3 PODCASTS I used to Learn Japanese!

3 PODCASTS I used to Learn Japanese!

Welcome to HAPA EIkaiwa Podcast with – Sakota Daichi to Kimura Haruko no… [maikkeru wa eigo de, biringaru kaiwa keishiki de-]
Michael will respond in English, and bilingually – [hiki ni shiteiru mono wo tanoshiku katarau poddokyasuto desu!]
a podcast and fun little chat about what we’re into! HIIKI BIIKI! Jun….Senesac….. [minasan konnichi wa! Kemushi-channeru no Loretta desu!] Hey guys, I’m Loretta! One of the biggest questions I get from you guys is “How do I learn to speak Japanese, how to speak naturally, and without thinking about it?” What really took me from a textbook robot, to someone who can actually speak was listening to and mimicking podcast almost everyday. As someone who’s really bad at memorizing, shadowing and mimicking let me build muscle memory so that I don’t have to memorize everything because it’s something I got used to doing over and over again. I had about 2~3 podcasts that I kept on rotation but now, almost 10 years later, they don’t really exist anymore so last month I went back to the drawing board and started downloading and going through podcasts trying to figure out which ones would be good for you guys! So today I’m going to show you my all new updated list of MY TOP 3 PODCASTS that I used to learn and improve my Japanese! and a few extras as well! [honto ni, sakki no serifu wo pakutteiru kanji nandakedo]
If I can borrow the tagline from HiikiBiiki to say this [konkai wa, watashi ga masa ni hiiki ni shiteiru podcast wo shokai suru topikku desu!]
this time I’m going to chat about the podcasts that I’m into! So, I separated my picks into 2 categories: 1: Academic, more formal learning These were focused on structured lessons, grammar etc. ones you’d listen to in addition to or in place of a textbook. and then #2, Radio-style, conversation, spoken style of Japanese. I have top picks for both categories but for today’s video specifically I’ll be looking at the radio style, conversation-based podcasts. because I think these are the ones that are really going to help you get talking fast. So the first one came straight from you guys! #1 is HiikiBiiki ! This was by far the most popular one that you guys said you used. …and I was pleasantly surprised! The hosts Daichi and Haruka, one guy and a girl basically sit down and chat about what they like recently. What I liked about this podcast is that it was very natural the sound quality was very good, there’s a little bit of music in the background to keep your interest, but it’s not too distracting so you can really just focus on what they’re saying. You really feel like a fly on the wall, just sitting and enjoying their conversation. It’s a chance to hear real natural Japanese between 2 native speakers. It’s easy to pick up the topics because they tell you what they’ll talk about before they start you can also see the topics listed up on their website. That being said, this podcast is all in Japanese and as far as I can tell it doesn’t look like there are any official scripts to study that Japanese or check what they’re saying. The biggest downside about this podcast is that it is no longer officially airing anymore! But if you go to their website you can find every single episode click and listen to the one that you like The Japanese/topics that they use is pretty general and not too time-specific so you can still enjoy them by downloading the ones you like. This podcast does not seem to be originally for language learning however the audio is clean and well produced so I would recommend this for anyone who’s N3 or a comfortable advanced intermediate especially if you’re looking for something to play in the background to cushion your Japanese studies with more natural speech you can get started by looking at the topic list on their website picking out words or topics you know they’re going to talk about look those up, and then start listening! So this NEXT podcast is one of my all time favorites! I used to have this really mind-numbing job digitizing old library catalogs in the basement of my college library. Hours on end with NOBODY in sight! It was just me, and these books, and my mind going crazy! and the only thing that kept me from losing my mind down in these library catacombs was podcasts! I used to listen to podcasts for 4~6 hours everyday wayyyy back in the day, the only podcast that was bilingual was this one! SBS Japanese Podcast! It was really kind of like the first of its kind I would listen to this one on REPEAT! I would only pick out the episodes that seemed really interesting to me or easier to listen to for me! The host would come on, he’d introduce the topic and usually bring on a guest speaker, so there was someone different for every topic, every time. I they would always have very clean, clear, easy-to-listen-to Japanese I loved hearing about the annual national Japanese speech contest where Australian citizens who learned to be really good at Japanese would be interviewed in Japanese about their speech or language studies it was really good to hear other learners of Japanese speak good Japanese There was the Master of Wine episode talking about food pairings and all this yummy stuff Rock bands, sports, comedy This is what I did: I listened to 3 or 4 of these episodes on repeat for hours… for almost a year. The SBS podcast is still available today the host has changed since I used to listen to it but it’s still just as clean, good content I think this is a really good way to start picking out relevant topics that are talked about in a relatable way. It’s not necessarily a formal learning tool but just like Hiiki Biiki I think this would be great for commutes, in the shower it would be so good to just keep listening on repeat and start mimicking your favorite speakers or episodes. You can use your phone or free programs like Audacity and you can record yourself imitating the clips your listening to This is something I used to do, I would listen to the original then made a playlist where my mimicked version would always play after the original and I would play that on loop. You really start to internalize where you messed up, why it sounded weird the gap between the native version and yours that’s something that I did for hours that really helped. The third podcast is HaPa EiKaiWa PodCaStTtt… …let me say that normally. Hapa Eikaiwa Podcast. When I found it I was like ” *GASP* This is what I’ve been looking for!!!” Hapa Eikaiwa Podcast is hosted by Jun Senesac He speaks Japanese and American English, both bilingually. The thing I love about this podcast is, it covers news and relevant topics but the structure of it makes it so easy to learn from especially if you’re trying to learn from English to Japanese. It starts off with an introductory, relevant news bit recently he talked about the superbowl (american football), hipsters, Austin, Portland, BBQ all this stuff is so American like… Am I HoME ?!?! He talked about all of that in Japanese, and then restates it in English You get to hear this relevant, authentic versions of what you already talk about everyday but now also it’s in Japanese! There are questions, so kind of like a little activity then after the questions there another section with a guest speaker and on top of that.. there are also… TRANSCRIPTS! FINALLY! Transcripts!! Why does no one make transcripts to their podcasts?! The podcast itself is free, but if there’s an episode you really like you can purchase the specific transcript for one episode or all of them he first introduces a topic in English so that the Japanese listeners really have to strain and focus hard and then he repeats in Japanese to kind of reinforce the learning as a native English speaker, on the reverse side, it gives you English context of what he’s about to say even if you’re not necessarily at that level you can kind of bootstrap your way in because the Engilsh comes first. So with this one you can start maybe high beginner, intermediate, you can start picking out words and phrases, and if you really want to dig deep into it you can use transcripts for your favorite episode to really start breaking down the Japanese that he’s using to figure out how to incorporate that into your own speech. The downside of this podcast is that when I first listened to this it seemed very cheesy! But after a while I realized that that was his charm that’s what kept it interesting It has great content and an easy to use format PLUS transcripts, which makes it perfect for studying but it’s also interesting! Even though it’s cheesy, that’s kind of what makes it good and I found myself coming back to this one more than anything! It may take a little getting used to but give it a couple listens but it’s still running now, the sound quality’s great, it comes with transcripts honestly I think anyone N4 and up, maybe even N5 If you’re N4, N3, N2, right there in the middle looking for something to listen to AND study from I would really recommend this one! So! Those are my top 3, but I do have a few bonus podcasts! Honorable Mentions goes to Bilingual News! Which is hosted by Michael and Mami! After Hiiki Biiki, Bilingual News is the podcast most of you guys mentioned I should try. In a nutshell, this podcast is exactly what the title sounds like it’s news…done bilingually! Every week they introduce a relevant news topic business news, social news, one of their most recent episodes was about the new batch of emojis that just came out they introduce it both in Japanese and in English! After the topic is introduced they start talking about it. Both hosts, Michael and Mami are bilingual but Mami tends to respond in Japanese and Michael tends to respond in English although they both mix in a little bit here and there. One of the good things about this Podcast is that they also have transcripts available! THANK YOU! They have a special, official moji-okoshi app a transcription app that they produce themselves it gives the scripts from each episode in text format you can highlight and copy and paste into your favorite dictionary The podcast is free, but the transcripts you need to pay for a subscription honestly, I think the transcript is the most valueable part of this but it’s up to you if you just want to use it for listening or if you actually want to go deeper and use it to study. So this podcast, I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone specifically because the content is more editorial style sometimes it’s more opinionated that content-based this one is a little more TENSHON-HIKUI the excitement level is brought down, so you may like that if you enjoy more calm, laid-back style of talk For me it was hard to keep coming back to because if you are specifically trying to use podcasts for learning you may find that the content can be distracting at times sometimes the topics themselves or the way they talk about it can be a bit crass I think it’s good they have both hosts, because it keeps the energy and the conversation balanced that’s one of the good things, they kind of even each other out So if you’re looking for more raw conversation, more opinionated conversation, the other thing to be aware of is that because it’s bilingual the streams of sound / content that they use are usually interrupted. So Mami may start speaking in Japanese, but Michael will respond in English I read an article citing Michael explaining that he thought it was really important for the podcast to have English context because if it’s all Japanese it’s overwhelming. I definitely get where he’s coming from but I also wish that there was a section that was all Japanese or all English in addition to their conversation. I recommend this for more advanced speakers of Japanese N2, N1… specifically because it’s bilingual and because the streams of sound are cut between English and Japanese I would use this to pick up phrases, to learn how to turn a phrase to learn how to respond to someone. If you’re a guy, this is one of the few podcasts that features an adult male talking about adult, male topics that may interest you! If you’re trying to practice formally speaking Japanese I would say obviously you need the transcripts if you’re trying to learn to speak casually at your office or talk to anyone who’s even slightly above you for more than two sentences I don’t think this is the type of content you would like I think what you’ll get out of this mostly is phrases, vocabulary and ways to talk about really relevant, current topics, in short spurts. SO! That’s where we’re going to leave it for now! These podcasts are definitely more for intermediate/advanced level speakers specifically for people who are looking to improve their speaking ability not necessarily textbook learning. They’re not going to replace formal study or help you pass N2/N1 because you still have to do all of the rest of the work but they will really help you supplement your studies because they’ll be interesting and relevant. They’ll make you speak Japanese better because you’ll be excited to speak it! Relevant topics, real phrases, real words that you can talk about in English, and now also in Japanese! Talking about your comfort zone in relationships where can you get the best bbq in Texas?? Your favorite team… ARE THEY GONNA WIN?!?! Relevant, actual, REAL talk. I really appreciate that. For more background listening, topic-based conversation I would definitely say HIIKI BIIKI and Bilingual News are great for that for a little more structure, or something that’s easier to listen to or something that you can really study from I would definitely recooment SBS Podcast and Hapa Eikaiwa Podcast I really love that one! Juuuunnnn Senesac! He really outdid himself. Obviously there are so many more podcasts The NHK radio news, if you look on their website there’s beginner level podcasts, travel, actual lessons There’s JapanesePod101 This will be more useful for intermediate/beginner speakers of Japanese I’m going to look at those in my next podcast review but for today, I just wanted to get us talking! If you have time, try giving them all a listen I’d be curious to hear which was your favorite! [nihon no minasan, dou desuka?]
Viewers in Japan, what do you think? [bairingaru keishiki ya hiiki ni shiteiru podcast toka]
Are there any bilingual or just good podcasts you like? [osusume arimasuka?]
Can you recommend a few? [kou iu podcast wo Loretta ni rebyuu shite hoshii toka]
If there’s one you’d like me to review for you [kono eigo no podcast atteiru? toiu no ga areba]
Or if you want to ask if you’ve picked a good one [zehi kiraku ni komento de kaite kudasai]
Please feel free to leave a comment! [sore de wa, kyou mo goshichou arigatou gozaimashita!]
Thank you so much for watching today!! Thanks for watching guys! This is Loretta coming from KemushiChan! In addition to my YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, …maybe we shoud start a podcast! What do you think?
Let me know in a comment belowwww and I promise I won’t talk like this!

100 thoughts on “3 PODCASTS I used to Learn Japanese!

  1. I’ve been listening to SBS for a while but the other two I shall look forward to. Walking my dog and driving to and from work will now have more interesting.

  2. Thank you once again Loretta for a great video. As a Japanese learner, I always find your videos very interesting! Your tips on the JLPT test even helped me pass the JLPT N4 last December. It was the first time I ever took the JLPT test and I think I would have been screwed without you! 😀

  3. I'm new but found that I also need to get more natural examples, as a woman, I quite like this podcast because it's hosted by 2 Japanese women and although a bit challenging to understand everything, it's great coz they seem to chit chat about their lives in Podcast name: シノブとナルミの毒舌アメリカンライフ P.S. much love for shouting out an Aussie podcast!

  4. Thanks for the podcast recommendations! I'll definitely be checking those out. In fact, I already listen to Bilingual News. You are right about about how the stories be distracting at times , but I still try to see how much can I understand the Japanese version of the discussion. Another podcast I listen to is Learn Japanese Pod. It 's hosted by Alex and Ami. they go over different Japanese topics to teach people how to speak Japanese more fluently. They have free lesson notes, which are the transcripts of the skits they do and they have small conversations strictly in Japanese with each other that are not transcribed. Which, I like because as I get better at listening and understanding Japanese, I'll be able to understand what they are talking about.

  5. Thank you! I will check these out for sure. I also really love ichiban talk. It’s about Japanese people living overseas in a casual interview style. It’s super interesting to learn about other countries. Also, Ana and Lue (love fm) is funny and nice and short.

  6. I love this so muchhhhh you should start your own podcast we would all listen to it!! Can you do a video in japanese on why you learnt japanese and how its affected your life please? :)) i would love to know and so would we all in japanese!

  7. My level is in between N3 and N2, I have no problem sounding natural but I do find myself having problem getting into a flow whenever I talk in Japanese.
    I'm a pretty avid consumer of 2D stuffs and I love Japanese voice actors, so I mainly watch/listen to shows that pertain to them XD
    The podcasts you suggested seems interesting tho, so will try to listen to them.
    Thank you!

  8. Hiikibiiki is great. I noticed that Haruka has a heavy 'H' sound 'fu' and Daichi has something closer to an 'F'. It was interesting to hear them right next to each other, tofu vs tohu (to an english ear) when they were chatting about salads.

  9. The later episodes of ひいきびいき fade out the music completely for most of the podcast. I assume they had feedback about the music being a bit distracting.

  10. いいねー!いいpodcast教えてくれて、ありがとうございました。もう聞いています!!

  11. Downloaded them all xD There's a Mangaka that often streams daily on youtube and I watch him as he often comments on what he is doing and just random chat. So it's nice hearing a Male speaker.

  12. Omg yes! I’ve been dying to get some Japanese podcasts to listen to, but the ones I’d found for immersion were too difficult to focus cuz it was way too advanced for my level. Thank you for making this video!!

  13. THANK YOU! I listen to a handful of podcasts in English such as Freakonomics, Stuff You Should Know, and Aspen Ideas to Go just because I like learning new things, but I've been struggling to find podcasts that have interesting content like this in Japanese. I'm an N2 level listener but I find it hard to pick up vocab for things that I don't encounter in my daily life in Japan. I've been hoping to find podcasts that would expose me to a wider variety of topics so I can expand my vocabulary through interesting topics. I'll definitely be checking these out. Thanks so much!

  14. anyone got any podcast recommendations that talk about anime or music? (or games or manga)

    i'll definitely check out hiiki biiki!

  15. Thank you so much! I have been trying to find a podcast to listen to for the past few weeks. I was trying to listen to NHK but it's way too hard for me as an N3/N4 learner! Thank you again 🙂

  16. So glad you made this video! I listen to podcasts all the time, and occasionally I'll be listening to This American Life and wondering if there is something similar in Japanese, but…. I guess I can't be bothered to Google. I guess I'm at N2/N3, so I'll download them all 🙂

    I use Discord… for Pokemon Go. Ha!

  17. If you’re a beginner really want to get good at Japanese I highly recommend you listen to podcasts, anime, tv shows music or something you still look forward to in your free time that doesn’t feel like study everyday. For me one of the best parts about learning a language is all this fun stuff you can begin to understand that rewards your study efforts! these kind of podcasts are golden thanks for sharing! I only knew about bilingual news and listen to it sometimes in the bath-but also share the same opinion that it’s not quite my cup of tea as I’m not a big fan of the English speaker lol I’m also not a big fan of the lecture lesson style videos but looking forward to hearing what you share as it might change my mind! – nihongonomori is my go to channel for jlpt learning when i want to study vocab or grammar.

  18. 😀 it's PODCAST TIME! I'm so glad you guys are as excited as I am! Here's the line up:
    ①ひいきびいき [Hiiki Biiki] : http://hkbk.fm/
    ② SBS Japanese Podcast: https://tinyurl.com/y6d6bhdv
    ③ Hapa Eikaiwa Podcast: https://hapaeikaiwa.com
    === Bonus Podcasts!
    – Bilingual News: https://bilingualnews.jp/
    – NHK Radio News: https://tinyurl.com/yxap66pp

  19. 日本の皆さん、大変お持たせしました!日本語字幕も付けましたので、CCボタンをクリックしてね!

  20. I'm not sure if you have answered this question before but what books are best to start learning beginners Kanji ? I know there are apps and website but I'm trying to find books. I think I learn better with books, so do you have any recommendations?

  21. Great video! 私はYouTubeでTED Talksやアメリカ大統領のスピーチを聴いたり、shadowingをしたりして英語を勉強しています。

  22. omg, thank you for this list!! i love listening to たまむすび (https://www.tbsradio.jp/tama954/), but have been thirsty for more japanese podcasts. can't wait for part 2!

  23. LOVE YOUR CHANNEL !! I've only watched 3 so far because I just discovered you, but watching them made me happy and excited, you speak so passionately about your topics and you just radiate that passion on your videos !! I'm excited to see more !! Good luck ! 🙂

  24. I never noticed the popularity of podcasts. The way I ask what people are reading, I recently noticed people ask what podcasts they are listening to. The first time I noticed this was back on a date in September ‘18, and the womxn I was with asked me what podcasts I was listening to. After that, I’ve noticed people asking what podcasts they listen to.

  25. How strong are your cheek muscles? 😅 It looks like there constantly in flex. Which is probably a must in speaking Japanese.

  26. 沖縄に住んでいるモロッコ人です。3〜4年前から、ロレッタさんのチャネルを知っていました。今日ロレッタさんはラジオ始めたってことをみたら、嬉しかったです。私もラジオが好きなんですが、そんなにスムーズに話せないです。応援しています

  27. Yes! Thanks so much. I'm still a beginner, studying a few times a week with a teacher, and I will visit Japan in about 2 or 3 months. It's nice to hear these tips for not sounding like a robot. I'm still finding listening to be difficult, so I want to find as many sources as possible to help with that. I think I will try your technique of contrasting your speech with the shows that you were mimicking. Also, when are you starting a discord? I use it a lot for my stream and I am in a bunch of gaming community discords!

  28. Thank you for this. I've been looking for podcasts and have found I agree with you in regards to the Bilingual News – at first I thought it would be extremely helpful but I found the male host's somewhat arrogant delivery of opinions distracting and frustrating…

  29. Thanks for these!
    One of my recent favs
    It's not a podcast but a program for Japanese high schoolers, they talk about relevant topics as essays, literature, compositors etc. There is also a teacher who in proper, calm manner explain things. The most important is that there is a transcript, and that the topics are interesting rather than some loud, gossip shows. With audacity you can get it on mp3 and loop it for few hours 😉

  30. I would love a podcast from you! Thanks for the recommendations. I am passing all my tests in my Japanese classes, but I feel so inept when it comes to conversation. I get so much anxiety from it and I feel like its because I know I haven't put in as much effort when I should, so I freeze up and can't respond

  31. My favourite thing is actually being able to kind of pick up on what is happening in conversations, I really feel like I'm learning the language 😌

  32. ひいきびいき's website is down, so for those who want to access the podcast you can go here, ( https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/7ddhy-4ce8b/%E3%81%B2%E3%81%84%E3%81%8D%E3%81%B3%E3%81%84%E3%81%8D-Podcast )

  33. 「世界のねじを巻くラジオ」のポッドキャストを配信してますので、興味あれば聞いてみてください。
    iPhone/iTunesで聴く→ https://itunes.apple.com/jp/podcast/世界のねじを巻くラジオ-ゲイのねじまきラジオ/id1409236261?l=en
    Spotify→ https://open.spotify.com/show/6ComJ7U0Y0yJ9DM1eEt9jj?si=FlR5lp6VTQuDe86DH125VA

  34. Is there any way to purchase the HAPA 英会話 transcripts outside of Japan? For some reason the billing information seems to only be for Japanese addresses.

  35. LIES!!! Hapa Eikawa isn’t on iTunes!!! 😭 I guess it doesn’t matter anyway. I’m probably N -1. I learned Spanish before this and I’m a native English speaker and I kid you not. When I try to practice the lowest form of basic Japanese sentences I can slowly piece together now my mind replaces words I don’t know with Spanish words. Like how tf!? I’m an African American English speaker and didn’t even pass my AP Spanish test! Maybe I don’t need podcasts yet.

  36. I’m actually learning how to speak japanese and this video was exactly what i was looking for !!! thank you!!

  37. I was about to say, my problem is conversational, 2-way dialogue. I'm surprised you didn't mention anime with English sub-titles.

  38. This is gonna be a little strange, but my impression was that I could always see her teeth when she speaks, whether in Japanese or English. As a frequent mumbler, this reminded me that I need to actually open my mouth and enunciate when trying to speak Japanese. Oh, and I got some podcast ideas too. lol

  39. Excited for your next update on podcasts! I would also like to see some recommendations for the more education/academic based podcasts geared towards N4/N5 level. I either find podcasts for more intermediate speakers, or podcasts for BEGINNER speakers where they spend an hour discussing how to say "hello" and "thank you." It's hard to find those in-between podcasts. Any help would be appreciated!

  40. Hiiii, i think you shoul totally do the podcast beacuse the tone of your voice is really nice to listent to and that's kind of all i ask from podcasts. As long as the tone isn't too high energy or low energy, just the right spring, i can listen to anything and your voice has such nice timbre too!!!

  41. Personally I think Bilingual News is great. The fact that one half of it is in English really helps follow what is being talked about, as opposed to all Japanese podcasts where I just have no idea why they're talking about.

    Also Go Go project Strange News, is the same thing, but with a much less serious vibe. It's two guys chatting and joking about stuff, one speaking English, the other speaking Japanese.

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