreciation of the language.

Features like progress tracking, user-friendly interfaces, and the ability to practice with native speakers can significantly enhance the learning experience.

How Can Beginners Choose the Right Japanese Learning App?

Beginners should look for apps that start with the basics of the language, such as hiragana, katakana, and basic grammar structures.

An ideal app for beginners would offer interactive and engaging content to keep the learning process interesting.

It should also provide clear explanations and gradual progression to build confidence.

Beginners might benefit from apps that offer visual learning aids, pronunciation guides, and regular quizzes to test understanding.

Reading user reviews and trying out free versions or trial periods can also help in making an informed choice.

Are There Japanese Learning Apps Suitable for Children?

Yes, there are several Japanese learning apps designed specifically for children.

These apps often use gamified learning, colorful visuals, and interactive content to make language learning fun and engaging for young learners.

Apps like Mondly Kids and Duolingo offer child-friendly interfaces and content suitable for beginners.

These apps focus on basic vocabulary, simple phrases, and pronunciation, making them ideal for introducing the Japanese language to children in an enjoyable and accessible way.

Conclusion

Embarking on the journey to learn Japanese through apps offers a diverse and flexible approach to mastering this intricate language.

From comprehensive platforms like Preply and FluentU to specialized tools like WaniKani and Kana Dojo, each app caters to different aspects of the language, ensuring that every learner finds their perfect match.

Whether it’s enhancing vocabulary, perfecting grammar, or practicing conversation, these apps provide a tailored experience to meet individual learning needs.

The best apps for learning Japanese not only make the process engaging and accessible but also open doors to a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture and communication.

Related Articles