Best Apps & Books to Learn Japanese for Beginners

Congratulations on deciding to learn Japanese! Check out what resources you should add to your toolkit to get started on your Japanese language journey!

Learn Japanese: How to Get Started

First, congratulations on your decision to learn Japanese!!! Speaking Japanese opens many doors to Japan's global market and economy. From pop culture to business and technology, Japanese is a gateway language into Japanese culture, history, and more. Japanese is a tricky language so even if you are multilingual or Japanese is your first foreign language, you may still find yourself needing some guidance into how to begin your language journey.

This post will provide a few resources that you should have in your language toolkit.

Japanese - Dictionary App

Mobile App

From beginners to fluent speakers, every Japanese language student needs to have a dictionary. This app is going to be your best friend. This is the perfect dictionary app to support you as you learn Japanese!

This app is not only user friendly, but it also does not need Wi-Fi or internet connection to use. And, there are so many other features that you can enjoy with this app! For example, there is an accurate speech recognition feature.  More importantly, this app has displays the stroke order for every kanji.  This is not a feature that can be easily found in other dictionary apps. Along with the previously mentioned featured, the includes a feature to track notes and has downloadable vocabulary lists for each JPLT level. Enjoy these features and much more when you download this mobile app!

Available on the App and Google Play Store

When you are first starting out on your language journey, it is very important to have language materials to help guide your language journey. If you are self-studying Japanese, I recommend the following guides:

Japanese From Zero! 1

Does this title sound familiar? That is because the author has a whole YouTube channel dedicated to helping YOU learn Japanese. I would recommend this book to absolute beginners and novice level language learners! This book is It is worth the $10 investment.

Buy on Amazon

Speak Japanese in 90 Days

This book is good at building a foundation in Japanese because it explains the essential components of the Japanese language that you need to master to become fluent in Japanese. I recommend this guide to anyone who is at a beginner level in Japanese. Whether you are an absolute beginner or someone is a little rusty, this guide should serve as a supplement to your language journey.

Buy on Amazon


Language Exchange App

In addition to all of the aforementioned resources to boost your Japanese language journey, Lexody is a language exchange resource that you must include in your language toolkit. To clarify, many language learners find themselves with a lack of motivation or real-time face-to-face practice with a native speaker in their area. Certainly, it is very difficult to find people in your area to be who speak Japanese and would be willing to practice with you. Well, look no further than Lexody. On Lexody, you will be able to meet language partners near you and get some real speaking practice in!

Available online and on Google Play Store

Learning Language with Netflix

Chrome Browser Extension

If you have Netflix and Chrome, then you must download a chrome extension called Learning Language with Netflix.  That is to say, just take a look at all these Japanese shows on Netflix that you could be watching! This extension allows you to read subtitles in both English and your target language so that you can boost your vocabulary while being entertained. This is the most convenient Chrome extension that you could invest in. I say invest, but it is absolutely free to download and use!!! So, try it out and learn Japanese with Netflix! Check out our other blog post on ways to combine Netflix and your target language!

Viki - Watch Japanese dramas


If you do not have a Netflix subscription, worry not! We have a Netflix alternative for our fellow language learners! Viki is an American global video streaming platform run by fans FOR fans of East Asian entertainment. No more streaming East Asian dramas on sketchy websites, asking yourself whether these pop-up ads are going to give your device a virus! Moreover, Viki has a large catalog of 55 Japanese dramas (and 1 anime) that you might have never seen before, so do yourself a favor and check it out!

Best Apps & Books to Learn Japanese for Beginners



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