If you have decided to begin learning the incredible language that is Japanese. You are feeling excited to learn a new language but you are not sure where to start. There are a lot of coursesand tools out there to choose from.
You have probably heard of Babbel. They have well over a million users from all over the world and offer courses that teach core grammar and vocabulary, but does Babbel have Japanese in their language section?
Their courses are perfect for beginner to intermediate learners but do they support Japanese?
There is only one big problem if you plan to learn Japanese through Babbel (see also ‘Is Babbel Worth It?‘). They do not offer a Japanese course.
Despite the high demand and being one of the most popular and well marketed language apps, Babbel does not offer Japanese and has yet to break into the East Asian language market.
All hope is not lost as there are many great language apps available that can teach you Japanese to as high a standard as you wish.
But before we get into these amazing alternatives let’s learn about Babbel, just so once you conquer Japanese you may choose to pick up a language they do support.
What Is Babbel?
Babbel has a very simple premise: through real world conversations, you can learn to speak a new language right away and in an authentic manner. Make it stick through effective review methods and you are well on your way to mastery. You can visit the Babbel website to learn more about their learning mechanism
Even if you can only spare 10 minutes of your day then the app can help you learn a new language through listening, speaking, writing and reading exercises.
Babbel uses recordings of native speakers to give you the best possible authentic way to learn the language. This helps you to hone your pronunciation and familiarizes you with the nuances of the spoken language.
The app gives enough opportunities to practice. You can choose from flashcards, speaking and typing drills, stories, podcasts (see also ‘Best Podcast Websites’) and much more. Babbel offers 13 languages along with two variants of Spanish with Latin American Spanish and Spanish on offer.
Most of the languages on offer are European languages with Indonesian as the only available Asian language.
Why Does Babbel Not Offer Japanese?
Japanese Is Hard To Learn And Teach
Japanese is far removed from the English language. The two languages do not share many similarities in grammar or vocabulary. In fact, Japanese is often cited as one of the most difficult languages to learn for anyone from a native English speaking country.
Linguistically speaking Japanese is an incredibly difficult language to learn, you will need a course that takes into account the differences and difficulties for native speakers. Anything less is not going to be successful.
The Best Babbel Alternatives
If you are looking for a more bite-sized and well rounded Japanese lesson then Mondly will be ideal for you.
Mondly is similar to Babbel as it recommends 10 minutes of studying daily, the lessons also make it feel less like studying and more like playing a game.
Mondly’s engaging lessons target all the core language skills through real life conversations, audio guides and chatbot conversations.
Whilst Mondly does not teach you how to write in Japanese the app will let you toggle between Romanization and Japanese script. If you choose to use Japanese script will help you to become familiar with the characters.
The site’s voice recognition engine is accurate and comes in handy when sharpening your pronunciation and accent.
So to summarize the site:
- The lessons are short but engaging
- They are beginner friendly as it teaches simple vocabulary and contextualized grammar
- Sufficient listening and speaking exercises
Just building your vocabulary is one thing but being able to confidently speak is another thing altogether. Pimsleur will help you to speak Japanese with confidence. This app is all about improving your conversational skills.
The app gets you to speak the language straight away. The core 30 minute audio lessons do not just involve listening to Japanese speakers but also repeating the sentences that you are hearing.
This way you will learn new phrases quickly and at gradually increased intervals until you can establish them in a long-term memory.
Much like Mondly, Pimsleur is also not the best way to learn how to write in Japanese. Whilst it does include reading lessons (see also ‘Best Speed Reading Course‘) on kana and selecting kanji, you will need other resources to learn stroke order.
So to summarize Pimsleur:
- They have an established and proven method of learning languages
- Building relevant vocabulary that does not overwhelm new or experienced learners
- Really helps with learning native pronunciations and accents
You can survive in Japan with basic phrases but you would want to know more than just the basics if you want a more meaningful experience. For a holistic approach an app that improves all of your Japanese skills is a must.
Rocket Japanese is the perfect app for you to hone your skills. The program is great for structured learning. Interactive audio lessons and a great voice recognition system help with listening and speaking whilst text material aids with reading.
To learn how to write you can watch the course’s instructional videos.
The program also features informative Culture Notes for all well rounded Japanese education. Grammar is also taught in context and the vocabulary used is relevant.
To summarize Rocket Japanese:
- The site is a well structured program
- It is suitable for learners of all proficiency levels
- Lots of downloadable audio content and extensive writing lessons
Babbel is one of the best language learning apps. But until a Babbel Japanese course gets developed you can work with the alternatives we have provided you. There are still many great options to learn on Babbel (see also ‘Does Babbel Work?‘) so do not just discard it.
The alternatives provided will meet all sorts of learning goals and can at points even beat Babbels best features. If you have any of these apps ago then you will not be disappointed with what you find. So Kōun o and Sayōnara.