Japanese is a language spoken virtually exclusively in Japan, and some enclaves in other countries around the world. Around 130 million people speak Japanese. It is a member of the Japonic language family.
This page gives access to online courses, Japanese/English/Japanese dictionaries, grammar, vocabulary activities, writing forms and characters - Hiragana & Kanji, tutorials, podcasts & blogs, current events, cultural information, free and fee-based software, other resources and information.
- Easy Japanese
Basic introduction via grammar, the writing system, useful structures, more.
- Elementary Modern Standard Japanese
Course run at York University in Canada. Access videocasts, lecture notes, dialogue, reading/writing [PDF, HTML], exercises, cultural material [Quicktime Video], more.
- Japanese I
MIT OpenCourseWare. Syllabus, online resources, download course material.
- Japanese Audio Flashcard Lessons
‘Check out the 31 Japanese lessons that are available to download on this page. In addition, you may download a complete transcript of all the lessons, as well as several Japanese grammar guides’.
- Japanese for Beginners
Learn through sections on hiragana, katakana, kanji, vocabulary, grammar, other lessons, listening, reading, writing. For beginners.
- Japanese Lessons
For multiple languages. ‘In each lesson, you can learn a useful expression through an audio drama’. Japanese Syllabary, more.
- Japanese Online
Free lessons, maths lessons, dictionary links, newsletter, audio support.
- Learn Japanese Online for Free [japanese-lesson.com]
‘Online self-study programs produced by a native Japanese language teacher’.
- Study Japanese Online Or Wherever
‘Enjoy our many free downloads to help you learn Japanese ! E-books, podcasts, study lists and more’.
- Japanese Lessons Online
‘Easy & effective way for anyone to enjoy interactive online Japanese language lessons with some of the best native speaking Japanese teachers from around the world’.
- Online Japanese Lessons
‘Affordable Skype Japanese lessons to students from all over the world. Our Japanese lessons on Skype are a full 60 minutes and can be taken almost anytime and almost anywhere’. Free Trial.
- Learn Japanese Tutorials Online Free
‘Learn Japanese online with free Japanese language tutorials’.
Alphabet & Writing Forms
- Japanese Characters
‘Introduction of character sets used in the Japanese language. Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, Rōmaji’.
- Japanese Writing Systems
‘There are three different types of writing scripts in Japanese’.
- The Japanese Alphabets … All Four Of Them
Multi-page presentation by Textfugu.
- Hiragana Japanese Online Keyboard, LEXILOGOS
Links also to Katakana and Kanji keyboards and a conversion from Hiragana to Rōmaji.
- Hiragana Lessons
‘Following is the complete list of my hiragana lessons’. 18 Lessons are provided plus links to others. Includes how to write characters.
- Japanese Alphabet for Beginners
‘Learn the basics of the Japanese language with this series of colouring pages’. Good for younger students.
- Japanese Writing Tutor, Hiragana
‘Click on any box and you’ll see an example of how to write using the Japanese writing system called hiragana’.
- Learning Hiragana
Yoshida Institute. ‘Click on any of the characters in the table below to see how to write it correctly’.
- English to Katakana Converter
Multiple options for results.
- Japanese Writing Tutor - Katakana
‘Click on any of the boxes and see an example of how to write that character’.
- Katakana Animated Stroke Orders with Audio
‘Learn to read and write Japanese Katakana by practicing the stroke orders and pronunciation’.
- Learning Katakana
Yoshida Institute. ‘Click on any of the characters in the table below to see how to write it correctly’.
- The Ultimate Guide To Learning Katakana
Tofugu. ‘I won’t be going over the pronunciation of these kana, just what they are and how to read them’.
- Japanese Kanji - Characters
‘created to help students of Japanese learn the proper form and stroke order for several fundamental Kanji characters’. Requires iTunes.
- Japanese Kanji Symbols
‘The history and use of Japanese kanji characters, images of popular kanji, plus kanji links’.
- Kanji Alive
‘A free study tool for reading and writing kanji’.
- Kanji Dictionary
Search by ‘English meaning, Rōmaji, Kana reading or Kanji’.
- Real Kanji
‘Click the “Kanji” tab and choose which of the five levels you’d like to practice. Then, click “Practice”. As you are presented with each word, type its Rōmaji equivalent’.
Sites related to characters, calligraphy and other writing information.
- Cracking the Code
The Learning Federation. Activities to develop understanding of Japanese characters [and also Chinese characters].
- Real Kana
‘Click the “Hiragana” and/or “Katakana” tabs and choose which characters you’d like to practise’.
- Japanese for Beginners - Writing Systems
- Learn Basic Japanese : Hiragana & Katagana
- Learn Hiragana
11 video sequence from JapanesePod101.
Alphadictionary.com. Links to both basic and special Japanese dictionaries.
- Bi-Directional English Japanese Dictionary
Type either English or Japanese words to find the translated version.
- Denshi Jisho
‘An easy-to-use and powerful online Japanese dictionary. Find words, kanji, example sentences by searching in many ways’.
Search by Rōmaji, kana, kanji or English. Multiple responses for each search. Monash University
- Free Japanese Dictionary
‘translate Japanese to English and English to Japanese. “More Translation” means there is more than one translation’. Alphabetical listing and search box.
- Online Japanese Dictionaries and Glossaries
‘Annotated links to online Japanese dictionaries’ Monash University.
- Online English Japanese Dictionary
‘Database of over 3 million words. Recognition of all inflections and derivatives. The Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana forms of writing are all recognised and displayed’.
- iKana touch - Hiragana and
Apple, Not Free. ‘Will make learning these much easier and more fun than traditional methods’.
- iKanji touch - Japanese Kanji
Apple, Not Free; In-app purchases. ‘Kanji study and training tool covering over 2 000 JLPT and school grade jouyou kanji’.
Apple, Not Free. ‘More than 174 650 entries and 52 000 examples, as well as stroke order animations for kanji and kana’.
- JA Sensei - Learn
Android, Free; In-app purchases. ‘Japanese lessons and numerous interactive exercises to learn Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, Japanese vocabulary, Japanese phrases’, more.
- Mirai Japanese
Apple, Free; In-app purchases [some expensive]. ‘Will teach you Japanese using a highly effective tutor-based approach. Try the first 20 lessons for free’.
- Learn Japanese Free [Byki]
‘Play games, use flash cards, perfect your Japanese accent with native speaker sound, test yourself, and take your learning with you on MP3 audio’.
‘zkanji is a free, open-source Japanese language learning tool and also a kanji and word dictionary software providing many useful features for those who are interested in the Japanese language’.
- A Guide to Japanese Grammar
‘Explanations focus on how to make sense of the grammar, not from English but from a Japanese point of view’.
- Easy Japanese Grammar
‘Find short video tutorials here explaining Basic and Intermediate Japanese Grammar patterns in clear and easy to follow English’.
- Japanese for the Western Brain
‘Basic principles of grammar and usage in a way that probably doesn’t resemble your textbook. I have written it so people who have a working knowledge of English grammar will be able to compare and contrast English and Japanese grammar’.
- Tim Sensei’s Corner
The Japanese Language section has multiple sections on aspects of Japanese grammar.
- Visualising Japanese Grammar
‘Animations of various grammatical structures in Japanese and 12 downloadable appendices’.
- Basic Japanese Language Vocabulary with Audio Files
- English-Japanese Vocabulary Quizzes
‘Quizzes to Help You Learn and Review Vocabulary’.
- Japanese Vocabulary
‘Resources for increasing your Japanese vocabulary’.
- Japanese Words and Vocabulary
‘Japanese vocabulary lists on different categories’.
- Learning Chocolate
‘Aims to help students memorise vocabulary in an easy and efficient way, by using pictures, sounds and games’. Also other languages [see menu at the top].
- Speak Real Japanese
‘Useful Japanese words, slang words, conversational phrases that Japanese people use in everyday life’.
- Charles Kelly’s Online Japanese
‘Free-to-use online materials I have developed to help people study Japanese’. Be sure to check the section covering A Select List of Japanese Language Study Sites.
- How to Speak Japanese
Suggestions from Before You Begin Resources for Studying Japanese [Mahalo]. Includes videos.
- Japanese 101
Sections cover vocabulary and specific aspects of grammar.
- Japanese Language Lessons
24 videos covering vocabulary and grammar.
- Learn to Speak Japanese
Online lessons covering Grammar, Words and Phrases, videos, History of Japan and Japanese Culture.
- A Day with Kentaro
Follow the life a young boy before and after school. Done in time blocks with text and images.
- Japanese Culture
‘Over 220 pages of Japanese culture including traditional Japanese culture plus modern Japanese culture’.
- Japanese Culture 
Performing arts, contemplative arts, royalty, cultural events, costume, foods.
- Japanese Culture [Inside Japan]
‘Pages, packed with information that will enrich your experience and understanding of Japan’.
- Japanese Reference - Culture
Religion, Lifestyle & Relationships, Cultural Issues, Traditions & Etiquette, more.
- Web Japan
‘Choose the sites best suited from the content titles listed’.
- Asahi Shimbun [Japan]
- Japan Times
- The Japan News
‘Breaking News from Japan by The Yomiuri Shimbun’.
- Free Japanese Lessons and Courses
‘Free language lessons and courses for those learning Japanese, other Japanese language resources relevant to the student of Japanese’.
- Japanese Language
Geographic distribution, sounds, grammar, vocabulary, writing system, history, see also, references, external links. Wikipedia.
- Japanese Language Links
Books, food, grammar, lessons, kana/kanji, more.
- Japan Foundation
Based in Sydney. Courses, articles, newsletter, journal, resources for loan, more.
Stanford Guide to Japan Information Resources. Well annotated and maintained links for learning Japanese.
Lists several organisations as well as resource sites which are well annotated.
- Jim Becker’s Japanese Page
Links for Japanese. Culture, grammar, games, dictionaries, search engines, more.
- Jim Breen’s Japanese Page
‘Links to some of the resources available on the WWW on Japanese matters’.
- Language Teaching Resources
Use tithe menu on the left to select resources for areas from dialects to words, dictionaries to sign language.
- New South Wales HSC Online, Japanese
While for the HSC, it provides revision on all aspects of senior secondary Japanese.
: Japanese Language Resources
‘Focus on the Japanese content of the Sweets exhibition, in the Community Gallery of the Immigration Museum. Designed to be used in conjunction with either a staff led or self guided visit to the museum. Teachers can download the work booklets for students working at beginner, intermediate or advanced level of the language’. Victoria.
Lists of briefly annotated links covering aspects of the Japanese language. Some more recent than others.
- Wikijunior : Languages - Japanese
Writing system used, how many people speak the language, where it is spoken, the history of the language, some famous authors or poets using the language, basic words in the language, a song/poem/story to learn in this language.
Podcasts, Blogs, Video Broadcasts
- Japanese Lessons in English
50 lessons. Audio, video, text.
‘A painless and free way to bone up on the language and culture in a relevant, real world way’
- Learn Japanese Pod
‘A podcast and website for learning Japanese for free in a fun and easy way’.
- News in Slow Japanese
‘Intermediate to Advanced Japanese Listening Lessons’.
- One Minute Japanese
‘The absolute basics of Japanese. Introduces the listener to basic greetings, introductions, numbers, language problems and common words and phrases’.
Japanese Proficiency Test
- Japanese Language Proficiency Test
Japanese Government [through their embassy in Brisbane]. Information about the test, grades, course book, more.
- Japanese Language Proficiency
UNSW. All relevant details are included.
- JLPT Sample Questions
‘Sample questions are organised by level, from N1 to N5. One sample question is offered for each test item type’.