Japanese Language Resource Masterpost

Here’s a list of some of my favourite resources, some of which I’ve covered on my blog and some which are on my to do list 🙂 I will add to this as and when I find more wonderful resources to recommend!

If you have just started to learn Japanese, you may want to check out my page on getting started with Japanese for links to beginner resources for hiragana, katakana, kanji and vocabulary building.

I have split resources by skill – resources are interspersed with ideas on how to improve your proficiency.

Speaking

The HelloTalk language exchange app is really useful for finding a language exchange partner. You can have video calls via the app, which also has a helpful Translate feature if you get stuck!

Record yourself and get your speaking corrected by native speakers on HiNative (which I have written about in more detail here)

Italki is a site where you can find language exchange partners and also find language tutors – ideal for those that do not have Japanese native speakers nearby to practice with.

Skype

Try and look for a local Japanese conversation group via a website like Meetup.com

Listening

Podcasts

Bilingual News (see my review here)

Bilingual NY Learn Japanese (it is different from the above podcast! I’ve reviewed it here)

JapanesePod101 (there is a free trial, subscription costs apply)

Learn Japanese Pod (particularly good for speaking and listening to short dialogues – check out my review here)

News in Slow Japanese (see my review here)

Manga Sensei (see my review here)

I’ve also written a post on 5 Japanese podcasts I really enjoy listening to.

TV

Netflix shows (even on Netflix outside of Japan you can get some Japanese TV – check out my post on this)

Crunchyroll website/ app has a number of anime series and Japanese dramas (free, but a premium subscription available)

Streaming websites like Viki and DramaFever allow you to watch Japanese dramas for free! Read more about them in my post here.

Youtube – see my recommendations on Youtube channels to watch here and here

Reading

I have a couple of posts about tadoku (extensive reading) as well as resource recommendations for beginner-intermediate learners here and here.

I put together a post on reading children’s books in Japanese which has a number of ideas on where to find children’s stories to practice with.

Mondo reading app (see my review here)

TangoRisto reading app (see my review here)

You can buy Japanese ebooks to read from ebookJapan and Bookwalker (both of these have their own apps to read the ebooks you purchase).

Delvin Language is good for practicing your reading (and listening) skills with examples from Japanese TV (I explain how it works in this post on learning Japanese with sentences).

I sometimes read stories from Aozora Bunko as practice – for beginners, I strongly recommend checking out stories written by Niimi Nankiichi, Mimei Ogawa and Kyusaku Yumeno in particular.

Reajer has a number of bilingual texts with notes to help you understand the Japanese. A lot of texts from this site appear on Aozora so I recommend checking this site out if you are a fan of Japanese literature.

Japanese.io is a website (and Google Chrome add-on) where you can insert a piece of Japanese text and hover over any word or phrase to get the reading and English meaning.

Writing

Why not start your own journal in Japanese? Post your Japanese writing on Lang-8/ HiNative/ HelloTalk/ Italki for review by native speakers. I believe that Lang-8 is no longer accepting new signups – HiNative is run by the same company and fills the same purpose.

In November I ran a 30-day Japanese writing challenge on the blog. If you want to build a habit of writing in Japanese, I think this is a great way to get started! My challenge roundup post also has some ideas on where you can find more writing prompts.

Get tweeting in Japanese on Twitter

The NVA (Noun-Verb-Adjective) Challenge provides daily writing prompts if you are ever struggling for something to write about!

Grammar and dictionary resources

Grammar Reference sites

Discover Nihongo

Imabi is a super comprehensive grammar guide that covers the basics right through to classic Japanese – highly recommended!

JGram Grammar Database

Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide – an excellent guide for beginners to Japanese

Japanese Meow is another nice beginner’s resource

Wasabi has a great section on grammar covering a lot of beginner and intermediate level material.

Dictionaries

ALC dictionary (especially useful for collocations)

Akebi dictionary app for Android – read my review of the app here

Jim Breen

Jisho is my go to Japanese to English dictionary and is super easy to use.

Tagaini Jisho (excellent dictionary for Windows, Mac OS and Linux)

Tangorin (also available as an app)

Weblio (Japanese – English, English to Japanese). This is also available as an app.

If you are considering buying a denshi jisho (electronic dictionary), you might want to check out my post on whether Japanese learners should invest in one.

Kanji

The KanjiStudy app on Android is a wonderful app for learning and reviewing kanji.

KanjiAlive is a web app that allows you to search kanji and then study it. It also has a really useful guide introducing students to kanji and the all-important kanji radicals.

Kanshudo is a pretty comprehensive website for studying kanji. If you are not a complete Japanese beginner, you can take a test to check your current kanji knowledge, which is visualised in a cool kanjiwheel.

Skritter is a website/ app dedicated to learning kanji (and Chinese characters) – there is a monthly subscription but a free trial is available.

Wanikani promises to help you learn kanji quickly and effectively. You can try this out for free initially, but once you reach a certain level it will cost $9 month to keep going.

Flashcard tools and apps such as Anki and Memrise are great for reviewing kanji.

Kakijun.com is a neat online kanji dictionary for checking kanji stroke order