So, what are some good ones?
Well, here’s a growing list of the top Japanese Audiobooks. Some of which you can even get for free on Audible.
- Review the list below
- Click on the image to check them out on Amazon.
- You can even get FREE Japanese Audiobooks on Audible.
- Audible gives you a 1-month free pass where you can enjoy these audiobooks.
So, let’s take a look.
1. Everyday Japanese for Beginners – 400 Actions & Activities
What it’s about: If you want to talk about daily life in Japanese, then this is one of the Japanese language audiobooks for you. As the title says, you learn 400 phrase related to=daily life. Waking up. Showering. Eating. From morning to night.
Why it’s good: You want to talk about real, practical things in Japanese, right? Then, this will do you good.
2. Learn Japanese While Sleeping
The title sounds a bit crazy…
And you’re not wrong for raising an eyebrow if you do. Sleeping aside, I think it’s a great book to listen to while you’re awake.
What’s it about: This is a 6+ hour Japanese audiobook that teaches you over 400+ words and phrases with relaxing music playing in the background. I might be sounding cheesy here, but it’s actually NOT that bad to listen to while I drive or walk somewhere. It’s one thing to listen to a list of words (as some audiobooks have you do… yawn), but it’s another to have pleasant sounds in the background.
Why it’s good: Good for vocabulary acquisition. For beginners and anyone interested in getting some phrases into their heads. I can’t speak about the sleeping part but I can say it’s nice to listen to when awake, haha.
3. Traveling to Japan Phrases Audiobook
What it’s about: This 9+ hour audiobook teaches you just the phrases you’d need to know to get around in Japan.
Why it’s good: If you just need some quick phrases and want to skip grammar explanations (for now), then this will be a helpful companion on your trip.
4. Learn Japanese: Word Power 101
What it’s about: In this book you can learn 101 common phrases and words in Japanese. It’s free, and you can learn a big chunk of new phrases or re-learn some you already know. You will learn sentences and ways you can use the word to easily remember and use them.
Why it’s good: If you like listicle types of articles, or something simple and concise, this is the book for you. And, It’s completely free. The company that produces it also has a user community you can join to get more involved and meet people with the same goal of becoming fluent in Japanese. It covers a variety of topics, so you won’t have a dull moment.
5. Japanese for Beginners
What it’s about: This is a handy book to have when you are planning or on a trip to Japan, especially if you’re a beginner. It also includes practical and useful tips in studying beginners.
Why it’s good: Aside from practical Japanese lessons, it will also give tips on culture and do’s and dont’s. Great handy for a business trip too!
Take a look and start listening here!
6. Pimsleur Japanese
What it’s about: Even though it’s an audiobook, it allocates time only for speaking practices in a simple to understand manner. You can learn and practice vocabulary and pronunciation at the same time you progress through the lessons.
Why it’s good: It doesn’t let you simply passively listen to the books, but it lets you participate and continuously practice. This will prepare you for real life conversations you will have in Japanese, and prep you for some challenges you may ponder on.
Get it here, and start practicing your speaking!
7. Michel Thomas Beginner Japanese
What it’s about: Michel Thomas audio lessons are quite well rated by most learners. The lessons are interactive encouraging listeners to say different sentences in Japanese from time to time. This is very helpful as it will encourage you to speak Japanese.
Why it’s good: With its classroom setup, you can feel like you are part of a class, and learning with others. The exercises give you time to try to construct sentences on your own, so you can practice thinking and conversing in Japanese.
Get it here, and starting thinking in Japanese!
8. Collins Easy Learning Japanese
What it’s about: This book has a great segue into learning for beginners. It covers certain words and topics in each unit, and explores the technical aspects after.
Why it’s good: The author also tries to be engaging and humorous which is great when you want to keep things light but productive.
You can try listening to samples, and get it here!
9. Learn in Your Car: Japanese, the Complete Language Course
What it’s about: Another good audiobook to listen while you’re on your commute or on your workout. It’s a straightforward progression from learning simple Japanese words and phrases, then moves to diving into sentences and conversation.
Why it’s good: It helps you get used to and learn from real communication. The segments are quick and short, and you can go through the transcripts after if you need references!
10. Listen & Learn Japanese
What it’s about: This is a audiobook mainly for practical Japanese phrases you may need when you travel to Japan. It’s simply structured, and it gives you a ton of phrases in English followed by Japanese. If you are up for just learning phrases and using them for now, this is your best bet.
Why it’s good: It’s just as simple as it can get. If you are looking into something uncomplicated, this is a good listen. The courses seem to be not as updated as the others, but still touches on common phrases, that are relevant and useful.
11. Rapid Japanese
What it’s about: If you have lack of time and need to memorize away, this is your best pick. It covers commonly used phrases in repetition for you to familiarize yourself in the language and its pronunciations.
Why it’s good: Don’t expect in-depth explanations and breakdowns from this, but if you want to familiarize with the words and phrases and let it stick to your head, this is it. The music in the background helps to avoid feeling dull and memorizing your Japanese words.
You can get it here, and start jamming to Japanese words.
More Free Japanese Audiobooks
You might not realize it but…
YouTube is another place where you can listen to Audiobooks. Here’s a list of some decent ones that I used.
1) End of the year cleaning by LingoMastery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjpP7jXuBHQ
- LingoMastery is a fairly big publisher of stories for language learning. Here, they offer a free 14+ minute chapter of their audiobook.
2) The Inch-High Samurai: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhX5Eu2ilkQ
- A Japanese fairytale. This is all in Japanese (for N5 learners) so don’t expect translations.
Benefits of Learning with Japanese Audiobooks
One word: listening.
Audiobooks can help build up your Japanese listening skills.
Listening in another language is… hard.
First, think of English. If you’re listening to someone talk, even if they say some unknown word, as a native speaker, you can easily recite it back — even if you don’t know what it means. And then you can ask what it means.
In a foreign language like Japanese? You’ll end up hearing a “blur” of sounds and won’t know when one word ends and another starts. That’s a sign of bad listening skills.
So, that’s where audiobooks come in.
Listening to Japanese audiobooks can get you used to the language, the sounds, the words, the pitch accent… to the point where it no longer sounds like a “blur. On top of that, listening is a skill you can practice all the time — for as long as you’re awake and conscious throughout the day. Without a native speaker on hand. And getting yourself some Japanese audio lessons or Audiobooks can help sharpen your listening skills.
When you’re on your commute or traveling, keeping Japanese audiohttps://www.linguajunkie.com/japanese/japanese-audio-lessonsbooks in your phone will come in handy!
Download some of these books, so you can always learn on the go.
– The Main Junkie
P.S. Want to learn & speak the Japanese language?
Check out JapanesePod101, a complete Japanese learning program with audio and video lessons, apps, study tools and PDF lesson notes. I think their lessons can and will help you learn and speak Japanese.