If you’re interested in learning Japanese online, there are a number of online Japanese college courses to choose from.
This post contains a collection of 10 Japanese online courses and learning programs to choose from. There’s no competition and no pressure. Each of these courses allows you to set up your own schedule and learn at your own pace and time frame, whether you’re taking the online course seriously, taking it as a hobby, or just for a casual once-a-week study session.
But before that, here are reasons to learn Japanese
1. Japan has the 2nd largest economy in the world.
Japan is the 2nd largest economy in the world and the most diverse economy in Asia. It is 2nd only to that of the U.S with a GDP of $4.9 trillion in 2005. The leading Japanese companies like Sony, Toshiba, Sanyo, Casio, Canon, Minolta, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and many others are among the largest, and most well-known firms in the world that have infiltrated the world market in a variety of sectors.
2. Business opportunities.
Learning Japanese opens up various business opportunities. Each year, consumers in Japan spend billions of dollars on consumer goods and services like food, clothing, travel, and entertainment. The typical Japanese household has a disposable monthly income of $3,800 and over $100,000 in savings.
A key to getting business opportunities in Japan is being able to communicate with potential customers in Japanese. Learning Japanese will make you proficient in the language and help you gain an insider view of the Japanese culture, the work ethic, their business etiquette, and the cultural faux pas to avoid. These factors can often make or break a business deal.
3. Japanese is the Internet’s 3rd largest language group
After English and Chinese, Japanese is the third largest language community on the Internet with an estimated 88 million Japanese, that is 9.6% of the world’s online population, connected to the Internet. Learning Japanese can connect you to a lot of people such as future friends, business associates, acquaintances, or lots more.
4. Exploding cultural exports
Japanese culture such as sushi bars, anime, karaoke, manga, bonsai, origami, has become part of international culture. Learning the Japanese language gives you direct access to Japanese animations, movies, comic books, the special terminology used in martial art, the cultural basis for kamikaze training, the origin of the samurai warrior, and how to order sashimi like a native at your favorite Japanese restaurant!
5. It’s not all that hard to learn!
The Japanese system of writing is very much different than English or any other European language. However, you can learn with the 44 or katakana characters that represent sounds in almost the same way as the English alphabet does.
Also, Japanese grammar is quite simpler than that of European languages in many ways. Japanese nouns have no plural forms, genders, or accompanying articles to learn with. There are only two verb tenses, present, and past, very few irregular verbs, 5 vowel sounds, and Japanese spellings are phonetically consistent, which makes the language relatively easy to pronounce.
6. Japanese is the first step to learning other Asian languages.
Like other Southeast Asian languages, Japanese is a highly analytical language, that relies heavily on function words to denote linguistic properties. South Asian languages share a similar subject-predicate sentence structure and are distinctly different among themselves, but as a group they are clearly unique from geographically more distant language families, such as Afro-Asiatic languages and Indo-European.
The Japanese grammar is particularly very similar to that of Korean and when it comes to showing respect, both languages have an equally advanced system of honorifics. The Japanese kanji writing system was borrowed from the Chinese system of ideographs. When you learn Japanese, you get closer to being able to take on Korean or Chinese because many of the language concepts are similar.
10 Online Japanese Courses in 2022
Suited for: Everyone, including those studying for the JLPT.
JapanesePod101 is first on our list of online Japanese courses and a good course to start off with. It’s easy to follow and if you’re a visual or auditory learner, it’s an excellent choice because it includes plenty of videos and audio clips. If you’re studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, you will acquire more knowledge and resources to pass the test.
JapanesePod101 also includes vocabulary flashcards to personalize your learning experience, and a word bank to help you focus on words you struggle with.
You can start with a free account, then upgrade if you wish. Although the free “trial” can be used for a while, you’ll still need to subscribe to a paid plan to unlock the full potential and all the features of the program.
Suited for: Those studying for the JLPT, those who want to learn with authentic Japanese, t and those interested in more specific language topics.
FluentU uses real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news, and inspiring talks, to make personalized language learning lessons. It makes it easier to learn real Japanese as it’s spoken in real life, as well as the Japanese language and culture.
There is a wide variety of authentic video content available in the course.
There are great clips available to help you explore tons of new Japanese vocabulary. You’ll see definitions, in-context usage examples, and helpful illustrations. To select and send interesting vocabulary words to your personal vocab list for later review, simply tap “Add to”.
FluentU uses interactive transcripts to make native Japanese videos approachable, so you don’t have to worry about your skill level is a hindrance to your understanding of the language. By turning every video into a language learning lesson, its learning program adapts to your specific needs and you can actively practice your newly-learned language skills.
You can access FluentU through their website on your computer or tablet or use the FluentU app for iOS or Android to start learning Japanese on the go!
Suited: for beginners and intermediate learners. Two sets of materials are available online.
CosCom Japanese contains to-the-point lessons that focus on all the Japanese basics including vocabulary and grammar topics and the Japanese writing systems.
There are recorded authentic Japanese audio and English translations of all the words and phrases included in the online lessons. CosCom also offers invaluable add-ons to their lessons such as the most common 200 Japanese verbs and instruction on how to type hiragana, short world news updates in simple Japanese, katakana, and kanji on computers.
Suited for: Beginners who are looking for structured courses.
Price: Free course audits. An optional paid certificate course is available.
edX was started by MIT and Harvard and offers high-quality courses on a wide variety of topics—including Japanese—to universities all over the world.
edX’s Japanese courses have two levels of in-depth beginner courses taught in English by enthusiastic professors. The courses are presented courtesy of Waseda University in Japan. Students can either sign up for individual classes or purchase a full three-part program course. Every course is free to audit, but a paid certificate course will have more materials and quizzes.
Japanese pronunciation is one of the unique offerings of the course, and it teaches the proper pronunciation and intonation of Japanese, and how to employ techniques such as shadowing to improve Japanese pronunciation.
Suited for: Beginners and up.
Rosetta Stone focuses on your accent and intonation and is one of the few online courses for individual learning. accent and intonation can often be overlooked when studying without a physical teacher.
Rosetta aims to teach students Japanese languages in the same way they learned their first language, through associating pictures with words followed by grammar. The course is fun while learning and you can test it out with its free trial!
Suited for: Beginners and advanced speakers who want a lifelong course on learning Japanese.
Nihongo Shark offers a series of over 1,000 detailed Japanese lessons through effective and quick Japanese instruction. Its lecturers are comprehensive and entertaining and even the most confusing aspects of Japanese are made easy to understand. The course is available for the complete beginner and an advanced speaker who wants to improve.
This Japanese course is divided into four phases “HJS Four Phases” which divides Japanese into four sections: introductory, beginner, intermediate and advanced. whether you’re studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), learning from scratch, or looking to learn the language for a trip to Japan. The courses in each phase contain sections that accommodate any Japanese needs you have. Each course is self-paced, so you can learn at your convenient schedule or as quickly or as slowly as you want.
Suited for: Beginners who are learning Japanese for the first time.
The Kanshudo course has a personalized learning experience that provides structured lessons as well as free plans. You can set your own challenges and focus on the Japanese areas you want to learn. You can see your progress in vocabulary, grammar, kanji, and specific study points through the program’s tracking system.
In addition to lessons, Kanshudo provides many games and graded reading material to reinforce your studies and practice reading. You can look up any term and its kanji in its vast library of Japanese vocabulary, grammar, and kanji.
Kanshudo’s offers textbook support, which is a great supplemental resource if you’re learning with a Japanese textbook series like “Genki” or “Minna no Nihongo,”.
Suited for: Beginners to intermediate learners with zero previous knowledge of Japanese.
Japanese From Zero! was created by a Japanese learner named George Trombley who interpreted the Japanese language around the world for companies such as Microsoft and IBM after gaining fluency in Japanese.
The first course contains 13 full lessons and is available completely for free with sign-up on the website. It is compulsory to purchase the additional four courses either online or in their textbook formats.
The online and textbook courses are supported by the Japanese From Zero! YouTube channel and are completely free. The channel videos are sorted in a logical order and can be used entirely to learn Japanese from scratch.
Suited for: Beginner and advanced learners or speakers.
This online Japanese college course is actually structured like a textbook and follows a chronological order and.
The lessons cover all major concepts in the Japanese language through basic, essential, and advanced grammar topics. Each lesson contains a detailed breakdown, examples of the topic, and a summary section at the end. The reference is best used along with Wasabi’s online lessons, but the free resource is a complete grammar course.
10. Coto Academy
Suited for: Everyone, including students who want structured lessons.
Coto academy course is Based on an in-person learning academy in Tokyo and offers online courses that users can take anywhere in the world.
You will be able to select the best course option for you after checking your Japanese level for free. You can take online lessons either privately or in a group depending on how you learn best. Coto Academy provides everything you will need so you do not need to worry about getting materials.
Coto Academy courses are a fantastic resource for those looking to advance professionally with their Japanese as there are also Business Japanese Courses and JLPT prep courses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you study Japanese online?
Yes, you can. Today there are a lot of online Japanese courses than ever on the internet. Whether you are a beginner or advanced speaker, you can easily learn Japanese without visiting Japan, or even leaving your home.
What are the best Online Japanese College Courses?
- JapanesePod101. Suited for: All levels, and those studying for the JLPT. …
- FluentU. …
- CosCom Japanese. …
- edX. …
- Rosetta Stone. …
- NihongoShark. …
- Kanshudo. …
- Japanese From Zero!
Online Japanese college courses allow you to set up your own schedule and learn Japanese at your own pace and time frame, whether you’re taking the online course seriously, taking it as a hobby, or just for a casual once-a-week study session.
If you have any questions on online Japanese courses, let us know in the comments below.
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