How to learn with Google Podcasts

A few days ago I found a very interesting and useful tool for learning. It’s called Google Podcasts.

Until recently, I thought that the only site through which you can listen to podcasts and audiobooks is Audible. And since I had a bad experience with Audible a few months ago (it took me a day to figure out how to cancel my £9 a month subscription, because the unsubscribe button was hidden among the other settings), I didn’t want to use it anymore.

Apparently, there is another site for listening to podcasts: Google Podcasts. And, unlike Audible, it’s free.  I don’t know if there are more podcasts on GP than on Audible, but it’s clear that those that exist seem to be very interesting:

Sozusagen! by Bayerischer Rundfunk. This show broadcasts every Friday at 15:20, on Bayern 2, a regional station of the land of Bayern. It talks about topics in German linguistics and grammar. It also addresses current issues, for example, the episode two weeks ago was called “Bitte bleiben Sie gesund”, and talks about the coronavirus and prevention methods.

DW Learn German. A podcast aimed at fluent German speakers (B1-C2). They have two types of shows: a 3-9 minute podcast on various topics and a podcast in which the news is spoken in a slow tempo. They are produced by Deutsche Welle (DW), a highly read and appreciated media group in Europe, with content available in 30 languages.

Coffee Break <insert language>. I discovered this series recently, along with Google Podcasts. It is a very interesting audio podcast (at least Coffee Break Spanish), especially because some episodes are recorded in Spain and with native Spanish speakers. CB Spanish won my heart when they interviewed people who sell fruit or various products in a market. Ordinary people, not the kind of people with “radio voices” who usually record podcasts. There are Coffee Break podcasts for Spanish, German, French, Italian, Swedish, Chinese.

LanguagePod101. Although the company behind the LanguagePod101 series, Innovative Language, promotes its websites through all possible methods, they still put some of the content on platforms like Youtube. But I was surprised to see that there are many podcasts (or mini-podcasts) even on GP.

Streetwise Hebrew. A podcast that, although not very good audio quality, is pure gold. Basically the host focuses on a word (or expression) from the Hebrew slang. He explains how that word is used colloquially, but also how that style of speech is seen. A unique and very interesting podcast. A podcast I recently discovered. They usually have a lesson with a structure similar to that of Pimsleur audio lessons, the only difference is that a lesson has 45 minutes, divided into three parts of 15 minutes each. Interesting. Interestingly, I will go through all the leranHebrewPod material after I finish the Pimsleur. Be careful not to confuse with HebrewPod101, they are two different products, produced by different companies and with different structures.

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