Okay maybe paying full price for products that you can only review and get small samples of does not exactly float your boat. I mean lets face it, free trials are usually such a small window to see what the program truly has to offer. That is where this next section comes in handy. The greatest part about what I am about to share is it is not free trials but rather a free versions so you can continue using these services for years rather than a week or so. Nifty, eh? Lets take a look at a few.

 1. Tofugu/Textfugu:
     This site is pure gold for beginners like myself. The author, Koichi, is very personable and very entertaining in their postings. Not only is this a good place to develop your foundation in learning Japanese, but they also cover a great deal of Japanese culture. You'll get a few chapters of their online program, Textfugu, absolutely free and for $120.00 USD a full version will be available to which they are still adding new material on it.


2. Lang-8:
        Fortunately there are still good ways to get good lessons and even ways to actually write to Japanese people who would love to help you learn. There is the option of paying for a premium service, or using their free versions which are actually very good given the proper use of them, for free! Wait... Free? Nothing is free as you already know and the price to be paid is only they want you to help them learn English. Lang-8 is another personal favourite of mine that I try to frequent. Not only do you get to communicate directly with Japanese people, but you can very easily make friends as well. The only issue that may occur, is that it is fairly advanced. There may be instances where you are not entirely sure what or why you did something incorrectly. Usually though with all the many users on it there are plenty of people to help out. For a premium service at Lang-8($45.00 USD/year) you will have priority on journal entries, no ads, and printable PDF files of entries and corrections.

3. Mango Languages:
     Like the other two languages learning sites, you'll have options to get free or paid for services. Mango Languages has both Downloadable content(Though not compatible with Linux OS, don't worry though Macs & PCs are all good!) as  well as on site learning tools. I recommend downloading the freebies. This program is great for your everyday Japanese. So if you're on your way to Japan this is really good for asking the simple everyday things necessary to make your way around. Very good indeed as it includes narration to go along with the lessons. the paid version is $79.00 USD which includes: 
  • Interactive Mango Passport® course
  • Download lessons to a computer or laptop
  • Downloadable MP3 audio lessons
  • Audio and pronunciation guidance from native speakers
  • Voice comparison tool
  • Critical thinking exercises
  • Strategic memory building exercises
  • Vocabulary and phrase book reviews

4. Skype:     
     Many people take advantage of Skype and its free services. Typically you'll never have to pay for it unless you intend on making outbound calls to landlines or have multiple people group video calls. One may wonder what Skype has to do with learning Japanese. Remember Lang-8 and that whole, "making friends" opportunity? Well here is how you can speak live to your new Japanese friends who are looking to train their ears to English juxtaposed to you doing the same for their native tongue. A truly beautiful correlation, am I right?
Thank for reading!
読んでくれてありがとう!

Next blog will include absolutely Free alternatives followed by what methodologies I am partaking in. 
ja ne~

Comments (8)

On 01 January, 2012 07:54 , InfinitePlans said...

Textfugu looks pretty interesting, gonna check that out.

 
On 01 January, 2012 11:17 , Jcamelo said...

i use omegle for learning other languages. lol

 
On 01 January, 2012 12:52 , J said...

You should also check out KakaoTalk -- An app for mobile devices (I have it on Droid). I've found some Japanese people to text on there.

 
On 01 January, 2012 20:29 , BusterDraco said...

Might have to try one of these out...

 
On 02 January, 2012 10:03 , Come At Me Bro said...

This is great!

 
On 02 January, 2012 13:57 , Baur said...

Skype works pretty well for me

 
On 06 January, 2012 00:07 , Tokez said...

Rosetta Stone to learn them

 
On 25 May, 2015 06:49 , Jessica Reyes said...

Those are really great alternatives. But I like using skype learning japanese the best. I enrolled at this site http://preply.com/en/japanese-by-skype and it's been fun for me.