Learning with Audio: A Selection of Quality Podcasts in French, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese



An important part of learning a new language is reinforcing what you’ve learned and accustoming your ear to the sounds of the language via exposure to native speakers.  The internet is a great source of listening content, but there is a lot out there, both good and bad, so we asked our eTutors to put together a list of high-quality podcasts in their respective languages.  Below are  some recommendations for French, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese.

We’ll begin with French. The following podcasts in French touch on noteworthy current topics. With a little dedication and effort, these could prove powerful tools to enhance your language skills.

Arte Radio: Hundreds of audio files (audio works, documentaries, interviews, fiction) to listen to for free. A radio broadcast with high quality programs, Arte Radio features hundreds of short and medium-length films to listen to without advertising.

Canal Académie: This free web radio of the prestigious French academies offers a weekly program, as well as a library of audio archives. Themes and programs are varied, with more than 1,000 programs are available for download – societal issues, arts, literature, religions, etc.

Le Choix des Libraires: A large portal on book news with more than 4,000 free audio samples and book presentations made ​​by booksellers.

Déjà Vu: A co-production between BBC Radio 4 and ARTE radio.com.  A love affair between London woman, and a French Algerian man living in Paris called Ahmed. Each scene has a transcript.

Radio France: A public company that manages public radio stations in France, Radio France offers podcasts since 2006. It is based on six additional channels: France Inter, France Info, France Culture, France Musique, Fip and The Mov ‘, as well as 43 local stations, all part of the France Bleu network. Download the free app and listen to any of the six channels.

Radio France International: Follow the latest news, politics, business, culture, sports and current other events in France and abroad. Some podcasts have transcripts, others exercises.

Now let’s move on to Brazilian Portuguese.  Brasilpodcast.com is a directory of podcasts in Portuguese organized by topic.  You can select topics such as science, culture and sports, and find the right podcasts for your interests.

As for Spanish, here is a podcast targeted at learners with an intermediate level of proficiency.  Notes in Spanish Intermediate presents discussions of timely topics but at a slower pace for learners.

Cadena Ser is a great resource for more advanced students of Spanish.  A program that is particularly accessible to non-native speakers is Hablar-por-hablar.  In this program, which airs at night, people call in to explain a problem that they have and other listeners call in to offer advice.

Last, but certainly not least, we have one recommendation for Japanese.  NHK Radio News is a bit like the BBC of Japan. Our eTutor Sakura says she listens every day.  It may be a bit challenging, but just try to relax and listen. You may not get everything, but you will certainly recognize some words and phrases and the exposure will be good for you.

Do you have some recommendations? Post on our Forum if you have podcasts to share!