6 Great Mobile Apps for Learning Basic Japanese

Source: Gaijin Pot
6 Great Mobile Apps for Learning Basic Japanese

Looking for the right application to learn Japanese can be a daunting experience. How can we tell which applications are better than others when they all seem so similar? When I studied Japanese in university I didn’t need to look outside of the classroom for guidance, but after graduating with a degree in Japanese in an English speaking country, I found myself struggling to retain everything I worked so hard to learn. There’s always room to grow in both vocabulary and confidence when learning a new language, and because of this I started testing various Japanese language apps to see what best suited my learning style.

Five years — and many apps — later, I moved to Japan and realized I could read much more than my last visit three years prior. Much of this progress is owed to the apps that allowed me to study grammar and reading, while also expanding my vocabulary with real world examples.

In this post — the first in a three-part series about learning Japanese on the go — I’ve included six applications that each have their own creative take on studying Japanese so you can focus less on the search and more on your path to fluency.


Translating Japanese to English sentences via the word bank in DuoLingo.

Lessons can begin without any previous knowledge of hiragana or katakana and testing past beginner levels is available. All the lessons are grouped into fun categories that range anywhere from food and family to subculture. There’s even an Olympics category in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 games. Once a category is completed, a power bar appears beneath it. After a while the bar will start to recede, prompting you to review that lesson.

Along with focusing on vocabulary, DuoLingo puts emphasis on sentence structure. When it comes …continue reading