20 Best Apps to learn japanese

Learning Japanese through mobile apps is becoming increasingly popular due to the digital era and smartphone accessibility. However, selecting the right app for your learning style and needs can be challenging. A curated list of top Japanese apps includes 34 of the best options.

Learning Japanese is essential for a quality life, as it is a challenging language to learn and is often overlooked by adults. Market players have developed apps, software, and web SaaS to balance time and learning Japanese.

20 Best Apps to learn japanese

Apps help students control their pace, schedule, and learning pattern, allowing them to focus on their studies without the obligation of attending classes. They offer small sessions, lesson plans, and visualization to keep learners engaged. Overall, apps can help students stay motivated and consistent during their Japanese studies.

List of All Learning Apps

  1. Duolingo: Gamified platform introducing Hiragana, Katakana, basic vocabulary, and grammar through interactive lessons. Limited features free, more with subscription.
  2. Memrise: Flashcard app using spaced repetition for effective vocabulary memorization. Limited features free, more with subscription.
  3. LingoDeer: Similar to Duolingo but focuses on grammar with a friendly mascot. Limited features free, more with subscription.


  1. Hiragana Quest: Learn Hiragana in a fun and engaging way through gamified lessons.
  2. Katakana Quest: Similar to Hiragana Quest, but for learning Katakana.
  3. Dr. Moku: Interactive app for learning Hiragana and Katakana with drawing exercises.
  4. Learn Japanese Free (WingsApp): Focuses on specific topics like greetings, numbers, or food. Free with ads.
  5. Write It! Japanese: Practice writing Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Free with ads.

Intermediate Learners:

  1. JapanesePod101: Learn through audio lessons covering various topics including grammar, vocabulary, and culture. Limited features free, more with subscription.
  2. Bunpo: Learn Japanese grammar through interactive exercises and explanations. Limited features free, more with subscription.
  3. Satori Reader: Read graded Japanese readers with furigana and interactive dictionary. Limited content free, more with subscription.

Advanced Learners:

  1. Obenkyo: Flashcard app for learning and reviewing Kanji. Limited features free, more with subscription.
  2. Takoboto: Japanese dictionary app with advanced features like Kanji breakdown and handwriting recognition. Free with ads.
  3. NHK News app: Stay updated with Japanese news and improve listening comprehension. Free.
  4. Japanese Text To Speech: Practice listening to natural Japanese pronunciation. Free.


  1. HelloTalk: Connect with native speakers for language exchange. Free with optional premium features.
  2. Tandem: Language exchange app with video calls and text chat. Free with optional premium features.
  3. italki: Find online tutors for personalized Japanese lessons. Paid service.
  4. LingQ: Read graded Japanese articles with interactive dictionary and translation tools. Limited features free, more with subscription.
  5. LingoDeer Japanese Dictionary: Comprehensive Japanese dictionary with advanced features. Free with ads.

What is the best app to learn Japanese free?

For well-rounded learning and gamification:

  • Duolingo: This popular app introduces Hiragana, Katakana, basic vocabulary, and grammar through short, interactive lessons. Its gamified approach can be motivating and engaging, especially for beginners.

For strong grammar focus:

  • LingoDeer: Similar to Duolingo but with a stronger emphasis on grammar explanations and a cute mascot. It caters to learners who prefer a more structured approach.

For effective vocabulary memorization:

  • Memrise: This flashcard app utilizes spaced repetition, a scientifically proven method for enhancing memory retention. It’s ideal for those who prioritize building a solid vocabulary foundation.

For specific topic focus:

  • Learn Japanese Free (WingsApp): This app allows you to choose specific topics like greetings, numbers, or food to concentrate on, making it suitable for targeted learning.

For immersive learning with native speakers:

  • HelloTalk: Connect with native Japanese speakers for language exchange and real-world practice. This is a great option for those who want to supplement their app learning with authentic conversations.

Ultimately, the best way to find the perfect free app for you is to experiment! Try out a few different apps and see which one resonates with your learning style and keeps you motivated. Remember, consistency and enjoyable engagement are key to successful language learning, so choose an app you truly enjoy using.

Here are some additional tips for your Japanese learning journey:

  • Set realistic goals and practice regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day.
  • Immerse yourself in the language: watch Japanese movies and shows, listen to music, and read articles or books.
  • Combine different learning methods to keep things interesting: use apps, textbooks, online resources, and language exchange opportunities.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Embrace them as part of the learning process and keep practicing.

Why use apps to learn Japanese?

Apps offer several advantages when it comes to learning Japanese, and here are some reasons why they can be a valuable tool in your language learning journey:

Accessibility and Convenience:

  • On-the-go learning: Apps are readily available on your phone or tablet, allowing you to study anywhere, anytime. This flexibility makes it easier to fit Japanese learning into your busy schedule, even during short breaks or commutes.
  • Gamification and engagement: Many apps incorporate game-like elements like points, badges, and leaderboards. This can make learning more fun and engaging, increasing your motivation and making you more likely to stick with it.
  • Personalized learning: Some apps offer customized learning paths and adapt to your individual progress, ensuring you focus on areas that need improvement and learn at your own pace.
  • Variety of learning methods: Apps often combine different learning methods like visuals, audio, and interactive exercises, catering to various learning styles and preferences.
  • Supplemental resources: Many apps offer additional resources like grammar explanations, cultural insights, and even native speaker pronunciation recordings, enriching your learning experience beyond vocabulary and basic phrases.

Community and Social Connection:

  • Language exchange: Some apps like HelloTalk connect you with native Japanese speakers for conversation practice, offering valuable exposure to real-world usage and enhancing your communication skills.
  • Community forums and discussions: Many apps have built-in community features where you can connect with other Japanese learners, ask questions, share experiences, and stay motivated.


  • Free options: There are numerous free apps available with high-quality content and learning tools, making Japanese learning accessible even on a budget.
  • Affordable premium features: Some apps offer premium features like advanced lessons, vocabulary packs, or personalized feedback for a reasonable cost, often significantly cheaper than traditional language courses.

Other benefits:

  • Tracking progress: Apps can track your progress, allowing you to monitor your learning journey and celebrate your achievements, which can further boost your motivation.
  • Offline learning: Some apps provide downloadable content or offline functionality, giving you the flexibility to learn even when you don’t have an internet connection.

Of course, apps are not the only way to learn Japanese, and you may find that combining them with other resources like textbooks, online courses, or physical classes can provide a more comprehensive learning experience.

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