Best Free Japanese Courses

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Best Free Japanese Courses

Japan, the “land of the rising sun”, and ultramodern technologies, is home to the most well-mannered and disciplined people in the world. Be it for their food, culture, or language, Japan never fails to amaze us! 

Now there are many people who desire to learn the language of this wonderful country, just for the sake of their interest, or for seeking job opportunities in Japan. Hence, our article is going to feature the best Japanese learning courses available on various online platforms that are free of cost. These websites have helped thousands of people to fulfill their desire of learning the Japanese language without having to spend a single penny. 

1. Japanese for Beginners 1 offered by Saint Petersburg State University on Coursera 

A course offered by Saint Petersburg State University on Coursera is ideal for students who want to begin with learning Japanese. This course will begin from the very basics, and let you read the simplest of Japanese texts by using hiragana and katakana scripts as well as the kanji characters. You will learn to speak and write some basic words that are a part of everyday communicative situations.

With the progress of the course, you will learn to construct sentences that are grammatically and phonetically correct. Learners will be provided with supportive grammar guides that will help them construct sentences and enhance their vocabulary. Since the course is for beginners, it consists of 200 words, students who are successfully able to complete this course shall further proceed with the continuation of this course which is part-2. 

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2. Steps in Japanese for Beginners1 Part 1 Offered by the Waseda University on edX

This course on edX is provided by the Waseda University, and as the name suggests, this course will begin with an introduction to the Japanese language, letters, and punctuations. With the progress of the course, students will be introduced to basic conversational and vocabulary skills, along with a special emphasis on pronunciation and everyday expressions. This course will help you to interact with people, greet them and manage to speak sentences that are a part of everyday communications. This course has continuations that are also free to attend, you just need to require to pay if you are in need of a certificate. Waseda University has many courses in edX to help you with learning the language completely.

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3. Learn Japanese on Duolingo

World’s most popular way to learn Japanese, Duolingo offers free learning courses that are game-like lessons, which makes learning extremely fun and easy. 

An amazing way for beginners to start with basics, these courses will introduce students to reading, writing, and speaking skills and let them improve every day. Duolingo has the most unique way of teaching students, and it has been proven that a 34-hour course on the website is equal to University’s 1 semester. The courses are designed with interactive exercises and motivate students with rewards such as virtual coins, to provide a game-like fun learning experience. There cannot be a better way to learn Japanese than the courses provided by Duolingo! 

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4. Learn Japanese on JapanesePod101

JapanesePod101 includes thousands of lessons for free and provides the best learning opportunities for beginners. The courses are designed in a way that learners can slowly learn every letter and phrase unless they can strike up a regular conversation. 

The courses will focus on reading, writing, speaking, grammar, and the Japanese culture to provide a comprehensive lesson that will not only make you understand the language but also let you know more about the country. From personalized guidance to study tools like quizzes and flashcards, JapanesePod101 makes learning easy for everyone. 

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5. Japanese Language on FluentU

FluentU has a plethora of resources when it comes to learning a new language. The Japanese learning courses are designed with real-world videos, music videos, news, trailers, inspiring talks, and many other sources of entertainment that make learning the language much easier. By introducing students to real-world entertainment videos, FluentU develops the skills of listening, understanding, reading, and speaking in less time, and makes them ready for being able to strike up daily conversations.

It doesn’t matter if you have zero knowledge in Japanese, FluentU will take care of it and transform you from a beginner or newbie to a person who understands the language and is able to speak with the people fluently. There are courses for every learner at every level, use just needs to choose the right one amongst the varied list of lessons. If you find it confusing to choose the right course, then there’s nothing to worry about, FluentU has supportive blogs to help you out. These free courses by FluentU can change your lives and make you learn Japanese in no time.

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6. Complete Japanese Language Course by Busuu

Busuu is one of the most popular language-learning websites that provides lessons for 12 different languages including Japanese. By Investing only 10 minutes daily, you can master the language at the fastest pace. 

Now before choosing your course, it is better to know that there is a course for every purpose, be it for traveling to Japan, or learning the whole language for working or studying abroad. Through Hiragana and Katakana courses, you will be able to read and write the alphabet, whereas, in the Complete Japanese course, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of the language and become a master in it. The Japanese for Travellers course is for those who have planned a tour to Japan and consider it wise to learn a few conversational words that can be of great help while interacting with locals, especially if you are a travel blogger. Choose the right course according to your preference, and speak Japanese easily and fluently.

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7. Easy Japanese on NHK World-Japan

NHK World is another reliable source to learn the Japanese language from. From easy Japanese Conversation lessons, easy grammar lessons to learning the language for work and travel, NHK World is your ultimate destination to master the language in much less time. 

These video lessons include animations, real-world videos that not only provide a fun learning experience but also make it easier to grasp and interesting to watch and hear. There are also PDFs available to help students gain a better understanding of their lessons, and also informative blogs that can be of great help. NHK World has courses for learners of every stage and every type, avail these courses for free to be able to speak, read, and write Japanese like a native.

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8. Learn japanese on Loecsen

 Loecsen provides free learning courses to students based on 17 themes such as essentials, conversation, colors, numbers, feelings, and many more. The free online course on the website is the best way, to begin with learning how to speak Japanese by memorizing phrases and pronouncing words correctly. This beginner’s level course is easy-to-follow and will make you familiar with the most commonly used words in the everyday lives of Japanese people. If you are planning to visit Tokyo, Osaka or any other place across Japan, the phrases that you will learn from the course will help you in understanding the words of the locals, and you will also be able to reply to them with grammatically correct phrases with the right pronunciation. 

You will also be able to identify alphabets and get access to downloadable resources that include PDFs, MP3, and animated videos. 

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9. Japan Foundation’s Marugoto course

Marugoto is one of the most popular platforms operated by the Japanese Foundation, that has been chosen by learners worldwide for its varied Japanese-learning courses. The best part about Marugoto is that its explanations are provided in many different languages including Spanish, Indonesian, French, Thai, and many other. 

The lessons include pictures where you hear the words and learn to pronounce them. From basic words to grammar, you will learn everything in these lessons. The Marugoto Japanese online course is the version of Marugoto: Japanese Language and Culture, so you will also acquire knowledge about the people and culture while learning their language.  

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10. Japanese Language: Introduction to Japanese Phrases on

The last one on our list, offers the best free course, to begin with, your introduction to the language of Japanese. Here in this course, you will learn about key phrases, pronunciations, the Japanese culture, and have an excellent grip on both vocabulary and grammar. 

This course will at first begin with the introductory phrase and make you learn how to speak them correctly, and then proceed to alphabets and numbers. With the progress of the course, you will learn the phrases used mostly in daily conversations and will help you to communicate with the locals such as shopkeepers. You can grow at your own pace and enrich your vocabulary with this perfect beginner-friendly course provided by 

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We hope these 10 free online Japanese learning courses on our list will help you with choosing the right course for you and make you a proficient speaker in less time. These courses will serve as an excellent resource for mastering the language, knowing its people and culture, without having to worry about spending a single penny. These courses can be a great opportunity for students and professionals to learn a new language that can help them in future endeavors. 

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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