Wide and shallow knowledge for intellectual conversation
Podcasts are great. People talk about interesting stuff, and we get to listen to them whenever we feel like it.
Podcasts in other languages are even better. We can listen to interesting stuff and improve our listening skills in another language at the same time.
Podcasts in other languages with transcripts are even better still! Not only can we listen, we can sentence-mine and learn even faster.
There are lots of podcasts for language learning in particular, but they usually have two big problems:
- The material isn’t natural. It’s designed to teach us the things the designers think we’ll want to learn, but this isn’t always the same as the way real people actually speak. This might be useful briefly when we’re first starting out, but it’s something we want to graduate from as quickly as possible.
- They’re not even in the right language! Most language learning podcasts, at least from beginner to intermediate levels, spend most of the time speaking in our native language about our target language. This is a waste of time.
The best thing of all, then, is: a podcast, with transcripts, in a language we want to learn, intended for native speakers.
Do you know any non-language learning podcasts with transcripts? Let me know! We can make a cool database together. Here’s what I’ve found so far:
Podcasts with transcripts
- French Voices (some older episodes have transcripts)
- CaliFrenchlife (ed.) – Two- to three-minute episodes talking about culture, probably intended for language learners, but points for being about something other than language learning per se, and for having transcripts.
- Radio Ambulante
- UruPod (ed.) – Intended for learning (Uruguayan) Spanish, but sounds like natural speed, at least to someone who barely speaks any Spanish.
- Españolistos (ed.) – Intended for Spanish learners, but gets points for having transcripts and being about subjects that could be interesting to anybody.
- Iyagi (Talk to me in Korean) – A podcast intended for learners of Korean. Each episode comes with a downloadable transcript.
- Spongemind – A podcast for learning Korean, intended for learners, but promoting the natural immersion method. See also: How to listen to stuff you don’t understand (English).
- Enjoyable Philosophy Magazine (Philosophy Zoo) – Some of the episodes have transcripts, like the one linked to here. Others have descriptions to go with the interview instead.
- TED Talks in Japanese – This isn’t really a podcast, but you can download the audio from YouTube with a site like Peggo.tv and treat it like a podcast. This channel has a lot of Japanese-language talks, some of which also have Japanese transcripts (subtitles).
- 福娘童話 (ed.) – Children’s stories with transcripts. Not a podcast, but ideal for beginners.
- Podcast Italiano (ed.) – A story not intended for native speakers, but awesome for having transcripts.
- Al Dente! (ed.) – A story podcast intended for A2/B1 speakers, with transcripts.
(Non-English) podcasts without transcripts
What the hell, podcasts without transcripts are fun and useful too, and there are a lot more of them.
- Anerzähler – Short stories whose topics are inspired by the number of the podcast episode.
- Baba – Interviews with people who have emigrated from Germany to the rest of the world.
- Bohndesliga – Football (soccer) in Bavaria.
- BR – Bayerischer Rundfunk, a public broadcaster from Munich. Lots of podcasts.
- Celluleute – Four film nerds talking about movies.
- Deutschlandfunk – Three podcasts about current events, politics, and bicycles.
- Deutschlandfunk Kultur – German-wide radio broadcaster specializing in cultural programming.
- Deutschlandfunk Nova – German wide broadcaster, part of Deutschlandradio.
- Eine Stunde History – Wide ranging history discussions connecting past and present.
- Das geheime Kabinett – Weird stories from history.
- Elchcast – Improv & comedy.
- Geschichtenkapsel – Weird stories / audio drama / poems.
- Fest & Flauschig – A comedy podcast on Spotify.
- Hr-info – Public radio broadcaster with lots of networks, each with their own podcasts.
- Inforadio – Broadcaster from Berlin.
- Die Kunst Jagd – A mystery story of 30 people who successfully escaped from Nazi Germany, and the lost painting that made it possible.
- Lateline – Listeners call in and discuss their opinions with moderators on a wide variety of topics.
- MDR – Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, a public broadcaster from Thuringia and Saxony area.
- Minkorrekt – Science and tech hosted by two geeks.
- NDR – Hamburg-based public radio and TV station with a long list of podcasts.
- Forum Zeitgeschichte – History from the past 100 years.
- Das Podcast UFO – Comedy.
- Porgcast – Star Wars.
- Radio Tatort – Audio version / audio drama of a crime TV series.
- Rasenfunk – Football.
- Raumzeit – Space and astronomy.
- Der Spiegel Online
- Sprechstunde der Belanglosigkeit – Politics and everyday life.
- SR – Saarländischer Rundfunk, a public radio station in Saarland with a variety of podcasts.
- Staatsbürgerkunde – About the history of East Germany during the Soviet era.
- Trailerschnack – Reacts to trailers for upcoming movies.
- Unfertig Podcast
- Vorleser – Audiobooks free for download with transcript (public domain).
- WDR 5 – A public radio station with a long list of podcasts on a wide variety of topics.
- Zeitzeichen – Rise and fall of world powers, lives of great men and women, turning points in history.
- WRINT – Series of related podcasts about a wide variety of topics.
- 3Bieres (Quebec) – Hosts talk about a variety of subjects — submitted by listeners — over beers.
- Radio Canada (Quebec) – National public radio in Canada, lots of podcast radio shows.
- Les Années Lumière – Pop science.
- Audio Dramax – Lots of serial stories: sci-fi, noir, etc.
- Affaires Sensibles – Discussing huge variety of topics.
- BinouzeUSA – Two French people living in Louisiana review American craft beer.
- France Culture – Part of Radio France, this site has TONS of different shows: news, stories, everything.
- France Inter – Also part of Radio France, with shows categorized into information, culture, humor, and music.
- A Ton Âge – How to get along with the people around you, including yourself.
- Europe1 – Another radio network with a wide array of shows.
- Frenchspin – A site with several different tech-related podcasts.
- Mouv’ – Hip hop
- Nouvelle École – Artists, entrepreneurs, and others talk about carving their own path in life.
- RFI – Radio France Internationale, a public radio service that broadcasts news and other things.
- Se sentir bien – The podcast of astrophysics researcher Esther Taillifet about how to become a life coach. Huh?
- Slate.fr – The French version of American magazine Slate offers several story podcasts.
- The Belle Civili, Alle otto della sera – History of Roman civil war
- Dee Jay – A radio network with lots of podcasts.
- Dee Giallo – Sad stories from the world of music, hosted by a thriller novelist.
- Digitalia – Three tech podcasts for “digital citizens.”
- Dunwich Buyers Club – Podcast about table games and roleplaying games.
- Frequenza Libera – Podcast about music, interviews with musicians, etc.
- Goodmorning Roleplayers – Gaming.
- Rai Play Radio – Italy’s national public radio, tons of podcasts.
- Radio24 – Radio station with a variety of shows.
- Voice Anatomy – About professional speakers and singers.
- Radio Populare – Podcasts from independent radio station Radio Populare.
- RDS – Radio network with podcasts.
- R101 – Radio network with podcasts.
- Virgin Radio Italy
- Algarabía – Stories about culture, art, history, and life.
- Así Como Suena (Mexico) – Narrative investigative journalism.
- La Biblioteca de Trantor (Spain) – Discussion of science fiction, classic to contemporary.
- Están locos estos romanos
- Caracol Radio – Major radio network in Colombia.
- La Historia del Mundo – World history.
- Catástrofe Ultravioleta (Spain) – Exploration of pop science.
- Club de Prensa
- En Serio?!
- Al Filo de la Realidad (Argentina) – Conspiracy theories and paranormal discussion.
- Hablo Geek – Tech-related
- Las Raras: Historias de Libertad (Chile) – Stories of people who followed their dreams.
- Neteando con Kate y Jessica (Mexico/US) – An actress and a journalist speaking their minds.
- Onda Cero (Spain) – Radio station with lots of podcasts.
- La Rosa de los Vientos (Spain) – Culture and history.
- RTVE – A Spanish broadcasting company with many podcasts.
- Nómadas – Depicting life in different parts of the world.
- Pizzel Podcast (Argentina)
- Podium Podcast – A platform with tons of podcasts.
- Sangre Celestial – A thrilling story of two twins traveling to uncover the truth about their missing father.
- El Chiste del Sofá (Mexico) – About the Simpsons.
- Aprender de Grandes (Argentina)
- Universo Paralelo (Spain) – Science & technology
- El Valle de los Tercos – Stories of Latino entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.
- Dream HEART – Interviews people in a variety of fields about what they do and what motivates them. No transcript, but there’s a text summary of the interview.
- Rebuild.fm – Tech discussion with reference links and chapter markers.
- Akimoto Sayaka’s Weekly Japan
- ひいきびいき (Hiikibiiki) – Discussion of popular culture in Japan.
- 自由なラジオ“Light Up!” – Independent radio. Already finished, but lots of archived episodes.
- 大阪の一般人によるポッドキャスト – Comedy podcast by “normal people from Osaka.”
- ピートのふしぎなガレージ (“Pete’s Strange Garage”)
- さくら通信 – Comedy podcast, one host presents an essay and the other gives opinions.
- 怪異伝播放送局 – Mystery/thriller stories.
- 境目線引 – About “ambiguous things.”
- NHK radio news
- TBS Radio – A wide range of news and cultural shows.
- FMとやま – A network from Toyama with a variety of podcast shows.
- Hotcast – Discussion of lifestyle-related subjects.
- 恋汐りんごとぱいぱいでか美のぱいはわラジオ – Hosted by a pop idol and a rapper.
- ねえ、ねえ、聞いて！– A personal audio blog, relatively slow and easy to understand.
- Suntory Saturday Waiting Bar Avanti – People drinking and chatting in a bar, high production quality complete with sound effects.
- JJ’s Bar – More people talking in a bar. At least, that’s how it starts…
- もりもえお – Three women from Hokkaido.
- Your Smile Town – Audio drama. Discontinued, but audio still available.
- Light Hand – Audio drama.
- Under the Blue – Audio drama
- iTunes Podcast Store – You can find more audio dramas by searching for オーディオドラマ in the iTunes Store.
- 지적 대화를 위한 넓고 얕은 지식 – “Wide and shallow knowledge for intellectual conversation.” Four hosts each take turns learning about a new topic and then present what they learned to the other hosts.
- Podbbang.com – Podcast platform with lots of Korean podcasts.
- Namu.wiki – Contains a huge list of popular Korean podcasts with external links.
- 그것은 알기 싫다 – “I do not want to know.” Wiki about page.
- 나는 꼼수다 – “I am tricky.” Legend of Korea podcast. Wiki about page.
- 나는 프로그래머다 – A podcast for software developers. Wiki about page.
- 내가 니 선생이다 – “I find a way to learn from everything I encounter.” Wiki about page.
- 난도질(팟캐스트) – “Broadcasts where lies and truths coexist, broadcasts that help to laugh when they laugh, sharp chanting of good-looking young people, and poking through society.” Wiki about page.
- 클러치턴오버 – A podcast about basketball.
- 막던져서 하나 걸리기를 바라는 이야기 – All about makgeolli.
- 싸움의 기술 – About martial arts.
- 하나언니가 읽어주는 신나는 동화나라 – Fairy tales.
- Checkpoint – Retro video games