Gakuu is an online Japanese textbook by Michael of the Japan blog Gakuranman meant for intermediate to advanced students of Japanese. The site is broken up into lessons that teach Japanese using real-world examples, example dialogue, and audio clips. Topics covered range anywhere from slang to Japanese culture to food to video games.
- Lots of free content.
- Great for intermediate / advanced students, as it uses real Japanese and covers mostly higher level topics.
- Plenty of practical, real-world examples.
- Inexpensive pricing model ($6/month, $60/forever).
- Audio examples.
- Frequent updates.
- Not intended for classroom environments.
- Nonlinear lessons.
- Bad for beginners.
One of the best parts of Gakuu is that it uses tons of examples from real life, making its lessons more practical than older, more stuffy Japanese textbooks. Gakuu takes things like real-life Japanese literature, signs and advertisements and explains very simply what each part means. This focus on practical lessons really helpful because not only does it give you information that you can use in real life, but it helps you learn Japanese culture as well.
However, Gakuu doesn’t take you through the very basics, like learning hiragana, so new students of Japanese may want to begin elsewhere. Additionally, Gakuu might be challenging for some people because its lessons aren’t presented in any sort of linear fashion. The site is designed so that you can browse from one lesson to the next without any guidance, but for some people that lack of structure may present an issue.
In short, Gakuu is a fantastic, inexpensive Japanese textbook that will be great for any self-learner to invest in.
List of lessons on Gakuu.
A sample lesson from Gakuu.