Best site for learning Japanese

What do you think is the best site for learning Japanese (excluding dictionaries)?

Earlier this year, I’ve been trying to add more content and tune my site to rank higher for searches on “learning japanese” not just “japanese grammar”. (You can compare which searches are more popular with Google Trends). When I did some ad hoc testing at the time, it ranked somewhere around the 40-50s.

I still have quite a bit of work to do on the content side but here’s the results from the last few months. Unfortunately, the data doesn’t go back farther and it’s not representative as over half of the search queries do not provide the search keyword (unless I become an adwords customer apparently). As it is, the site ranking has been improved to an average of 6.8.

I expect the CTR to be miserable until the site ranking goes up to at least around 3-4. Lately, I’ve been concentrating on my own studies, but I’d like to eventually get back to working on the complete guide soon. In the meantime, if you think my site is useful for learning Japanese, any inbound links with the phrase “learn Japanese” would be appreciated.

Oddly, the most common search query was “katakana”, about 2-3 times more impressions than “learn japanese” and “hiragana”. I wonder why? Maybe I should beef up my Katakana sections?

Research indicates that page load time is also critical for traffic. So I also installed Boost for my drupal installation to speed things up a bit yesterday. The results are inconclusive but it does seem a bit snappier to me.

10 thoughts on “Best site for learning Japanese

  1. I’ve been using iKnow for vocab, but wanikani should be very tempting for beginners. (It doesn’t provide me a way to start at my level, and I can’t be arsed to go through all that mess to get there.)

    Sadly, I neglect my grammar learning pretty badly, so I don’t visit your site nearly as much as I should.

    • Ah, but the site is not just for learning grammar anymore as I’ve been working on beefing up the amount of Japanese text for reading and learning vocabulary. Though arguably, I still have tons of work to do on that front.

  2. I actually love yours and I use wanikani to build up vocab. The game-like nature of the WaniKani makes it great to learn. But agreed, if you already know some Kanji, it can be tough. Luckily I found it when I was just starting out!

    If I were to give someone new a guide to what works best, I would say your site, WaniKani, Lang-8 to practice and a live class to hold yourself accountable and see things in action.

    I don’t think the problem with any of the sites out there now is content. I think for the most part, everyone gives enough information to succeed. What most lack, that I think WaniKani delivers on, is a built-in way to study. It forces you to practice to move forward, so you are sure you totally understand the concepts. This is very good for not tricking yourself into thinking you know something you don’t.

  3. I always use your site and Maggie Sensei for grammar reference and to know very detailed conversation patterns that Japanese use in their daily life conversation.

    Thanks your lessons helped me a lot and very easy to understand.

    I use to learn advance vocabulary by reading articles in there with word by word meaning.Good one for advanced learners i guess.

  4. We just released (today) an app for iOS for studying Japanese vocabulary called, appropriately, Goi ( It’s designed for those actively studying Japanese who want to improve their vocabulary. We don’t have pre-made decks or require you to make your own. Instead, it ascertains your level quickly and grows with you. For example, it will show furigana for words you’ve recently learned but then ween you off it as you get more and more accustomed to those words. We really built it for ourselves after noticing a dearth of tools that were appropriate for our level of Japanese, a problem which WC mentioned above. We just released it and would love to hear your feedback!

  5. Apart from your site and actual dictionaries, personally I’ve found the most useful for learning.
    It’s basically a modified 常用漢字 list, ordered so that you learn the kanji by radicals. It introduces a new radical, then gives you a list of kanji that include only that radical + ones you’ve already learned before.
    Which I’ve found makes learning new kanji much easier, since you can memorize them as “that radical + that radical + that other radical”.
    Also has a list of words that contain the kanji and some bits about how they’re used.

    The selection is kind of questionable, being based on the 常用漢字. He did cut out some characters he felt were superfluous and I think added a few ones.
    But hell, to my knowledge it’s the only site of it’s kind so far.
    Maybe something you could have a go at if you ever feel like adding something different to your site. Not based on 常用漢字 obviously, haha.

    • I really like the idea behind Kanji Damage, I just wished they used the actual meaning of the radicals instead of making up random meanings.

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