Online courses to learn specialized vocabulary - MOOCs, etc

Hey everyone!
I was wondering about start to acquire some specialized vocabulary for different domains. For example, I’d like to have some interesting conversations on programming, math (probability, statistics, etc) or finances, for example.

Long time ago, what helped me acquire these skills in English was by doing MOOCs, like Coursera, Udemy or so on.

For Japanese, I have until now just read / listened to general conversations/content so I was wondering if there’s anything like MOOC platforms in Japanese for a diverse of introductions to technical topics / specialized content. Of course, as a beginner still, I’m not looking for sending rockets to Mars or similar, but maybe as a first step to start acquiring these vocabularies in an engaging way :slight_smile: . Unlike youtube, I like these MOOCs platforms because they provide some nice structure on classes and deadlines, so an unorganized person like me have higher chances to go through it!

I thought about MOOCs, but open to other suggestions as well.



I think a lot of college level science/engineering terms are just katakana versions of the English words.

I don’t know about MOOC programs about Japanese vocabulary, sorry. But for me, the concept of studying together and engaging with other people studying the same thing like me at similar time is very appealing concept about MOOC.

With this in mind joining or starting a book-club could provide a possible alternative.

  • Reading together with others helps to keep you accountable
  • Reading together with others gives you study buddies that are into the same subject and can help each other
  • The text you are going through gives (kind of) structure
  • The “speed” you all agree on going through the text gives you deadlines

There are a couple of durtles in this community that are into CS or math so feel free to ask around in this community to go through related materials together.

You could start with something on elementary school level to get the basic terms under the belt. The topic might be little bit boring since you know it by heart but it would be just to give a starting point and first set of specific vocab terms. Wikipedia article might be a good starting point as well as they tend to have articles in different languages. These are by no means any translations but may still be useful in case you really get stuck somewhere.

Just random thoughts. Please feel free to ignore anything that does not appeal to you :slight_smile:


Just throwing it out there that I’d defo be interested in a mathematical/computer sciencey book club if OP ends up looking to form one.


A tutor of mine is studying programming and said she uses courses on

You could check it out. Looks like it has plenty of programming languages courses to choose from.

Or you could check out courses that are a bit more fun and definitely more Japanese, like “Make a girlfriend using programming” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Recently, @Saida shared information about Khan Academy; maybe you can find something interesting there?


Same here, if anyone wants to start a club like that (or working through a Japanese MOOC/Khan Academy/etc course together) I’d be interested!


If you look hard enough, you’ll find courses like this on international sites/sites for English speakers:

The videos are supposedly in English, but the transcriptions are in English and Japanese. Similarly, the ‘Japanese Pronunciation for Communication’ course by Waseda University is entirely in Japanese, but with subtitles in other languages.

Otherwise… well, Khan Academy does sound like a decent alternative, but what I’d personally be worried about would be who exactly did the translations, and whether or not the way the teaching is done matches what one might find in Japan. I mean, even if the words used are correct, if the way things are envisioned is different, you might have a hard time getting your point across, especially since Khan Academy’s Japanese videos seem to be entirely based on translating the original videos with a new voiceover and Japanese text. Perhaps that will work out fine. Perhaps it won’t. I wouldn’t know for sure.

If you want courses from Japan targeted at a Japanese audience, I suggest you check this site out instead:

That’s their English homepage. I’m not sure if this applies for all videos, but at the very least, the introductory videos and preview videos seem to be YouTube videos for which you can get Japanese subtitles (uploaded or auto-generated).

Ultimately, it might be easier for learners of Japanese to start with something like Khan Academy since it’s easier to find relatively basic topics to study, but JMOOCs will probably offer a more ‘authentic’ experience.

Finally, if you want to try something that’s almost definitely approachable for Japanese learners, and you don’t mind if the content is a little kiddy at times, then take a look at NHK for School:

I tried watching their video about the Japanese Constitution (for primary school students, I believe) after about a year of Japanese, and I found it fairly easy to follow, even if I didn’t understand everything. (Full disclosure: I’m a Chinese speaker, so kanji and guessing when a new word is a kanji combination is rarely a problem as long as a similar combination exists in Chinese.) NHK for School provides subtitles in Japanese, and they even have a mobile app, at least on iOS, meaning you can use it on the go. (I don’t have an Android phone, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t have an Android app as well.)

I hope you find at least one of these useful. I discovered JMOOC thanks to this thread, so… well, thanks for posting this question!


This is actually a great suggestion, thanks!

Personally, I haven’t taken part in book clubs, so I don’t much about them. Probably it’s a fun way (and actually more engaging) to learn with people having the same skills and hobbies.

Considering the above, I have 0 clues on how to start a book club or how to run one but I can definitely search it out a bit more on the forums here so, great idea and thanks :slight_smile:

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Thank you very much for the website, definitely it’s a Japanese adaptation for programming courses (one of the course’s video: 推しと学べるプログラミング | エンジニア男子と一緒にプログラミング! on Vimeo :sweat_smile:)

At least from the site front-page, this is what I had in mind to give it a try, thanks!

Sure, hope it helps!
There’s also an English version of the site but I don’t know if the content is the same. If it is you could use it as a parallel translation reference.

Thanks for all the input, I’ll definitely check all the links you posted.

Considering you watched a video on Japanese Constitution, even if it’s in a kidy-ish way, no problems for me. My goal is just to get my first steps on more complex subjects, and this seems to be case :slight_smile:


Thanks for the feedback. And the good part about communities is… there is always someone who has some knowledge / experience / … about something. Or to be more explicit: in case durtles are interested in reading and discussing math and computer science related stuff here is the related home coming thread :slight_smile:

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I put this in the other thread, but I figured it might be useful to you as well. I came across this problem in an anime and couldn’t solve it, only to find that it was a University of Tokyo entrance exam problem from 2012. This site presents a solution using Bézout’s Theorem, I believe. I think you can use such sites to learn about how maths is presented in Japanese:

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