The best books to learn Japanese: the best language resources (2023)

Today is about themThe best books to learn a young master on the road げんご (Gengo|言語)! Having a good book to learn from is like a good road map for the long journey of language learning. But card manufacturers are numerous, so this reference can help you determine which cards are best.

The best books to learn Japanese: the best language resources (1)

The books for learning Japanese below are listed in no particular order, but we do provide details on what makes the book good for learning Japanese and also the "level" of the books.

So put on your detective hats and let's investigate!


  • 1 15 of the best books to learn Japanese
    • 1.1 Geneki
      • 1.1.1 Are Genki Japanese Textbooks Worth It?
    • 1.2 Japanese from scratch
    • 1.3 Minna No Nihongo
    • 1.4 A dictionary of basic Japanese grammar
    • 1.5 Read real Japanese
    • 1.6 Remembering the Kanji: Volume 1
    • 1.7 Tracking: Let's Speak Japanese
    • 1.8 JLPT Study Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to the JLPT Level 5 Exam
    • 1.9 The new Kanzen master books
    • 1.10 Living language Japanese
    • 1.11 Kodansha Kanji Learning Dictionary: Revised and Expanded
    • 1.12 Japanese for busy people
    • 1.13 Nihongo Active Talk
    • 1.14 New Nihongo Keigo Training
    • 1.15 A Guide to Japanese Grammar by Tae Kim
  • 2 How to find the best textbook for you
      • 2.0.1 Where to buy books to learn Japanese
  • 3 More resources to learn the Japanese language
  • 4th grade

15 of the best books to learn Japanese

You may want to learn Japanese for a variety of reasons. Maybe you have it as a hobby, you love anime or manga, you will visit itJapansoon, or you have to take the Japanese language test. Whatever your goal in learning Japanese, these books are for self-learners of the Japanese language, though they are mostly unbiased on our part.

In other words, these are our top 15 books for self-learners outside of the classroom or curriculum. Of course they can be used in conjunction with a master (that would be even better), but that's not necessary by any means! Each of these gems is deep enough to tackle on its own!


There are two editions of Genki (1 and 2) for beginners and advanced users respectively. Most people who have studied Japanese at a university will have come across this book, which contributes to its popularity. It is particularly widespread in the US, Europe and Australia. To date, the Genki book series has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and is reasonably priced.

The lessons in these books are divided into 2 sections:Conversation/GrammarYRead write.The first introduces the words and themes and demonstrates some natural uses of the new material. The latter refines what has been learned with the corresponding writing (including kanji) and reading exercises.

The book comes with an audio CD for listening practice that works hand in hand with the Genki workbook, which can be purchased at additional cost.

The disadvantages of Genki are that the answers to the textbook questions are only sold in a separate book that is only available in Japanese. In addition, there is a series of partner work exercises that cannot be done alone; While Genki books are useful for self-study, they must be taught to students with the help of a teacher.

Finally, the kanji does not have a stroke order.

Are Genki Japanese Textbooks Worth It?

Because Genki's books are so popular, they receive the most requests from curious students, probably more than any other Japanese learning textbook. After all, people (like you) want to know if everything they hit is really worth it.

The truth is that Genki's series of Japanese textbooks is one of the most useful resources a serious Japanese student can have. Provides all essential vocabulary for beginners, along with ひらがな (Hiragana) and カタカナ (Katakana) alphabet charts. Also, between Volumes 1 and 2, most of the N5 and N4 kanji are covered and represented at the end of the books.

There are also many footnotes that explain special exceptions for studying Japanese grammar points whenever possible, or sometimes include little cultural notes as well. Not to mention, everything is consistent, well laid out, and easy to follow.

So if you're wondering if the infamous Genki really lives up to its hype, then the answer is yes! Of course, the book has its drawbacks, but so does everything else in life. If you haven't already, Genki might be worth a try.

(Video) Which Beginner JAPANESE book is BEST for YOU?

Japanese from scratch

This rather popular book was made famous by a YouTube channel of the same name, which offers its viewers a variety of free Japanese lessons. It was written in English and Japanese by a bilingual native speaker, so the approach is truly two-dimensional. In addition, it is designed for self-learners of the Japanese language.

There are 5 editions of the book series, each with above average difficulty levels. Not to mention, it includes online materials for the community of students who use the series.

What really sets the book apart is its long list of helpful points on Japanese grammar.used every day or frequentlyby native Japanese speakers! The books are fairly new, so the context is current and understandable.

While Zero's Japanese is indeed affordable, some of the online material is only accessible through an online purchase. Also, the pace can be quite slow, especially for those learning Japanese writing; it is a series more suitable for beginners. Make sure you find a book that offers a challenge to keep you busy while you study!

Minna No Nihongo

We're changing the pace with this upcoming series of books that offer students the opportunity to learn Japanese.completely in japanese!That's how it is. So while Minna No Nihongo is releasing an English companion book with translations, the main book forces you to immerse yourself in Japanese only.

These books (as there are many) are great for anyone who really wants to push their brain to the limit and learn Japanese quickly. They also cover all the important linguistic topics in detail, such as writing, listening, conversing, etc.

Unfortunately, this amazing book isn't the lowest in price, especially considering the cost of the companion book, which is sold separately. Not only that, it also doesn't teach hiragana and katakana, so it's not for true beginners.

After all, it was designed as a textbook, so the explanations can be really hard to understand. That being said, if you already have a high level of Japanese (especially reading and writing) and want to challenge yourself, this might be a great option!

A basic Japanese grammar dictionary

As the name suggests, this is one of the best books for learning Japanese, and it is not a textbook. This book is simply a "dictionary" of grammar. It is quite well known among expats.the bookin his possession, since he is so powerful.

The compact series includes a total of up to 3 books, each with a different color -yellow, blue, red- in this order of difficulty. An amazing learning resource for every level, each book provides helpful, clearly written grammar and example sentences.

These books are a bit more expensive but quite valued if we do say so ourselves. Get the yellow, blue or red book depending on your level to get a resource in Japanese!

read real japanese

As the name suggests, this Japanese learning book is all about reading Japanese! Actually, there is not just one book, but two books: one focuses on fiction and the other on essays. And the good thing is that the texts in this book were not written for students of Japanese, but consist of texts that were written for native Japanese speakers and given to students of Japanese.

Like the last book we covered on this list, there are no direct English translations of the Japanese text included in the book. However, there are hints and tips in English to accompany any reading.

In addition, there is ふりがな (furigana) or hiragana accompanying the kanji for all texts, which speeds up the learning process. The texts of these books are by several prolific Japanese authors. A good price for a good book. Definitely for intermediate to advanced level students.

Remembering the Kanji: Volume 1

Remembering Kanji is a two-volume series of books created by one man, James W. Heisig, who revolutionized the way kanji is learned. This kanji book prides itself on teaching how to remember kanji (or anything quite complex) by using the imaginative and creative parts of the brain to develop what is called "imaginative memory".

The learning method is to first study the "components" of different characters, give them value and symbology, and then combine the many "components" to form stories. This book is designed to help you remember the meaning of individual characters, not to offer you the reading of those characters; you need another source for that.

Although this new approach helpstonneWith mastery of the kanji meanings, there is no escaping constant repetition and practice to truly remember the sheer amount of material that kanji is. This adds to the challenge of clearly defining the definitions of many components (in your head), some of which are given to you and are obscure or unusual.

(Video) How I learned Japanese - with textbook recommendations!

If you're an intermediate or advanced student of Japanese looking to take a serious step up in your kanji knowledge and recognition game, this is the book for you. Oh, and it's an affordable book considering the amount of information it contains.

Shadowing: Let's Speak Japanese

This is an excellent book for learning Japanese at a higher, more fluent level. There are 3 books in this series: one for beginner-intermediate, one for intermediate-intermediate, and one specific book for job interviews.

The selling point of the books is that each one comes with an audio CD for practice exercises and conversations from a native Japanese speaker. The listener overshadows or mimics the audio, trying to match speed, intonation, pitch... all to perfection.

They are excellent for Japanese students who want to learn phrases used by native speakers in the most natural context and pronunciation. They are also a great form of immersion if you don't have a lot of time during the day. Oh, and the price is fair too.

That being said, the book only focuses on speaking and listening practice and is not intended for students who want to practice their reading and writing skills. Also, using it correctly requires you to speak out loud. So unless you're exceptionally brave, you won't want to use this book in public. Also, there are no grades or tests, so you'll have to self-assess.

JLPT Study Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to the JLPT Level 5 Exam

In case you're not familiar, there are standardized levels of Japanese proficiency that are nationally recognized in Japan, and thus throughout the world. Proficiency level is measured by N5-N1, alternatively called JLPT5-JLPT1. In fact, the actual exam is called JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test).

Therefore, JLPT5 is an excellent first goal to achieve as an early Japanese learner, and this book is about achieving that goal.

The book is easy to follow, the pacing is well done, and the illustrations really push the learning process. Best of all, this book contains actual questions from the actual JLPT5 exam, so there's no question about the effectiveness of the material!

This book also includes printable flashcards and audio for listening comprehension. Finally, it's extremely affordable, making it one of the best cheap books for learning Japanese!

The new books of master Kanzen

Keeping with our JLPT mastery theme, this series of books provides a marked approach to each level of the JLPT N5 exam (ie N4-N1). To make things even better, each level has 5 books that focus on the most important areas of Japanese proficiency: grammar, kanji, vocabulary, listening comprehension, and reading.

As you can see, these are not fun game books with comprehensive, detailed explanations on each topic, lots of practice questions, and some mock tests that mirror the JLPT exam. Because of this they can be very cold and dry, no silly pictures or crazy stories here!

There is no N5 level for these Japanese books, so steer clear if you are a complete beginner. Not to mention that from level N2, all the material is entirely in Japanese.

Finally, these books are really well priced, and you can even find some bundle deals to get all 5 books for any level. For a serious and concrete useful Japanese book for JLPT practice, we recommend reading New Kanzen Master!

PS: If you don't want to have all 5 books in one level, get the Japanese Grammar and Vocabulary books!

Japanese living language

Living Language is a language training company that has been in the game for over 60 years. They specialize in the use of multimedia sources alongside linguistics to provide a complete learning guide for language learners. This particular book is designed to turn beginners into advanced learners and covers all aspects of the language in depth.

Specifically, it includes 9 audio CDs, 3 textbooks, a literacy guide, and a free online subscription to your Learning Center. It is useful for self-study or learning in a more traditional classroom setting.

We've heard before that individual books of different levels can be purchased separately, but that doesn't seem to be the case now (and that's not really Living Language's style).

(Video) This is How I Learned Japanese in 3 Months

Of course, the guide is really comprehensive, covering everything from everyday grammar to hard-to-discuss social topics. But while this book is concrete from the ground up, it costs quite a bit of money and is meant to be a one-size-fits-all solution. Also, the structure is a bit dry and feels a bit dated at times.

Kodansha Kanji Learning Dictionary: Revised and Expanded

This is an excellent tool for any Japanese student and one of the best Japanese textbooks for learning Kanji. As the name suggests, this is a dictionary of each and every common kanji ordered by the Japanese government so you know what you're getting is accurate and relevant.

The book not only contains a perfect list of kanji, but also provides the meanings, readings, stroke order, and usage of kanji in popular compounds.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the Japanese learning book is the Kanji Pattern Indexing System, or SKIP. This system makes it very easy to search and find kanji using a pattern instead of alphabetic letters, and it's really effective. It also helps you remember the kanji characters themselves.

It's a small book that's almost pocket-sized and definitely worth its dollar value.

Japanese for busy people

There are two volumes/versions of this book - Volume 1 and 2. The first volume is written entirely in kana or Japanese characters,while the second volume is written entirely in Romaji. The kana volume of this book is written entirely in hiragana and katakana, which sounds nice but can be a more difficult time learning Japanese (especially reading!).

It doesn't contain any kanji until the end, then it's cut off and taken completely out of context. Well, at least it's there!

The book is aimed at professionals and therefore contains more professional or work contexts than some of its competitors. It is quite well organized and contains quite a complex grammar. And as the name suggests, it's designed to help you learn Japanese quickly, in short bursts, over longer periods of time.

Luckily the book is quite cheap and the name precedes it as it is one of the most popular books for learning Japanese. There's also a companion app and CD included for practicing Japanese audio. It's definitely a book aimed at people with an income, and the price and reputation certainly make it an attractive choice for the intermediate or early intermediate reader.

Nihongo Active Talk

This book bills itself as the first Japanese textbook for beginners. It focuses on developing strong basic conversational skills in students and is for this reason geared towards beginners. This is a fun and easy-to-understand book with cute illustrations, short dialogue, and plenty of context for learning Japanese sentence patterns.

This book also includes a series of conversation tips as footnotes for the reader.Actuallysuitable for beginners. The grammar taught in this Japanese book for beginners flows quite naturally and is applied in a fluid context.

Also worth pointing out is the abundance of romaji.ろまじ(romaji|ローマ字) is the name of the Latin alphabet when used in Japanese. For example, the word "Romaji" is Romaji for the Japanese.

The book's romaji is ideal for beginners who want to start learning and practicing Japanese right away. On the other hand, so much romaji can be a crutch for any learner and actually limit the learning process.

Finally, don't expect to find any real reading or writing practice with this book, as the emphasis is on conversation. Still, it's an affordable book that has a lot to offer to early self-taught people just starting out in Japanese.

New Nihongo Keigo Training

This is a unique book in that it actually focuses on (the dreaded) けいご (keigo|敬語). In short, 敬語 (keigo) is the generic term used to describe a particular type of Japanese used when being very respectful. Even among Japanese natives, keigo can be a challenge - most natives can't even speak keigo properly!

And it is expected that most foreigners don't even know about Keigo because of his difficulty. Well this book breaks the rules!

The new Nihongo Keigo training records average situations in which one appearscouldreact normally and force the reader to use keigo instead of normal Japanese. It's a great way to connect Keigo naturally with conversational exchanges or other forms of communication like email.

(Video) I spent $137 on BEGINNER JAPANESE & JLPT TEXTBOOKS so you don't have to.

This is certainly a book for intermediate to advanced learners and really isn't necessary unless you want to push yourself. Oh, and Keigo is essential if you want to work in some Japanese companies where you have to talk to your boss or your clients with a lot of honor.

In addition to the challenges that come with it, the book features furigana for easy kanji reading and also offers its owners a CD and audio download.

On the not-so-great side, the explanations in this book are limited, which will challenge many students who are unfamiliar with keigo. Also, some exercises are designed to work in pairs and are not suitable for self-teachers.

A Japanese Grammar Guide by Tae Kim

Tae Kim's Grammar Guide is perhaps the best known of the free online version, which is still available to diligent learners. There's also a completely free downloadable PDF version, as well as a paperback for those who like it a little more tangible.

This book by Tae Kim is a heavyweight when it comes to a comprehensive mastery of the grammar of the Japanese language. He walks you through the grammar from start to finish and really encourages you to challenge yourself as you learn native concepts associated with that grammar. Therefore, he does not expect to find unrealistic simple sentences in this guide, but he does expect them to be integrated into organic and contextual grammar learning scenarios.

This printed guide is affordable, easy to use, and useful both as a step-by-step study guide and as a general reference guide on your learning path. That being said, this book does not have audio support and the practice questions are open ended, so the responsibility really falls in the hands of the student.

Consider supporting Tae Kim and purchasing a copy of this amazing book for yourself or a friend!

How to find the best textbook for you

Regardless of your learning style, having textbooks like the ones on the list can help. However, with all these options available, it can be difficult to find the right Japanese study book for you.

First, consider your current level of Japanese; this will immediately narrow down your options. Next, consider your weakness(es) in the Japanese language. Many of these books have a specific focus, such as kanji or speaking, and are ideal for developing in only one area.

Finally, consider your learning objectives. If you want to become a fluent speaker and don't care much about perfect writing skills, it's okay to ignore your weaknesses and pursue your goals.

If you want to become a master and improve all levels of your Japanese, consider a book with a more comprehensive and comprehensive approach. Above all, remember to be flexible and shop around until you find something that works for you!

Where can you buy Japanese textbooks?

Virtually all of these books are available on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Thriftbooks, or OMG Japan; a quick Google search should return promising results. If you're a student, chances are you can borrow or buy books from your school at a reduced price (yes!)

If all else fails, try to find the nearest Japanese bookstore and check out the books there!

Other resources for learning Japanese

If you still can't get your hands on any of these Japanese textbooks, here are some helpful resources to get you started on your Japanese journey.

  • japanese vocabulary -
  • japanese writing systems
  • Japanese Particles –
  • japanese grammar -
  • japanese verbs -
  • Kanji simple –

To involve

Learning new things, even in your native language, can be difficult. Sure, learning a language can be challenging, but having the right resources right from the start can go a long way! You should be able to improve not only basic vocabulary, but also your reading comprehension and conversation skills.

We hope this article has been helpful in arming you with the best Japanese textbook for learning Japanese to suit your learning style.


What is the best book to start learning Japanese? ›

What Are The Best Books To Learn Japanese?
Best Overall Japanese BookGenki
Best for BeginnersJapanese for Dummies
Best for Self-StudyJapanese from Zero
Best for Immersive LearningMinna no Nihongo
Best for Writing KanaLearning Japanese Hiragana and Katakana
4 more rows
May 22, 2023

Is Genki the best Japanese textbook? ›

Genki, along with Minna no Nihongo, is one of the most popular Japanese textbook series around – and for good reason.

What is the fastest way to learn Japanese fluently? ›

7 tips for learning to speak Japanese fluently
  1. Don't rush the basics. For some learners, the three Japanese writing systems can be intimidating. ...
  2. Find media you love. ...
  3. Practise with native speakers. ...
  4. Record yourself speaking. ...
  5. Set goals. ...
  6. Use mnemonics. ...
  7. Stay positive.

Is 1 year enough to learn Japanese? ›

In fact, Japanese is one of the most difficult languages to learn for a native English speaker. If you want to speak enough Japanese to make friends in Japan and carry on simple conversations, you can master casual Japanese in under a year, especially if you are skipping over hiragana and katakana.

Is 3 months enough to learn Japanese? ›

How Long Does it Take to Learn Japanese on Average? With consistent studying and speaking, for about 30 minutes to an hour a day, you could speak at a conversational level in Japanese in about 3 months.

Can I self study Genki? ›

Self-study Room offers a variety of online materials to support your learning with Genki textbooks.

Is Genki or Minna no Nihongo better? ›

"Minna no nihongo" is more focused on grammar points and covers them more than "Genki". Thus, it is probably more friendly textbook to autodidacts. However, all the explanations are in a separate book, so it may not be as convenient as "Genki".

What level of Japanese does Genki get you to? ›

Genki I focuses on beginner-level Japanese, from Kana on through adjective and verb constructions, and Genki II continued on to intermediate-level topics. Both books are divided into a Conversation and Grammar section and a Reading and Writing section, each containing their own sets of 23 lessons.

Does it take 6 years to learn Japanese? ›

However, many experts believe it takes between 4 to 6 months of dedicated study to reach a beginner level. On the other hand, you can expect to spend at least 3 years studying to become fluent in Japanese with near-native level accuracy.

Does it take 2 years to learn Japanese? ›

The average length of time to learn advanced Japanese is 2-3 years. At the intermediate level, you can understand most of what your teacher says, and you can follow along with TV programs. When it comes to using the language with other Japanese speakers, however, you still have some limitations.

How long is realistic to learn Japanese? ›

Japanese is one of the most difficult languages for English natives to master. This is because it does not have a lot of likeness in structure to English. Approximately it will take 88 weeks, or 2200 hours of studying, to become fluent. But this article shows tips and tools to expedite and make the process easier.

Can you study Japanese on your own? ›

Yes, it is absolutely possible to learn Japanese on your own! If you've got an internet connection and a good reason for learning Japanese, you can start learning right away!

What is the best Japanese textbook after Genki 2? ›

As an intermediate Japanese learner who was looking for a smooth transition into more advanced resources after finishing Genki II, Quartet ended up being the perfect textbook series for me.

Can you learn Japanese just by reading? ›

Reading is only one part of learning Japanese. Make sure you practice other skills too like writing and listening. But, possibly the easiest way to combine another skill with learning to read Japanese is to say the words you're reading out loud.

How many words do you need to know to be fluent in Japanese? ›

For starters, Japanese has three writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Kanji includes over 50,000 different characters, however, you only need to know about 2,000 of them to be considered fluent. You also only need to know about 5,000 Japanese vocabulary words to be considered fluent as well.

What is the hardest language to learn? ›

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.

How many hours a day should I study Japanese? ›

For the past 5 years of studying Japanese, I can say that 2 hours a day is more than enough to get you where you want. To give you a perspective on the matter, I would only study around one hour a day—every other day. If by 'fluent' you mean to hold a conversation, then around a couple of years.

Is Duolingo good to learn Japanese? ›

In the end, Duolingo is great for extra review, preview, practice, and vocabulary building, rather than primary learning. And if you're interested in studying Japanese efficiently, don't forget to check out our free 55-page guide with time-tested tips and tricks!

Does Chinese or Japanese take longer to learn? ›

Japanese is slightly easier to learn. But, Chinese is much more widely spoken. Both languages have their pros and cons.

What order do you learn Japanese in? ›

The three writing systems of Japanese are Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. You should learn hiragana first, followed by katakana and kanji. Hiragana looks more cursive than katakana or kanji.

How many kanji does Genki 1 teach? ›

How many kanji are studied in Genki? A total of 317 kanji are studied in the Reading and Writing sections: 145 in Genki 1 and 172 in Genki 2.

Is Genki I enough for N5? ›

As a rule of thumb, for N5 you should finish all of Genki I, and for N4, you should finish all of Genki II plus a few additional grammar points.

Can you self study N5? ›

Japanese N5 Kanji is relatively easy to learn on your own because it is constructed of simple and visually straightforward words. If you prepare for the JLPT N5 Exam and want to study N5 Kanji at your own pace and time, this self-study course will do more than fulfill your needs!

Which form of Japanese is most used? ›

Hiragana is the most commonly used, standard form of Japanese writing. It's used on its own or in conjunction with kanji to form words, and it's the first form of Japanese writing that children learn.

Is Nihongo Master worth it? ›

In conclusion, Nihongo Master is an easy, fun but effective way to learn Japanese at your own pace. Using visual resources like manga make it more entertaining and helpful to learn everyday conversations and understand the lesson in context!

Is Genki worth the price? ›

PRICE. Genki is a great value for a one-off price. You do have to tack on a little bit for the work book (which I think is ABSOLUTELY necessary should you study with this series). It falls slightly higher on the price range as far as texbooks go.

How long did it take you to finish Genki 1? ›

How long does it take to finish Genki 1? This really depends on how often you study and how quickly you progress. Some students might be able to finish Genki 1 within 3-6 months, while others might take a bit longer. If you study for 1-2 hours per day, you might be able to complete the textbook within 4-5 months.

What level is Duolingo Japanese? ›

The full Duolingo Japanese course covers JLPT levels 4 and 5. Duolingo is a good learning tool to have fun, get motivated, and learn new vocabulary.

How many vocab words are in Genki? ›

The "odd" words are the minority, and most vocab are basic and useful. So you're not forced to learn lots of specialized words. Just a little. The total number of vocabulary in both Genki volumes is 1700.

What is the most effective way to learn Japanese? ›

The Best Way to Learn Japanese: 11 Proven Study Methods That Work
  • Take a Class or Computer Course. ...
  • Listen to Language Podcasts. ...
  • Watch Japanese TV With English Subtitles. ...
  • Learn Hiragana and Katakana. ...
  • Read Manga or Children's Books. ...
  • Get a Workbook. ...
  • Use Flashcards. ...
  • Sing Japanese Karaoke Songs.
Mar 23, 2015

Can you learn Japanese at 30? ›

You may have heard recently that it's now impossible to study in Japan if you are over 30 years old. Luckily for those who fall in that category, this isn't actually true and it's actually never too late to chase your Japanese language dreams.

Can I master Japanese in 3 years? ›

Learning Japanese isn't easy and it will take time. It's probably fair to say that you can expect a commitment of at least three years in order to achieve something resembling fluency. The average learner gets to the advanced level in three or four years.

How long does it take to self teach Japanese? ›

Depending on how many hours per day you can study Japanese, attaining a basic level of fluency can take between six months and one year. Once you've reached a basic level of Japanese fluency, you should be able to: Ask for and understand directions.

How many kanji are there? ›

There are more than 10,000 characters listed as kanji, which can be discouraging when thinking about learning Japanese. Yet in reality only around 2,000 kanji are used in everyday life.

What is the easiest language to learn? ›

We've used data from the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) to rank them from the easier to the somewhat more challenging.
  • Frisian. ...
  • Dutch. ...
  • Norwegian. ...
  • Spanish. ...
  • Portuguese. ...
  • Italian. ...
  • French. ...
  • Swedish.
Oct 24, 2021

Is it easier for bilinguals to learn Japanese? ›

If you already speak a foreign language or were raised bilingual, you may save yourself some time as you learn Japanese. Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language, as several linguistic studies have proven. This is because they are naturally more accustomed to being exposed to different languages.

How hard is Japanese to learn? ›

The Japanese language is considered one of the most difficult to learn by many English speakers. With three separate writing systems, an opposite sentence structure to English, and a complicated hierarchy of politeness, it's decidedly complex.

How long does it take to learn Japanese alphabet? ›

How Long Does it Take to Learn the Japanese Alphabet? If you're curious about how to learn the Japanese alphabet fast, the good news is that, with practice and commitment, this is not something that takes very long to do at all. In general, most people can learn the alphabet's phonology in about two weeks.

How can I become fluent in Japanese at home? ›

Let's take a look.
  1. Pick a core Japanese curriculum and work with it every day. Most Japanese schools use the “Minna no Nihongo” series (“Japanese for Everyone”). ...
  2. Watch anime, movies, and TV in Japanese. ...
  3. Listen to Japanese radio, music, and podcasts. ...
  4. Cook Japanese food. ...
  5. Make Japanese friends.

Is learning Japanese worth it for career? ›

Therefore, having these skills can give you great job and business potentials in India and worldwide. Generally, there's less struggle for positions with Japanese-speaking applicants. If you want to learn a language with less competition, a high competitive edge, better pay, and more work, Japanese is the right choice.

Can I study Japanese for free? ›

Duolingo is one of the best free language apps for learning Japanese as well as a number of other languages including Spanish, French, Italian, Korean and even fictional languages like Klingon.

Is Genki 2 harder than Genki 1? ›


Genki 1 is better than Genki 2. Just because it's practical doesn't mean it's going to come easily, at least not for all of us.

Is Genki 2nd Edition worth it? ›

I'm studying my second year of japanese, and this is the book we use for class. It has everything from all hiragana and katakana to alot of grammar and kanji, an so on. :) I strongly recommend this book to those who like the japanese language, or am studying at some school, or just want to learn more on your own.

What textbook should I use after Genki? ›

Overall, Quartet is a really nice stepping stone after Genki, with volume I being an easier transition into intermediate-level material than Tobira.

What should I read to improve Japanese? ›

Manga: Beginner and Above

Manga is the gateway for many people's interest in Japanese culture and can also be central to your reading practice. Manga is a great resource for reading because the pictures provide context which makes it more simple to comprehend what you are reading.

How long can it take to read Japanese? ›

Time and habits

To learn the essential kanji that makes up most Japanese words it takes up to 3 years by most standards but Actual Fluency calculates that 'if you learn 25 kanji a day, and have no prior experience with Japanese, you should be able to read kanji within three months'.

Is it better to read or speak Japanese? ›

If what you're looking for is a more conversational approach to the language, then you should just learn how to speak it. However, if you want to really learn the language, then focus more on learning how to read it and write it. They go hand in hand, so it's really up to you what would make you learn things faster.

What level of Japanese should a beginner be? ›

The easiest level is N5 and the most difficult level is N1. N4 and N5 measure the level of understanding of basic Japanese mainly learned in class. N1and N2 measure the level of understanding of Japanese used in a broad range of scenes in actual everyday life. N3 is a bridging level between N1/N2 and N4/N5.

Should I learn to read or speak Japanese first? ›

If you want to go study for the JLPT, or if you want to translate at some point, then it would be best to start with reading and writing first. If you are not planning on using Japanese much when it comes to reading or writing, then it could be better to focus on listening and speaking first.

What level is fluent in Japanese? ›

It measures language ability in 6 levels (C2, C1, B2, B1, A2, A1 from fluent to beginner). C2 level holders are regarded as fluent as a native language speaker, or are referred to as business level.

Is 3 years enough to learn Japanese? ›

Learning Japanese isn't easy and it will take time. It's probably fair to say that you can expect a commitment of at least three years in order to achieve something resembling fluency. The average learner gets to the advanced level in three or four years.

How many hours is A1 in Japanese? ›

Although the length of time needed to achieve proficiency can vary depending on many factors, FSI estimates the average approximate time for Category I languages to be 24-30 weeks (600-750 class hours).

How many years does it take to read Japanese? ›

Japanese is one of the most difficult languages for English natives to master. This is because it does not have a lot of likeness in structure to English. Approximately it will take 88 weeks, or 2200 hours of studying, to become fluent. But this article shows tips and tools to expedite and make the process easier.

How long does it take to learn Japanese on your own? ›

However, many experts believe it takes between 4 to 6 months of dedicated study to reach a beginner level. On the other hand, you can expect to spend at least 3 years studying to become fluent in Japanese with near-native level accuracy.

How many words should I start reading Japanese? ›

Around 30,000-50,000 words will give you native level reading proficiency, equivalent to a college-educated Japanese. Of course, this level is only attained by a tiny fraction of non-native Japanese speakers.

Which is harder hiragana or katakana? ›

Something that almost everyone finds, including Japanese people, is that katakana is just harder to read than hiragana, so don't be discouraged if it takes you significantly longer to get used to it.

Is it easier to learn Japanese if you watch anime? ›

Watching and listening to Japanese anime helps you learn because it's a form of language immersion. You'll pick up vocabulary by listening to native Japanese speech. And your brain will work hard to understand the language using the words you know to figure out the meaning of words you don't know.


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