Learning a foreign language is one of the most valuable skills you can have- but it’s not always easy. Thankfully, there’s plenty of ways to help you start speaking whichever language you want, and what better way than a podcast? Whether you’re looking to learn a few phrases for navigating a holiday, or wanting to learn a language fluently as a skill, these podcasts will help you learn a lot- and impress your friends and family.
French- Parlez Away and One Thing In A French Day
French is one of the most attractive and popular languages to learn- and there’s plenty of podcasts out there to help. We’ve picked two: Parlez Away is a short series of five podcast episodes centring on one man (Ted) as he learns to converse in French, and you’ll be able to pick up valuable tips and learn about common topics along with him. He’s helped out by Caroline, a French language expert working fro Babbel. One Thing In A French day is aimed at slightly more intermediate speakers, with various daily events being described entirely in French by host Laetitia. She speaks at a normal speed, though clearly and precisely enough to learn a lot if you’ve got some basics under your belt.
Italian- 30 Minute Italian
No, this isn’t how to whip up a delicious authentic Italian meal in half an hour, it’s a podcast dedicated to learning the language of Italy in manageable chunks. The show will help you boost your understanding of and confidence with Italian, in 30 minutes or less. It covers all kinds of topics like culture, travel, food and even “Sexy Phrases To Seduce Your Italian Lover.”
Easy German is more than just a podcast- it’s a whole initiative and online resource helping you to learn the German language more easily- but the podcast is perhaps the most easily digestible. With episodes releasing twice per week, there’s plenty of info packed into each one, discussing topics about Germany and the around the world, and explanations of words and expressions. Even better, if you sign up to become a member through Patereon, you can access to transcripts and a vocabulary helper to improve your skills even more. You can still listen to the podcasts and watch the YouTube versions for free, but the paid version is for more dedicated learners.
Spanish- News In Slow
News In Slow covers several languages, but it’s most comprehensive for Spanish, with options for both Spanish (Spain) and Spanish (Latino). It’s definitely one of the best podcasts to help you learn a language to speak naturally and fluently. Also available in French, Italian and German, each show allows you to listen to programmes about news and culture of whichever country you choose, helping you to build up your knowledge and understanding of the language, how words are pronounced, and expand your vocabulary. As you’d guess from the title, the talking speed on each is designed to help newcomers and intermediate learners get used to the language without getting too lost.
Een Beetje Nederlands
Een Beetje Nederlands (A Little Bit Of Dutch) is a podcast that’s all in Dutch- and is a good podcast for you to help brush up on your understanding of the language as well as learning about The Netherlands and its culture. The episodes are designed to help newcomers to the language- the host speaks slowly and clearly, and there’s plenty of trivia nuggets in there about Dutch history across the years, as well as some of the country’s most famous figures.
One of the world’s most popular countries to travel to and home to over 125 million people, Japan has an incredible and vibrant culture- and to get the most of it, getting to grips with the language is needed. LearnJapanesePod aims to help you learn Japanese, with a series of podcasts featuring conversations in Japanese about various topics in the country’s language and culture. There’s simple phrases that you might use on holiday if you’re visiting, or more in depth chats about hobbies and other topics for a deeper understanding, and episodes are later broken down in English to help run through what you’ve learnt.
Korean- Talk To Me In Korean
Talk To Me In Korean, much like EasyGerman, is a full online resource with plenty of material on learning Korean, as well as textbooks for further reading. It also hosts a few podcasts to guide you through the language, from quick lessons to gain an understanding of the grammar and phrases, to podcasts with conversations 100% in Korean, to improve your skills by listening to natural conversations in the language.
The Path of The Polygot- General
This podcast is a more general language oriented podcast, aimed at helping you understand languages and linguistics from around the world more broadly. It’s hosted by Adam, who’ll teach about languages, how to learn them, and facts about each one. Some episodes are centred largely around one language, while others are about different language topics, like which language is easiest to learn, and which are the most bizarre.
Chinese- Everyday Easy Chinese
A truly bitesized podcast, Everyday Easy Chinese are each only three minutes in length, designed to help you spend a bit of time learning new words in the language everyday. Each episode features Teacher Lin, who’ll go through one new word each day, what it means and how it’s pronounced, and then give you related words that you can create with it. Each instalment might be short, but it’ll help you to build your vocabulary and understanding of the language.
Story Learning Podcast
StoryLearning was set up by polygot Olly Richards as an initiative to make language learning easier. There’s a website with different language courses online, as well as the StoryLearning podcast, which covers a broad range of topics, with some focused on a particular language like French or Spanish, and some focused on more general subjects like whether you should read or listen more to learn new words.