Where to start learning the Japanese language (besides taking a Japanese language class)

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I am often asked for advice from students who are interested in learning Japaense but are not sure if they are ready to take a Japanese language class (after all, we have heard a lot how difficult the Japanese language is). For these students, I put together some resources for self-studying the Japanese language.

Self-paced language learning apps

These language learning apps offer a Japaense language course. Some people have a bitter memory with the self-paced language learning app (especially those who tried Rosetta Stone many years ago), but there have been a lot of new innovative learning approaches in these self-paced language learning apps (especially Duolingo). Below is the list of famous self-paced language learning apps with the Japaense language course. The price varies from free to about $20 per month.

Elementary Japanese courses on MOOC

MOOC stands for “massive open online course” and it has been a popular alternative educational platform in higher education. Many universities contribute to the contents of various MOOC sites such as edX and Coursera. Below are some of the famous elementary-level Japaense MOOC courses. The price ranges from free to about $200.


Many good Japanese lesson videos are available on YouTube too. Here are just a few examples, but I am sure that there are many more.

Online language tutors

Online language tutors have become very popular among those who have decided to study a new language during the social distancing restrictions due to the pandemic. The following are popular online tutoring or language exchange platforms. It usually costs about $10-30 per hour.

Japanese learning websites

There are several websites popular among learners of the Japanese language.

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