Here I will go over some of the resources that are useful to learning Japanese that are absolutely free. Of course you get what you pay for so these are not going to be the best but they are definitely good to get started on the basics. It  is nice to know that you can learn how to read for free due to the very many places on the Internet that will over simple tools as basic as a kana chart. Basically reading skills and basic phrases and grammar are what primarily is going to be available for free. Lets take a nice slow scroll and take a look at what is available:


1.  Japanese-Lesson
     Japanese lesson is a good entry level learning site with a lot of potential. Of course it will require some diligence. Here there are printable Kana practice sheets, drills, basic vocabulary lessons, and useful phrases. This is a very good place to be if it were not for its pesky vocal quizes. Synthesised voice drilling is very frustrating when you cannot tell "bzrt" from "phrszt" which is basically what you will run into in those tests. Other than that Japanese-Lesson is a good place to begin to learn how to read and write.

http://www.japanese-lesson.com/

2. Learn Japanese Free
     This site is a bit more like a big memorization site from what I can tell. Of course I believe that the basics like Hiragana and Katakana are meant to be memorized, I feel that sentences should be understood as opposed to knowing how to say something but not knowing why. In its later stages it seems to do better and knowing some basic lines is always good. Which is why having multiple sources of reference is a necessity when it comes to learning languages. For a price tag of $0.00 it is still definitely worth using.
http://www.learnjapanesefree.com/

3.  Rikaichan
     If you are  a firefox user then this is an absolute must! Learning Kanji is probably one of the most intimidating aspects of learning Japanese. It is indeed much more difficult than actual spoken Japanese. A commonality in learning kanji is that most often recognition comes before the ability to write the said kanji. Rikaichan is a very nifty add on that defines and shows how to pronounce kanji via hiragana. This will enable learners to catch on to kanji much faster than waiting to learn it or searching for a definitive meaning. If Firefox is not preferred, then I still would highly recommend it just for this one add on.

http://rikaichan.mozdev.org/

4. Youtube J-Vlogging Community
     Subjectionally speaking, you tube is one of the best places to be inspired and learn about Japanese culture and language while being entertained. There are all sorts of people living in Japan and recording their experiences and showing what it is like through their eyes as well as many people who want to teach about Japan because it is simply their passion. There is truly too many to name off but a few that I actively go to are:
For Japanese culture, news, and teachings:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Gimmeaflakeman

Good friend of Victor(Gimmeaflakeman) and shares Japan through his eyes:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Hikosaemon

This man, Sonny, easily has one of the best senses of humor of youtube in the J-vlogging community:
http://www.youtube.com/user/japanarchist

A very charming(and cute) bookworm type of woman who guides viewers through the very many aspects of Japanese language and culture:
http://www.youtube.com/user/kemushichan 

A Danish artistic chain-smoker(at least in his videos) who provides a very unique view into Japanese culture debunking many common misconceptions:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TokyoZeplin

Tofugu's youtube channel. Very entertaining and highly educational:
http://www.youtube.com/user/tofugu

All about Japanese food and cooking for all the culinary geeks out there:
http://www.youtube.com/user/runnyrunny999

Namasensei is the tough love teacher who will push you into learning by insulting you to do better:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bumnumba1


     That is all for now everyone. Thank you for reading. Next blog will be what methods I am using myself.

Comments (11)

On 04 January, 2012 03:26 , Vulcan Raven said...

some great tips here! saving the links for future use

 
On 04 January, 2012 08:08 , J said...

Do you have anything for conjugation tables?

 
On 04 January, 2012 12:42 , DavidicusVH said...

@J I have not gotten into a great understanding of Japanese conjugations yet however, there is a very easy to understand table at:
http://www.as.ua.edu/nihongo/verb_table_roomaji.htm

Wikipedia also probably has the most in depth explanation and has many tables:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_verb_conjugations_and_adjective_declensions

 
On 04 January, 2012 16:22 , Baur said...

Very neat thanks for commenting on my post!! following

 
On 04 January, 2012 16:40 , Casper said...

I tried to learn Japanese using YouTube and some guides last year but i had to give it, found it way to hard... maybe i should try again as it's a new year? :)

 
On 04 January, 2012 23:28 , DavidicusVH said...

@Casper Namasensei on youtube is a good motivational teacher for sure. If you want to pick it up again just go slowly and learn one thing per day. Spending 5 minutes a day and getting a solid fact is better than cramming 5 hours one day through heavy motivation then becoming burned out and not doing any studying for the rest of the week. Besides cramming like that will only retain about 20% of your efforts.

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

Excellent post! Thanks for the links! a thousand thank yous

 
On 06 January, 2012 00:08 , WeiseGuy said...

I tried rosetta stone, that stuff is tough sometimes for these non-latin based languages. I'll check these methods out though.

 
On 06 January, 2012 01:38 , Dave Natan said...

Awesome, I was learning some Japanese back in the days - learned katakana and hiragana and like 5-6 nakji, and I can understand a little of what they say :D

 
On 07 January, 2012 14:12 , BragonDorn said...

I am learning a little more each day. Thanks to you :)

 
On 08 January, 2012 14:25 , Baur said...

Neat!