Learning fast

Hi everyone! What is the best way to learn fluent Japanese fast? Free resource recommendations appreciated!

Have you checked this?

Edit: no guarantees for going fast though, and free doesn’t ensure that you get the best resources.


I don’t know about fast, but you can check out these resources:

EDIT: ah Leebo’d
EDIT2: Honestly, I think the first step you need to do is figure out what your goals really are. What do you mean by fluent? If you mean speaking/reading/writing/listening like a native, then there’s no fast way. It will take years of studying. If by “fluent” you mean being able to smoothly converse with someone without having to think, or being able to read without needing to look in a dictionary, those are more specific goals, which probably still won’t be “fast” but at least are more achievable.


@rmizuno @acm2010 thank you! Yeah, I mean mostly speaking and understanding conversational Japanese.

Even just learning conversational Japanese will take you a very long time. Learning a language is a marathon not a sprint, there’s no need to hurry. If you slow down and explore your options you’ll probably learn much better and possibly quicker than trying to go for the fastest method available.


It really depends on what you want to do. If it’s “I will be dropped off in Japan four months from now, how do I survive” (with a real need to hurry) it will be different from “I just don’t want to spend so much time on Japanese”.

In the first case I would suggest skipping most of the basics and just cramming lots of useful phrases. In all other cases going fast in the beginning will ensure that you run into trouble later :slight_smile:

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Go all Japanese in your life and dedicate the next year of your life to studying.

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If you’re anything like me then you’ll wish that there was a way to do this with Japanese learning…

The best I suggest to you if you want to focus on on speaking and listening is to research the concept of language shadowing. Basically it’s the practice of imitating native speech even without knowing the meaning, it’s about training the mouth muscles to get used to the phonetics of the language. I do it with sentences and I actually really enjoy it and find it kind of relaxing. It feels like learning music.

To start off try the pimsleur series until you hate how boring it is. It’s not bad for the basics though.


The core 2000 and 6000 listening sentences you can find on Ankiweb are really good too.


Lingodeer isn’t half bad either.

It could just do with some more complex content. They did tell me that there’s new stuff in the pipeline.

Good luck!


Well, if your goal is just speaking, WK doesn’t really help with that at all. Well, it helps with learning vocab, and I feel like learning the kanji’s makes it easier to learn vocab, but at least short term, it’s much faster to just learn vocab on your own.

The only way you’ll learn how to speak is to practice speaking, so I second @idiomargot’s suggestion for shadowing and pimsleur. Tofugu has an article about shadowing/learning from anime:

Also, japanesepod101 is pretty good, although they market quite aggressively… but they do have a good “survival phrase” and other beginner courses.

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Spoiler alert: Theres no answer to that question.

If there was, there wouldn’t be so many different methods and sites on this topic.

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Totally forgot about that…

There’s this video too. I like this guy.

True that. Try all the methods that are here and use the ones that both seem to work and that you enjoy. Enjoyment is really important.

I’d also recommend making Japanese the study the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do before bed. There’s a theory that because you’re closer to your subconscious mind at these times of the day that you remember things better. Could be hocus pocus but I do it and I like it.

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Yep. My advice has begun to boil down to “try what options you have, but then pick what works best and stick with it”.

You’re always going to have people telling you that their way is better than your way no matter what you do, but just do what you think is best.


There are better ways to memorize and retain information than others. Visual memory like memory palaces is stronger than pure information, wacky absurd mnemonics are better than flat information, etc. Memorizing the kanji through WaniKani (radical, kanji, vocab using mnemonics) is probably the fastest route in my opinion. Then reading gradually more as you progress.

That being said, motivation is the wild card here. If you can spend five hours having fun reading children’s story and memorizing the vocab there, that might be better than just plain SRS where you can only spend 30 minutes before getting bored. Not saying there isn’t comparatively dull aspects regardless, but you should balance between how much of the boredom you can tolerate, how much you need, and how much fun you also need to stay motivated.


I am using Rocketlanguages.com. It’s not free, but it is amazing how fast you learn to speak. You get the written words, the audio, and a lot of reinforcement material. Best of all, it’s fun!

I also have found that studying just before going to bed does help in retention.

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I’m just here to post this since there is nothing more to add:

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But there is more to add!

If you’re looking for free resources, check your local public library’s non-fiction section. Check your nearest university library. See if your libraries offer free access to electronic resources as well. And if they don’t have anything that’s relevant, ask about interlibrary loans and/or making a suggestion for purchase. Even though you can only borrow for a limited amount of time, you can try out a variety of things to see what works for you - before you buy it yourself.


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