Podcasts with transcripts (and without)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

German 德文

French 法文

  • 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.

Spanish 西班牙文

  • 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.

Korean 韓文

Japanese 日本語

  • 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.

Italian 義大利文

  • 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.

English 英文

(Non-English) podcasts without transcripts

What the hell, podcasts without transcripts are fun and useful too, and there are a lot more of them.

German 德文

  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Hr2 – Kultur – Lots of podcasts with a cultural theme.
      • Der Tag – One theme; multiple perspectives. Knowledgeable, witty, ironic, pointed.
  • 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.
  • Medienkompetenzübung
  • Minkorrekt – Science and tech hosted by two geeks.
  • NDR – Hamburg-based public radio and TV station with a long list of podcasts.
  • 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.

French 法文

  • 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.
  • 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.

Italian 義大利文

Spanish 西班牙文

Japanese 日文

Korean 韓文

Malayalam 马拉雅拉姆文

Hungarian 匈牙利文

Turkish 土耳其文