And some try to learn with YouTube.
What are the best Japanese YouTube channels are for learning? I’ll tell you but I warn you. YouTube is great for entertainment. However, most people won’t seriously “learn” because YouTube’s just that – a source of entertainment. You don’t sit there replaying a video 50 times while taking notes, do you? Please prove me wrong.
Well, maybe there’s one super motivated kid somewhere in Bangladesh… but not most people.
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Okay, I do sneak in a few ADVANCED Japanese YouTube channels. Why? It’s good for Beginners to challenge themselves and sweat and struggle a bit. That’s how you succeed.
The Top 8 Learn Japanese YouTube Channels!
They’ve been around for a while.
You get new videos 2 to 3 times a week. So: reading, kanji, writing lessons, listening lessons, vocab/phrase and CULTURE lessons.
JapanesePod101 gives you a well rounded supply of video to learn with. Oh, and ADVANCED lessons (super rare because everyone just makes stuff for beginners). In short, you get everything you need.
You probably know them by the super popular lesson hosts Risa or Hiroko.
Now, there are a lot of Risa fans out there.
But there’s also Misa…
I’m not sure what she means by Japanese Ammo.
Maybe, you get Japanese ammo that you can shoot! Either way, Misa’s a bilingual Japanese girl that does her lessons in Japanese and English. Or, they’ll include English subtitles. You will learn a lot of Japanese grammar with her – which is good – grammar’s hard to learn alone.
Best of all, you can train your listening skills by listening to her.
But, who do you think is cuter? Misa or Risa?
Yuta does have SOME learning videos but he mostly does street interviews. Yes, in Japanese. Why is this great? Because this is real life, Japanese conversation. The kind you want to learn! Not useless hippie anime slang. And of course, the videos have English subtitles.
Conclusion? Great way to expose yourself to Japanese and listen to Japanese people’s opinions!
Here’s Nobita. Similar to Yuta and another interesting personality to watch. While he has some Japanese learning videos, he also does street interviews and controversial topics.
And like Yuta (I think they’re friends), he always asks fun and hard hitting questions.
Now, most channels just explain grammar points. Okay, that’s nice. Lessons are good. But Yuta & Nobita provide REAL conversation and that’s why they’re on this Learn Japanese YouTube Channels article.
This is one of the more formal Japanese YouTube channels. And it should be! Japan Society NYC is an organization that strengthens the bond and relationship between America and Japan. And as such, you get plenty of Japanese Learning Videos and Culture videos on this YouTube channel.
Their most famous lessons are the “Waku Waku” ones.
Yuu is an actress and a Japanese teacher in Los Angeles. On YouTube, she uploads beginner level lessons quite often. And her stuff is quite long! Anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes – now I know you have low attention, but that’s a good thing.
Why? 30 minutes of listening to Japanese will only better your skills and boost your motivation.
I like this Chika. Her channel is geared towards Japanese people that are learning English. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn Japanese here. She explains English phrases, grammar points, sayings in Japanese – and if there’s anything a learners should know, it’s – how to explain language. Because the videos are mostly Japanese and more challenging – take out notebook and dictionary for this. You do want to succeed, right?
Okay, this is one of those RARE channels that’s for superstars and top Japanese learners.
Bye beginners, get out!!
Nihongo no mori’s videos mostly focus on the N1, N2, N3 JLPT exams. And on top of that, most lessons are in Japanese with no subtitles.
Yes, this is what you should aspire to reach. This is what you should take out a pen, paper and dictionary for – and REPEAT lessons 20 times if you want success.
One Warning About YouTube
YouTube is, first and foremost, a social media site. YouTube makes BIG money from advertisements. What does that mean for you as person and a Japanese learner?
It means that they want you to sit on the site for hours. Why? To watch advertisements. That’s how they make money. How do they keep you there for hours?
By stealing your attention and preying on your curiosity. They distract you. They’re very good at it too; that’s why they make BIG money.
Do you know what you need to learn Japanese? Attention. Focus. Quiet study time. No distractions. The opposite of what YouTube offers. I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch stuff there. I’m just saying if you honestly want to learn Japanese and honestly care about your attention, your mind, your time, then you should reserve some quiet time with another Japanese learning resource.
So… here’s my question to you:
Do you know of any great Japanese YouTube channels? Let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll add them.
– the Main Junkie
P.S. Highly recommended for learners. If you REALLY want to learn Japanese, I suggest JapanesePod101. Why? You get 2,000+ fun audio/video lessons, tons of study tools, PDF eBooks, Apps and more. Sign up for free at JapanesePod101 (click here) and start learning!