5 Great Free Japanese Language Videos

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Videos are a great way to practice your speaking skills when you're learning a new language like Japanese. The best ones will teach you how to pronounce essential words and phrases while making learning fun. Get started speaking Japanese today with these five free language videos. 

The Japan Society is a nonprofit cultural organization based in New York City that is dedicated to strengthening the ties between the U.S. and Japan through the arts and scholarship. They have two dozen language videos on their YouTube channel that cover topics such as the days of the week, how to conjugate common verbs, and essential grammar. Lessons are presented against a whiteboard with a Japanese instructor, similar to a classroom setting. Bonus: You'll also find videos from past Japan Society events on their main video channel.

This YouTube channel is the offspring of YesJapan, which has been providing online Japanese lessons since 1998. There are nearly 90 free language videos on this channel, hosted by founder George Trombley, an American who lived in Japan from ages 12 to 21. Most of the videos are about 15 minutes in length, making each lesson easy to digest. Trombley walks you through pronunciation and other basics before leading you into more complex lessons on how to ask questions and verb tenses. He's also written a series of Japanese language books, which many of these videos are based on.

You'll find language videos and more on this YouTube channel. For beginners, there are quick tutorials on topics like essential phrases for visitors. For more advanced learners, there are longer videos on listening comprehension. You'll even find helpful guides on Japanese culture and customs. Videos are hosted by native language speakers who are friendly and enthusiastic, with colorful graphics and playful animations. One drawback: Many of the videos begin with lengthy commercials touting JapanesePod101's website, which can be distracting.

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Genki Japan

When you were a child, you probably learned the alphabet by singing the ABC song. Genki Japan, hosted by an Australian language teacher named Richard Graham, takes the same approach. Each of his 30 Japanese language videos, on basic topics like numbers, days of the week, and directions are set to music, with wacky graphics and easy-to-read subtitles in English and Japanese. Graham's YouTube channel also has other great resources, like tutorials on how to teach Japanese to others and short videos on food and culture.

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Once you've learned the basics of Japanese, you might want to challenge yourself with more advanced language videos and lessons on Japan's culture. On Tofugu, you'll find short tutorials on pronunciation, as well as tips on how to make learning Japanese easier, and even videos on understanding cultural differences like body language and gestures. Site founder Koichi, a young Japanese Millennial, has a great sense of humor and a genuine interest in teaching people about life in Japan.