15 Best Apps to Learn Japanese (2021): Become Fluent Fast

Learning Japanese? Japanese is one of the most spoken languages in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to learn. If you’re looking for an app to learn Japanese, then you’ve come to the right place. We have compiled a list of the best apps that can help you learn and master this beautiful language in no time!

It can take years of consistent study to become fluent in it. And even then, you may never reach the same level of fluency as someone who was born into the culture and has been speaking it since childhood.

These Japanese learning apps will make it easier to study and practice your skills no matter what your level is right now. You’ll be able to take lessons with audio clips, review words and phrases, read manga comics, and even listen to podcasts or watch videos.

What Are The Best Apps to Learn Japanese?

Here are the 15 best apps to learn Japanese that can help you learn the language more quickly and fluently.

Overall Best App to Learn Japanese
Rocket LanguagesRead More
Best Beginner Japanese App
MondlyRead More
Best Japanese App for Speaking
italkiRead More
Best App for Japanese Immersion Online
FluentURead More
Best Japanese App with a Structured Course
BusuuRead More
Best Japanese Podcast App
JapanesePod101Read More
Best Japanese App with Audio Lessons
PimsleurRead More
Most Comprehensive Japanese App
Rosetta StoneRead More
Best App to Read Japanese
LinguaLiftRead More
Best App to Learn Japanese Writing
Write It! JapaneseRead More
Best App to Learn Japanese Vocabulary
DropsRead More
Best App to Learn Words in Context
ClozemasterRead More
Best App to Learn Japanese Grammar
LingodeerRead More
Best App to Learn Japanese for Free
DuolingoRead More
Best Japanese App for Talking to Natives
TandemRead More

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Rocket Languages

Overall Best App to Learn Japanese

Rocket Languages App Homepage

Rocket Languages is the overall best app to learn Japanese. It’s a comprehensive course that holds your hand as you learn by guiding you from the basics of a language. It has excellent dialogues that cover everyday situations, and they’re voiced by native speakers. Learn more about Rocket Languages in this review.

Key Features

  • Learn at your own pace.
  • Easy to navigate app with easy to understand lessons.
  • Great for people who want a course that is comprehensive and thorough.
  • Learn about Japanese culture as you learn the language

Pricing

Rocket Languages offers its Japanese course at three different price points. The first level is $99.95, the first and second level together cost $249.90, and the entire course is $259.90. Rocket Japanese is a one-time purchase as opposed to a subscription system, like most other apps.

Try Rocket Japanese for free today.

Mondly

Best Beginner Japanese App

Mondly App Homepage

The Mondly app is perfect for beginners who want to learn the basics of Japanese. It’s easy to use and you can complete the lessons in any order you want, so it won’t feel like a chore.

You can track your progress and learning statistics as well, which is perfect for helping you stay motivated! If you’re just starting to learn Japanese, Mondly will help you learn the basics quickly. Read more in this Mondly review.

Key Features

  • You can learn the basics of Japanese quickly.
  • The app is easy to use and you can complete lessons in any order you want.
  • You’ll feel more motivated by tracking your progress
  • You can even learn using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)

Pricing

Mondly offers a free version, and a paid subscription starts at $9.99 per month. You can get a discount on a longer subscription, too.

Sign up for a free Mondly account to start learning Japanese.

italki

Best Japanese App for Speaking

italki app homepage

italki is a popular language learning app that allows you to find high-quality Japanese tutors online. You can easily filter the tutors to find the perfect one for you. You can also tell your tutors what you want to study before beginning lessons or find out if they offer formal courses.

Key Features

  • Learn Japanese from native speakers
  • Find the perfect tutor for you based on your needs and budget
  • Improve your communication skills in Japanese
  • italki is safe and secure and all tutors are vetted

Pricing

Tutors set their own prices on italki, but lessons typically range from around $8.00 to $35.00 per hour. Conversation lessons are typically on the lower end of that range, and more specialized lessons tend to cost more. Most tutors also offer trial lessons at a 50% discount to see if they’re a good match for you.

Take a trial lesson on italki to practice with a native Japanese tutor.

FluentU

Best App for Japanese Immersion Online

FluentU App Homepage

The FluentU app is one of the most powerful apps to learn Japanese. Learning with FluentU will not only help you master your Japanese skills but also give you a better understanding of the culture and people who speak it.

It is an immersive experience that has automatic subtitles, transliterations and translations for all of its content. You can watch movie trailers, advertisements, listen to music, and even watch TV clips to learn how to speak Japanese more naturally. Learn more about FluentU in this review.

Key Features

  • Learn words and phrases in context.
  • Watch authentic videos to learn how to speak Japanese more naturally.
  • Get exposed to Japanese culture with TV shows, movies, documentaries and more.
  • Automatic subtitles and transliterations help you follow along and understand native speakers more quickly

Pricing

FluentU is one of the more expensive Japanese apps, costing $30.00 per month or $240.00 per year. You can sign up for a free trial before purchasing a subscription though, so it’s definitely worth a try.

Try FluentU free for 14 days and immerse yourself in Japanese.

Busuu

Best Japanese App with a Structured Course

Busuu App Homepage

Busuu is an app that offers a complete course to help you learn Japanese. The app has native Japanese speakers correct your writing and pronunciation, and offers certificates so you can add the language to your resume or job applications.

Busuu also provides fresh and engaging content to help you become conversational in Japanese quickly. This Japanese learning app is great for people who want to learn how to speak, read and write in this beautiful language! Read more in this complete Busuu review.

Key Features

  • Learn with a structured and fun Japanese course
  • Get your pronunciation and writing corrected by native speakers
  • Build up your resume with a Japanese certification

Pricing

Busuu subscriptions start from $9.99 per month, but it gets cheaper if you get a longer subscription. If you want to try Busuu before committing to it, you can sign up for a free account and access some of the Japanese lessons. This is an excellent way to see if Busuu is right for you even before buying it.

Sign up and try Busuu for free today.

JapanesePod101

Best Japanese Podcast App

Learning Japanese can be difficult, but with JapanesePod101 you have access to thousands of lessons in video, audio and text formats that make it a lot easier. The app also includes flashcards for vocabulary.

The audio files are high-quality and always voiced by native speakers. The content is constantly updated too, so you’ll always have something new to learn. Because of its huge amount of content, JapanesePod101 is easily one of the best apps to learn Japanese.

Key Features

  • Have access to thousands of lessons in video, audio and text formats.
  • Access flashcards and other resources to increase your fluency
  • Updated content always gives you something new to learn

Pricing

JapanesePod101 offers a variety of subscription options that range in price from $8.00 and $47.00 per month. The longer your subscription, the smaller your monthly payments will be. A free version is available to those who would like to try out a JapanesePod101 membership before committing.

Try JapanesePod101 for free today to improve your Japanese skills.

Pimsleur

Best Japanese App with Audio Lessons

Pimsleur app homepage

Pimsleur is an app to learn Japanese that has audio lessons you can take anywhere. The lessons are manageable and easy to follow, and you start speaking from your first lesson.

The lessons build on what you’ve already learned so you won’t forget vocabulary you’ve already studied. This app is the perfect app for anyone who wants a quick but thorough way to start learning Japanese in just 30 minutes a day.

Key Features

  • Start speaking right away and improve your pronunciation with speech recognition technology
  • The structure of the lessons in logical and easy to follow
  • Take lessons from home, in your car, or anywhere else
  • The focus on audio improves your comprehension quickly

Pricing

The cost of a subscription to the Pimsleur Japanese app costs $19.95 per month. You can also choose to buy lifetime access to the course for between $230.00 and $550.00, depending on how much of the course you want.

Sign up for a free 7-day trial of the Pimsleur Japanese course.

Rosetta Stone

Most Comprehensive Japanese App

Rosetta Stone App Homepage

Rosetta Stone is one of the most popular apps to learn Japanese because it immerses you in the language from the beginning. The app has an adaptive learning system that adjusts to your style, and it uses spaced repetition to commit words and phrases to your long-term memory.

The app has many different levels and courses you can take to learn Japanese. It includes audio and visual components, grammar explanations, vocabulary lists, practice exercises, writing tools and more.

If you’re serious about learning Japanese with an app, this is the way to go. Rosetta Stone even offers live tutoring sessions if you need extra help.

Key Features

  • Learn Japanese in a way that’s immersive and completely intuitive
  • The app is adaptive, so it will adjust to your style of learning
  • You’ll learn vocabulary with spaced repetition, which will make words and phrases easier to remember for the long term
  • It’s perfect for those who want an app that can be used on their own time and pace

Pricing

You can try Rosetta Stone for three months for $36.00, or you can choose a longer subscription and get a discount.

Sign up and try Rosetta Stone free for 3 days.

LinguaLift

Best App to Read Japanese

LinguaLift app hompeage

If you want to learn to read Japanese but are struggling, LinguaLift is the app for you. It’s full of detailed explanations and easy-to-follow tutorials that focus on improving your reading skills.

Native Japanese tutors are available to answer your questions and correct your homework assignments, too. You can even ask them about specific grammar points or tricky kanji that are giving you trouble!

The lessons offer valuable perspectives on how natives really speak, which will help you pick up on real-life conversational skills in no time. Learn more in this LinguaLift review.

Key Features

  • Detailed explanations to help you understand all aspects of Japanese
  • Uses humor and current content to make learning more fun
  • Native tutors are always available to answer your questions
  • Includes a lot of reading practice to improve your skills quickly

Pricing

A subscription to LinguaLift costs $19.99 per month if you pay monthly. The price goes down to $12.99 per month if you choose a yearly subscription.

Take a free lesson with LinguaLift to read Japanese more effectively.

Write It! Japanese

Best App to Learn Japanese Writing

Write It! Japanese app screenshots

Write It! Japanese is the best app to learn Japanese writing because of its simple and straightforward lessons. You can choose what you want to focus on, and the app is a great tool for memorizing the different Japanese characters.

This app even features an interactive stroke order guide so that you know exactly which strokes go where when writing in hiragana and katakana. There are also example sentences written in both so that you can get used to reading as well as writing Japanese characters.

Key Features

  • Helps you learn the correct stroke order for hiragana and katakana
  • Teaches you how to write complete sentences in Japanese
  • One of the cheapest apps to learn Japanese writing

Pricing

You can use Write It! Japanese for free and get access to limited features. To use everything in the app, you can buy it for $6.99.

Download Write It! Japanese to master hiragana and katakana.

Drops

Best App to Learn Japanese Vocabulary

Language Drops App Homepage

Drops app is easily the best app to learn Japanese vocabulary. The app teaches you new words and phrases through a variety of different activities, which helps you remember them long-term.

It also has vocab lists that cover every topic you need to become conversational in Japanese, including food, greetings and introductions. You can even choose to study more specialized lists like emergencies, household items, and sports. Read more about Drops in this review.

Key Features

  • Unique animations for each vocabulary word
  • Different activities help you remember new words and phrases long-term
  • Spaced repetition helps you review words you’re struggling with
  • Vocabulary lists cover every topic you need to become conversational

Pricing

You can try Drops for 5 minutes everyday before having to pay. Subscriptions cost $9.99/month, $69.99 annually, or you can buy a lifetime subscription for $159.99, which comes with all language vocabulary lists and some other features.

Try Drops free for 5 minutes and start building your Japanese vocabulary.

Clozemaster

Best App to Learn Words in Context

Clozemaster app homepage

Clozemaster is a language learning app that draws attention to the ways words relate to each other. The goal of Clozemaster is figuring out what word goes missing based on all the information around it.

You choose between fill-in-the blank or multiple choice questions, and will start to get a “feel” for the Japanese language quickly. Find out more about Clozemaster’s features in this review.

Key Features

  • Thousands of practice sentences packed with useful vocabulary
  • Learn to use Japanese words in a more natural way
  • Additional features to help you learn difficult grammar
  • Listen to native speakers pronounce the words and sentences

Pricing

You can access most vocabulary lists on Clozemaster for free. If you want access to additional features like grammar lessons and enhanced content, you can subscribe to Clozemaster Pro. This costs $8.00 per month or $60.00 per year.

Sign up for a free Clozemaster account to learn Japanese words in context.

Lingodeer

Best App to Learn Japanese Grammar

Lingodeer App Homepage

Lingodeer features a range of lessons that are categorized by topic. The app’s comprehensive explanations cover the Japanese alphabet, grammar and more for people who wish to learn Japanese.

Where Lingodeer really stands out is the depth of its content. It explains every detail of Japanese grammar, which can help take your fluency to the next level.

Key Features

  • In-depth content covers a huge range of topics
  • Perfect for people who like to know the “why” of grammar
  • Explanations are clear and concise

Pricing

A subscription to Lingodeer starts at $11.99 per month, but you can get a huge discount if you opt for a longer subscription. Lingodeer offers some basic content for free, so you can try it out before purchasing a subscription.

Try Lingodeer for free to master Japanese grammar.

Duolingo

Best App to Learn Japanese for Free

Duolingo App Homepage

Duolingo is a fun (and free!) app that teaches you Japanese. It has an entire Japanese course for beginners and low intermediate learners.

The app uses games and interactive activities to keep you engaged and motivated while learning the basics of the language, as well as more complex topics like grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary building, and reading comprehension. Read more in this Duolingo review.

Key Features

  • The lessons cover all communication skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening)
  • Games and activities keep you motivated to keep learning
  • The course is most useful for beginners
  • It’s the best way to start learning Japanese for free online

Pricing

The Duolingo app is completely free to use and you can access the entire Japanese course. The only downside is that the free version is ad-supported, so your lessons get interrupted with advertisements. If you want to get rid of ads and use more features, you can subscribe to Duolingo Plus for $6.99 per month.

Learn Japanese for free with Duolingo.

Tandem

Best Japanese App for Talking to Natives

Tandem app homepage

Tandem is the best app to practice speaking with native Japanese speakers. It’s a free app and it offers both audio and video communication as well as text chat. The app also includes features for correcting your language partners’ mistakes or translating their messages if needed.

You can learn more about the Japanese language and culture by chatting with native speakers and quickly improve your fluency. Tandem is also useful for those who are already fluent in Japanese and want to brush up their skills.

Key Features

  • Easy to find Japanese language partners around the world
  • Correct and translate messages directly in the app
  • Find language partners near you or located around the world
  • Additional features available to enhance your conversations

Pricing

Tandem offers both a free and premium version. The free version lets you chat with native speakers around the world, but the premium version ($6.99 per month) has additional features like an unlimited vocabulary bank, no ads, and the ability to find language partners near you.

Sign up for a free Tandem account to chat with native Japanese speakers.

Conclusion

Learning Japanese can be difficult and time-consuming. There are a lot of apps to learn Japanese, but not all of them are created equal. The apps on this list can help make the process more enjoyable and efficient by providing interactive exercises or offering explanations for the more difficult aspects of the language.

The app that might be best for you is different depending on your goals (e.g., if you’re looking to chat with native speakers or study with a more comprehensive course), but all the apps on this list provide something useful for any level of learner, from beginner to advanced speaker.

Best Apps to Learn Japanese FAQ

What is the best free app for learning Japanese?

Duolingo is the best free app for learning Japanese. The app includes an entire Japanese course for students learning the basics as well as those that want to develop more intermediate skills in grammar, sentence structure and other topics. Duolingo is best suited for those just starting out in their studies of Japanese but it’s also useful for anyone looking to brush up their skills or expand their knowledge when they have some spare time available on the go!

Is Duolingo good for Japanese?

Duolingo is useful for those who are beginning and intermediate Japanese learners because it covers grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary building as well as more basic topics. It also has interactive exercises that keep you engaged while learning the basics of the language and it gives decent explanations of more difficult parts of Japanese.

What should I learn first in Japanese?

If you are a beginner, you should learn to read and write Hiragana and Katakana first. This will help you eventually write words in Japanese. When learning to read and write you should also learn grammar rules so that your reading comprehension will improve even if you have a small vocabulary. There are a lot of different apps to learn Japanese, and they can help you develop all these skills.

How long does it take to become fluent in Japanese?

Around 6-12 months is the average amount of time it takes someone who is starting from scratch to become somewhat conversational in Japanese. To become completely fluent, it takes native English speakers around 2 years with consistent study. This process can happen faster if you use apps to learn Japanese and practice with native Japanese speakers regularly.

Chad started Langoly to help others learn and teach languages more effectively. He's a language enthusiast, and loves reviewing language learning and teaching resources.

2 Comments
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  2. Also http://nihongomaster.com

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