Here are some online resources I've found to be good tools for learning Japanese
Last updated: 10-16-2023
Renshuu is a site specifically made for learning Japanese. It has a large variety of really amazing learning tools, like:
- Vocabulary/kanji/grammar lessons made from textbooks, anime/manga, or other media
- You may also make your own lessons from different pre-made lessons or specific words of your choosing
- Monthly prompts for writing
- Monthly themed lessons (i.e. “moving out”, “spring words”, etc)
- Games like shiritori and crosswords
- A very nice dictionary with a drawing input
They currently offer quizzes for vocabulary, kanji, grammar, and sentences. The quizzes are quite nice – as you learn more terms and characters, your “mastery” level will raise from 0 to 9. As you gain mastery, the material will begin to be reviewed less frequently, helping to train your long-term recall of the material.
The site does have a subscription paywall for some bonus content (progress graphs, some game-related features, extra question formats, more content for learning grammar, etc), but the majority of the base content (all vocabulary, kanji, and sentence structure content) is free to use with an account. As of October 2023, the monthly subscription is $7, an annual subscription is $60, and the lifetime subscription is $130.
Nihongo no Mori (日本語の森) is a really amazing YouTube channel/Facebok group for learning Japanese. They have lessons for each level of the JLPT given by Japanese people in a very humorous (and therefore memorable) manner. Around N4/N3, they kick off the training wheels and give the lessons in Japanese, which does wonders for helping your listening comprehension while also teaching you new concepts. I would highly recommend finding a playlist appropriate to your current level and listening to their lectures. They primarily focus on grammar, but you will inevitably pick up some new vocab as the videos go on.
Lang-8 is a wonderful resource where you write short blog posts in the language you are learning, and then native speakers will review your post and suggest changes. It is incredibly helpful in helping you learn how to use new vocabulary or grammar concepts, and also is a great way to meet new friends who will help you learn their language.
This recommendation comes with one giant caveat in that the site closed registration a few years ago and has made no announcements for when it will be open again. They do offer an app-based service called Hello Native that is somewhat similar, however I have not used it and cannot vouch for its efficacy.