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The Best Japanese Lessons

Where Can You Find the Best Japanese Lessons Online?

Lots of people ask that question because Japanese is the fifth-most studied language in the United States! What's driving its popularity? It'll come as no surprise that many learners develop an interest in Japanese because of manga, anime, and video games. Others realize that speaking Japanese can offer significant advantages in the worlds of technology and business. And, of course, many travelers like to learn at least the basics before spending time in Japan - to better appreciate the culture and to communicate more effectively in-country.

No matter what your reasons are, studying Japanese can be challenging. Because it uses a writing system that's completely different from what you already know from English, learning it can take much longer than mastering languages that use the Roman alphabet (like Spanish or German). You might even need to figure out how to use your keyboard differently!

Friday, September 29th

2023 Japanese Lesson Reviews

Memrise Review Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award 5 Star Rating


5 Star Rating Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Want to learn Japanese without feeling overwhelmed? Try Memrise. You'll pick up important words and phrases gradually with the help of fantastic native speaker video clips in various settings in Japan. The service gives you a free account you can use as long as you like, but you'll get the most robust features with an affordable subscription. You'll love everything about this language learning platform! Memrise earns our first-place ranking among providers of Japanese lessons.

Lingualift Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating

There's a lot to be said about LinguaLift's approach to teaching Japanese: context is key, and clarity is crucial. You'll be given authentic exposure to the language and the culture surrounding it with these helpful, fun-to-learn lessons. The first three lessons of all four difficulty levels are free; with a paid subscription, you'll get more than 500 hours of content and access to your own personal tutor. While the Japanese lessons here could add more opportunities to practice what is taught, especially in terms of speaking Japanese, this program offers a lot of value and is a low-stress way to learn the language.

italki Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating

For anyone who wants to speak Japanese fluently, italki is a valuable resource. These lessons are delivered through 1:1 video sessions with community tutors and professional teachers: more than 1200 to choose from! You can get a trial lesson from most instructors for less than $5, and hourly rates tend to be from $10-$25. Though it might take some courage to work face-to-face with a native speaker of Japanese, you won't find a better way to supercharge your speaking ability than italki.

Rocket Languages Review 4 Star Rating

Rocket Languages

4 Star Rating

Rocket is one of our preferred language-learning tools for beginners, and their Japanese lessons are definitely worth considering. You'll get four modules to study, all of which include speaking, listening, reading and writing exercises. There's no subscription required here: just a one-time fee or six monthly installments and Rocket Japanese is yours forever! You'll need a different program if you've studied the language before, but for brand-new students Rocket Japanese is practically perfect.

Japanese Pod 101 Review 4 Star Rating

Japanese Pod 101

4 Star Rating

All experience levels are welcome at Japanese Pod 101, from absolute beginner to advanced. You can get a 7-day free trial of their Premium membership, or just stick to the limited-access plan at no cost for as long as you like. With the highest subscription plan, these Japanese lessons include guidance and feedback from a professional teacher. The sheer amount of content here can be a little daunting, but you'll never run out of new things to learn with Japanese Pod 101.

Busuu Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating

Busuu gives you a lot to learn, no matter if you're just starting to study Japanese or you've been at it for several years already. A free basic membership offers more than 200 lessons across four fluency levels; add on a low-cost subscription to get customized learning plans and native speaker feedback. Just keep an eye on your renewal date and terms, because Busuu limits their refund policy to 14 days. Thousands of students rated this program with a perfect five stars, and we think most people will find something that works for them in Busuu's Japanese lessons.

Mondly Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating

Mondly is a fun way to practice key words and phrases in Japanese. This game-based platform offers points and leaderboards to motivate you to study regularly, plus a Chatbot and Augmented Reality to make your practice more entertaining and realistic. You can easily switch between the romaji and Japanese characters as needed. You won't find much in the way of explanations here, though: no grammar or cultural insights provided. You'll find that Mondly is a good tool for basic practice, but it lacks the depth offered by some other Japanese lessons.

Rosetta Stone Review 3 Star Rating

Rosetta Stone

3 Star Rating

Learning by immersion the Rosetta Stone way sounds like a good idea in theory. However, for languages like Japanese that don't use the alphabet that English-speakers recognize, it proves to be a frustrating experience. We strongly suggest that you use the free three-day trial Rosetta Stone offers before you set your heart on their Japanese lessons. You'll likely be more successful if you take Japanese lessons from one of the higher-ranked services in our review.

FluentU Review 2.5 Star Rating


2.5 Star Rating

Wouldn't you love to be able to watch the news or your favorite anime in Japanese? FluentU can help make that happen. These Japanese lessons are based completely on real-world video content: clips from TV shows, segments from movies, and so on. That's what makes this platform great for more advanced students but not so ideal for newbies. You can get a two-week trial of FluentU at no cost, as long as you're willing to provide your credit card info upfront. We think FluentU offers a novel way to study Japanese, but we're not able to recommend it as one of our top choices for lessons.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Also, it used to be tricky just to find Japanese lessons. If you didn't live near a university or in an area with a significant Japanese-speaking population, your chances of finding classes were pretty slim.

Not anymore! Today there are many ways to take Japanese classes online, from traditional grammar lessons and flashcards for memorization, to live video sessions with a personal tutor who can help you master a flawless accent. Whether you need an app you can use on-the-go to sneak in study sessions or you have plenty of time to sit at a computer and practice, you'll have no problem finding Japanese lessons that match your availability and your budget.

As you start to explore the possibilities for taking Japanese lessons, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. How can you determine which program is right for you? You may find it helpful to keep the following criteria in mind as you consider your options:

  • Teaching Style. Japanese lessons can be delivered in a variety of ways, such as game-like apps, one-on-one sessions over video, and exercises that help you speak, read, write and understand the language. Pick a platform that feels like a natural fit for the way you learn best.
  • Free Trial. It's hard to know if a language program is a good match without giving it a try! Take full advantage of any sample lessons, limited-time access to the student dashboard, or any other opportunity to use the Japanese lessons before you purchase a package or subscription.
  • Levels of Difficulty. Most Japanese lessons are suitable for beginners, but what about as you advance? Choosing a platform with plenty of content across fluency levels - beginner, intermediate, and advanced - means that you won't have to start the search over again as you become more proficient in Japanese.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. Once you've paid for a membership or bought a lesson package, can you get a refund if you change your mind? Read the terms carefully, especially if you're using Japanese lessons that are subscription-based.

To help you get the most out of your language studies, Top Consumer Reviews has tested, evaluated and ranked the best options for online Japanese lessons today. We know this information will give you all the info you need to choose the best program for your learning style and schedule.

The Best Japanese Lessons Compare Japanese Lessons Compare Japanese Lesson Reviews What are the best Japanese Lessons Best Japanese Lesson Reviews

Japanese Lesson FAQ

Japanese is in the top 10 most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 130 million people who use it. 99% of those speakers live in Japan, but there are over a million people in the US, Brazil and Guam who also speak fluent Japanese.
Yes, but you probably won't encounter anything beyond Standard Japanese unless you travel throughout Japan itself. The Japanese you learn will be understood throughout the country, and differences are mostly related to accents and some vocabulary. It's not unlike what you find between speakers from different regions of the US, or between people from England and Australia.
If we're being completely honest, we'd say that Japanese is one of the hardest languages you could attempt to master: even the US State Department ranks it with Arabic, Korean and Chinese as one of the four most difficult! Part of that stems from the fact that Japanese has three separate writing systems (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji). However, if you've got the grit to work hard and be patient with your studies, Japanese shouldn't be out of reach for you to learn.
You're going to need to wrap your head around the three Japanese alphabets: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. You'll find all of them as you learn the language! As you learn the alphabets, start memorizing basic vocabulary for how you intend to use Japanese, whether that's for business use or just to understand your favorite anime! Speaking of TV, it's a great way to pick up the accent and pronunciation naturally, especially if you don't have the chance to talk with native speakers on a regular basis.
There's no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for a one-semester Japanese class at a university when you can get on-demand instruction for much less. You may not even be able to find in-person classes near you, but there are always options online that let you learn Japanese as quickly (or as slowly!) as you desire.
You need to take a few extra steps to enable the Japanese language on your computer. The steps differ if you're using a Mac or Windows-based PC, and you'll have to search for the instructions based on your operating system. There are also online Japanese keyboards that let you click on characters without modifying your settings.
They're very affordable. You can get month-to-month subscription plans for less than $25/month, or make a one-time purchase of a Japanese lessons package for under $500. Either way, you'll get much more for your money than if you were paying for a semester or two of college courses.
You'll want to read the terms and conditions of any language platform you're considering. The subscription plans typically allow customers to cancel at any time but don't offer a refund of previous payments. The Japanese lesson packages that are one-off purchases may have a 30- or 60-day money-back guarantee. We suggest that you use all of the free resources that the language program has to offer - such as a sample lesson, or a trial period - so that you will already know how it approaches instruction and if it's a good fit for your preferences.
See the Best Japanese Lesson
The Best Reviews of Japanese Lessons