Podcasts for Japanese language learnersPublished on January 22nd, 2011.
This is my first (and hopefully not the last) guest post here at yonasu (thanks for the opportunity!) Moreover, this is the first time I’m trying to post two related articles at the same time, one as a guest post, and one on the NihongoUp Japanese language & culture blog. I hope this experiment works well, and helps our readers discover more interesting blogs about Japan and Japanese.
On the NihongoUp Blog, I’ve posted an article on how to use discover, organize, and listen to podcasts on Windows Phone 7 devices. This, the sister article to that post, will focus on selecting the best content to put on your mobile device. Of course, these podcasts aren’t limited to just WP7 devices, and you can also subscribe to them with Miro, iTunes, or download directly on their websites.
Although the whole ‘product’ feels quite polished, this podcast leaves a lot to be desired. Why did I use the word product? The lessons are stilted and the non-native’s accent is frankly terrible. The language that you learn in this podcasts is unnatural to say the least, there are only ten episodes, and Radio Lingua Network tries to sell a premium edition of the very same ten lessons with bonus content like lesson guides and quizzes for whopping £10. My advice is to save the money for a month of premium NihongoUp or Japancast and probably avoid this altogether.
Although a relative newcomer, this series already reached the number one position among Japanese video podcasts on iTunes, and for a reason. It is very well presented, the hosts are great, fun and personal, and the lessons are getting better and better with every episode. Each video starts with interesting news from Japan, and then moves onto truly interesting, natural, and useful Japanese phrases and vocabulary. If you can afford it, certainly consider making a donation to get access to some additional lesson content…
You’ve probably heard about JapanesePod101 already, but if you haven’t, here’s the lowdown. This is quite possibly the most popular Japanese podcast, and it certainly has a lot of value. There are literally thousands of audio and video lessons with many different professional-grade hosts and well researched content. I often find them too commercial in nature, and somewhat impersonal, but definitely do check them out to form your own opinion – and probably skip the tedious intro every time!
If you’re not a fan of video, this mostly audio-only podcast is something you should definitely check out. Lots of language lessons, cultural episodes, interviews, and all kinds of other Japanese and Japan-related content. The lessons aren’t really oriented at beginner learners, and so it’s probably better to wait until you learn at least some basic Japanese, but they become a really useful asset at the time when you decide to dive into some more advanced, uncommon, and colloquial Japanese.
This is one of the best podcasts for intermedia-advanced Japanese learners. All episodes are presented by a native Japanese Osaka-ben speaker, at natural speed, using natural colloquial Japanese. Also, unlike any of the other podcasts discussed in this post, the transcripts of all episodes are freely available on the website, with expressions unique to Osaka-ben clearly indicated and given standard Japanese alternatives in parenthesis.
I hope you liked my post, and found some new interesting podcasts to help you spice-up your spoken Japanese and bolster your aural comprehension. If you know any other cool Japanese podcasts you’d like to share, or if you’d like to read any more guest posts of mine here, please let me know in the comments.