I’ve recently being discussing different Japanese podcasts on the JLPT Boot Camp podcast. The podcasts vary from the rather serious news broadcasts to the completely crazy comedy podcasts and everywhere in between. A lot of major radio stations and news outlets have podcasts as well as some comedians.
Japanese podcasts are important because they give you a great example of real Japanese. This is Japanese spoken at a natural pace with the real vocabulary that is being used today. Some of it is quite slangy, but other podcasts range from really formal to simply polite. There is a pretty good choice of podcasts.
For JLPT listening practice, I felt like you should probably be around N3 or higher. Even at the N3 level, chances are pretty good that you won’t understand the majority of the conversation. But, that’s okay, the idea is to get used to the sounds and expose yourself to new words and accents.
So, how do you listen to Japanese language podcasts in iTunes? I’m glad you asked!
Changing your iTunes store
First, you, of course, need iTunes. You can do this on other software, but iTunes has one of the biggest directories of podcasts, so it is a good place to start. So, download iTunes, and install it if you haven’t already.
Once you’ve got iTunes up and running, it’ll probably default to your country’s store (US, Singapore, India). This store will display what is popular and new in your country, but you want to know what is popular and new in Japan. So, you need to change your store to the Japan store.
To do this, you need to click on the ‘iTunes Store’ button in iTunes. Make sure you are on the home page of iTunes and scroll to the bottom of that page. You’ll see a round icon with your country’s flag in it. Like the one below:
As you can see, there are a wide variety of podcasts available to choose from. All of the podcasts are free so you can listen to as many as you want. I recommend signing up for a few that look interesting and then listen to them and see how you like them.
Be sure also to check out the individual categories for more specific podcasts. You can do that by clicking on the right part of the ‘podcasts’ button. This will drop down a small menu that should look something like this:
And that’s it! Pretty simple really. Now it’s your turn.
1) Download at least one podcast.
2) Listen to it and let us know what you think of it. What kind of language is on the podcast? Is it easy to understand?