Learning a language can be fun and challenging at the same time, but many people can't or don't want to invest in courses or lessons inside a classroom. By studying the basics, practicing the language, and exploring Japanese in new ways, you can experience the joy of learning a new language. Here is 4 best ways to learn Japanese by yourself: 

1. Master the Foundations: Hiragana, Katakana, and Basic Kanji

Japanese uses three writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Hiragana is the basic Japanese phonetic alphabet. It represents every sound in the Japanese language.  Katakana is used for foreign words and names. Kanji are Chinese origin characters that have been adapted to the Japanese language.

Here are some resources to help you learn:


2. Make Grammar Your Ally, Not Your Enemy

Grammar is often described as the backbone of a language, the part of language that holds everything together. Grammar rules exist in order to bring structure to a language, it enables the users of the language to form speech in the same way and avoid confusion. The study of grammar can help you to speak more clearly and with greater confidence. Japanese grammar is famous for being difficult, but with a structured approach, you can conquer it. Focus on basic sentence structures and gradually build your knowledge. To improve your grammar skill, we recommend some resources:

  • Websites: Easy Japanese, Tofugu [Learn Japanese: A Ridiculously Detailed Guide]
  • Apps: Todaii Japanese

Try to surround yourself with Japanese in ways that are fun and engaging. You can learn Japanese from anime, music, drama, podcasts… Here are some ideas:

  • Anime & Drama: Watch with subtitles, then gradually transition to no subtitles.
  • Music: Listen to J-Pop or Japanese soundtracks while following along with lyrics.
  • Podcasts & Audiobooks: Find beginner-friendly content to improve listening comprehension.
  • Manga & Light Novels: Start with simple stories and work your way up.


3. Don't Be Afraid to Speak Up - Find a Language Partner or Speak to Yourself

Speaking is key to fluency. You can use some language exchange apps like HelloTalk or some online communities (Discord, Reddit) - they can help you connect with native Japanese speakers all over the world. Talking with native people is really necessary because they can help you to fix your pronunciation and grammar. Besides, don't be shy to talk to yourself in Japanese – describe your surroundings to boost your confidence and fluency.


4. Consistency is Key: Set Realistic Goals & Track Progress

Consistency will be your greatest weapon on the path to fluency. Remember, learning language is a marathon, not a sprint. Therefore, you need to dedicate a manageable amount of time each day to studying and practicing to achieve goals. 

Bonus Tip: Celebrate your milestones! Learning a new language is an accomplishment to be proud of. Reward yourself for reaching your goals to stay motivated. Good luck!