In this blog, we are going to take a look at JapanesePod101 Review 2021.
When I started on my journey of learning the Japanese language and mastering it gradually, resources such as textbooks and audio courses on CD were the only realistic way to progress with this challenging language.
I am glad that there are now a lot more choices when it comes to learning Japanese online. The problem that students of Japanese now face is one of quality rather than quantity. So which solutions give you the best bang for your buck?
In my humble opinion, JapanesePod101 is one of the best online courses out there for people who are serious about making significant progress in the language. As promised, I’ve finally got around to writing a complete JapanesePod101 Review, so here it goes!
JapanesePod101 Review 2021 – Is It Really Good Enough?
Best Buy JapanesePod101 Promo Codes 2021
Use Our Promo Code To Get 30% Off
We have a special deal going with JapanesePod101. If you sign up through our link, you’ll get 30% Off the regular prices. At this price, I can wholeheartedly recommend getting a membership.
Here’s the link:
We’re not sure how long this one will last, so take advantage while you can!
The Secret Lifetime Membership Option (Up To 77% Off!)
For those that don’t like monthly payments, JapanesePod101 has a special secret package designed for those who want to make learning Japanese and other languages a lifetime pursuit.
They don’t like to advertise it, but for a one-time payment of $599, you can purchase lifetime access to the ever-expanding JapanesePod101 content of materials at the Premium level. That means if you use the program for 5 years, you’ll be saving 60% off the regular price.
There are other deals too: an additional 2 languages for $999 and even the option to purchase the entire Language Pod curriculum spanning 34 languages and hundreds of thousands of lessons, all at a premium membership level.
This deal might be a head-scratcher for some. I mean: who needs access to learn 34 languages? That said, there are people this might appeal to.
For example, if you are an avid world traveler and want to learn a bit of the language from every new country you visit, you could have one purchase take care of all of your language-needs forever.
Why Learn Japanese In The First Place?
Learning a new language is one of the most rewarding skills a person can acquire in his lifetime. It enriches the soul, unlocks new perspectives, and helps understand a different culture.
It even deepens your understanding of your language and culture as you are bound to compare and contemplate. Research has been done by universities around the world about the benefit that learning languages bring, and the results are immensely positive.
A variety of University studies have even gone as far as to suggest that learning new languages increases cognitive abilities in many other areas. A whole new world awaits for anybody looking to expand their horizons with new language skills.
Over 128 million people in Japan speak Japanese, and the Japanese diaspora spread all over the world. It’s a language that can be extremely valuable in business. How will you decode the script if you’re trying to understand your favorite anime or Japanese drama?
The problem is: Japanese is also one of the most difficult amongst the Asian languages to master. It has a reputation for being very challenging amongst first-time language learners and polyglots alike.
JapanesePod101 Review Summary
JapanesePod101 uses a combination of video and audio lessons to teach Japanese. The course provides supplementary written materials that go into more detail for each lesson.
This audio + video + written immersive technique has a proven track record of success for students of many languages, and that’s why it’s used by JapanesePod.
What We Like Most About JapanesePod101:
Quantity and Quality of the Content
When it comes to learning a new language, two things are of great importance:
- QUANTITY – That is, listening to and reading a LOT of content.
- QUALITY – Choosing content that is interesting, engaging, and challenging but still suitable for your current level of knowledge.
So how does JapanesePod101 shape up based on quantity and quality? Well, an incredible amount of content is on offer. At the time of writing, 4593 video & audio lessons are enlisted in the JapanesePod101 membership.
Pretty incredible, as the staff continues to add high-quality content regularly. The breakdown by learner level was as follows:
- Absolute Beginner: 1,456 video & audio Lessons and 64 assignments spread over 54 modules
- Beginner: 772 video & audio lessons and 77 assignments spread over 41 modules
- Intermediate: 933 video & audio lessons and 53 assignments spread over 29 modules
- Advanced: 261 video & audio lessons and zero assignments spread over 17 modules
- Bonus: 1171 video & audio lessons and zero assignments spread over 10 modules
That’s tens of thousands of hours of content which, if tackled systematically and mastered, would provide a solid base of Japanese proficiency. So it’s double thumbs up on the quantity front.
How about quality? The lessons are professionally recorded and engaging. That is certainly above any average Japanese audio course. There was a lot of love and effort put into the content.
Gradually Phasing Out English
I do like how English is used for the early lessons, but then gradually lessened and then later removed entirely. This is a nice way to wean you off English over time until you’re using Japanese.
Extremely Thorough Lesson Materials
Another cool aspect of the JapanesePod101 library is the level of detail they have put into the formats and resources provided. With each lesson, you get:
- The complete lesson (audio or video)
- Line-by-line transcript
- The Japanese dialogue only (No English)
- Lesson notes
- Kanji close-up
- Lesson checklists
In short, the resources provided are very thorough. With so many incomplete courses out there, it’s nice to see a provider that cares about its audience and covers all the possible bases.
Useful Extra Tools
To aid you in mastering Japanese vocabulary, various useful features such as flashcards, common wordlists, and even a Japanese dictionary are included among others. These are all very helpful and provide a good way of reviewing what you’ve learned in the lessons.
What We Didn’t Like About JapanesePod101:
Assuming that you steadily learn the content and put in the necessary time, JapanesePod will surely give you a solid foundation. Period. However, one language course can never be 100% exhaustive.
As I’ve written before, you should always use multiple resources to make progress in any language. Having said that, here are some of the things that you won’t find included in this course:
Lack of Speaking Practice
JapanesePod101 is great for building up your passive vocabulary and getting used to hearing the language spoken naturally. What it won’t give you is improved speaking proficiency. At least not immediately.
For that, you need to speak the language with friends or, better, a private tutor. JapanesePod doesn’t provide this with the Basic or Premium subscriptions, but the PremiumPlus membership does include 1-1 teaching time.
I believe that learning to speak Japanese doesn’t need to be rushed. This goes for double if you’re a beginner-intermediate learner and don’t live in Japan yet.
Focus on building up your passive knowledge first, which will give you a wider vocabulary and overall grasp of the language.
Once you understand a fair amount of the dialogues, you can upgrade your membership or jump online and hire a private tutor to get some practice hours in.
But only when you are ready. Far too many people go too quickly, perhaps feeling obligated to start speaking immediately.
The Kanji Basics
Although JapanesePod provides extremely thorough lesson notes and introduces new kanji systematically, you’ll still need a grounding in the kanji to get the basics down before these notes are useful.
There are several ways to achieve this but studying on your own will produce faster results than any offline Japanese class.
What Are The Lessons Like?
The audio-only lessons are informative, engaging, and are presented with an easy to use media player with pause & play functions, and other tools to maximize the value of each lesson.
The video lessons are well-produced with nice graphics. The speakers are professional and concise in their dictation.
Sometimes watching videos or listening to audio files doesn’t give someone all the tools they need to learn. Many people (like myself) need to read and study written material to best commit it to long term memory. Every lesson can be downloaded as an easy-to-read PDF.
JapanesePod101’s user interface allows the user to create many different types of flashcard decks and customize based on your preferences.
The mobile app acts as a mirror-image of the browser-based application, providing all of the same content. Having it all accessible from your mobile device is a huge selling point as it means you can practice lessons and review flashcards anywhere.
JLPT Practice Tests
One great addition is the JLPT practice tests, so you can test your knowledge before the actual exam. Our only complaint is that they are only for N4 and N5.
JapanesePod101 vs Competitors
When it comes to learning Japanese, there seems to be no shortage of content out there in the world to help you achieve this challenging feat.
Whether you are a casual learner seeking to expand your horizons, a businessperson with connections in Japan, or an avid language expert, there are lots of options out there. How does JapanesePod101 stack up against its competitors?
JapanesePod101 Vs Rocket Japanese
- Rocket Languages is a language learning company that has made it their mission to use technology to its fullest extent to help people learn languages.
- Their Japanese language program is very immersive and is offered at a competitive price as compared to that of JapanesePod101.
- Their key selling point is that their content is offered at one price for life (They also offer a tiered membership level similar to JapanesePod101).
- The structure of the lessons is also similar to JapanesePod101 in that there is a heavy emphasis placed on audio content. Read our Full Review of Rocket Japanese here.
JapanesePod101 Vs FluentU
- FluentU is a language immersion company that has placed a big emphasis on video content to engage learners and teach 12 different languages. Their approach is unique in that they take videos from Youtube and add interactive captions.
- The concept is unique and interesting but one of the main complaints about this platform is that they lack content, and some of the content is from advertising/commercials.
- In a world where we are constantly inundated with advertising, the last thing we need is commercials in our language learning program. Read our full review of FluentU.
JapanesePod101 Vs Duolingo
- Duolingo is great because it’s free! While they do offer a paid version that adds a few features and removes advertising from the site, the free version is great as it is.
- From short lessons that focus on teaching Japanese from the ground-up to gamifying your language learning effort to have you collect virtual currency, Duolingo is a fun and interactive way to learn Japanese at your own pace.
- If you’re serious about learning Japanese, you might want to look elsewhere and use Duolingo as a sort of secondary service to reinforce the lessons learned in a more comprehensive program. Read our in-depth review of Duolingo Japanese.
How Much Does It Cost? Is It Worth The Money?
JapanesePod101 offers three levels of membership at different price points to help accommodate people of varying budgets. Anyone looking to sign up for a membership with JapanesePod101 should consider their budget and how serious they are about learning Japanese.
The three tiers are branded as Basic, Premium, and Premium Plus and the price points run at $6, $10, & $23 respectively.
The basic membership offers the bare minimum of access to the site’s extensive list of features, while the Premium Plus membership offers everything you would ever need to have to learn Japanese.
The $10 version offers a healthy medium of value and affordability and would be our suggestion for anybody serious about learning Japanese.
JapanesePod101 Basic vs Premium vs Premium Plus: What’s the Difference?
The three tiers of membership are curated towards the interest and seriousness one has in learning Japanese. While the Basic Plan for $6 includes access to the thousands of lessons and their corresponding notes, plenty more content and features are under ‘lockdown’ for premium memberships only.
The Premium membership, which starts at $10 per month, includes a wealth of features including, but certainly not limited to, HD video lessons, 1900 more core words and phrases, word banks, vocabulary slideshows, voice recording tools, and interactive lesson quizzes.
There is also a Premium Plus membership, and for $23 a month, you can have a teacher assigned to you from JapanesePod101 that will custom tailor you a lesson plan and give you ongoing professional assessment, assignments, and curriculum for as long as you pay the monthly recurring fee.
If you’re serious about learning Japanese, the PremiumPlus membership is for you.
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FAQ’s | JapanesePod101 Review 2021
👍 Can I still learn after my 7-day trial ends?
yes, you can still learn with us! There are a ton of ways to learn for free at JapanesePod101. When you sign up, you're given a free 7-day trial to experience Premium access to JapanesePod101. When your trial ends, your access to our Premium subscription features ends but you stay on as a Free member, or what we call a Free Lifetime Account and have access to all of our free learning tools.
🤘 How can I get a refund?
You can sign up for a free account at www.japanesepod101.com! You will have a free, lifetime account and a 7 Day Free Trial of Premium access. We'll send a confirmation email containing your username and password to the address you signed up with.
👉 How to change the password of my account?
Once signed in, click on the Account button in the top right corner. You can also click on My Account in the Quicklinks menu on your Dashboard. There, you will be able to update your password.
Conclusion | JapanesePod101 Review 2021: One of The Best Options For Self Study of Japanese
All said, JapanesePod101 is an excellent resource for learning Japanese, from beginners to advanced learners.
There are tons of lessons, that cover a wide range of useful vocabulary, topics, and cultural learning. Having said that, good intermediate and advanced learners may find that there’s not enough material at their level to be worthwhile.
The teachers are entertaining and fun, which makes it feel less like a classroom, and the language used is both authentic and natural.
The course creators are constantly creating new and interesting lessons that are useful if you live (or want to live) in Japan.
I certainly would have made even faster progress with my studies if I’d had this course back when I started learning Japanese!