How to learn Japanese online FOR FREE on Youtube? When people first think about studying a language, their minds will probably cast off to classrooms, tests, teachers, and the occasional quiz. However, it needn’t be like that!
Many people today are turning to the popular video streaming platform, YouTube, to learn all languages, and Japanese is no exception. As Japan grows greater in popularity around the world, so too does YouTube content surround the wonderful country. This includes many generous people offering fun, engaging, and free language lessons on the platform.
But with literally billions of videos on YouTube, how will you know where to even begin?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve listed out 10 fantastic YouTubers that you can follow to learn Japanese for free below.
Get started today!
Dogen is a channel that will likely pop up as a top result if you search up learning Japanese on YouTube. This channel is owned by one of the most fluent foreigners to have ever picked up the language (according to many loyal followers!).
Dogen’s channel is an eclectic mix of language lessons, comedy sketches based on real life experiences, enacting common situations in Japan for foreigners, and even videos about topics such as finance and politics.
2. Japanese Ammo with Misa
If you’re completely new to the Japanese language scene, then YouTube channel Japanese Ammo with Misa is the perfect place to start.
Rather than through structured lessons, learn Japanese in a fun and engaging way whilst still being taught the fundamentals.
Misa makes easy-to-understand, great coverage and contextual videos that are great for those wanting to pick up language skills and apply them to daily life.
3. Yuko Sensei
Yuko Sensei has been teaching Japanese at the university level for more than 20 years or so now, so suffice to say, she is an expert!
Her YouTube channel is filled with uniquely created interactive color-coded animation videos. Their main aims are to help you understand Japanese grammar, vocabulary, and scripts.
If you struggle to learn Hiragana and Katakana, one trick I recommend is to display them somewhere in your house. One option could be to get one of these mugs with the Hiragana and Katakana on them! Super useful and quite stylish right?
For those looking to extend their Japanese vocabulary in a fun manner, check out WordPie on YouTube. This channel teaches people Japanese through song, so get your vocal cords ready!
Their videos are very easy-to-follow and enjoyable in nature, and display both English and Japanese words.
Nihongonomori is probably one of the most formal and classroom session-like YouTube channels on this list. If you’re the type to prefer structure and organisation when it comes to lessons, this is a great option for you. It is also recommended that you understand some basic Japanese before delving into his videos.
Nihongonomori introduces Japanese grammar and vocabulary for all proficiency levels and is super clear about explaining them. This is a great option for those studying for their JLPT test.
Read More: Best Virtual Youtubers (Vtubers) To Follow
Looking to learn some basic Japanese for your first ever trip to Japan? Look no further than JapanesePod10! This fantastic basic-level Japanese language YouTube channel offers suitable videos for those looking to pick up slight language skills before their trip as well as those looking to embark on learning Japanese.
There are a wide range of topics, all of which are covered by a host who is clear and concise and explains each individual learning topic in an easy-to-understand manner.
This is a great starting point for most beginners.
7. Rachel & Jun Youtube Channel
If you’re looking to casually learn the Japanese language and want to avoid serious study session-like learning, Rachel and Jun’s YouTube channel is an unconventional option.
Rachel is an American who is married to Jun, a Japanese person. They currently both live in Japan and post videos about their daily lives, travels, and essentially their life in Japan.
Whilst it’s definitely not a conventional way to learn Japanese, watching their vlogs could assist you in picking up Japanese vocabulary. They mostly speak in English with sprinkles of Japanese but their videos will have Japanese subtitles for you to learn from.
If you’re a visual type of learner, we recommend this option!
8. Learn Japanese From Zero!
Learn Japanese From Zero! is a well-rounded YouTube channel to follow. Not only do they host post content regarding learning the Japanese language, but they also post contextual videos which analyse such media as content and anime to put the learnings to use.
If you’re tired of the traditional way of learning a language, this is a different type of channel that might just work for you.
9. Easy Languages
Easy Languages is a clear favourite if you’re looking to brush up on your listening and conversational skills. Instead of a host being a stand-in instructor, we have random Japanese people being interviewed on the streets speaking about various topics.
Avoiding the structure of formal learning, Easy Languages allows the viewer to pick up on conversational skills through normal interactions with real people. From talking about sushi to the honorifics of the Japanese language, the topics are wide-ranging and relatable.
A big plus of this YouTube channel is that all captions are in the forms of English, romaji (romanised Japanese) and actual Japanese.
10. Ask Japanese
Similarly to Easy Languages, Ask Japanese is another YouTube channel that focuses on interviewing locals on the streets of Japan and allowing viewers to learn Japanese through this casual, real-life interaction.
The topics of Ask Japanese have a tendency to be more focused on what foreigners might find interesting, including local people’s opinions about certain topics, their views on their culture and traditions, types of people in Japan, etc.
Both Easy Languages and Ask Japanese are fantastic ways to brush up and improve on conversational skills, as you can clearly see how certain phrases and words are used in daily life.
YouTube is one of the easiest to access, convenient tools to use to learn Japanese. The best thing about it, though, is that the videos are free!
Simply watch a bit every day, whether on the commute to school or work, whilst you’re doing the dishes, before you hop into bed, and watch your Japanese improve before you know it.