Welcome to my site for learning Japanese! Here you will find a wealth of information that will help you learn Japanese free online. If you're looking for the old homepage, you can find it at: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar or via the navigation links at the top of the page. If you like this site, please press the +1 button on the right sidebar and/or add a link back to this page with the phrase "learn Japanese".
So you want to learn Japanese
Ok, I'm not going to go into all the reasons why Japanese is such a fun and rewarding language to learn because you're already here and interested in learning it. If you're still undecided or afraid that it's too hard, don't be! It can be one of the easier languages to learn in ways that will surprise you. So here's what you need to do to teach yourself Japanese and how to do it by using this site.
- Learn Hiragana (the Japanese "alphabet")
- Learn vocabulary (with Kanji) and grammar
- Practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing
- Learn Katakana (the "alphabet" for foreign words)
- Learn how to use various tools such as online dictionaries
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 with progressively more advanced topics
The ABCs of Japanese
Just like how you would start learning English by learning the ABCs, you should first start by learning the basic writing system for Japanese called Hiragana. Learning Hiragana will also teach you how to pronounce all the sounds in the language.
These short and simple videos should help you get started.
Vocabulary and grammar
This site has two guides to aid you on your way to full Japanese fluency with no compromises. This means you'll learn it as it's spoken in the real world including all the parts that are skipped in most textbooks because it's not considered to be "polite".
If you're new to learning Japanese, I recommend you start with the Complete Guide to Japanese. This guide avoids long and complicated explanations and teaches you essential grammar and vocabulary through examples, interesting dialogues, and suggestions for practical applications. Though it's still a work in progress, the first five chapters are essentially done. Feel free to give me a shout if you get near the end and find that it's still not finished.
If you are taking Japanese classes and you want to get a better understanding of how things work, the Guide to Japanese Grammar is designed to supplement your studies and give you a solid understanding of the grammatical structure of Japanese. It thoroughly explains Japanese grammar by starting with the most fundamental ideas and building upon it layer by layer. It is much easier to understand than a traditional Japanese class which will likely skip straight to the polite forms without explaining where they come from.
The grammar guide is also available as an iOS app.
Achieving full fluency of a language requires not just learning the language but regularly applying what you learned by listening, speaking, reading, and writing. There are many online tools such as online dictionaries that will help you read and watch Japanese books, comics, and movies. There are also sites that will help you connect with native Japanese speakers for language exchange as well as help with correcting your writing.
These tutorials go over how to use these various tools to effectively learn Japanese online.
You will undoubtedly have many questions as you study Japanese. The forum has a great community of helpful and knowledgeable people that can help answer your questions about Japanese.
- Japanese from scratch youtube channel: Short and simple videos for learning Japanese from scratch. These videos eventually make their way into the site but will show up here first.
- My blog: I talk about various topics that are interesting to me, potentially useful resources, and other miscellaneous things.
- Twitter: My twitter feed with WOTD (Word of the day) and fake conversations in Japanese.
- Facebook Group: My group for sharing things pertaining to learning Japanese.
Do you have any good 940x118 pixel image you'd like to see as the site's header? Send it to me! Many of the banners you see have been contributed by visitors to the site.
taekim.japanese AT gmail.com