For native English speakers Japanese is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn. Even though Japan is the only country which has Japanese as an official language it can still claim about 125 million native speakers, mostly in Japan but also with sizeable numbers in places like Hawaii and Brazil. Due to the geographical proximity to Korea and China, Japanese has some influences from both Chinese and Korean. Learners of Japanese will have to learn multiple writing systems and honorifics but will not have to deal with grammatical gender and articles. Most non-heritage speakers tend to learn Japanese because of their interest in the culture of Japan, although considering the economic prominence of Japan it is also a great language to learn for business.

Online Resources

FSI Japanese is a course by the Foreign Service Institute

Learn Hiragana from Tofugu is a nice page for learning Hiragana

Easy Japanese is a gem of a website that has almost 50 Japanese lessons, information on Hiragana and Katakana, vocabulary lists, and more.

Learn Japanese contains a lot of information on learning Japanese

Learn Japanese is a YouTube channel which has a ton of videos on learning Japanese.

Online News

Sankei Shimbun

BBC Japanese

Asahi Shimbun

Yomiuri Shimbun

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Where Can I Study It?

Middlebury Language School provides immersion programs for Japanese

University of Hawaii - Manoa offers a BA in Japanese

California State University - Los Angeles offers a BA in Japanese

New York University offers a BA in East Asian Studies - Japanese

University of North Carolina offers a BA in Asian Studies - Japanese

University of Illinois offer a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures - Japanese

Famous Speakers

Emperor of Japan before, during, and after WWII.

Haruki Murakami
Famous for writing Norwegian Wood.

Ken Watanabe
Watanabe has appeared in Letters from Iwo Jima, The Last Samurai, Inception, and Batman Begins.

Kenzaburo Oe
Won the 1994 Nobel Prize in Literature

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