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      March 30, 2020

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Best Japanese

Lesson Programs

  1. Transparent
  2. Rosetta Stone
  3. Living Language
  4. Pimsleur
  5. Ling Q
  6. Strokes International

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Best Japanese Lessons

As one of the 10 most spoken languages in the world, Japanese is a popular language for students of all ages. With more than 125 million people worldwide who use it on a daily basis, the opportunities for using Japanese are numerous, from business owners who are looking for a new partner in trade to middle schoolers who want to understand their favorite anime TV show without English subtitles.

Whether the only Japanese you know is "domo arigato" from Styx's classic 80's song, or you've got a basic grasp of conversational Japanese and want to take your skills to the next level, there are a number of programs that will allow you to learn the language from the comfort of your own home, car, or other location - without having to fit traditional classroom-based lessons into an already busy schedule.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews


2020

Japanese Lessons Reviews

5 stars
Rocket Languages

ROCKET LANGUAGESTopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Rocket Language's comprehensive approach to learning Japanese includes nearly 400 hours of lesson time across three levels of instruction, taking students from beginner to advanced levels. Because of its excellent track record of happy students and unparalleled customer satisfaction guarantee, Rocket Language's Japanese lessons earn our top ranking.

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4.5 stars
Transparent Language

TRANSPARENT LANGUAGE

Transparent Language offers three basic methods for learning Japanese: an audio course and an online subscription for adults, and a KidSpeak desktop app for Windows computers. If you're an independent learner who wants flexibility in moving from one lesson topic to another, without needing to be motivated by mastery requirements, Transparent Language's Japanese programs may be a good fit.

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4 stars
Rosetta Stone

ROSETTA STONE

Rosetta Stone has the market cornered when it comes to name recognition - their foreign language programs are some of the best-known in the world, especially for business people hoping to add to their repertoire. Recent changes in pricing make all of their products more affordable for a wider range of students.

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4 stars
Living Language

LIVING LANGUAGE

Living Language uses all of today's modern tools - tablets, MP3 players, and so on - to put Japanese language lessons at arm's reach. They also have print and audio instruction for students who prefer a more traditional approach, and their Japanese Platinum package includes the best of both worlds.

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2.5 stars
Pimsleur

PIMSLEUR

If you like to learn by listening, Pimsleur was made for students like you. Their Japanese lessons focus almost exclusively on audio files that teach you how to speak Japanese by listening to and repeating conversations. Unfortunately, the extremely high pricing of Pimsleur's program puts it out of reach for most customers, without delivering results that are significantly better than other, more economical programs in our review.

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2 stars
Ling Q

LING Q

Pronounced "link", LingQ offers language instruction using real Japanese texts and native speaker "helpers", who create lessons and help students sound more natural. LingQ's point system for making those connections is confusing and makes it difficult to know how much it costs to learn Japanese using their program. The lessons available feel scattered and random, and might be challenging for new students to navigate.

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1 star
Strokes International

STROKES INTERNATIONAL

Strokes International's Japanese lessons target levels A1, A2, and B2 of the European Framework for Languages. However, errors on the website combined with virtually no positive reviews for Easy Learning programs in other languages land Strokes International in the lowest position among all of the Japanese language programs in our review.

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Continued from above

When choosing a Japanese language program, you should explore what each system and method has to offer and whether or not it will help you reach your goals. Some Japanese lessons focus solely on conversational ability, using audio lessons to teach, while others use a variety of ways to teach reading and writing in addition to speaking the language.

Of particular interest with respect to Japanese is the written language. You'll want to determine if reading and writing is a priority, as not all programs include this aspect of language learning in their lessons. There are three basic scripts used in written Japanese:

  • Kanji, which are symbolic and derived from Chinese (several thousand characters)
  • Hiragana, a phonetic alphabet primarily used for grammatical elements such as particles and noun suffixes (46 characters)
  • Katakana, another phonetic alphabet with more angular letter shapes, used for emphasis and for foreign words (46 characters)

As you can see, written Japanese is considerably more complex than English and other languages based on the more familiar Roman alphabet (such as Spanish, French, and German), so it's important to know how each program addresses the written component of Japanese if you'll need to be able to read and write it yourself.

In general, there are several things to consider when choosing a program for your Japanese lessons. These include:

  • Instructional Methods. Do you learn best by hearing, seeing, or a combination of both? Does the program use a style that is a good match? If offered, did the free trial leave you feeling fantastic or frustrated?
  • Skill Level. Can you reach advanced levels of Japanese with this program, or is it limited just to beginning instruction? Will you need to purchase more levels in the future, or is it all-inclusive?
  • Value. Does the program work? Is it worth the investment of your time and money?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Japanese Lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you to move quickly beyond "konnichiwa" and "sayonara" and towards a comfortable fluency level in the Japanese language!

In 1871, Japan sent a 7-year-old schoolgirl to Washington to learn about America

Japan will introduce its new 5,000-yen bank note, featuring a portrait of a onetime Washington schoolgirl. Her name was Ume Tsuda, and her story is part fairy tale, part geopolitical diplomatic ...

Published:  Sat, 28 Mar 2020 13:41:00 GMT



Kana Quest is a great puzzle game that just so happens to also teach you Japanese

In a similar vein, Kana Quest is a sliding block puzzle game that's designed to teach you Japanese hiragana and katakana characters. It does this by being a really good puzzle game that just so ...

Published:  Sun, 29 Mar 2020 09:00:00 GMT



Japan, South Korea offer lessons on virus testing

For weeks, Japan has been gripped with a debate. Is the country seeing fewer infections than South Korea simply because it is testing fewer people? Is the Japanese government marshaling its resources ...

Published:  Sun, 29 Mar 2020 07:14:00 GMT



How To Fight Coronavirus: Lessons From FDR In WWII

America faced a crisis. Axis armies were advancing around the world. FDR needed to rapidly expand America's productive capacity to turn the tide. Under his leadership, America became the arsenal of ...

Published:  Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:44:00 GMT



Dance Dance Dance: Japanese classical dance defies virus via online lessons

As the coronavirus outbreak leaves people cooped up at home, aficionados of classical Japanese dance are using modern technology to keep their passion for the art form alive. Takujiro Hanayagi, who ...

Published:  Wed, 18 Mar 2020 20:14:00 GMT



Opinion: Lessons in history - The president's wartime powers

Recently after declaring, "It's a war," President Trump asked for sweeping emergency authority to combat the coronavirus crisis. Was that a figure of speech, a necessary first step in invoking the ...

Published:  Sat, 28 Mar 2020 18:14:00 GMT



Central Banks Turn to Japan for Yield Curve Control Lessons

As central banks around the world reignite quantitative easing programs or adopt them for the first time, Japan's key focus of controlling bond yields rather than a quota of purchases is being ...

Published:  Wed, 25 Mar 2020 22:59:00 GMT



Learn Japanese for free online

The language homepage is handy in that its lessons are divided according to proficiency levels - beginner, elementary, intermediate - and are supplemented with videos, textbook downloads, learning ...

Published:  Thu, 19 Mar 2020 00:31:00 GMT



Breakingviews - Bank of Japan gives lesson in perils of ETF buying

The Bank of Japan has been an unhappy trailblazer in central banking. What happens to a central bank that has been buying equity exchange-traded funds since 2013 will fascinate peers who are resorting ...

Published:  Wed, 25 Mar 2020 07:15:00 GMT



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