There are a lot of free resources on the internet for learning Japanese, whether you just want to know a few basic words and phrases or if you want to study the language in depth.
http://mylanguages.org/learn_japanese.php – Learn Japanese grammar and vocabulary with pictures and audio files, kind of like a beginner’s dictionary organized by subject. I like being able to see the words and hear them spoken at the same time; plus the images help to reinforce the concept in your mind and make it fun for kids to learn, too.
http://survivalphrases.com – SurvivalPhrases.com has audio lessons and a set of really useful printouts for 20 different languages including Japanese. Learn essential phrases, cultural insights, and tips that you won’t find in a traditional phrasebook. Free instant access to the first ten lessons; pay a reasonable lifetime membership fee and get even more.
www.coscom.co.jp – Learn Japanese words, phrases, conversation, Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Includes basic reference materials on Japanese holidays, festivals, heritage sites, tourist spots, geography, etc. Plus Japanese names, Japanese fonts, and how to type in Japanese.
http://hobby_elec.piclist.com/e_japanese.htm – Japanese classroom with a basic outline of the language, pronunciation, Japanese characters, and what is learned at each elementary grade level.
http://www.freejapaneselessons.com – Japanese alphabet including Hiragana and Katakana as well as Kanji, Japanese vocabulary, Japanese grammar, Japanese sentence structure, and common Japanese phrases. Includes Japanese culture and names in Japanese. Lots of good information if you can ignore the Japanese dating ads. Note: This site also contains a special section of religious terms for LDS Missionaries – though many of these words (Bible, church, Jesus, God, etc.) can relate to any denomination.
http://www.learn-japanese.info – This site dedicated to teaching Japanese to English speakers covers sentence structure and vocabulary, grammar, writing, speaking/listening, expressions, reading, songs.
http://www.japanese-online.com – Since 1996, Japanese-Online.com has been providing free learning services to people who wish to study the Japanese language. The Beginner’s Lesson teaches Japanese language and culture through serialized lessons (with drills and answers included) that describe the everyday experiences of an American high school senior and his family in Tokyo. As Jason Miller and his parents meet new friends, neighbors, teachers, and business associates, more information will be provided to viewers about life, culture and Japan’s history. Free Member Registration is required to continue.
www.thejapanesepage.com/news.php – Learn Japanese while having fun. Grammar, kanji, idioms, culture, manga, The Bible, and a little bit of everything Japanese for free. Includes lessons from beginner to advanced. This site seems to have a large community of international members, so proceed with caution if you decide to use the chat or forum.
http://japanese-tutor.livejournal.com – The Japanese Tutor offers random lessons and exercises with answers.
http://www.GenkiJapan.net – Learn Japanese with songs and games! You can also sign up for a weekly “Learn Japanese FAQ” newsletter and receive a “Get Fluent in Japanese” eBook FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF97A549D60C2EBA4 – Waku Waku Japanese is a collection of fun, quick and easy Japanese language video lessons from the Japan Society.
https://www.erin.ne.jp/en – Free, fun, interactive Japanese learning website from the Japanese Foundation. Watch drama-style skits with a choice of subtitles, read mangas, learn key phrases and vocabulary, learn onomatopoeic expressions, and gain cultural understanding. All of the activities, exercises, and questions are designed to review and reinforce what you’ve learned. A free registration adds even more enjoyable activities and also lets you keep a record of your learning. This is the one I would choose for a full Japanese language curriculum.
http://www.gpb.org/irasshai/japanese-i – Georgia Public Broadcasting set new instructional standards with Irasshai, which was the nations’ number one Japanese language and culture distance learning course from 1996 through 2009. Now you too can learn Japanese using these online video lessons. Covers both Japanese I and II; includes checksheets that you can print out and complete while watching the lesson, or use to quiz yourself afterwards. This would be another good choice for a full Japanese language curriculum.
http://myjapanesetube.com/videolessons.html – Japanese video lessons that break down the words and phrases in an easy to learn manner.
Pronunciation Guides (with audio):
http://www.learn-japanese.info/pronunciation.html – Japanese pronunciation of vowels and consonants.
http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/language/index.html – Japanese Language Lessons for Kids.
http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/language/quickjapanese/index.html – Quick Japanese tells you how to say 20 easy and convenient phrases used in daily life.
http://japanese.about.com/od/japanesevocabulary/a/expression.htm – Useful Japanese expressions.
http://www.learn-hiragana-katakana.com/japanese-phrases – Listen to and learn Japanese phrases.
http://www2.tokai.or.jp/yuki/japanese_words_and_phrases.htm – Japanese words and phrases for all occasions and situations.
http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/japanese.php – A collection of useful phrases in Japanese.
http://ninomiya.net/kanji/words.html – List of Japanese words and Kanji characters.
http://www.drkazu.com/english-japanese-3.htm – 50 basic Japanese phonograms.
www.learn-hiragana-katakana.com – Online games for learning Japanese hiragana, katakana and kanji.
http://japanesetranslator.co.uk/dictionaries/your-name-in-japanese – Learn how to write and say your name in Japanese.