The Best Audiobooks for Learning Japanese

For native English speakers, learning Japanese can seem intimidating at first—but it doesn't have to be! Audiobooks make learning Japanese easily accessible and truly enjoyable.

Japanese is actually a fun and fascinating language to learn, and the more you learn about the language, the better you can understand and appreciate Japanese culture. Learning Japanese can open up a whole new world—all you have to do is get through that first hurdle of fearing a language that seems so different from your native language. From there, learning Japanese is a joy!

What's the best way to approach learning Japanese? Audiobooks, of course! Listening to learn Japanese can be a very effective way to immerse yourself in a new language. Another bonus: audiobooks are super convenient. No matter how busy you are on any given day, it's easy to find the time to throw on a Japanese audiobook and just allow yourself to be immersed in the language and its cadence. While you might not pick up every single nuance of the pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, consistent listening will help you pick up the information faster than if you were just intermittently reading a textbook or attending a weekly class. And when you make listening to Japanese audiobooks an everyday habit, you'll continually become more comfortable with and fluent in the language.  

Because everyone has a different way of learning, there are several styles of Japanese language lessons included on this list. And whether you’re just beginning to learn Japanese or you’re an advanced speaker seeking to expand your vocabulary, there’s an audiobook on this list that will suit your learning level and needs.

 

The Best Japanese Language Audiobooks for Beginners

Learn Japanese for Beginners Easily & in Your Car! Complete Vocabulary Edition!

If you're looking for a way to immerse yourself in the Japanese language, then try Learn Japanese for Beginners Easily & In Your Car! Specifically designed for listening and learning while multitasking, this audiobook contains more than 1,500 common Japanese vocabulary words that will be helpful for speaking Japanese in everyday life. The narrator pronounces each word slowly and multiple times, so you can really focus on your pronunciation.

Learn Japanese with Paul Noble for Beginners - Complete Course

With this audiobook, you can consider Paul Noble to be your personal language coach. Learn Japanese with Paul Noble takes all the intimidating factors out of learning an unfamiliar language by teaching the language in familiar situations. In his signature laidback, conversational style, Noble guides you through the basics of Japanese with 15 everyday scenarios. Listen to Paul Noble, and you'll soon be speaking Japanese like a native speaker.

Learn Japanese - Level 1: Introduction to Japanese, Volume 1: Lessons 1-25

Learn Japanese: Introduction is your bootcamp for getting the basics of the language down. In only four hours of audiobook material, you'll learn practical, real-life conversations that will teach you a range of vocabulary, grammar, and phrases to help you confidently navigate everyday Japanese speaking. Additionally, this audiobook includes lessons about Japan’s society and culture, making for a well-rounded and engaging educational experience.

Michel Thomas Beginner Japanese, Lesson 1

Gifted linguist and teacher Michel Thomas has devoted 25 years to perfecting his system of learning languages, and Michel Thomas Beginner Japanese teaches you how to apply his proven method. With Thomas's unconventional approach, you'll learn all the components of the Japanese language so that you can break it down and begin constructing your own sentences right from the start. This audiobook repeats phrases and words using multiple narrators to get you comfortable with hearing how spoken Japanese sounds in different voices.

Learn Japanese for Beginners Easily & in Your Car! Complete Vocabulary Edition!

If you're looking for a way to immerse yourself in the Japanese language, then try Learn Japanese for Beginners Easily & In Your Car! Specifically designed for listening and learning while multitasking, this audiobook contains more than 1,500 common Japanese vocabulary words that will be helpful for speaking Japanese in everyday life. The narrator pronounces each word slowly and multiple times, so you can really focus on your pronunciation.

Learn Japanese with Paul Noble for Beginners - Complete Course

With this audiobook, you can consider Paul Noble to be your personal language coach. Learn Japanese with Paul Noble takes all the intimidating factors out of learning an unfamiliar language by teaching the language in familiar situations. In his signature laidback, conversational style, Noble guides you through the basics of Japanese with 15 everyday scenarios. Listen to Paul Noble, and you'll soon be speaking Japanese like a native speaker.

Learn Japanese - Level 1: Introduction to Japanese, Volume 1: Lessons 1-25

Learn Japanese: Introduction is your bootcamp for getting the basics of the language down. In only four hours of audiobook material, you'll learn practical, real-life conversations that will teach you a range of vocabulary, grammar, and phrases to help you confidently navigate everyday Japanese speaking. Additionally, this audiobook includes lessons about Japan’s society and culture, making for a well-rounded and engaging educational experience.

Michel Thomas Beginner Japanese, Lesson 1

Gifted linguist and teacher Michel Thomas has devoted 25 years to perfecting his system of learning languages, and Michel Thomas Beginner Japanese teaches you how to apply his proven method. With Thomas's unconventional approach, you'll learn all the components of the Japanese language so that you can break it down and begin constructing your own sentences right from the start. This audiobook repeats phrases and words using multiple narrators to get you comfortable with hearing how spoken Japanese sounds in different voices.

 

The Best Japanese Language Audiobooks for Intermediate Learners

Japanese Grammar 101

Once you've got the basics of Japanese vocabulary down, it's time for the next big hurdle: Japanese grammar. For a lot of native English speakers, learning a whole new set of grammatical rules can feel almost impossible. Fear not! This audiobook breaks down Japanese grammar in a way that makes it much easier to learn. And if you thought grammar was boring, think again. Japanese Grammar 101 keeps the lessons lively and interesting, which will ultimately help you learn it all much faster.

Intermediate Japanese Short Stories

Listening to short stories can be an effective and fun way to pick up Japanese faster. Once you've mastered the basics of Japanese, test your skills and improve your vocabulary by listening to Intermediate Japanese Short Stories. This audiobook includes 10 compelling and fun stories based on real-life situations that will help you learn more about Japanese culture and the language. At the end, each story includes a summary and synopsis in both Japanese and English. Then, to really test your comprehension, you'll be asked questions about the story in Japanese.

Next Steps in Japanese with Paul Noble for Intermediate Learners

If you loved Paul Noble's laid-back and friendly teaching style in his beginner Japanese language audiobook, then you'll want to come back and keep learning from him. In Next Steps in Japanese with Paul Noble, you'll learn how to expand on your Japanese language skills. This audiobook features 12 lessons on grammar and verb tenses that will help you construct your own sentences in Japanese and speak the language with confidence.

Learn Japanese - Level 7: Intermediate Japanese, Volume 1: Lessons 1-83

Once you've made it through Levels 1-6 of Innovative Language Learning's Learn Japanese: Beginner, it's time to move onto Learn Japanese: Intermediate. This audiobook offers 83 15-minute lessons to help you break down the essentials of becoming a more fluent Japanese speaker. There's even a section that invites you to repeat after the narrator, so you can really perfect your pronunciation and learn to speak like a native Japanese speaker.

Hikoichi

Looking for even more engaging and educational Japanese stories to help you build your language comprehension? Be sure to check out Clay and Yumi Boutwell's Hikoichi: Learn Japanese with Stories. This audiobook includes four short stories for upper beginner and intermediate Japanese learners. The narrators go line-by-line through the text, breaking down the vocabulary so that you can learn how each sentence is composed and truly understand each section of the story.

Japanese Grammar 101

Once you've got the basics of Japanese vocabulary down, it's time for the next big hurdle: Japanese grammar. For a lot of native English speakers, learning a whole new set of grammatical rules can feel almost impossible. Fear not! This audiobook breaks down Japanese grammar in a way that makes it much easier to learn. And if you thought grammar was boring, think again. Japanese Grammar 101 keeps the lessons lively and interesting, which will ultimately help you learn it all much faster.

Intermediate Japanese Short Stories

Listening to short stories can be an effective and fun way to pick up Japanese faster. Once you've mastered the basics of Japanese, test your skills and improve your vocabulary by listening to Intermediate Japanese Short Stories. This audiobook includes 10 compelling and fun stories based on real-life situations that will help you learn more about Japanese culture and the language. At the end, each story includes a summary and synopsis in both Japanese and English. Then, to really test your comprehension, you'll be asked questions about the story in Japanese.

Next Steps in Japanese with Paul Noble for Intermediate Learners

If you loved Paul Noble's laid-back and friendly teaching style in his beginner Japanese language audiobook, then you'll want to come back and keep learning from him. In Next Steps in Japanese with Paul Noble, you'll learn how to expand on your Japanese language skills. This audiobook features 12 lessons on grammar and verb tenses that will help you construct your own sentences in Japanese and speak the language with confidence.

Learn Japanese - Level 7: Intermediate Japanese, Volume 1: Lessons 1-83

Once you've made it through Levels 1-6 of Innovative Language Learning's Learn Japanese: Beginner, it's time to move onto Learn Japanese: Intermediate. This audiobook offers 83 15-minute lessons to help you break down the essentials of becoming a more fluent Japanese speaker. There's even a section that invites you to repeat after the narrator, so you can really perfect your pronunciation and learn to speak like a native Japanese speaker.

Hikoichi

Looking for even more engaging and educational Japanese stories to help you build your language comprehension? Be sure to check out Clay and Yumi Boutwell's Hikoichi: Learn Japanese with Stories. This audiobook includes four short stories for upper beginner and intermediate Japanese learners. The narrators go line-by-line through the text, breaking down the vocabulary so that you can learn how each sentence is composed and truly understand each section of the story.

 

The Best Japanese Language Audiobooks for Advanced Learners

Learn Japanese - Level 9: Advanced Japanese, Volume 1: Lessons 1-25

Once you've made it through the beginner and intermediate levels, you're ready to continue your Japanese lessons with Innovative Language's audiobooks. Learn Japanese: Advanced starts at Level 9. This language lesson is narrated entirely in Japanese and takes you through Japanese culture, history, folklore, the arts, geography, and more. Then, a review track goes back through everything you've learned, explaining specific words in English so you can get the most out of your comprehension lessons.

2000 Most Common Japanese Words in Context: Get Fluent & Increase Your Japanese Vocabulary with 2000 Japanese Phrases

Know a lot of Japanese already but looking to round out your Japanese vocabulary? 2,000 Most Common Japanese Words in Context is for you. In this audiobook, you'll discover new words and phrases to help you become a fluent and confident Japanese speaker. Narrators Jason Sullivan and Rieah Masubuchi speak each word clearly, so you can easily pick up the pronunciations and immediately incorporate your expanded vocab into your conversations in Japanese.

Learn Japanese - Level 9: Advanced Japanese, Volume 1: Lessons 1-25

Once you've made it through the beginner and intermediate levels, you're ready to continue your Japanese lessons with Innovative Language's audiobooks. Learn Japanese: Advanced starts at Level 9. This language lesson is narrated entirely in Japanese and takes you through Japanese culture, history, folklore, the arts, geography, and more. Then, a review track goes back through everything you've learned, explaining specific words in English so you can get the most out of your comprehension lessons.

2000 Most Common Japanese Words in Context: Get Fluent & Increase Your Japanese Vocabulary with 2000 Japanese Phrases

Know a lot of Japanese already but looking to round out your Japanese vocabulary? 2,000 Most Common Japanese Words in Context is for you. In this audiobook, you'll discover new words and phrases to help you become a fluent and confident Japanese speaker. Narrators Jason Sullivan and Rieah Masubuchi speak each word clearly, so you can easily pick up the pronunciations and immediately incorporate your expanded vocab into your conversations in Japanese.

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