I have been learning Japanese essentially on my own, using textbooks, online lessons with ななさわ先生 (nanasawa-sensei), japanesepod101.com, and Pimsleur Japanese audio programs. I've also discovered the joys of bento, a lunch box style of preparing a variety of foods, great for portion control and healthy eating. And of course of anime. I'm not comfortable enough with reading Japanese to start on manga yet.
On this page:
- Best apps for learning Japanese - my recommendations for the best apps on Apple iOS and Android.
- Japanesepod101.com - This the best audio resource I have found for Japanese. A premium membership provides access to all sorts of learning tools. The podcasts are often quite funny and manage to inspire further study more than any other resource I have come across.
- GENKI I: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese -
This text is extremely well written, easy to understand and just the right pace for me. There are many group exercises, but with a little imagination you can do those exercises on your own. I also have the workbook, audio program and answer key.
- Japanese in Mangaland - This is an interesting textbook with loads of examples from manga in Japanese. I find this very useful for the less formal language found in manga and anime. I also have the workbook.
Buying Japanese resources online
- Books and music can be bought from amazon.de, amazon.com. amazon.co.jp has a large number of pages translated into English, so the site is quite usable, even if you don't read Japanese.
has many books, magazines, resources, traditional items, foods and toys (JList for over 18)
- White Rabbit Press also has books, magazines, foods and other resources. They also have a special order service - you can order what you want from Japan and they will hunt it down for you.
- ebay.de, ebay.com and ebay.com.au often have a large number of Japanese items, although it doesn't often have many books in Japanese or Japanese music available.