SJA Free Japanese Programs

SJA offers FREE classes on First and Third Sundays in the Arlington Central Library. Learn more about them here.

Arlington Community Learning Classes

SJA members also teach Beginning and Intermediate Japanese classes through Arlington Community Learning courses. Read more here.

Other Local Classes

SJA can also help arrange language exchanges or private Japanese lessons. We encourage you to visit the Japan America Society of Washington DC’s website and Japan Foundation website for their language classes and cultural activities.

  • Japanese Plus is a free afterschool Japanese language, culture, and career exposure program for DC public high school students only. Website: Contact for information:  

Teens and children may especially enjoy Erin’s Challenge video lessons at or other lessons with animation.

Marugoto e-Learning Minato/Portal It’s free but it requires you to register and gives you a certificate for each module you complete. You can use it to learn to read Japanese and experience Japanese cultural arts.


  • Lingualift This blog describes 10 free on-line resources for learners of Japanese, from kanji to vocabulary to grammar to peer tutoring and editing.
  • Fluent in 3 Months This site focuses on helping learners be able to speak Japanese fluently in about 3 months through various on-line resources. This blog describes 10 free on-line resources for learners of Japanese, from kanji to vocabulary to grammar to peer tutoring and editing.
  • Fluent U This website provides details, including some pros and cons of 18 mostly free websites for Japanese language learners (some overlap with the two websites already mentioned).
  • WaniKani Community This is a wikisite created by and for Japanese language learners with an extensive list of links to resources by language skill and topic.


  • This free on-line dictionary was created by learners who love Japanese and generally gives a lot of useful and relevant examples when searching for a word or short phrase.
  • WWWJDIC: Online Japanese Dictionary Service This site hosted by Monash University in Australia was developed by corpus linguists who analyze frequency of language use.
  • Midori This is an English-Japanese dictionary app available only for iOS through the iStore for $9.99
  • IMIWA? This is a free multilingual dictionary app that works on iOS.

Study Tools

  • TOFUGU This webpage archives articles from the past few years that review many Japanese learning resources 
  • This website allows you to set up a free account to create your own quizzes in English or Japanese similar to how flash cards match words and definitions.
  • Anki Anki is an intelligent flash card app that tracks which words your most likely to forget over time based on past responses.
  • Bunpro is an online website that focuses on developing mastery of Japanese grammar by providing instant feedback on mistakes made while writing/typing Japanese.
  • Memrise is a language learning app based on videos of real native speakers’ conversations.
  • Wanikani is a website/app for rapidly improving kanji reading ability promising to help learners master 2000 kanji in one year. The first month is free.
  • Tofugu operates wanikani and has many other resources for helping people plan to learn Japanese from the beginning level up and by skill level—reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese asserts that traditional textbooks and approaches don’t develop Japanese grammatical knowledge in a way that makes sense to Japanese native speakers and proposes a different approach not based on the grammars of commonly learned European languages.
  • Meguro Language Center, which has been in operation since 1990, offers many free resources for preparing for the JLPT or different skill areas of Japanese.
  • Reading Tutor was developed by Tokyo International University faculty and students. If you paste an article in Japanese into it, it will analyze the level of vocabulary according to the JLPT and also prepare a word list with English definitions.