As technology advances, studying Japanese online is becoming more accessible, it is also a little more confusing. Which resource is the best? With so many apps out there for learning Japanese, it can be difficult to know which one is going to help you learn Japanese, and which one is a waste of time. I wrote this article to explain which Japanese language learning apps are actually helpful and why.
These free language learning apps are available on both android, iOS, and some even have a desktop or web version.
Before I jump in, I think free language apps are a great tool for learning, but that’s all. While they can supplement your language study, and they can help you achieve small goals within the language learning process (for example, vocabulary building or kanji recognition) they should not be your entire plan. Like vitamins to a healthy diet - you can’t survive on a multivitamin tablet. You can’t be fluent in Japanese from an app. Here’s why:
The entire purpose of language learning is to gain the ability to understand and interact with other people. It only makes sense then, that the process of language learning should involve other people.
My top recommendation is my Japanese program, which includes a 500-page eBook, as well as a video library, a support network of other students and ONE ON ONE personalized lessons with me!
But whether you are looking for even more practice material, seeing what all the fuss is about, or just researching about what is out there, here are my top 3 recommendations:
HelloTalk is a networking app that connects people around the world to people in Japan. It organizes you based on your hobbies, personal preferences, and talking points. It hopes to increase natural conversation between the two. The Japanese people on this app are often looking for conversation partners, just like you! So expect to teach a little English for a little Japanese swap. This is especially fantastic for practicing Japanese. It's a little tough to learn new grammar this way, but you could pick up a ton of new words - especially if you and your partner have a lot of shared interests.
2. Learn Hiragana & Katakana Mnemonics with Dr Moku
This is a fantastic app to help you memorize hiragana and katakana. There are mnemonics - which are essentially little memory hacks to help you memorize the symbol by associating it with something else.
3. Japanese Dictionary App Imiwa
A simple Japanese dictionary app. This is effective for helping you find vocabulary and kanji. My favorite part of this app is the ability to draw your kanji into the browser, and it predicts a few suggestive kanji - this is perfect for selecting unknown words out of a reading practice and checking them up.
4. NHK Easy Japanese News
NHK Easy Japanese News might be called 'easy' but it is not great for absolute beginners with the Japanese language. However, it's perfect for intermediate Japanese students. In order to use this app, it's important to note that there will be a few unknown kanji and a fairly wide variety of intermediate grammar and vocabulary.
Quizlet is a flashcard app. In fact, it's the app that I use for creating flashcards for my JWA students. It allows full control for the student to find content from a teacher, as well as create their own decks and lists. There is a multitude of flashcard styles and the opportunity to put pictures into the app to further create strong mnemonics.
Between these 5 apps, there is a ton of ways to practice your Japanese learning and increase your progress, speed, and Japanese fluency. In order to learn Japanese, make the entire process simple, by becoming a part of the Japanese With Aimee student team. My programs will make you fluent in Japanese by providing a comprehensive Japanese language learning course. I will recreate an immersion experience by providing real human interaction at every single step of the way. While I can’t fly you to Japan to hang out with the locals, I can offer 15-minute simple explanations, immersive video libraries, concise and important Japanese vocab flashcard apps, and one on one personalized lessons. My self-directed online course and tuition will keep you accountable and I’ll be there to support you every step of the way.