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Free Japanese Resources

There are so many resources that it is sometimes difficult to know which ones to use, and to identify which ones are good. Cactus has carefully assessed the wide range of free Japanese language resources. Below you can find a selection of our most recommended, useful and reliable Japanese language resources. These can be used as a helpful support to language learning whilst learning Japanese with Cactus.

Japanese Dictionaries

Jisho is a very popular and useful English-Japanese dictionary.

WordReference is a popular bilingual dictionary, and combines its own dictionary with the long-established Collins dictionary. WordReference also includes a useful forum where users can get help with Japanese language related questions.

Rikaichan (for Firefox) & Rikaikun (for Chrome)
Rikaichan is an Japanese-English dictionary extension for Firefox. Rikaikun is the Chrome version.

General resources

Japanese Online
Offers various lessons on the basics of Hiragana, Katakana and kanji, how to write and pronounce these characters, and basic vocabulary.


Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese
The Guide to Learning Japanese is a comprehensive grammar resource. It also offers advice on how to setup your computer for Japanese.

Japanese keyboard

Not only Lexilogos has a comprehensive list of language resources, it also offers a convenient tool to type in Japanese.


Memrise is a popular website and mobile app which enables you to memorise Japanese vocabulary. It is a great and fun way to learn new vocabulary in addition to your language course.

Renshuu uses the spaced repetition technique to help you develop your Japanese vocabulary.

Language Guide
Language Guide is a project helping Japanese language students to build their vocabulary using an image and sound dictionary.

Cram has a large list of flash cards to help you learn new Japanese words. It also has a mobile app, so you can memorise Japanese vocabulary anywhere anytime.

Quizlet is a fun and simple website and mobile app which will help you develop your Japanese vocabulary using flash cards.

Japanese Podcasts

Japanese Pod 101
Japanese Pod 101 offers Japanese podcasts for all levels. Podcasts are an excellent way to practice Japanese while on-the-go.

Learn Japanese Pod
Learn Japanese Pod is another useful Japanese podcast website.

News in Japanese

NHK is a Japanese news website. All kanjis on NHK have the furigana so it is easy to read and study with a dictionary. It is also a great way to be up-to-date with Japan news. In Japanese only.

Guides & Articles

Japanese Articles
Cactus has a great selection of articles and guides about learning Japanese. From Japanese alphabet to best Japanese learning books. Discover the best resources to help you learn Japanese with Cactus.

How to book with Cactus

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Frequently asked questions

What will I learn?

Our Course Outlines give an overview of the content and learning framework of Cactus courses. Includes themes, grammar and vocabulary you can typically expect to cover. These are intended as a guide only. Language teachers may at times adapt the course content to suit the specific level, aims and interests of the class.

How do I know what level I am?

Are you unsure where to start or progress to? Then take our level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.

Do I receive a qualification or certificate?

At the end of your course you receive a certificate of participation. You will be able to be download it from your MyCactus account. This confirms the language and level of course you have taken. Our course levels are based on two internationally recognised systems. You will have a universally accepted reference for your studies. (Important: Please note that you must complete the end of course questionnaire sent to you to be able to get your certificate! You will receive the course questionnaire by e-mail at the end of your course.)

Do I need a course book?

You will need a course book to attend your course. Course books are not included in the course fees. We recommend that you buy your own course book separately before your course starts. We will let you know which course book you will require and advise where you can purchase this. Please note that a course book often covers more than one level. So if you progress to the next course, you may not necessarily need to buy a new book. Again, we will advise you of this at the time. The course book is chosen by our teachers and academic team. This is based on which book is most suitable for the level of the class whilst offering the most communicative approach.

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