Top 9 Best Apps (Android & iOS) to Learn Japanese [Latest]

Learning a new thing is always fun and challenging at the same time.

There are a number of apps available to help you learn Japanese, but finding the right app can be overwhelming.

If you don’t know where to begin, it can seem like too much work.

The following article on the best apps to learn Japanese is a collection of some of the favorite Japanese apps for communication that will help you to learn this language.

best apps to learn japanese

You will come to know unique ways how you can use mobile apps to enhance your daily learning experience. Virtually every language learner at any level and from any part of the globe can make use of these mobile apps.

There are plenty of free and inexpensive options for both android and iOS smartphones for learning Japanese.

Many languages have been simplified through technology, making it easier than ever to become a native speaker when you travel to a foreign country or interact with the locals.

Essential Tips to Learn Japanese

If you want to learn Japanese and you do not currently take classes or practice with native Japanese speakers that does not mean that you cannot get a lot out of some independent study.

Here are some pro tips for learning Japanese online with the help of your smartphones.

Become Immersed in the Language:

When you are aware of how important it is to learn a language, as well as why you want to learn it, it is important to dive into your studies and explore as deeply as possible.

There are different ways in which you can do this, such as meeting native speakers online and start communicating with them about their language and culture.

In addition, learning more about that country by reading books/watching documentaries, etc.

Speaking in a native language is easy but difficult in a foreign language. For better retention of Japanese words, you should memorize them every day and practice writing.

Memorize the Language:

Consider creating a Memory Palace as part of your learning process to help you master a new language. It’ll help in learning Japanese language more quickly.

Combining words you read with scenes as you imagine them inside your imaginary structure will reinforce your memory more effectively and make it easier for you to recall them.

Ensure your Japanese vocabulary is strong according to Japanese culture. Also, practice Japanese writing to improve your writing skills.

It’ll enhance your conversational Japanese language ability.

Stick to Only One to Two Apps:

If you wish to try the apps suggested in the article below, feel free to do so. Try them all to find the best fit for you.

You should focus on a few Japanese courses at a time and stick with them until you’ve mastered them when applying any of these applications to your work routine.

This is most likely more effective than filling out many applications without fully committing to each of them.

Consume the Language a Lot:

Even if your ultimate goal is to be able to communicate in Japanese, reading and listening to the language is very useful.

For instance, if you have never seen a Japanese movie (movie trailers) or TV show before, the language may seem very difficult, but it is helpful if you see parts of speech and words at high speeds during dialogue.

Furthermore, if you can read well enough, and are able to understand at least somewhat what you hear in movies, this will give you an advantage when watching shows with actual native speakers later on and build your vocabulary as well.

Focus More on Patterns Than on Grammar

All languages are systematic and logical. It does not matter what it is (English, Spanish, German, etc.).

When starting a new language, it is good to remember that you are learning patterns and not concepts per saying.

Start by breaking things down into these bite-sized pieces during the beginning stages of learning in a foreign tongue.

Verbs Are Important:

The verbs used in Japanese are very important, and the choice can have a significant impact on the meaning of a sentence.

The Japanese language has more than a thousand verbs, but if you want to be able to write effectively, ensure that you teach the most common 100 verbs by using Google to search for all the Japanese verbs.

This will help you to ensure they’re using these verbs in their writing properly and conveying what they intend.

There are no inflected Japanese verbs for person or number, and the few tenses that exist are periphrastically expressed.

Ignore What You Already Know

A lot of apps repeat the same information, however, if you have already learned a certain concept or if you are an expert in that area like kanji for example, and use a review app where it asks you to recall what is similar, definitely do not keep reviewing it.

It keeps memory in your brain and also makes you focus on specific things instead of going through every kanji as fast as possible.

Furthermore, written Japanese is difficult, so make sure you do your best.

Be an all-rounder:

Do not select such apps that are only focused on one thing like reading or writing. Chances are, you will be neglecting your other skill sets, such as speaking and listening skills.

Whether you are learning English or Spanish (or any language) the best approach is to cover your basics in a way that makes sense to you.

You should focus on improving your skills related to reading, practice writing, listening, speaking, and pronunciation.

Also, there are many online platforms that let you talk to foreigners. Join any platform and speak to a native Japanese speaker.

Best Apps to Learn Japanese

If you want to learn Japanese, then here is the handpicked list of the best apps to learn Japanese that will get you started right away.

You can also change them around as English words may be used to describe topics in Japanese. These apps have been handpicked for their laid-back atmosphere and friendly hosts.

#1. Yomiwa

Yomiwa - best apps to learn japanese

Learning the basics of a language like Japanese can be quite difficult.

This is why it makes sense to get something like the Yomiwa Japanese learning app to help you along the way and learn to speak in Japanese while you’re at it.

You can use its dictionary whenever you want as well as look up how each word you see is used in different sentences so that your learning process becomes much easier.

Yomiwa is the Japanese word for ‘reading’, and you can use this app to help you learn how to translate new Japanese characters.

Just take a picture of the Kanji in the question portion and the app will automatically do an English translation of the letters.

You will also be able to understand both its meaning and pronunciation, so you can improve your Japanese vocabulary alongside your oral skills.

The best part of this free app is that Yomiwa makes it as easy as possible to remember by teaching you a bit about the nuance of each word.

If you are a curious learner of the Japanese language, Yomiwa is one of the best and easiest applications to use.

Utilize the free version of this Japanese app to learn Japanese language skills. It’s one of the best Japanese learning apps to enhance your Japanese speaking skills.

#2. Duolingo

Duolingo - best apps to learn japanese

Duolingo is one of the best free language apps for almost every language. It has been in the education market for several years, but its Japanese courses didn’t launch until about a year ago.

This Japanese course is designed to help you learn the basics of the Japanese language through a number of interactive lessons. Each lesson in the course covers a diverse topic and presents relevant vocabulary.

Those who already have some knowledge of Japanese can take a proficiency test, after which they can then move on to the next lessons if they pass certain criteria.

Duolingo is a great tool for learning different languages. One of its most popular courses for Japanese is equivalent to about upper beginner level (JLPT N5).

With Duolingo, you can learn different aspects of pronunciation as well as sentence structure by either translating Japanese to English or vice versa or filling in the blanks.

This best app also has different language practices such as matching an amount of vocabulary with the correct pronunciation or creating sentences using given words.

There are features that allow you to see how many days it is been since you first started practicing, how much time your daily practice takes and how many times a certain exercise has been skipped.

Duolingo is an ideal platform for both young and adult language learners, whether they’re interested in having fun or more serious about improving their reading & writing skills rather than speaking & listening skills.

Besides the free version, it also offers in-app purchases to unlock more features.

#3. LingoDeer

LingoDeer - best apps to learn japanese

If you want to try something a little different, LingoDeer could be the one for you.

The learning style and lesson types are very similar to Duolingo, but LingoDeer focuses exclusively on Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese and Korean.

With up to 10 languages to choose from, you are bound to find at least one program you will want to give a go.

LingoDeer’s overall feel isn’t just about how its screens look, but also about how real-life applications, such as chat windows, will work in a logical flow as the user engages in lessons.

This free app enhances user experience through beautiful app icons and a variety of uses to enhance long-term memory retention.

You will never want to be without this Japanese app if you’ve ever considered learning a foreign language (and who hasn’t?).

The vocabulary and grammar are now described more systematically, and each term is accompanied by notes and lessons that can be brought upon demand.

LingoDeer meets conventional education standards that are difficult to find outside of a classroom setting since we address the Japanese particles used in most conversations directly.

LingoDeer has managed to take the current language learning model and make it even better.

Featuring a diverse set of features and content for non-native Japanese speakers, LingoDeer effectively separates itself from the competition through its user-friendliness and versatility.

#4. Anki

Anki - best apps to learn japanese

Anki is essentially a digital flashcard system for those who are into studying languages or those in need of study aid for their training.

What makes this language mobile app so popular is its method of flashcards where it adapts to your learning style and uses spaced repetition, so you are going to be able to benefit from the time and any other materials invested into your study sessions with Anki.

There are also dictionary apps that integrate with Anki, which is a flashcard app that is useful for memorizing words as you progress through your learning.

While reading something in Japanese and encountering an unfamiliar word, you can simply long-press it and then select “Send to Anki” to move the word into your flashcard deck.

This functionality provides instant feedback which makes it much more likely that a word will end up in your long-term memory since you’ll be able to review your Anki flashcards regularly.

Another excellent option for learning Japanese with native materials is the open-source program called Anki, which is available on desktop computers, mobile devices, and even as a web app.

One of Anki’s most attractive features is the sheer number of community-made flashcard decks available to increase your vocabulary, so it is worth checking out the database to see what other people have made.

Anki is the best app for practicing vocabulary with flashcards to make the language learning process a lot easier.

#5. Bunpo

Bunpo - best apps to learn japanese

The Bunpo app teaches Japanese grammar, it’s easy and fun, and most importantly, it works.

As the name suggests, Bunpo is a grammar app but it also offers hiragana and katakana quizzes to help you learn the Japanese alphabet.

Bunpo makes learning Japanese grammar easy with quizzes, interactive lessons, and video explanations.

Within 6 months you can master Japanese alphabets (hiragana and katakana) and level up your JLPT N5 proficiency to N2 or N1.

Learn the basics of Japanese with Bunpo. With over 200 grammar points and 1300 example sentences, you will be able to build up your grammatical chops and speak with more confidence.

The app also includes a Japanese grammar dictionary, plus a review function that allows you to go over what you’ve learned in small chunks.

#6. Mondly

Mondly - best apps to learn japanese

Prior to Duolingo and JapanesePod101, there was Mondly, the original language learning app.

And it has some new features worth checking out, like full-screen video lessons. The basic structure is still very similar to lots of other apps, though.

There is no hustle of points and progress bar, it is very simple to use.

Mondly offers a thorough Japanese course with 33 topics and weekly updates. In order to learn Japanese efficiently, it recommends beginning with conversational phrases and vocabulary, so this is where you start.

From there, you will advance quickly through lessons that cover essential topics, such as shopping, making friends, eating out, and traveling.

The app gets you familiar with the basics and then introduces different topics within each lesson based on a particular dialogue with clear explanations of grammar points.

Each lesson is clearly laid out with the specific grammar and vocabulary that goes along with this Japanese app.

#7. FluentU

FluentU - best apps to learn japanese

You can learn Japanese even faster than ever before with FluentU. It’s your key to a complete personal transformation in your Japanese.

They turn real-world videos like music videos, commercials, news, and inspiring talks into Japanese learning experiences and audio lessons.

With exercises in grammar rules, kanji, vocabulary, and more, as well as thousands of interactive flashcards and quizzes that track your progress through the vocabulary of video, you can do so much more than just watching.

You will make faster progress with every scene and be fully immersed in the language with no English as a crutch which is how real Japanese is actually spoken.

On FluentU, you can watch entertaining videos with interactive Japanese subtitles and even learn new vocabulary and grammar by creating flashcards from the subtitles. In this way, your speaking Japanese ability will improve.

Whether you’re interested in anime clips, news, language lessons, music videos, dramas, stories, or comedy series, FluentU has a wide variety of free Japanese content to suit every interest.

#8. JapanesePod 101

JapanesePod 101 - best apps to learn japanese

People go crazy for JapanesePod101 because this is one of the best apps for learning Japanese.

Using this app, you can learn Japanese even better. Each entry comes with example sentences, joint compounds, radicals, stroke order animations, and Japanese verb conjugations.

The interface is well-designed and easy to use. You can also add new words to your lists and create flashcards.

There are even pre-made lists according to level and topic.

One great feature of this app is clicking on each kanji within a word to learn more about different meanings, radicals (small components of kanji), and other terms with this kanji.

#9. Nihongo

Nihongo - best apps to learn japanese

If you are an iOS user, this app is for you because it comes with the iOS version only. Nihongo Dictionary provides offline access to more than 400,000 definitions and counting.

Nihongo is a free offline Japanese dictionary app that is only available for iOS users. Android fans, this one is not for you.

It also offers a handy feature for overwhelmed learners, as words are marked as “common,” “uncommon,” or “rare.”

So you will know which ones you need to learn and which ones you can worry about later. Nihongo is one of the best apps to learn Japanese easily and quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best apps to learn Japanese?

When it comes to learning Japanese apps, there are a number of great options. However, we have selected five of the most useful and best apps to learn Japanese:

  1. Duolingo
  2. Yomiwa
  3. Anki
  4. JapanesePod101
  5. FluentU

With these Japanese learning apps, you can communicate more easily with native speakers.

How do I find the best app for me?

Because there are so many apps available, each with its own pros and cons, answering this question is a bit complex.

If you’re a complete beginner, I suggest trying Duolingo since it has a game-based system that makes learning enjoyable.

Is Japanese easier than Korean?

The Japanese language is generally considered to be easier to learn for English speakers than Korean, in part because it has a simpler grammar system than Korean.

Additionally, the Japanese writing system (hiragana) is more straightforward than that of Korea (which consists primarily of hanja and hangul characters).

Whether you find Japanese or Korean easier to learn, dedication and hard work will ultimately be the key to success.

How to learn Japanese fast?

It’s easy to learn Japanese with your smartphone. There are tons of apps available that let you learn how to speak, write, and read the language.

If you choose the right apps, your phone can assist you in your learning journey from a total novice to a fluent speaker.

Is Duolingo is one of the best apps to learn Japanese?

Duolingo is one of the best apps to learn Japanese because it’s a free, fun, and easy-to-use app.

With Duolingo, you can learn common phrases and sentences in Japanese. Of all the apps, this app to learn Japanese is the best.

It’s perfect for the language enthusiast who can spare five minutes a day.


In this guide, you learned about the best apps to learn Japanese that you can download for free to start learning how to read, write, and speak Japanese.

Whether your goal is to travel to Japan, converse with Japanese friends, or watch anime without subtitles, you’ll have a blast learning with these apps.

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Muhammad Bilal

Muhammad Bilal

Hi, I'm Muhammad Bilal, founder of Tech Spying, that provides useful tech related tips, tricks, hacks, how to and much more stuff. I am a part time content writer and feed this blog with helpful technology skills.