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How To Learn Japanese Online: Best Options for Beginners

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By Vanda Heuring

how to learn japanese

Are you wondering how to learn Japanese as quickly and easily as possible, but not sure where to start? 

Have you ever thought about trying to learn Japanese online?

The online learning experience has become highly popularized as access to endless information through smartphones or laptops has become a part of most people’s daily life.

Of course, learning a new language is certainly no easy feat, but with the right tools and resources at your disposal, learning Japanese online can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

With the right online learning platforms, like Rosetta Stone, you can gain basic Japanese comprehension and communication skills and then continue to sharpen and enhance those skills by taking advanced courses.

In the guide below, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of how to start learning Japanese online, from choosing the right course for your needs to finding resources that will help you along your language-learning journey.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.

Why Learn Japanese?

Japanese is spoken in many countries worldwide, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and North America.

With over 125 million native Japanese speakers worldwide, the use of this language is steadily expanding as it continues to be popularized.

There are many great reasons to learn Japanese online.

If you plan to go on a trip to Japan or have friends who speak Japanese, learning this language can be very helpful.

Learning Japanese is great for exchange students who want to stay in Japan to study abroad for a while, as they will be able to communicate with locals better. Online platforms are more affordable and convenient than private tutoring or college-level Japanese courses.

The popularization of Anime and Japanese movies or dramas has also made many people want to learn and understand the language better.

Learning Japanese can also help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the culture itself.

And of course, being multilingual can also open many doors and provide job opportunities.

Simply put, there are lots of great reasons to learn Japanese, and the best way to do it is with an online course.


Online Courses Make It Easy To Learn Japanese

There’s no shortage of ways you can go about learning Japanese — from hiring a personal language teacher to enrolling in a class at a local college to taking online courses.

Without a doubt, our preferred method for learning Japanese, or any language for that matter, is to take advantage of online courses and tools.

Online language-learning platforms are a great way to learn Japanese from home at a more affordable price and on a schedule that fits your lifestyle.

Simply put, online platforms allow you to learn from anywhere you want in the world, at your own pace, and at a fraction of the price of traditional language classes. Plus, many of them provide engaging and interactive learning experiences that can help you stay motivated to learn Japanese.

Below, we’ll introduce some of the best online learning platforms for studying Japanese.


Rosetta Stone: The Best Online Platform for Learning Japanese

Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone's tried and true curriculum and user-friendly mobile app makes it easy, exciting, and fun to learn a new language. You'll get full immersion in the language you are learning and gain confidence to express yourself as you practice and progress every step of the way.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Rosetta Stone is arguably the most popular online language-learning platform in the world today, offering courses in 25 different languages, including Japanese.

One of the reasons Rosetta Stone is so effective at helping you learn a new language is that it uses a highly-effective immersive learning system that uses real-world scenarios, engaging activities, and audio from native speakers. By allowing you to learn new words and phrases through pictures, audio recordings, and ongoing practice opportunities, you quickly get a better understanding of how the language is used in everyday life.

Rosetta Stone’s interactive activities that keep your learning experience engaging and fun, so you stay motivated on your language-learning journey.

Simply put, Rosetta Stone is the best way to learn Japanese online quickly, effectively, and with long-lasting results. W

With a one-time payment of only $179 (regularly $299), you can get lifetime access to unlimited languages and all levels on the Rosetta Stone platform.

If you’re not interested in learning other languages and just want to focus on Japanese, they have 3-month and 12-month single-language subscription plans available that start at $7.99 a month, billed up-front for the entire term.

Click here to get started with Rosetta Stone today.


Other Online Platforms To Learn Japanese


With an expansive amount of courses to choose from in a wide range of subjects, Skillshare has some a few Japanese courses being offered.

The instructors on Skillshare are experts in their field of study and teach the courses well for easy understanding.

Using Skillshare can help you improve your knowledge as its courses are engaging and fun to use.

The format of Skillshare’s courses is easy-to-follow for both beginners and those who already have a grasp on the course content being studied.

You can take a look at our Skillshare review to learn more about the platform.

Click here to try Skillshare free for one month.


Rocket Languages

Rocket Languages is another popular app for language learning, and it’s a solid option for learning Japanese.

Students can learn with podcasts, flashcards, writing activities, interactive exercises, and other methods.

They also use an advanced speech-recognition technology to help you practice and perfect your pronunciation.

Rocket Languages also offers a free trial, so you can test out the platform before placing an order.

Our Rocket Languages pricing guide has more info on the software.

Click here to get started with Rocket Languages.



The courses offered on JapanesePod101 are fast to complete, and the students retain the content learned well.

With JapanesePod101, you will learn enough Japanese to understand phrases and sentences used in daily Japanese life. The Japanese culture is explained well in JapanesePod101’s courses, as well as proper grammar and sentence structure.

If you plan on genuinely learning to speak and understand Japanese, this is an excellent choice for online learning as it has plenty of study tools that will encourage the whole learning process.


Duolingo Plus

Duolingo is one of the most popular language-learning apps worldwide, offering over 40 languages to be learned.

The app has engaging and interactive courses that help you learn phrases, words, and sentences in different languages.

While Duolingo is known for its free app, they do have a premium option called Duolingo Plus that opens up more content and features.

All in all, however, Duolingo is a pretty basic language learning tool, and it’s really more targeted at kids with its game-like approach.


Final Thoughts on How to Learn Japanese Online

With so many great online resources and tools, learning Japanese has never been easier.

From using Japanese language apps on your phone to taking an online course, you have plenty of options.

While there are many great platforms out there that offer Japanese courses, we believe Rosetta Stone is the best of the bunch thanks to its proven immersive approach that has been used successfully by students for over 30 years.

Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone's tried and true curriculum and user-friendly mobile app makes it easy, exciting, and fun to learn a new language. You'll get full immersion in the language you are learning and gain confidence to express yourself as you practice and progress every step of the way.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

You also might be interested in our guide that answers the question, “How long does it take to learn a new language?

Have any questions about how to learn Japanese? Leave us a comment and we’ll help.

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