In order to feel that I’m making the most of the time that it takes to get to my part-time job and back, I jog. That’s about 30 minutes of easy downhill and harsh uphill – really gets me going for the day. I was wondering what I could listen to whilst jogging – whilst music is nice, I want something a little more stimulating – it was then that I remembered TBS Radio.

These podcasts are fantastic! I just scrolled down the page and subscribed to them all in iTunes, then, when listening to them on my iPod over the space of two weeks, marked some for unsubscription, and left myself with four that I like. Because the episodes are all quite short (20 mins), they make great manageable bite-size chunks. Also, because these are podcasts and not actual radio programs, the things they talk about tend to be a bit more ‘real’, and the presenters somewhat relaxed and ‘natural’.

I’m really enjoying listening to them. There used to be a time when I’d listen to Japanese radio and find it hard work to make sense of anything that was said, finding it to be more of a chore than anything, but now, whilst I don’t understand about 50% of what I hear, I can follow the conversation by using context and my own knowledge of the subject to fill in between the bits I do understand.

This morning I listened to a recent episode in which my favourite presenter, whose name I forget, spent 20-minutes talking about a movie director who suffered terrible embarrassment when filming because he couldn’t click his fingers. Yesterday, it was all about the funny things people do on the bullet train. There’s also a five minute program where these two ‘singer song-writers’ (I use that term in the loosest possible sense) visit schools, ask children to write down their dreams, and then turn those dreams into a song which they sing live (‘growl live’ would be more appropriate in the case of the male presenter).

I’d thoroughly recommend TBS radio for anyone studying Japanese, although I think due to the speed at which people talk, it would probably be more confusing than rewarding for people in their first or second year of study.

Ho hum, porridge must be ready by now.