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italki Review

Wednesday, September 28th

2022 Japanese Lesson Reviews

italki Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating
  • Online tutoring in Japanese
  • Prices start at $5/hour (or less during a trial period)
  • Over 1,200 tutors to choose from
  • Convenient scheduling
  • Excellent way to develop better spoken fluency and accent

One of the reasons Japanese can be hard to learn is because it's hard to find anyone to practice with. Let italki come to your rescue! This platform has over 1200 professional teachers and community tutors ready to help you.

Easy and fun to browse instructor profiles

Looking through all of the teacher profiles on italki is really fun! You can watch intro videos to get a feel for their personalities, their approach to teaching, and how well they speak English (because you'll need to understand them, after all!). As you browse, click on the heart to save any favorites for later, when you're ready to get started with your Japanese lessons. You can use the filters to sort instructors by other languages they speak or by type (i.e. professional teacher with formal educational experience or a community tutor), but the filters we think would be most helpful aren't there: number of lessons completed, how long they've been working on italki, or their ratings average.

No shortage of experience here

Although some teachers on italki may just be starting out or only have a few completed lessons, it's not hard to find ones that have thousands of successful sessions in their history. For instance, we found a community tutor named Kaho who had nearly 3000 lessons on the books at the time of our review. And, despite being labeled as a "community tutor" , her profile revealed that she had recently completed a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition at the University of Barcelona!

Click on instructor profiles for detailed info

Each teacher/tutor profile lets you know much more about how they provide Japanese lessons. While you'll find that they're heavily-based on conversational skills, most teachers here also include homework assignments, grammar lessons, and anything else you need to improve your Japanese - because the lessons are customized to meet your specific needs and goals. Going back to our example tutor, Kaho, her profile showed that she offers sessions to learn Japanese through anime, help with business presentations, and homework support.

Best Japanese Lessons


  • From $5/hour to $60/hour
  • Discounted rates on trial lessons

Extremely affordable one-on-one Japanese lessons

If you paid for a private tutor to come to your home, it's not unreasonable to say you'd probably spend at least $25/hour or more. On italki, you can get personalized instruction for under $10/hour - and most instructors give you a shorter trial lesson for less than $5. It's true that there are Japanese tutors here that charge more than $25 per hour, but you can always select the person that best fits your budget. There's also no long-term commitments, monthly subscriptions, or any other big charges for these Japanese lessons.

Online scheduling based on your time zone

Ready to sign up for a lesson? All you have to do is click on the calendar of any italki tutor that interests you to see his or her availability. You can select any open time block: the calendar you see is based on your own time zone, according to the clock on your phone or computer. Even the most popular tutors often have next-day openings: our instructor from earlier, Kaho, was able to fit us in on several different days in the upcoming week.

Students give these Japanese lessons lots of compliments

Across the board, people love using italki to learn Japanese (and more than 100 other languages). You'll have a hard time finding anything less than a five-star review - for the tutors or for the company itself. We encourage you to read through the student reviews of the instructors you're considering; you'll feel reassured and excited at the same time, seeing how successful these Japanese lessons are for, well, practically everyone.

Who shouldn't use italki?

On the other hand, there are some Japanese students who might not find italki to be the best fit for their lessons. First, if you don't have a solid internet connection and a reasonably private space to have a video call, you're not going to be very successful here: it's difficult to practice speaking Japanese if you're in a quiet library or you're using unreliable public WiFi. Also, you'll need to have a certain level of confidence to work face-to-face with a native speaker - or, at least, you're not super-embarrassed by making mistakes! Especially for absolute newbies, italki's Japanese lessons might be a little intimidating.

Ideal Japanese lessons for building spoken fluency

Although italki does have those two minor disadvantages, this is still one of our most recommended providers of Japanese lessons. There aren't very many programs that offer the kind of spoken fluency you can get by working with an italki tutor, and the hourly pricing here is going to be much more affordable than trying to find a native speaker near you. While you may need to pair your sessions on italki with a more traditional method of learning Japanese (like another program in our review?), this service should be the first you consider if you want to speak Japanese like - and with! - a native.

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!

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.
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.

See the Best Japanese Lesson
The Best Reviews of Japanese Lessons