- Japanese Pod 101 is a solid platform, with lots of content and good value for money, especially with the lower end tiers – which give you the meat of the content without fluff.
Japanese Pod 101 has been going since 2005 as a Podcast, and this history can be seen in the product as it exists today. There is a bunch of content, 2950 audio and video lessons according to their website, that have been wrangled into some kind of order after the fact. To navigate, they have learning paths, subject areas and difficulty levels. These do an adequate, but not outstanding, job of guiding you through your learning journey. The content tends to read more like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure than a sequential novel in chapters.
This weakness is also a strength. Japanese Pod 101 is a living, evolving organism, where new lessons are being added on an ongoing basis. The podcast is still the platform’s beating heart.
For beginner to somewhat advanced students, Japanese Pod 101 is a really solid option for learning the language using an audio-focused approach.
- Japanese Pod 101 is inlcuded in our list of Japanese Language Resources here.
How Does Japanese Pod 101 Japanese Work?
- Japanese Pod 101 takes you through a series of Podcast-style audio and video lessons that usually run for around 20 minutes.
- Content is arranged by level and by topic.
- Extra features to go with this content includes flashcard modules, a word bank for saving vocabulary and chunked up lesson notes
Listen to an interview with the founder Peter Galante
Things we like about Japanese Pod 101 for Japanese
Content in a variety of formats, including a large selection of video and audio content. Video is king when you want to be fully engaged with conversational learning, but audio remains more convenient for learning on the go
Things we don’t like about Japanese Pod 101 for Japanese
Overall, Japanese Pod 101 is a great, deeply content rich platform that will take you a long way at a reasonable price.
Combine with these other platforms to create your own learning suite:
- Rocket Japanese – For a systematic, wholistic course
- Pimsleur – for a focus on listening and speaking backed by a scientific approach (Japanoscope Review here)
- Memrise – for a duolingo style app built around videos of real native speakers (Memrise vs. Duolingo Review here)
- Duolingo – For well designed, gamified, entry-level practice (Japanoscope Review here)
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Language Learning Program Reviews
My personal experience of using Pimsleur Japanese. Screen shots, things I noticed and liked or didn’t like. Where to buy Pimsleur cheap, if it’s your thing, and alternate language programs if it’s not.
My personal experiences of using Japanese Pod 101 as a long time Japanese learner. Includes discount codes and free resource pack link.
About the reviewer
I’m Peter Head. I have succesfully completed the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N1). I lived in Japan for four years as a student and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and singing songs in Japanese and English.