Japanese Videos for Students: 12 Cute, Fun and Educational Resources
Learning Japanese can seem like a juggling act.
Between your textbook study, listening practice and coursework, it can seem hard to keep all those balls in the air.
But there’s one tool to learn Japanese that can help reinforce multiple skills without making everything you’ve worked for come crashing down around you: Japanese videos for students.
Watching Japanese videos made specifically for students can be a wonderful way to work on multiple skills without feeling too intimidated.
Here’s all you need to know to get started learning with these videos today!
How to Find the Best Japanese Videos for Students
Know what you want to work on.
Japanese videos for students cover a huge array of topics. If you have no clue what you want to work on, you probably won’t have any idea where to start. And if you don’t have any idea where to start, you might just avoid doing it altogether.
Knowing what skills you want to improve can give you the direction you need to find the right Japanese videos for you.
For instance, if you’re just starting out, you might consider focusing on course-like videos that teach introductory skills. If you’ve studied Japanese for a while, on the other hand, you might want to work on grammar, vocabulary or skills that you consider your weak points.
Pay attention to language level.
There’s video content out there for pretty much every level of Japanese student, from the complete beginner to the expert-level speaker. While this variety of content makes video learning versatile and adaptable to all levels, it can also present some problems.
If you choose a video that’s too advanced for you, you might be in over your head. On the other hand, if the video you pick is too easy, you might not learn as much or as rapidly as you could.
By paying careful attention to level, you’ll have a better chance to find videos that are perfect for you.
Look for videos you enjoy.
Learning Japanese shouldn’t feel like a chore! There are plenty of enjoyable videos out there, so try to find some that you actually like using.
This’ll make it easier for you to stay focused, but it’ll also make you more inclined to keep watching and rewatching your favorite videos, which can help reinforce your learning.
How to Learn with Japanese Videos for Students
Target specific skills.
Is your grammar out of whack? No problem. Don’t have the vocabulary you need? Don’t even worry about it.
Using Japanese videos for students is a terrific way to target specific skills.
You can work on your grammar and vocabulary skills with videos, and you can even find videos to help you improve your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
Plus, focusing on specific skills will give you a clear purpose and keep your studying targeted to the areas in which you need the most improvement.
When you find a good video, look for other videos from that provider.
Have you ever heard of a one-hit wonder? Well, they’re really rare when it comes to good Japanese learning videos providers.
That’s because most resources don’t just put out one good video—they put out many. So if you find a video you like, try to find other videos from that same provider. There’s a strong chance you’ll like those videos, too, giving you even more valuable tools to learn Japanese.
Give each video your full attention.
When you watch videos for fun, you probably do other things while you watch, like eating, chatting or even working. While this might seem like a great way to multitask, it’s not so great when watching videos for the purpose of studying.
To get the most out of Japanese videos for students, you’re better off giving each video your full attention. Like other learning content, these videos are meant to be valuable study tools, and effective studying requires your full attention.
Now, don’t get us wrong—it’s fine to play videos in the background when you’re doing other things to create an immersive environment. Just don’t expect to see progress as rapidly as you would if you gave the videos your full attention.
Engage with the videos.
Videos can offer terrific instructional material, listening content and even reading practice. However, to practice your speaking and writing skills with videos, you’ll need to get creative. To get more out of Japanese videos for students, simply engage with each video as much as possible.
One way to do so is to speak to the video. You might repeat what they said or summarize the video out loud to work in some speaking practice.
To get writing practice, you can also take notes in Japanese. Not only can this help reinforce your writing skills, it can also serve as valuable reference material if you ever want to look up something you learned from a video without having to rewatch the whole video.
Watch videos often.
If you don’t study Japanese, you might backslide and lose valuable skills you worked so hard to gain. Watching Japanese videos for students more often can help prevent backsliding and keep you traveling on a straight path on your road to fluency.
Japanese Videos for Students of All Levels (and Ages)
Memrise isn’t just a video resource for Japanese students. In fact, it’s actually better known as a language learning app for iOS and Android devices.
The app offers plenty of wonderful features that can be super useful for Japanese students. These features include interactive learning games, a pronunciation guide and an offline mode that lets you keep learning even if you don’t have internet access.
So why does it deserve a spot on a list for resources to learn Japanese with videos?
Well, that’s because videos with native speakers are integrated throughout the Memrise app. The program advertises over 30,000 clips featuring native speakers, so you can count on finding some useful videos here.
These clips can give you greater insight into authentic pronunciation while helping hone your listening skills.
FluentU is a resource made for adult learners as the target audience, but the huge variety of videos available on the platform makes it ideal for any level of learner.
It naturally and gradually eases you into learning Japanese language and culture. You’ll learn real Japanese as it’s spoken in real life.
Just take a look at the wide variety of authentic video content available in the program. Here’s a small sample:
You’ll discover tons of new Japanese vocabulary through these great clips.
Don’t worry about your skill level being an issue when it comes to understanding the language. FluentU makes native Japanese videos approachable through interactive transcripts.
Tap on any word to look it up instantly.
You’ll see definitions, in-context usage examples and helpful illustrations. Simply tap “add” to send interesting vocabulary words to your personal vocab list for later review.
FluentU even uses a learning program which adapts to your specific needs to turn every video into a language learning lesson and get you to actively practice your newly-learned language skills.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)
Can’t get enough Japanese learning content? JapanesePod101 has you covered. This learning program offers nearly 3,000 audio and video lessons!
Lessons are intended to be both fun and culturally relevant to provide you with useful and enjoyable content. The site offers lessons for beginning through advanced students, so there’s something for virtually any learner, whether you’re looking to learn kanji or preparing for the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).
If you want to try out some of what JapanesePod101 has to offer without setting up an account, you can check out its YouTube channel. The channel offers hundreds of great videos that can provide hour after hour of learning material.
For instance, Japanese students might enjoy “Cat Cafe in Japan: Adventure with Risa,” which offers a fun look into a cat cafe while providing some light Japanese listening practice.
Since the video (and other videos like it) is captioned in English and subtitles are available in Japanese, students have plenty of language support when watching.
DinoLingo is technically designed for kids, but there’s no good reason a fun-loving adult can’t also use the site to learn Japanese.
The website offers games, books, worksheets, flashcards and, of course, videos! These animated videos feature fun stories and songs to help you remember vocabulary and grammar rules.
If you want a free preview of what DinoLingo offers, check out the YouTube channel. For instance, beginning students might enjoy “The Three Bears—Japanese stories for kids,” which tells the familiar tale in Japanese.
Hirogaru is a website from The Japan Foundation. Its main aim is to provide materials to teach people about Japan and the Japanese language, so it should come as no surprise that it’s chock-full of great Japanese videos for students and other learning material.
The site offers both interesting articles and educational videos. Videos cover culture, everyday life and more.
For instance, the Hirogaru video of a market can give you an up-close look at a Japanese supermarket. While the audio is in Japanese, dual-language subtitles in English and Japanese make the video approachable for any level of student.
Erin’s Challenge is yet another great website from The Japan Foundation, but this one targets language learners more directly.
The site offers 25 video lessons for beginning Japanese students. Each video covers a specific scenario and provides relevant vocabulary. For instance, students who are just starting out can watch “Lesson 1: First-meeting Greetings” to learn common greetings.
Additional resources on the site, like vocabulary lists, quizzes and activities, can further reinforce your learning.
Online Japanese Beginner Course
If you prefer more structure in your life, a video course like this one from Udemy might be right up your alley.
The course features 12 lessons with over five hours of on-demand video instruction. The course is intended for complete beginners, so it can provide a strong foundation for additional study. It covers basic topics, like hiragana, katakana, pronunciation and common greetings.
And this is just one of the many courses available on Udemy, so check it out for even more video-based courses, focused language-learning content and much more (and all at reasonable prices).
Japanese From Zero!
Japanese From Zero! is a collection of books and online courses with a lot to offer.
The program features over 15,000 native examples, 10 games and other great learning material to help students master Japanese skills, including phonetics, counting, greetings and more. Since there are five courses, there’s material appropriate for beginning through intermediate learners.
And let’s not forget the videos: Japanese From Zero! offers over 500 Japanese learning videos that are great for students.
If you want to test out some of the video content without registering for the website, just check out the YouTube channel. You can watch great options like “Creating Simple Japanese Sentences—Learn Japanese in 5 minutes! #23.”
If you’re a beginner to Japanese and have a strong respect for all things adorable, then PuniPuniJapan is a great website to take your Japanese skills to the next level.
PuniPuniJapan offers tips, resources and, of course, great learning videos. In fact, the website offers three distinct varieties of learning videos: phrase lessons, vocabulary lessons and grammar lessons.
And all of the videos are super fun, featuring cute animated aliens on a learning journey.
If you prefer, you can also watch the YouTube channel, which offers options like “Japanese Vocabulary—Family Members in Japanese.”
Japanese Ammo with Misa
Japanese Ammo with Misa is a YouTube channel dedicated to helping you learn Japanese for free.
Videos are appropriate for beginning through intermediates students and cover vocabulary, slang, listening practice and more.
For instance, Japanese students might enjoy “WHO AM I? | Japanese Vocabulary Game (Improve Your Listening Skills!),” which offers a fun and engaging way to practice your listening skills.
CHOP #Learn Japanese while laughing
Do you get bored easily? Would you rather laugh your way to learning Japanese? CHOP might be the YouTube channel you’ve been looking for.
CHOP aims to help students learn Japanese through funny videos. The videos are short and entertaining, so they’re terrific tools for learners who are easily distracted or just want a fun break that still helps them learn.
Videos use a wide variety of vocabulary, so they’re appropriate for beginning through advanced students. However, some videos feature adult themes, so you might not like this channel if you’re offended by adult and off-color humor.
Videos contain both Japanese and English, so they’re easy for any level of student to follow. For instance, for a quick laugh, any level of Japanese student might enjoy “Japanese Lesson #151: Makeup 化粧.”
While Japanese isn’t the main focus of Easy Languages, it still offers great content for Japanese students!
Easy Languages provides videos that feature native speakers of a variety of languages, and that includes Japanese. Videos have dual-language subtitles in both English and Japanese, making them approachable for beginning through advanced students.
Plus, you get to witness real people using their native language.
Japanese students can dive into the “Easy Japanese” playlist, which features 19 videos that cover topics like slang, love, sushi and more.
With these terrific resources for Japanese videos for students, your learning juggling act won’t seem quite so precarious!