Most Essential Apps for learning Japanese

Learning Japanese has never been easier with a wealth of knowledge right at our finger tips. But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which ones are the best for you? That’s where we come in, we can help you get the best apps! And what’s better, is we will only list off the free ones – Learning Japanese shouldn’t cost you a penny! So without further ado, here is the list of the Most Essential Apps for Learning Japanese

1. Tae Kims Learning Japanese

Over 500,000 people have downloaded this app on the Google Play Store, and even more on the Apple App Store, Tae Kims Learning Japanese helps you get your foot in the door to learning Japanese. Probably the most notable content in the app is the Grammar Guide. Tae Kim has an indepth grammar guide which is unmatched on any app. Only thing is, this might not be the best app if you suffer from Dyslexia, as this is a text based app, so there is a lot of reading. 

2. Memrise

Memrise is available on Android, Apple, and via their website . The Memrise app is an amazing way to grow your vocabulary incredibly fast, as there are a number of Memrise official content packs, as well as community made packs. It’s a pretty quick way to store vocabulary in your long term memory. There is a free version, or a paid one. But honest, the free version is really all you need. In the free version, you have access to the full content of each pack, which includes the ability to learn new words, review words you’ve already learned, and a speed review. I personally have used it for studying Kanji and I expanded my vocabulary significantly using the app. You can add friends on the app, and compare how much progress you and your buddies have made over the day, week, or all time progress.


The Anki app helps learning learning large quantities of Japanese easily, via the method of learning over time. There are a number of Card Packs available to use for learning Japanese, and it’s a very quick way of learning the language. By default, there is a daily limit of 20 cards to review, which will only take you 10 minutes or less to complete. If you can learn 20 words a day off the 20 cards, in only a short amount of time, you can have a really strong grip of the Japanese Language. Of course, if you find it too easy to remember the 20 cards, you can increase the daily limit to whatever you want.

4. JED

JED is a must have dictionary app. It’s fast, and it doesn’t just give you one definition, but all that relate to what you are searching. It even works in reverse! You can search the English Word, or you can search the Japanese pronounciation of something, and you will get the meaning, and the Kanji for the word. This makes learning Japanese a breeze! This app also has a kanji search feature, you just select which Kanji Radicals (The Building blocks of Kanji) are used in the kanji you are looking after, and it will select the kanji which best fits the radicals you have selected. You will need to have a grip of Hiragana and Katakana to use this app, as sometimes the readings aren’t available in English if there are multiple readings for one word. 

5.Write it! Japanese

Write it! Japanese, is a really clean and well designed app, perfect for those wanting to learn and write Hiragana and Katakana, which are the 2 foundation writing styles of Japanese. In the practice section, you will familiarize yourself with the content for that section, usually 3-5 characters, and get a chance to practice writing them with the proper stroke order with the accompanying guide. 

It’s quite simple, and can help you learn Hiragana and Katakana in a day if you are really dedicated, but to have all the content stick in your head, I recommend spacing it out over the course of a week. 

6. Duolingo

Duolingo is a progressive learning app, meaning you have to complete a certain level to a satisfactory level before moving onwards to the next level. Again, you can select a learning goal so you don’t have to pour a massive amount of time into learning Japanese every day. If you’re new to Japanese, you can begin at the very start, with Hiragana and Katakana, but you can also take a test right away, to determine your level, and you will have the content up to your skill level unlocked for you so you can start on Duolingo without having to go through everything you already know.

These apps on the list here will definitely help you get started learning Japanese easily, and you will only need to dedicate about 10 minutes per day, and you will be proficient in Japanese in no time!


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