Learn japanese tips

Listen to podcasts

If you want to learn Japanese, podcasts are an excellent way to add some extra listening practice to your daily routine and find out more about Japanese culture. Here are two podcasts that are great for beginners:

  • Learn Japanese Pod Podcasts. Various episodes cover all sort of topics: from traveling tips to drinking etiquette in Japan. Each episode comes with the script in Japanese and a translated transcript.
  • NHK. Each episode of this podcast for beginners tells a story of Anna, a fictional character who comes to Japan to study Japanese. The brief lessons provide scripts with an English translation. Looking for more options? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at 5 podcasts to learn Japanese on the go.

Watch anime

If you want to be entertained while you study, try to learn Japanese with anime!. Anime is a unique style of Japanese animation, and for decades, anime was produced only by Japan. Today, it has become an international phenomenon, attracting millions of fans. Spending your free time watching anime will help you learn a batch of new words, including slang, and improve your listening skills. You can find not only anime but also Japanese films and shows on Crunchyroll, Asian Crush, Netflix.

Read manga

It’s time to start immersing yourself in Japanese culture! Apart from Japanese books and newspapers, learn to read Japanese with manga. Manga is a crucial part of Japanese culture with a long history. Today, it’s at the heart of Japanese pop culture and is also widely known outside of the country. Manga is art in the form of comics or graphic novels, and can be especially helpful for language learners. These comics are full of contextual clues so that you can easily understand the meaning of the written words. Sailor Moon would be a great starting point for a beginner.

Chat online with native speakers or other learners

The best way to learn to speak Japanese and strengthen what you’ve already learned is to practice regularly with others. Even if you don’t have a native Japanese friend, you have various options to put your knowledge into practice these days. For example, you can opt for 1-on-1 video chats to find a language partner who speaks Japanese. Using your smartphone or computer, you’ll be able to talk or write online to native speakers or learners from all around the globe. Here are some tools you can try:

  • HelloTalk is a language exchange app where learners can quickly find and chat with native speakers;
  • LextTalk is the first social networking and chats app designed for language exchange;
  • MyLanguageExchange is a platform which allows users to find conversation partners and improve their speaking both with native speakers and language learners. If you want to start speaking Japanese from lesson #1 with a native,, browse Preply’s expert Japanese tutors. You can choose from a vast database of certified teachers who can customize an effective lesson plan for your level and language learning needs. Preply offers private lessons with experts via user-friendly video chat. It’s also surprisingly affordable, starting from just $5 per hour.

Pay attention to flashcards

Flashcards are perfect for language learners. It’s a card with information on it that you need to remember. To memorize a particular word in Japanese, you can use a flashcard with this word on it. When you flip the card over, you’ll see a translation into your native language. If you’ve never tried flashcards, you should make them a part of your learning journey. With flashcards, you can:

  • label items in your home with their Japanese names to see them every day;
  • regularly repeat new words and quiz yourself;
  • ask a friend to quiz you to see if you remember the words correctly. The best part about flashcards is that you can purchase them online or even make them yourself. Whether you’re mastering skills in Hiragana, Katakana or Kanji, flashcards can be a great way to strengthen your vocabulary in all three systems.

Use apps to get started

Language learning applications will come in very handy when you start learning Japanese. Duolingo, Memrise, or Rosetta Stone are very simple apps for beginners to start learning basic Japanese phrases and vocabulary. Apps like these allow you to study wherever and whenever you want. If you want to find out more about useful language learning apps, check out our review of one of the most popular apps on the market: Babbel Review: How It Can Help You Learn a Language. However, most language-learning apps are great for a quick boost to your Japanese language skills. But they shouldn’t be the only resource that you use. If you’re only studying an app for 10 minutes a day, you won’t experience quick progress. No app is a substitute for real-world interaction! Instead, try to find a language learning partner or online tutor to help you speak on a regular basis. We have tutors that cost as little as $5 an hour—take a look at our expert Japanese tutors here.

Set up a schedule

How long does it take to learn Japanese? It’s probably one of the most popular questions many people have about this language. The truth is that it depends on the efforts you’re going to make to boost your level of Japanese. The truth is, to see fast progress you need to start practicing every day! There are hundreds of useful apps and learning strategies to help you schedule daily lessons and find a learning pace that suits them. Ready to kick start a learning process with hourly lessons? Go for it! Can you only spend 15 minutes a day learning Japanese? No problem! Just make the most of this time.

Learn some key phrases

How to learn Japanese fast? Start with the list of the most common words and expressions. Knowing basic phrases like “Hello”, “How do you do?”, and “Nice to meet you” allows you to begin speaking Japanese and quickly join conversations with native speakers. Take a look at the 100+ most important Japanese words — this will be extremely helpful if you ever decide to visit Japan, or if you need a starting point if you decide to relocate there.

Practice grammar

How do you learn Japanese grammar? If you want to master it perfectly, you have to forget everything you know about English grammar as they differ dramatically. Unlike many of the romance languages, Japanese has only two tenses: past and non-past (present and future). However, there are two forms: polite and plain. The last one is used for casual speech. We recommend that you start to learn Japanese grammar with the help of textbooks. The best books to learn Japanese grammar are:

  • Practice Makes Perfect: Basic Japanese;
  • A Guide to Japanese Grammar by Tae Kim;
  • Japanese Hiragana & Katakana for Beginners. It’s also important to mention that Japanese has an entirely different writing system: from right to left, from top to bottom. In these textbooks, you’ll find a lot of practical lessons that will help you get a sense of Japanese writing.

Learn the Japanese alphabet

The best way to learn Japanese is to start with the basics: learning the alphabet. There are 3 basic writing systems you need to learn to be able to read Japanese: Higarana, Katakana, and Kanji.