This is a follow up to a previous post, where I wrote about some Japanese language podcasts. I wanted to find some podcasts that were a little bit easier for those who might find some of the podcasts mentioned in my previous recommendation a bit too difficult to study with intensely.
These recommendations are almost entirely in Japanese, but have been produced by people who want to help others learn the language:
Nihongo con Teppei
Teppei speaks English and Spanish fluently and is a Japanese tutor on italki. His podcast is a conversational one in which he talks about aspects of his daily life and Japanese culture. Teppei almost always speaks in Japanese with the occasional English word. He speaks casually but will explain any certain words and phrases in simple Japanese.
Each episode is about 20 minutes long which I think is a good length – he releases about 2-3 episodes a week. I recommend the podcast for beginner learners who want something of a listening challenge or intermediate learners.
You can download the episodes from his website, or find the podcast on platforms like Spotify and iTunes.
JLPT stories is designed to improve your listening skills, with bitesize stories written and performed by native Japanese speakers. Each episode is targeted at a different level of the JLPT and is usually about 3 minutes long. There are a few different narrators and there is a good mix of male and female speakers (Japanese listening material tends to be female dominated in my experience).
The content varies but is usually about everyday topics. The speaking is at a natural speed, but for the lower levels of the JLPT there are more pauses in speech to allow learners to follow it more easily. It might still take you a couple of listens to catch everything though!
Download the episodes from the JLPT Stories website, or find the podcast on Stitcher, iTunes and Spotify. The website has a transcript with an English translation and explanation of some grammar points for all episodes. This gives you quite a few options in how you can use this resource to study, which I really like.
Let’s Learn Japanese from Small Talk
This is another conversational podcast run by two Japanese girls who are currently living in the UK. The aim of the podcast is to provide casual listening practice for Japanese learners. Each episode has a main theme (normally an aspect of Japanese culture) although sometimes they go off topic!
Like Teppei’s podcast, they speak as Japanese people actually speak but will clarify any tricky words and phrases, usually in Japanese and English. As a British person, it is interesting to hear about UK-Japan cultural differences from a Japanese perspective!
Again this is best suited to learners who are learning how to speak more casually in Japanese. There are lots of useful little phrases which I have picked up from this podcast and their twitter account.
I’ve linked to the podcast on Stitcher, but it is also available on iTunes and Spotify. There are vocabulary lists for the episodes on the podcast’s blog page, but from what I can see this is something they’ve started doing recently.
Nあ Casual Nihongo
If casual forms of Japanese are something you find difficult, then this is the podcast for you!
Nあ Casual Nihongo is hosted by Dai, who decided to create the podcast after working as an assistant Japanese language teacher in Australia. This podcast is in Japanese but is aimed at teaching learners a more natural way of speaking compared to what you get in textbooks. Each episode follows the same structure:
- Answer a listening comprehension question
- 5 new Japanese phrases to learn (with explanations and examples)
- Casual conversation (this gets repeated)
The conversations are a natural speed, which might take some getting used to. To make things easier, the podcast’s website also has a script for the conversation part of the episode, with the new phrases that are introduced highlighted for you. Clearly, a lot of hard work has gone into making the podcast accessible for learners who already have a bit of a foundation in grammar and vocabulary.
One thing – Dai is based in the Kansai area, so people interested in the Kansai dialect will find this useful!
I really like podcasts for listening practice – if you want to know how I use them in my studies check out this post.
Have you got any great podcast recommendations or tips on improving your listening? Please tell me in the comments.