Hey everyone, I’m Ben and I’ve been studying Japanese for about 7 years now. Today I am going to share with you my absolute essential resources for learning Japanese that will hopefully give you some insight into my methods as well as some tips on how to integrate them into your own learning too.
BEN’S TOP 10 RESOURCES FOR LEARNING JAPANESE
10. Genki 1 and 2
So in at number 10 is the Genki workbook series. For all of you beginners out there Genki 1 is the absolute bible for building your Japanese foundation. From grammar to vocab, kanji and beyond this is the best place to get stuck in. From then you can progress onto the Genki 2 series which will help take you into the intermediate realm.
Anki is a special repetition system that allows you to remember words easily. Every time I would learn a new word or Kanji, I would input it straight into Anki. With daily reviews, Anki gives you the words you have trouble remembering at the highest frequency, ensuring you really get to grips with those difficult to remember words. This is something you can use on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop and is a small one-off payment, highly recommended.
8. Udon classroom
In at number 8 is this crazy website called Udon Classroom. This is the perfect place to access beginner lessons for hiragana, katakana, vocab and beyond. The teacher is super funny and you can really have some fun whilst learning Japanese. To access the website, simply head on over to www.udonclassroom.co.uk . The best thing… it’s completely free and you can start learning right now.
Whenever I come up against a word or Kanji that I don’t understand, rather than google, I will head to Jisho.org. This is the absolute best website to use for looking up words, phrases and kanji that you don’t yet know. Jisho, meaning dictionary in English, allows you to search a word, find the meaning and also access various example sentences with the words included. This is a really helpful tool that I would recommend as you can practice the words or kanji that you want to know easily and see how they are actually used too.
6. Hello Talk
Hello Talk is the key to improving your speaking ability with real life Japanese natives. Although you can use text to speak on the app which is really cool, it’s not nearly as effective as actually practicing and improving your speaking. The app is completely free and you can learn Japanese with natives who are also looking to learn English from you, it’s a kind of mutual exchange. I would recommend finding someone who you get on with really well and finding an hour a day to just talk or study together. It can be pretty weird at first, but you will definitely get used to it.
Everyone loves getting lost in youtube. There are 100’s of great teachers giving away free lessons on youtube with very clear explanations. This recourse is so massive, you can even find specific lessons for the JLPT, business Japanese, Keigo, anything. Just search for “Japanese lessons” and you will have a lifetime’s worth of lessons to go through.
4. Anime / Drama
Watching anime and Japanese drama are definitely one of the more entertaining options but how can you turn this into a study session? Well believe it or not, just listening to the Japanese will help you become more used to speech patterns. If you come across words you don’t understand then just look them up. If you are wanting to really take it to the next level, then try the subtitle tutor technique. Simply watch the episode first with subtitles then watch it once again straight after without subs. You will be amazed at how this will help you.
3. Nihongo Sō-Matome
The Sō-Matome series of books are Japanese textbooks aimed at passing the JLPT. The JLPT is a test used to measure efficiency in Japanese and is a great measuring tool and personal aim to work towards.
2. Flash Cards
Flash cards are very similar to the Anki system however these are a little bit more traditional. I prefer this to Anki as flash cards you can take anywhere with you and revise anytime, no batteries required. You can pick these up on Amazon completely.
Learn Japanese online with BondLingo?
Of course, coming in at number one we have the one and only BondLingo. For everyone looking for our comprehensive, daily Japanese fix, from beginner to advanced, you need to head on over to Bondlingo. With amazing teachers, lessons and diverse subject and topics, Bondlingo really has everything you need to take your Japanese to the next level.