As an advanced student of Japanese, I’ve always found that it’s kind of hard to find useful, high-level Japanese listening material. As such, I know of very few Japanese podcasts that are entirely in Japanese, useful for studying, and interesting all at once.
Recently I’ve found one that I really like, though. So I thought I’d share it:
「ピートのふしぎなガレージ」 / Pete’s Mysterious Garage. (Pete is that cat in the picture, by the way.)
This podcast is actually a radio show on Tokyo FM, and it is sponsored by Mitsubishi Motors. Due to the sponsorship, they tend to talk quite a bit about outdoor activities… because in Japan a car is pretty much required for those. Still, there is quite a variety of episodes.
Each episode features and interview with an expert in a different field.
I have learned so much from this podcast, because each episode is designed to teach (Japanese) listeners something new about an interesting profession or hobby.
I’ve only listened to a few episodes, and in that time I’ve learned about:
(Sorry if the links in this list go to the wrong pages. Their site has a rather strange page categorization system, so the links are prone to change.)
If you check out all of those links above, you’ll see the official page for that episode, which looks like this:
Each page has a rather long description of the episode, which could be great for reading practice, or to familiarize yourself with new vocabulary before or after you listen. Then at the bottom they have links to the interviewees’ blogs, websites, and whatnot:
I wish that they offered transcripts (so that we could make rad flashcards like with anime), but I haven’t been able to find any. *Sadness*
Due to the wide variety of topics, I think that this is an excellent resource for expanding upon Japanese vocabulary. Diversifying study materials is super important, after all, once we get to higher levels of Japanese.
For example, listening to an interview with a coffee expert, I learned that they use the words 浅い (“shallow”) and 深い (“deep”) when referring to “light roasts” and “deep roasts.” I didn’t know this, because usually at a coffee shop you’ll just see the equivalent of the English in katakana: ライトロースト.
So then, for example, if you go to this page about coffee, and you read the section on “Light Roast,” you’ll see that it says:
One thing I love about learning languages is that there is always more to learn. Always, always, always.
If you’re a beginner, then this is probably still going to be too difficult, but it’s something to look forward to once you’ve gotten to an upper-intermediate level.
You’ll get there eventually. Just don’t give up!
p.s. Awesome free stuff here: