Being stuck at home has many people frustrated and bored. Without a doubt, COVID-19 affect many people’s plans. However, instead of idling around, why not take full advantage of all the things offered online? From studying Japanese online to virtually exploring Japan, the possibilities are endless. Here’s a list of online resources to help you get a bit of Japan back into your life!
- Level/Courses: Beginner & Intermediate
- Learning Method: an interactive website
- Price: Self-study courses are free, whilst tutor support courses come at a price
Minato is a Japanese learning website operated by the Japan Foundation (JF). Through this course, learners will be able to gain a good understanding of Japanese culture as well as be confident in communicating in Japanese. The courses are also offered in multiple languages to accommodate speakers of all backgrounds. Plus, there are many resources on various topics, such as kanji, anime, and healthcare.
Photo via JapanesePod101
- Level/Courses: All levels, JLPT Preparation
- Learning Method: audio with PDF lesson notes
- Price (1-year subscription): Free, basic ($60 AUD), premium ($180AUD), and premium+ ($316AUD).
Students primarily learn Japanese through video lessons and audio clips with JapanesePod101. The website also provides plenty of vocabulary lists, flashcards, and word banks. A free account has many restrictions whereas premium+ members get access to full lessons, study tools, and teacher support. If you’re not too sure, why don’t you take advantage of the 7-day free trial?
Photo via FluentU
- Level/Courses: All levels, JLPT Preparation, specific topic courses
- Learning Method: subtitled videos
- Price: Monthly ($30AUD/month) and yearly ($20AUD/month) subscription. There is a 14-day free trial with the monthly subscription.
FluentU provides subtitled videos, audio, and written articles on a wide range of topics for beginners to advanced learners. Some videos also incorporate regional dialects! There is also fun resource on anime, manga, and J-pop for you to check out.
Photo via NHK
- Level/Courses: Beginners & Intermediate
- Learning Method: subtitled videos
- Price: Free
NHK uses real-life scenarios and everyday dialogues for their animation videos. This means that you get to put what you’ve learnt straight away! There are also quizzes and free downloadable lessons for you to study.
Photo via Japaneasy
If you prefer more of a classroom setting, there are an abundance of institutions that offer Japanese courses in Australia. Here are some places to help you you start on this exciting journey!
- University of New South Wales – UNSW Global (Beginner to Advanced)
- Japanese Melbourne Language School (Beginner to Advanced, JLPT Preparation, Business Japanese)
- The Brisbane Japanese Language and Culture School (Beginner to Advanced, Japanese Business Etiquette)
- Japaneasy (Beginner to Advanced, JLPT Preparation, Conversational Japanese)
Apps and References
The bite-size pieced lessons are all tailored to your learning. Not only is the app interactive, but there are also numerous addictive rewards and ranking systems. It’s no wonder why millions are hooked worldwide! Practice for a few minutes a day to master the language in no time.
This dictionary app allows you to search up words in either romaji, kana, or kanji. If you don’t know the reading of a kanji, search up the word up by directly writing them on the screen. Also, the app provides handy verb conjugation charts and example sentences. There are also JLPT vocabulary lists and note functions, making it much more than a standard dictionary app.
Photo via Maggie-Sensei
Maggie-Sensei incorporates plenty of adorable animal pictures at the start at every post to melt your heart when learning Japanese. Each grammar point is explained in detail with numerous everyday examples. All sentences have romaji and English translations underneath, so it’s easy to understand for learners of all levels.
Photo via Japanesetest4you
Japanesetest4you explains Japanese grammar in the simplest of terms. The grammar points are divided into JLPT levels. Each has its own grammar, kanji, listening, reading, and vocabulary tests. Make sure to check out the otaku section whenever you need a break!
Resources to Help You Keep on Track
Photo via Tohoku X Tokyo
Due to COVID-19, Japanese virtual tours is booming. Check out the following places from the comfort of your own home!
- Tokyo Tower – a 360-degree movie of the tower
- Shibuya Crossing – livestream of the busiest crossing in Japan
- Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park – a showcase of their adorable monkeys
- Limestone Makido Cave – a superb VR tour of this hidden gem
- Ghibli Museum – exclusive inside video tours of the museum
- teamLab Borderless – videos of most enchanting exhibitions in the
- Tourism of ALL JAPAN X TOKYO Virtual Tours – A series of 360-degree videos contrasting the differences between Tokyo and other regions. These videos give invaluable insights into everyday Japan.
Japan lovers are now all spoiled for choice online, whether it’s study or entertainment. What are some Japan-related websites or apps you love? Let us know in the comments below.