Best Apps To Learn Japanese – 13 Top Picks Worth Downloading

by | Sep 7, 2020

Whether you’re trying to teach yourself Japanese, improve your Japanese writing skills, or hold a better conversation in the language, Japanese language learning apps can help you reach those goals. Language learning apps can help both beginners and seasoned speakers improve their language skills, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and more. 

That being said, it can be difficult to choose between all of the various Japanese learning apps out there. Japanese learning apps differ greatly from one another. Some of these language learning apps allow you to interact with native speakers, get 1-on-1 training, and listen to audio samples. Other apps may allow you to play fun games to assess your skills or search up any word in the language to better understand its meaning. 

The best way to find a Japanese learning app that is suitable for you is to assess your current skill set and future goals. For instance, if you’re trying to better understand how each writing style in the language works, apps that let you write in all three styles may be best. On the other hand, if you’re looking to hold a better conversation in the language, apps that offer audio samples and allow you to record your voice may be the best option for you. 

On top of your skill set and language learning goals, it’s important to figure out how and where you are planning to practice your skills. For instance, if you’re looking to learn Japanese on-the-go, it may be best to choose an app that’s available for offline use. Furthermore, if you’re looking to practice on both your phone and computer, an app that’s suitable for both devices will work best with your needs. 

So, now you’re probably wondering what the best apps to learn Japanese are. You’re in the right place, we’ve don e the research and created a guide for just this. Without further ado, let’s get started and learn more about the best apps to learn Japanese.

Best Apps To Learn Japanese

While you could always take an online language course, being able to learn anywhere at any time has a lot of benefits and that’s where a solid app comes into play. The 13 Japanese learning apps below allow you to interact with native Japanese speakers, assess your vocabulary, and do much more. Whether you’re looking to watch more videos in Japanese or hold a more productive conversation in the language, the apps below offer a variety of features that can help you reach those learning goals and create an enjoyable learning experience that you’ll look forward to. 

1. Rocket Languages Japanese

Rocket Languages Japanese

Our top choice for learning Japanese comes from online language learning provider, Rocket Languages. With Rocket Languages Japanese you get access to interactive audio lessons, a voice recognition system for pronunciation guidance, writing lessons, Japanese culture lessons, a variety of activities, and a mobile app for practicing on the go.

Rocket Languages Japanese includes a choice of three levels, each with additional lesson hours, content, and learning materials as well as bonus language survival kits. Each level includes over 130 hours of lesson time with more than 2,000 voice recognition phrases and a wide selection of audio, writing, language, and culture lessons. Rocket Languages also offers a free trial with over 4 hours worth of select lessons.

Click Here To Get Started

2. Pimsleur Japanese 


Pimsleur is a language learning program that provides self-instructional materials and allows you to learn a new language both on your own time and with outside support. This app uses proven techniques to trigger your memory, helping you implant the new language into your brain more quickly than ever.

Sooner than you know it, you’ll find yourself speaking, writing, and even dreaming in Japanese. If you’re looking for a highly personalized and interactive app to learn the language, Pimsleur may be the perfect app for you. 

Click Here To Get Started

3. Japanese Kanji Study 


If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Japanese writing system, Japanese Kanji Study may be the perfect app for you. Kanji Study is an easy-to-use language learning tool that allows you to study with flashcards, writing challenges, and customizable quizzes.

With this app’s quick lookup tool, you can search over 6,000 readings, radicals, and stroke counts. You can also view animated strokes, check out example words, and explore the kanji used within each example to better understand its meaning. 

Click Here To Get Started

4. Anki


Praised as one of the best flashcard language learning apps out there, Anki allows you to study flashcards with audio files, images, or pre-downloaded material. Thanks to Anki’s unique algorithm, users have the option of downloading material from their selection of over 80 million pre-made flashcards. With this app, you can also create your own flashcards, test your knowledge in minutes, and track your progress in the app. 

\With rich content creation and adaptability for almost any device, Anki is the perfect app to help you prepare for your next exam, learn new vocabulary, or study on-the-go. 

Click Here To Get Started

5. Duolingo 


Duolingo is a free language learning app suitable for both your phone and the web that offers over 35 languages, including Japanese. Praised by hundreds of million users worldwide for their quick, bite-sized lessons, this app is one of the fastest ways to excel in the Japanese language. 

Designed by language experts, Duolingo helps you prepare for real conversations as opposed to memorizing simple vocab terms. With the app, you can speak and hear the language. You also have the option to take speaking, reading, writing, and listening lessons. At the end of each lesson, Duolingo offers mini games that allow you to test your skills and assess your preparedness to speak, hear, and write the language. 

Click Here To Get Started

6. FluentU


FluentU is a versatile Japanese learning app that’s suitable for both your iPad and iPhone. This app allows you to learn Japanese through videos and personalized quizzes. FluentU works better than traditional Japanese books since the videos provided allow you to understand the tone and context of each conversation on a much deeper level.

While watching the videos in the FluentU app, you can tap on the subtitles to better understand each phrase and learn every specific word. After each video, you can see what you’ve learned and test your knowledge by taking one of their personalized quizzes. 

Click Here To Get Started

7. Learn Japanese by Mindsnacks 


Learn Japanese is a unique language learning app that offers mini games, Japanese writing systems, and lessons designed by experts. No matter what level you’re currently at in your Japanese journey, this app will help you memorize essential vocabulary, build up your conversational skills, and understand the Japanese culture. 

This app also lets you switch between the three Japanese writing systems: kanji, kana, and romaji. Each lesson in this app consists of rich and engaging content that will leave you eager for the next lesson. 

Click Here To Get Started

8. Hellotalk


Hellotalk is a free app that allows you to learn Japanese by talking with native speakers from around the world. Used by over 20 million members, Hellotalk is the ultimate language exchange. 

With Hellotalk, not only will you improve your Japanese speaking skills, but you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the culture and make friends from all around the world. This app also has built-in aids for translation and pronunciation to make chatting easier than ever. 

Through the app, you can chat via text, voice recordings, video calls, and even drawings! Whether you’re looking to speak in Japanese through your communication preference or branch out into new modes of communicating, Hellotalk has you covered. 

Click Here To Get Started

9. Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese 

Tae Kim's Guide

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese is a comprehensive Japanese learning course that offers engaging learning material for advanced grammar, the Japanese writing system, and many more aspects of the language. 

This app focuses on ways to make sense of the language not through an English point of view, but from a Japanese standpoint. If you’re looking to build a solid grammatical foundation of the Japanese language, this may be the perfect app for you. 

Click Here To Get Started

10. Imiwa 


Imiwa is a free Japanese dictionary suitable for a variety of devices. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a Japanese-speaking culture or search up words when needed, this app will be the perfect right hand man.

With this, you can search up any Japanese word in any of the three writing styles that the language utilizes. This app is compatible with iOS’s built-in kanji stroke recognition, allowing you to find what you’re looking for instantly. 

Click Here To Get Started

11. Busuu 


Busuu is a language learning app that offers 12 languages to choose from, including Japanese. Busuu has a free version and a paid version for just $9.99 a month that gives you access to Premium features. Rated the best app of 2015 by Google, over 100 million international native speakers are teaching at Busuu. 

This app allows you to improve your skills in a variety of ways, offering: 

  • Dialogue lessons 
  • Audio samples 
  • Speaking lessons 
  • Grammar tips 
  • Vocabulary lessons 
  • Writing tests 
  • Pronunciation lessons 

Busuu also allows you to submit your writing to fluent speakers that can help you improve your written skills and correct your mistakes. The app also allows you to test your knowledge with vocabulary quizzes and fun games after each lesson. You can also set goals through the app to reach your objectives faster and make your lessons personalized to fit your skills. Lastly, no Internet connection is required to use this mobile app since the offline mode allows you to learn languages from anywhere! 

Click Here To Get Started

12. Memrise


If you’re looking to learn Japanese quickly or on-the-go, Memrise may be the perfect app for you. Memrise is a language learning app used by over 40 million members from around the world. Memrise has a team of in-house linguists that help create content for each language course and interact with the users.

Memrise is filled with real-life language content such as speaking videos and courses that each language expert creates in their own hometown. By indulging in the content that Memrise has to offer, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Japanese culture, formal phrases, and grammar. 

Click Here To Get Started

13. Rosetta Stone 

Rosetta Stone

Starting at just $7.99 per month, Rosetta Stone offers a variety of language learning plans. With Rosetta Stone, you can create Japanese learning plans that are tailored to your goals and personalized based on your current skill set. 

With Rosetta Stone’s speaking features, you can get instant feedback on your accent and master the pronunciation of the language in no time. Furthermore, you can do each bite-sized lesson at your own pace and immerse yourself in real-life scenarios that prepare you for speaking Japanese in the real world.

The Rosetta Stone app allows you to choose the length of your program, tailor your program to your needs, and get feedback on your skills. More importantly, this app makes learning Japanese fun by immersing you in real-world scenarios and collaborative efforts to speak the language, making it much more enjoyable and effective than traditional textbooks and flashcards. 

Click Here To Get Started

Conclusions: Learning Japanese With An App

The Japanese learning apps above offer a variety of helpful features that allow you to memorize vocabulary terms quickly, search for any word, and improve your writing skills.  

Keep in mind that it’s best to assess your current skill set and future goals before deciding on a Japanese learning app. Once you choose an app that’s best for you, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the language and improve your skills along the way. More importantly, you’ll be able to improve your Japanese speaking skills in a fun and interactive way. 

Andrew Green

Andrew is a successful entrepreneur and lifelong learner. Throughout his career, he has watched hundreds of online courses that have allowed him to achieve success in highly competitive fields such as online marketing, investing, and sales. Andrew is committed to expanding his knowledge and expertise and he reviews the premium courses he watches on his online blog.
Posted in: Education,Learning

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