7 Best Apps to Learn Japanese Fast

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Find to find out the best apps to learn Japanese? In this article we take a look at the top 7 Japanese learning apps for boosting your Japanese learning.


With the proliferation of language learning apps, language learning has become an extremely popular pastime. From the casual learners to the veteran polyglot, there are millions of people around the world cutting their teeth on a foreign language. However, the amount of resources available depends largely on which language you’re learning.

More popular languages like Spanish, French, and even German have a plethora of apps and courses dedicated to them.

In this article, we’ll look at apps for a language that garners a little less attention: Japanese. Here are seven of the best apps to boost your Japanese learning!

Learn Japanese

1. Duolingo

Duolingo is one of the most popular language-learning apps in the world. The app uses a freemium model, meaning you can use Duolingo for free with limited features and ads, or you pay a monthly subscription fee to remove ads and unlock unlimited usage. Overall Duolingo has shown to be very effective when teaching languages that share similarities with English such as French, Spanish, and Italian.

However, when it comes to Japanese, the app struggles a bit. Duolingo teaches basic Japanese grammar and vocabulary well enough, but once your level in the language is higher than a beginner, the app loses its effectiveness. Complex grammar isn’t explained well, and the Japanese writing system is largely glossed over.

Still, using the free version of Duolingo to learn the basics of Japanese won’t hurt. Once you get past the basics there are plenty of alternatives.

2. Tae Kim’s Guide

Tae Kim’s Guide to learning Japanese is like having an in-depth Japanese coursebook in the palm of your hand. This app is a go to reference tool for Japanese learners of all levels. Tae Kim provides thorough explanations for Japanese grammar rules, as well as example sentences. He even helps explain why a particular sentence can be technically correct but sound unnatural to native speakers.

All in all, this guide is an excellent Japanese learning app.

3. Imiwa?

At first glance Imiwa? appears to be a run of the mill Japanese-English dictionary. Iowa? is a dictionary, but it’s features offer much more. Imiwa? allows you to look up words in English or Japanese. You can also lookup Kanji using radicals.

The most powerful tool in the Imiwa? the app is its text analyzer. The text analyzer will analyze a Japanese text, translate it, and provide valuable information such as parts of speech, word definitions, and more.

4. Jsho

Jsho is a powerful Japanese to English dictionary. You can look up Japanese words using kanji, hiragana, or even romaji. Using romaji allows beginners who don’t know Kanji to use the dictionary. More advanced learners can look up Kanji based on a list of radicals. Jsho also has a filter, from which you can select the type of word you’re looking for (noun, verb, etc).

The app even tells you how to write each Kanji symbol, providing the stroke order for each character. You can also bookmark words and characters.

5. Kanji Study

If you want to learn Japanese, sooner or later you will have to face kanji. Memorizing kanji characters isn’t the most glamorous aspect of learning the language, but it is super important. Kanji Study gives you everything you need to learn written Japanese, including lessons on hiragana, katakana, and of course kanji. Kanji Study lessons are based on spaced repetition flashcard decks. These decks teach kanji based on your level of Japanese.

The more commonly used characters are taught at the lower levels, and the more obscure ones are taught at the higher levels. Because each deck uses aspaced repetition algorithm, you will always be reviewing cards in the most efficient way possible.

6. HiNative

HiNative connects you with language learners from around the world. The idea behind the app is that you can ask a native speaker of your target language a question, and they can offer you a helpful answer. The app isn’t limited to helping just Japanese learners, but there are a lot of native Japanese speakers on the app ready to help you.

On HiNative you can ask how to translate a particular sentence, how to pronounce a word or phrase, give example sentences, or even ask how to say something more natural. You can also give back to the community by answering the questions of users who are learning your native English.

7. Italki

Italki is an app for booking video lessons with a language teacher or tutor. On Italki you can search hundreds of language teachers from around the globe, including dozens of Japanese teachers. Once you find a teacher you like, you can book a paid lesson with them. On the app, teachers can share documents, videos, and other learning materials to aid in their classes. There’s also a language learning blog written by teachers and a student forum where you can ask questions on language and culture.

According to Live Fluent practicing Japanese with a native speaker is one of the most effective ways to develop your conversational skills


Language learning apps are an effective way to boost your Japanese studies. Use the apps on this list to learn Japanese and reach your learning goals!

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