Discover the Best Japanese Classes Online
With nearly 130 million speakers worldwide, the Japanese language is used in millions of businesses, homes, and cultural organizations every day. Whether you hope to bolster your communication skills in these establishments or to be able to read manga, listen to J-pop, or watch anime in Japanese, learning the language is an endeavor worth the hard work. The language differs vastly from English: Japanese boasts three different writing systems (kanji, hiragana, and katakana), a subject-object-verb grammatical structure, and a complex politeness system known as keigo. These features can make learning Japanese a daunting task for any English speaker, but many find the logic and consistency of the language make basic Japanese skills surprisingly easy to master. If your goal is high-level fluency in Japanese, keep in mind that it ranks among the Foreign Service Institute’s “super-hard” languages, but dedication, hard work, and the right resources will help you achieve conversational, writing, and reading skills comparable to native speakers.
Why You Should Learn Japanese Online
Learning Japanese offers a wide variety of benefits, not the least of which is the boost it gives to brain health, memory, and mental acuity. Scientists have observed measurable increases in brain activity after just a few months of studying Japanese. But learning Japanese is far from a boring intellectual exercise: students often report learning the language to be a fun hobby that enriches their enjoyment of popular Japanese cultural exports like manga and anime. And many Japanese learners find fluency in the language beneficial to their careers: knowledge of the language is a standout skill to list on your resume for a wide range of jobs.
Learning Japanese in an online setting provides even more benefits to studying the language. When you sign up for online courses, you have the opportunity to meet and network with a community of fellow Japanese students with similar interests, hobbies, and goals. Discussion with your language-learning peers and friends may even help you plug into local, national, or global Japanese and Japanese culture clubs and other related organizations.
Virtual Japanese Classes
Online Japanese classes offer nearly all of the same perks as in-person classes, with the additional benefits of no commute and being able to work from your home or office. Virtual classes may be more likely than in-person classes to require you to purchase your own textbooks or other materials needed for your Japanese classes, but the benefit of more course options than are available in your locality is likely to outweigh that one con to choosing to pursue your Japanese education online.
If you’re searching for online beginner-level Japanese courses, you will find more than one option to begin your journey of language learning. ABC Languages’ online Japanese - Total Beginner class is an excellent option for those 16 and older hoping to learn all three of the language’s writing systems. Meanwhile, for those 17 and up who prefer to focus on the hiragana writing system, Fluent City’s beginner-level online Japanese - Level 1 class is a winner.
And once you’ve finished Fluent City’s foundational course—or if you already have your basics down and are looking for a class to take you to the next level—the language school offers a virtual Japanese - Level 2 class for beginners who have already mastered hiragana and the basic grammar rules.
For those more advanced in their Japanese language journey, the International School of Languages offers an online Japanese High Intermediate 2 class. The class is open to students 18 and up and focuses on conversational skills needed when dining out and making plans with friends.
When you need a beginner-level online Japanese class for kids, the International School of Languages also has you covered with a unique Japanese Beginner 3 for Kids Ages 11-14. The program teaches conversational skills in classes led by native-fluency teachers and is the third in the school’s sequence of three classes for young beginners.
Private Online Group Japanese Classes
Online private group Japanese classes are a smart investment in your organization’s skill set, team spirit, and global reach. If you want to schedule a Japanese class for your team, CourseHorse offers private online group Japanese classes for businesses, clubs, cultural institutions, and even families planning a trip to Japan.
Online sushi-making classes for your private group can be a fun part of your team’s Japanese education. With the guidance of a professional chef, your team will learn all about ingredients like sushi rice and sushi-grade fish and how to make hand rolls, cut rolls, nigiri, and other classic Japanese treats.
However you may envision online Japanese private group lessons for your team, CourseHorse experts are on-call to help you turn your Japanese education dreams into reality. You can reach out to the CourseHorse team through the contact form on their website, or schedule a phone call, if you prefer, to discuss your group’s Japanese learning goals.
When you contact CourseHorse, a team member will walk you step-by-step through the creation of your ideal private Japanese class. From discovering the perfect instructor for your team to shipping any needed textbooks or other materials to your individual participants, CourseHorse will design your online group Japanese class and send you confirmation within 24 hours of your reservation. You can even book your private group Japanese class if you don’t know the exact number of attendees. With CourseHorse, you are free to change your group size until a week before your first class.
CourseHorse recommends Zoom for your course’s video conferencing software, but if you have a preferred platform, they can accommodate Google Meets, WebEx, or Microsoft Teams. And if you prefer in-person Japanese classes, depending on your location and the availability of instructors, CourseHorse may be able to schedule your private group Japanese classes in your space of choice.
CourseHorse will never charge you a booking fee, but for just $150, you can customize your curriculum to include on-topic games, specific questions for your team, or other unique requests.
Online vs. In-Person Japanese Classes
In-person and online Japanese classes can offer very similar experiences and benefits. Both offer a significant boost in accountability over self-led learning approaches such as apps, books, and online tutorials. Set schedules, live classes, and interactions with teachers and students in real-time are all features of classes, whether they are hosted in-person or online. And nothing beats the perk of being able to interact with a teacher by asking questions and getting immediate feedback on your pronunciation and grammar, a feature of both online and in-person Japanese classes.
Online classes differ from in-person classes, however, in the additional benefit of no commute time and allowing you to participate in class from your most comfortable environment and in your most comfortable pants. Some students may prefer the sensory immersion of traditional in-person classes, but many communities—particularly those in less populous cities—offer few in-person Japanese classes to choose from. Online classes expand your options of Japanese classes, instructors, schools, and methodologies. If you prioritize minimal time commitments (that don’t include the hassle of commuting) and comfort, online classes may be the obvious choice for you. And if you live in a place with few or no Japanese in-person class options, online classes may be the only option for you.
Can I Learn Japanese for Free Online?
With plenty of motivation, research, and time, you can find free online tutorials, YouTube videos, blogs, and other resources to help you get started on your Japanese learning journey. However, few people will be able to progress beyond a beginner’s knowledge of the language without some kind of formal training from a skilled instructor. Private tutoring and classes may work best for some, but many will also enjoy learning alongside a community of like-minded students who can offer each other support and plenty of opportunities to practice conversation. Online classes are one of the most accessible ways to benefit from the expertise of a Japanese teacher and a peer group of fellow learners.