Close this search box.

Best 10 Books to Learn Japanese For Korean Natives

Many Korean speakers are interested in learning Japanese due to the rising popularity of Japanese media, entertainment, and culture. Fortunately, Korean and Japanese share significant grammatical similarities and vocabulary.

This gives Korean learners an advantage when studying the Japanese language. However, resources specifically tailored for Korean speakers learning Japanese can be limited.

The following 10 books are highly recommended for Korean natives looking to effectively learn Japanese:

1. できる韓国語 (Dekiru Kankokugo)

“できる韓国語” (Dekiru Kankokugo) is a popular series of textbooks tailored for Korean learners of Japanese. These textbooks offer a structured approach to learning Japanese, focusing on grammar, vocabulary, and communication skills.

Their curriculum is designed to align with the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) levels. The series covers beginner to intermediate levels.

The materials include explanations in Korean, making it easier for Korean speakers to grasp Japanese concepts.

This book provides a comprehensive and effective learning experience for Korean learners aiming to improve their Japanese language proficiency.

2. 重要韓国語文型100 (Jūyō Kankokugo Bunkeigohyaku)

“重要韓国語文型100” (Jūyō Kankokugo Bunkeigohyaku) is a practice-oriented book that directly translates common Korean grammar structures into their Japanese equivalents.

This book is designed specifically for Korean learners of Japanese, as it helps them leverage their existing knowledge of Korean grammar to accelerate the learning process.

By highlighting the similarities between the two languages, the book enables Korean speakers to develop a stronger foundation in Japanese grammar.

It is used as a supplementary resource alongside other Japanese textbooks.

3. 30-Day Mastery: Kanji & Adjectives And Adverbs

“30-Day Mastery: Kanji & Adjectives And Adverbs” is a language learning resource that focuses on improving proficiency in Japanese kanji characters, adjectives, and adverbs.

This resource offers short daily chapters of 300 words each, allowing learners to read one chapter a day for 30 days.

It includes furigana to aid in understanding complex kanji characters, hiragana transcriptions, and language concepts taught in context.

The book also provides quick reference guides, daily exercises for grammar practice, and bilingual word lists for easy vocabulary lookups.

4. Japanese Made Simple by Kenneth G. Henshall

“Japanese Made Simple” by Kenneth G. Henshall is a highly-rated workbook designed for beginners learning Japanese.

This book provides a comprehensive approach to mastering Japanese grammar, vocabulary, and kanji characters.

Kenneth G. Henshall’s expertise in Japanese language education is evident in the user-friendly format and clear explanations offered in the workbook.

Through structured lessons and integrated exercises, learners can develop essential language skills and progress towards fluency.

5. Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese

“Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese” is a widely-used textbook series for beginner-level Japanese language learners.

It is structured into two volumes, Genki I, and Genki II, covering beginner to intermediate-level topics. It offers a balanced approach to developing language skills, including grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

This book has engaging illustrations and recurring characters to enhance the learning experience.

Also, there are cultural notes to provide insights into Japanese society and daily life.

6. Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese

“Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese” is an innovative intermediate-level textbook that enhances Japanese language learning through multimedia materials. This resource covers a variety of topics, from Japanese geography to pop culture.

With a focus on developing the four language skills—reading, listening, writing, and speaking—this textbook offers a comprehensive learning experience.

By utilizing multimedia resources and an online support system, learners can immerse themselves in the Japanese language environment.

“Tobira” is a highly recommended tool for learners seeking to advance their Japanese proficiency effectively and engagingly.

7. Japanese from Zero! by George Trombley

“Japanese from Zero!” by George Trombley is a beginner-oriented series that takes an innovative approach to learning the Japanese language.

This series utilizes visual aids and easy-to-understand explanations to make the learning process more accessible for beginners.

The series covers essential elements like the hiragana writing system, vocabulary, grammar, and cultural insights, providing a comprehensive foundation.

With an integrated workbook and answer key, learners can actively practice and reinforce their understanding.

8. Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication

“Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication” is a self-study course and reference book. This resource presents 142 essential Japanese sentence patterns with English equivalents followed by Japanese translations.

The book is organized into twelve chapters based on communicative functions. Also, there are practice sections for each pattern and extensive charts for verb and adjective conjugation.

This book is a valuable tool for learners aiming to improve their Japanese communication skills efficiently.

9. Japanese Kanji and Kana

“Japanese Kanji and Kana” refer to the writing systems used in the Japanese language. Kanji are logographic characters adapted from Chinese script, while Kana consists of two syllabic scripts: Hiragana and Katakana.

Kanji characters represent words or meanings, with each character having a specific meaning and stroke order. Kana, on the other hand, represents syllables and is used for native Japanese words.

Hiragana is derived from more complex kanji characters and is widely used in contemporary Japanese writing. Katakana, similar to Hiragana, is used for foreign loanwords and emphasis.

Together, Kanji and Kana form the basis of written Japanese communication.

10. Nihongo So-Matome

The “Nihongo So-Matome” series is a comprehensive set of Japanese language learning workbooks designed to help students prepare for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

This series is structured by JLPT levels from N5 to N1, catering to learners of all proficiency levels.

It covers essential skills such as grammar, vocabulary, kanji, reading, and listening comprehension.

This series provides a structured study plan with daily lessons and practice exercises to reinforce learning.

Additional Resources To Learn Japanese

Other than these books, there are additional resources too. You can join online courses or find a language exchange partner. You can immerse yourself in Japanese media (TV shows, movies, music).

And for a more personalized experience, you can hire a private tutor. For Japanese tutoring – 일본어 과외, AmazingTalker stands out as a recommended platform. Their experienced tutors cater to individual learning needs effectively.


In summary, Korean speakers have a significant advantage when learning Japanese due to the shared grammar and vocabulary between the two languages.

The 10 textbooks and resources recommended in this article provide a structured and effective path for Korean learners to build a strong foundation in Japanese.

By utilizing these materials, which cater specifically to the needs of Korean speakers, learners can accelerate their progress and develop well-rounded Japanese language skills.

Related Posts