I'm interested in knowing the name, the year, and the languages the first language learning website taught. If you can add how many users it had, that would definitely be going above and beyond, but I'd love to know that, too, as well as whether or not it charged money to use its services. Better yet, I'd love to know the name of the first free online language learning program and the name of the first premium or freemium online language learning platform/website (in addition to number of subscribers, pricing structure, number of languages, et cetera).

Thanks in advance for any knowledge, research, or time you give to answer this question.

1 Answer 1


The blogpost 6 Of The Oldest Japanese Language Learning & Culture Websites list some potential candidates.

  • Reiko-Chan’s Japanese for Anime Lovers was possibly launched in July 1998. The original website is no longer online, but there are a few (partial) copies elsewhere on the web. I don't think it charged money for the lessons.

  • YesJapan, now known as "Japanese from Zero" (assuming that the domain has not changed owner), may have gone online in November 1998. There is a review of the website from 2013 but I'm sure much of it is irrelevant to its original "business model" (if it had any in 1998).

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