What is JapanesePod101.com?
JapanesePod101.com is surely something you should at least check out. It offers hundreds (!) of audio lessons for all levels of Japanese learners – from absolute beginners to advanced speakers. And for free. It, of course, also offers paid upgrades that open not only more resources but introduces a complex system to learn the language for a very reasonable price.
Learning with JapanesePod101.com is fun!
I have used JapanesePod101.com since the very beginning of my Japanese studies to improve my listening comprehension. Almost every day, I listen to a new lesson and like it enormously. Why? Because it is fun!
Each audio is made as a half professionally designed lesson and a half casual chat of the participants. There is usually one native English speaker and one or two Japanese speakers guiding you through the lesson. The beginner lessons are hosted by Peter and Natsuko, both founders of JapanesePod101.com. I like their spontaneity, the way they tease each other and positive and kind way of seeing the life. They often drift away from the official script and speak about many interesting things regarding using certain words or peculiarities of the Japanese culture that you won’t find in a textbook.
It is also an excellent opportunity to listen to native speakers and even catch a few local dialects. I like the way which the Japanese hosts on JapanesePod101.com speak, and my favourite voice is of Naomi. So cute! You can hear her voice at New JLPT N4 Prep Course series, for example.
What does each audio lesson offer?
A lot. Each lesson starts with a pre-recorded dialogue played once at a normal speed, once slowly and once with an English translation. Enough times to get what is being spoken there. Then comes an introduction of a new vocabulary used in the dialogue and at the end the main grammar point.
In addition to the audio, you can download PDF Lesson Notes containing the transcription of the dialogue in kanji, kana, romaji and English, vocabulary, sample sentences and a grammar point. Another downloadable PDF file contains Kanji Close-Up showing the meaning of the word and each of its kanji characters, and writing practice sheet. In PDF LessonTranscript you can find a complete transcript of the whole lesson including the post conversation banter. Sometimes, the lesson has a bonus track and its transcript as well. Higher upgrades offer a line-by-line audio track and transcription, a vocabulary bank, an in-depth grammar guide, a complete kanji breakdown and even personalised one-to-one guidance by a teacher. And all these are available for hundreds of audio lessons! Impressive!
So, what kind of audio lesson series you can choose from? I was looking forward and at the same time dreading this part because there are so many series available that I have explored just a small portion of them. Here is an example. I have been “recently” listening to Beginner Season 1.
Here is an example. I have been “recently” listening to Beginner Season 1. I used quotation marks with the word “recently” because I have started listening to this series at the end of the winter. Beginner Season 1 has 170 audio lessons, each 15 min long! And then follow Beginner Season 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The whole Beginner section also contains three Lower Beginner Seasons, and the series Business Japanese for Beginners, Must-Know Japanese Social Media Phrases, Must-Know Japanese Sentence Structures, Top 400 Activities: Daily Routines in Japanese, and Extensive Reading in Japanese for Beginners.
And then there is the Absolute Beginner section, the Intermediate section, and the Advanced section, each featuring several series of audio lessons. As an addition, the JapanesePod101.com team created the Introductory and Bonus sections with various interesting series such as Talking Japanese Culture, Culture Class: Japanese Superstitions and Beliefs, JLPT Preparation series (pretty useful), Onomatopoeia, Particles, and Extra Fun, among many other series.
Uff, pretty exhausting just to read the whole audio lesson menu, right? Did I mention that you can find video lessons at JapanesePod101.com as well? Not yet? Well, just briefly. It is huge too and expanding fast. The post THE ULTIMATE JAPANESE ICE CREAM TASTE TEST in this blog is from the video series Learn Japanese Culture with Risa.
JapanesePod101.com is a great source of learning resources. Visit the site, register for free and have fun to explore by yourself!