I’ve tried a long list of websites for learning Japanese. The tendency is usually either towards expensiveness or sparseness. And even those that I’ve seen which are expensive don’t seem to have all that much to offer. Even JapanesePod101.com, one of the sites I’ve heard recommended the most, doesn’t seem to offer much more than something that lightly compliments other language learning tools.
But thanks to Tofugu I’ve been able to hit a few gems. The biggest gem being iKnow.
iKnow is clearly a great resource and, better yet— it is free! Of course using iKnow alone won’t get you real fluency, but it is an excellent supplement to Japanese studies. iKnow is basically a vocabulary builder designed to hit most learning styles. There is a traditional flash card style system where you see and hear the word alone and used in a sentence. Then have to pick it out of a list and finally write it yourself. Then there is a dictation system which seems aimed more at listening skills and spelling than actual vocabulary building. And finally there is a game where you have to pick the meaning of a word out of a pair of options before a timer runs out. The content is massive and presented through an eye-pleasing design. From what I can tell each “course” is supposed take about a month. For Japanese there is enough content to keep a person very busy for a long while.
Since it is free you have nothing to lose by checking it out. So, if you are learning Japanese take a look. Now.