Resources

Self-Promotional:

Learning Japanese, a video series with 200+ videos on a variety of subjects (including predominantly grammar patterns, vocabulary, kanji, and pop cultural resources like anime) presented becauseofdreams

 

Disclaimer(s):

*None of these recommendations are sponsored by the respective products unless specifically stated to be as such. In cases where we are affiliated with the recommendation, our referral link will be provided but a non-referral link will also be provided for those who personally prefer to sample services without supporting affiliate programs.

*For the following references, I do not guarantee to have used every single one thoroughly enough to verify whether or not it is a 100% dependable resource. Ultimately, I do not even consider my level of Japanese advanced enough to be able to appraise other teaching materials, especially ones that have been organized by native Japanese speakers and that are not at all tailored for English-to-Japanese learning.

*Some resources may be very useful for one thing, while being not as exemplary in another service that they provide. (For example, http://jisho.org/ can prove to be a very useful resource for looking up Japanese counterparts of English words and definitions of Japanese words. However, it also includes alongside those results example sentences which derive from the Tanaka Corpus, a database known to be not 100% dependable due to human error on behalf of the students who participated in the assemblage of its 150,000+ examples, examples referenced from outdated literature and other sources.)

 

Essential(s):

Rikai Internet Browser Add-ons (and alternatives):
Online dictionary that activates upon hover of any Japanese text

Google Chrome: rikaikun or yomichan

Mozilla Firefox: rikaichan (or, the modified rikaisama is recommended for its extra features including Anki integration and on-the-spot audio pronunciation)

 

Standalone Curriculums/Online Textbooks/Programs:

Nihongo Dekimasu – Free Japanese learning website, even beginners can enjoy
https://www.erin.ne.jp/en/

Lingualift – Provides guidance and clarity to thousands of language learners
https://www.lingualift.com/learn-japanese-online/ (Non-referral link) 

Human Japanese – Learn the Japanese language from square one or take your Japanese to the next level using the Human Japanese family of apps
http://www.humanjapanese.com/home

 

Hiragana and Katakana:

Real Kana – A simple site for learning and practicing hiragana and katakana, the two Japanese syllabaries
http://realkana.com/

 

Kanji:

GCSE Picture Kanji Cards – Mnemonic collection of 200 Kanji characters with pictures
http://www.jpf.org.uk/language/kanjifiles/kanjicard.html

Happy Lilac – Kanji worksheets aimed at elementary school to junior high school children 
http://happylilac.net/

Kanji Jiten – Kanji dictionary
http://kanji.jitenon.jp/cat/joyo.html

Kanji Press – A kanji-based word game
https://kanji.fluentcards.com/

SimSearch – Look up visually similar kanji characters
http://similarity.gakusha.info/

Yamasa Online Kanji Dictionary – Look up kanji with animated stroke order 
http://www.yamasa.cc/ocjs/kanjidic.nsf/SearchKanji3

 

Grammar:

JGram: The Japanese Grammar Database
http://www.jgram.org/

Learn Japanese Adventure – One personal experiences on how to learn Japanese language. Learn how to speak and write Japanese online with free lessons.
http://www.learn-japanese-adventure.com/

Maggie Sensei – “Maggie Sensei and Yukari will teach you ‘real’ Japanese”
http://maggiesensei.com/

Shiki Nihongo (Japanese-Language) – Taiwanese-based, free Japanese learning platform with posts about news, information, pop culture, and teaching lessons
https://www.japanese-language.com.tw/ (Facebook)

Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese
http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/

 

Reading Practice:

japanese.basbit.nl – Practice reading Hiragana and Katakana with words taken from all 5 level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test
http://japanese.basbit.nl/

NHK NEWS WEB EASY – Japanese news in simplified Japanese
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/

Satori Reader – Carefully curated, level-appropriate content with which to practice and grow
https://www.satorireader.com/

Traditional Japanese Children’s Stories – Original Japanese text and English translations of traditional Japanese children’s stories

 

Speaking Practice:

italki –  language learning social network that connects students with language teachers and language exchange partners
https://www.italki.com/

HelloTalk Language Exchange
http://www.hellotalk.com/

 

Listening Practice:

Benjiro – Recorded Italki video-chat sessions with native Japanese speakers with vocabulary lists

WilsonJJ – Japanese television streaming with scheduled programs
http://wilsonjj.me/jptv/

RhinoSpike – Language learning tool that connects you with native speakers to exchange foreign language audio files
https://rhinospike.com/

SuperNative – Listening exercises using 10,000+ clips from Japanese TV and movies
https://supernative.tv/

JapanesePod101 – “The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Japanese and Japanese culture”
http://www.japanesepod101.com/

Netflix 
https://www.netflix.com/
*Did you know that Netflix not only offers tons of Japanese content like anime and movies but also offers Japanese audio for non-Japanese programs?  This feature is sometimes hidden, but browsing under the subtitles and audio option and searching for Japanese should present you with programs that play in Japanese. 

Learning Japanese (becauseofdreams)’s Curated English-Japanese YouTube Videos Playlist

 

YouTube Channels:

Benjiro – Recorded Italki video-chat sessions with native Japanese speakers with vocabulary lists

 

YouTube News & Entertainment Channels:

日テレ NEWS24

Fieldcaster Japan

MAiDiGiTV – Video news including trailers, entertainment interviews, latest animations and game PV

CinemaToday – International film trailers and interviews with Japanese subtitles

 

 

Hand-writing Recognition:

Google Handwriting Input (Android)

 

Dictionaries and Referencing Example Sentences:

アルク: 英語学習・TOEIC対策・英辞郎 on the WEB
http://www.alc.co.jp/

Goo Jisho
http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/

Houhou – The dictionary that doubles as a learning tool
http://houhou-srs.com/

Weblio英語例文
http://ejje.weblio.jp/sentence/

用例 (yourei) – “World’s largest” example sentence search engine, with more than 400 million entries 
http://yourei.jp/

JLect Japonic Language and Dialect Database 
https://www.jlect.com/index.php

Linguee – English-Japanese Dictionary. Search 1,000,000,000 translations.
http://www.linguee.com/english-japanese/

SakuraDict – Online toolkit that can be used as a kanji and vocabulary dictionary, search engine with graded readings, list creator
http://sakuradict.com/

Tatoeba – Collaborative, open and free collection of sentences and translations
http://tatoeba.org/eng/sentences/show_all_in/jpn/eng/none/indifferent

 

Vocabulary:

Oichan no Banbutsu Daijiten – Thematic Chinese-Japanese-English-Thai vocabulary lists
http://www.itjp.org/dic/home.html

 

Idioms, Phrases, Proverbs, Esoteric language:

e-Word – Information technology terminology dictionary
http://e-words.jp/

Native Phrase Blog – Common native English phrases translated into Japanese with conversational contexts
http://native-phrase-blog.com/

Koji Kotowaza Jiten – Proverb and idiom dictionary
http://kotowaza-allguide.com/

Kotowaza Japanese-English-Dutch proverb dictionary
http://hilhorst.eu/kotowaza/en/start/

 

Flashcards Software:

Anki – Powerful, intelligent flashcards
http://ankisrs.net/

Renshuu
https://www.renshuu.org/index.php

 

Other Software:

cbJisho – English-to-Japanese dictionary that sorts results based on relative frequencies in blogs, newspapers and novels, also capable of being filtered by JLPT level
http://subs2srs.sourceforge.net/cbJisho/help.html

 

Compiled Lists, Texts and Data:

JapFreqList_5109_Novels_110415 – A list of words that appear in 5000+ Japanese novels ordered by frequency (complied by Christopher Brochtrup with cbJisho)
*Not quite the best filtered list, as it includes many one-character particles and punctuation marks such as brackets, ellipses, and the like.

The Monash Nihongo FTP Archive – Archive maintained by Jim Breen (jwb@csse.monash.edu.au) as a repository of files and software related to Japan, its people and particularly the Japanese language

 

Question & Answer Forum(s):

Japanese Language Stack Exchange – A question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language
http://japanese.stackexchange.com/

Learn Japanese SubReddit – The hub on Reddit for learners of the Japanese Language
https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/

 

Miscellaneous:

Aizuchi – English-Japanese webpage that explains the concept of あいづち (back-channeling), with video examples
http://www.sal.tohoku.ac.jp/nik/aizuchi/

Japan Reference – A travel, language and study guide on all things Japanese
http://www.jref.com/

sci.lang.japan Frequently Asked Questions

Onomatoproject – List of Onomatopoeia (擬音語) and Mimetic Words (擬態語)
http://onomatoproject.com/list.html

Tanoshii Japanese – Site dedicated to making the learning of the Japanese language a fun and enjoyable experience
http://www.tanoshiijapanese.com/

 

Social Networking and Community-based Learning:

Lang-8 – A language-exchange social network where you write journal entries in the language you’re learning and they’ll automatically appear in the feed of native speakers of that language who can then proofread and leave useful comments 
http://lang-8.com/

LingQ – A world of authentic content and an online community of learners and native speaker tutors
https://www.lingq.com/

Memrise – Online learning tool with courses created by its community
https://www.memrise.com/

 

Apps/Mobile/Games:
*Entertainment-oriented resources such as games should only really be used to re-enforce what you already know, as opposed to learning entirely new concepts. Be careful about relying entirely on a game to learn an aspect of the language and be sure to check another resource if any information provided appears to be off.

Japanese Conjugation Game 
https://bibby.github.io/conjugator/

Japanese Dictionary – Android App based on Jisho.org‘s Japanese/English API
http://japanese-dictionary.weebly.com/

Kanji no Owari – Learning game which uses RPG gameplay elements to help players memorize Kanji

Shiritori – Online, computer-simulated version of the popular Japanese game しりとり, or, word chain game
http://www.shiritori.org/

tDict (Android | iOS) – Search how everyday people use certain words and terms on Twitter

 

Pop Culture: 

Anime:

Crunchyroll – International online community focused on video streaming East Asian media including anime, manga, drama, music, electronic entertainment, and auto racing content
http://www.crunchyroll.com/

 

Politics:

Politter – Compendium of Twitter timelines from 500+ Japanese politicians
http://politter.com/en/

 

Social Media Accounts:
(While these resources may not have full-fledged curriculums, their frequent rate of posting may be useful for casually learning small bits of information on a daily basis and also remind you to commit to studying more often!)

Transtter – Tweets from international celebrities translated into Japanese

今日のタメ口英語 (@e_kazuma) – “Casual English Speak of the Day,”  Japan-English equivalents of common conversational phrases and words
https://twitter.com/e_kazuma