Do you want to learn Japanese but don’t know where to start? There are many different ways to learn the language, and it can be tough to know which option is best for you. One of the best ways to learn is with an app. There are many different apps available, so how do you know which one of the many Japanese learning apps is right for you?
The best Japanese learning apps are fun, easy to use, and help you practice what you’re learning in your Japanese lessons. Whether you’re looking to improve your conversation skills or become better acquainted with the written language, these apps will help you learn the Japanese language.
Which App is Best for Learning Japanese Free?
If you’re looking for the best free app to learn Japanese, consider some of these options:
- Kanji Recognizer
- Kanji Skill Check
And of course, you’ll find one of the best Japanese learning apps with TakeLessons, too. Here, you can take lessons with skilled Japanese instructors and even watch helpful videos to help you get away in your lessons. Here’s an example:
Best Japanese Learning Apps
Ready to become a fluent Japanese speaker? If so, you’ll want to consider trying some of these excellent Japanese learning apps.
1. Learn Japanese
Learn Japanese is one of the best free Japanese learning apps, and it will help you strengthen your vocabulary and grammar skills. You can learn more than 800 useful Japanese words and phrases like greetings, expressions, and terms for dining out. The app also includes audio, so you can listen to the pronunciation of the words. You can also record yourself speaking, so you can work on perfecting your own pronunciation.
2. Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese
This app is useful for both beginner and intermediate students, and serves as a guide for anyone who wants to learn or strengthen their Japanese language skills. You can learn grammar, Japanese language structure, and vocabulary. If you’re new to the language, you can start with an introduction to the Japanese writing system, and then move on to conjugating verbs and adjectives. If you’re more advanced, you can learn specific expressions and more complex aspects of the Japanese language.
3. Learn Japanese by Mindsnacks
Learn Japanese by Mindsnacks is the best app for learning Japanese. It will help you build your Japanese vocabulary with more than 800 words and phrases. This app is great for children, but works well for adults as well. You can learn kanji, kana, and romaji by playing games that gradually introduce the Japanese language. As you advance through the games, you will build your knowledge of Japanese vocabulary and grammar. You can learn 20 words from each lesson, and the review mode allows you to go over previous lessons to build on what you’ve learned.
imiwa? is a dictionary app that helps you learn Japanese words. Search and listen to kana, kanji, and romaji words, and practice your pronunciation. Each word is used in sentence form to help you understand proper usage. This app will also teach you how to conjugate verbs. Use the notebook feature to make lists of words and look up the corresponding characters. Once you find the character you’re looking for, the app will show you the number of strokes, and help you practice writing the characters.
5. TenguGO Kana
TenguGo Kana is one of the best Japanese learning apps to practice hiragana and katakana. Learn the Japanese alphabets with charts, quizzes, stroke diagrams, and flashcards. This app gives you a good foundation once you’re ready to learn kanji, since it lets you see how hiragana and katakana relate to kanji.
6. Waygo Translator & Dictionary
Waygo will come in handy as you learn to read and write in Japanese. Snap a picture on your phone of any characters you don’t understand, and then use the app to find the English translation. Once you’ve translated a word or sentence, you can listen to the pronunciation. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, you should definitely get this app, it will help you translate menus, signs, and anything else you may not understand while traveling.
One of the best ways to practice your Japanese speaking skills is to converse with other Japanese speakers. HelloTalk allows you to do just that right from your mobile device.
In fact, HelloTalk is perhaps the best app to learn conversational Japanese!
Your HelloTalk friends can even edit your messages to ensure you’re using proper grammar and sentence structure.
8. Pimsleur Japanese
The best app to learn Japanese for advanced learners is Pimsleur. There are plenty of resources on this learn Japanese app for beginner students, too, but it works primarily on fortifying your skills in the basics quickly so you can go on to have conversations with native speakers.
Although the Pimsleur Method has been around for many years, it was only recently released in an app form.
9. JA Sensei
There’s even a culture section and a phrasebook to make it easier for you to converse confidently when you travel to Japan!
10. Human Japanese
Japanese is an incredibly unique language, entwined with a rich cultural heritage and all kinds of linguistic nuances. This app takes all those nuances into account, offering pace-focused teaching and well-rounded lessons that incorporate cultural insights.
It is not a free app, which is something to be considered. However, the app is still less expensive than a private Japanese tutor – and just as effective.
Duolingo is the best Japanese learning app for just about any learner, from beginner to intermediate. It has a free model that allows you to dive into learning Japanese quickly and easily.
The biggest benefit of this app is that it requires very little time for you to get started. It may not be the best for advanced learners who want to have a more serious language study experience, but it’s worth downloading to see if it’s right for you.
This is the best Japanese learning app if you are interested in picking up kanji. Technically, it’s a PC learning app but you should still be able to access it from your phone. You’ll be able to pick up a vocabulary of more than 6,000 words! It’s also government-approved.
This learning app feels more like a game than an educational app! You’ll work on building your fluency and picking up key vocabulary and grammar terms right from day one. Not only that, but it includes numerous features that will make it easy for you to customize the lessons so that they are at your own pace.
You can slow down the speaker’s voice, turn on furigana so that you can study kanji, and even examine the context and meaning of a particle with a single click.
Not all features of this app are free, but there are plenty of free features that are worth checking out.
Another one of the best apps to learn Japanese is Anki. This app is perfect for people who like learning by using flashcards. You can import kanji and vocabulary “decks” from your own lists and then convert them into flashcards (or use preloaded ones).
There are all kinds of audio cues and humorous stock photos embedded in the program to help you learn, too.
Obenkyo is arguably the best free app to learn Japanese, particularly if you want to start by learning the basics of hiragana and katakana before moving on to kanji and vocabulary. You’ll be quizzed via written tests and multiple-choice questions.
Before you get ready to test, you can access lists of vocabulary and even use the helpful handwriting recognizer, which can correct both your writing form and stroke order.
Available for both iPhone and Android users, Drops is an app that’s more like a game. It takes just five minutes a day to learn Japanese in this immersive app. You’ll swipe and tap to match words to images.
You can upgrade to a paid subscription to get access for more than five minutes a day, but if you’re a time-crunched student to begin with, that five minutes may be all you need.
17. Kanji Recognizer
Another one of the top apps to learn Japanese is the Kanji Recognizer. It’s a very simple app, but it can help you write kanji and get an idea of readings, strokes, basic meanings, and radicals. It’s great for recognizing handwritten kanji so you can decode the written materials you need to understand.
FluentU is available both as a free trial and via a subscription. This app will naturally ease you into learning the Japanese language as well as many of its cultural nuances. You’ll watch videos of native speakers in authentic settings – like movie trailers, music videos, news clips, and more – and then see them transformed into customized language learning lessons before your eyes!
Another Japanese learning app to consider is LingQ. This program will immerse you in both audio and text media in Japanese (or another target language, if you’d prefer). You can read authentic news clips, listen to audiobooks, and watch videos.
As you read or listen, you’ll be able to mark “lingQs” or words that you don’t know yet. You can save these to your flashcard deck and review them later on.
Renshuu is an app with all kinds of learning games. It’s incredibly engaging, offering in-depth explanations of grammar, kanji, vocabulary, and more to help you evaluate your process. You’ll be able to collect achievements and badges as you go along, boosting your confidence as you learn a new language.
There are even plenty of games you can play, like crossword puzzles!
21. Pocket Colony
Last but not least on our list is Pocket Colony. This free app is popular in Japan, where users can create their miniature avatars, known as “pockatars,” who live in virtual worlds. You can complete quests, play games, dress up, and even design a home for yourself.
It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the language – without feeling like you’re stuck in a classroom!
Best App to Learn Japanese For Beginners
And the best learning Japanese app out there? TakeLessons, of course! With the TakeLessons app, you’ll be able to learn music, languages, and other subjects in group classes that are so engaging you’ll forget you’re not actually in an in-person classroom!
Whatever you choose, Japanese learning apps can help you learn the language faster and more effectively than ever before. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know which app is right for you.
We’ve tried and tested a variety of different apps and have compiled our findings here. But don’t just take our word for it – try out the apps for yourself and see how quickly your fluency improves!
These Japanese learning apps are great to help you practice Japanese at home or on the go. If you really want to master the language, however, the best way to learn is with a private teacher or tutor. Find a Japanese teacher in your area, and download these apps to practice between lessons.