Season One is a Wrap

Well, that was a learning experience for us, hope it was for you all, too. Although I hope it was a learning experience for different reasons! This season finishes at a good time. It’s about a month before the JLPT, so you can re-listen to all of these and have a bit more practice reading the grammar and hearing the passages. Maybe enough to add a few points to your total.

Secondly, it gives me and my team here a chance to think about what we want to do differently for the next season. We all do other stuff, so time is our biggest constraint, but we want to come up with new stories and a give you all a better experience. For example, I know the intro was too long after a few episodes, but just didn’t have time to do anything about it. The last few episodes I just sort of kludged something more brief together, but I will swing back and redo it.

We want to hear your thoughts about what you liked, didn’t like, and what we could do to give you a unique and effective way to learn Japanese. We are thinking of non-JLPT content (so glad I decided to have “JLPT” as part of the domain name now…), some Q & A, and other things. So leave a comment and be heard.

Finally, best of luck on the test if you are taking it. Or, best of luck on the next Japanese thing that comes out of your mouth! See you in a few weeks!

19 thoughts on “Season One is a Wrap”

  1. just a radom question. how do you count your listeners per episode?

    please start the season 2 asap? please? ’cause y’all have been a great help in my journey to understanding the japanese language

    Godspeed and more power to all of you and from the bottom of my hypothalamus, 本当にありがとう!! 🙇‍

  2. These little stories are really fun! I love how they’re designed with the JLPT in mind, and therefore feature the JLPT grammar points and vocabulary. To practice I’m listening to each sentence at a time and writing it out without looking at a dictionary. Can’t wait for season 2! Please do more episodes for N1 🙂

  3. I’m not following the JLPT (doing KKLC with graded readers), and even so, these are very useful for me. The production quality is high, and I appreciate the fast, native speed. My only suggestion would be to not be afraid of branching out to include non-JLPT levels, and/or focusing on themes. For example an episode about a typical conversation in a sushi restaurant, or typical office talk in another episode. I think with more creative freedom this podcast could really fly!

    Looking forward to season 2!

    1. That’s great to hear. Regarding the subject matter, this is a direction we are thinking about, so thanks for your feedback. It makes me especially thrilled that I hard-coded “JLPT” into the podcast and domain name 😩

  4. I really really like this concept. I use graded readers a lot for improving my reading as well so this definitely aides my studying! I totally get breaking away from JLPT but if you could still use some kind of leveling system I think that would be beneficial. It helps us identify whether something will be on our level or not. A few of the resources I used to use went thematic and it was interesting but the content became either too difficult or too easy without a good way to tell if what I was about to listen to would be something I’d reasonably understand.
    Whatever you choose to do, I’m sure it’ll be awesome! Thank you for creating this resource!

    1. Got it. Makes sense. The JLPT works well to provide general guardrails for the content depth and complexity, so we will probably keep it, especially since it’s a well known, albeit imperfect, standard. Like most people who study Japanese know, whatever level of JLPT you have under your belt doesn’t directly relate to how well you really speak and understand Japanese, but coming up with a better system is for smarter folks than I.

      By stretching out from the JLPT, we’d like to incorporate different content which is used all the time in work, home, and social settings here in JP: common onomatopoeia, “essential” keigo, and so on. It is fun and useful to learn, even though you might get one vocabulary question on the JLPT (I remember mine, it was こりごり and I got it wrong, and will never forget it now).

      Mostly, I want to create challenging and interesting content that makes people better at all aspects of Japanese. You may know people who passed the N1, but the pronunciation is so off, they sound like the episode of The Office where they all spoke Japanese. It takes all these different aspects to communicate and interact here in Japan, and I used something like what we are trying to duct-tape together to improve my own Japanese.

      Thanks again for your comment, and I hope you continue to give us your feedback.

  5. This gem was recommended to me by Tofugu.

    I really enjoy this podcast, the voices are good, the native speed is tough but necessary, the stories are nice.
    The length is just right, the sound files don’t feel bloated and I love how grammar is just a click away.

    Please keep going guys, really looking forward to season 2.

    Have a nice summer.

  6. I just finished a class my school says should have me at N5 level, but I had trouble following the first N5 episode, even when I slowed it down. I know native speakers tend to talk really fast in every language, but I would appreciate a resource with more deliberate pacing and pronunciation for beginning listeners.

    If anyone has a good suggestion, please let me know. This language feels impenetrable right now!

    1. It takes time to train your ear for listening practice. I would read the transcript and be sure to understand each vocabulary word and sentence meaning. There are podcasts with slower dialogue but it makes sense to listen at a natural pace. If you understand the transcripts and meaning of the story then listen again for a few days in a row until you can pick out individual words in the sentence. You have to be patient with that ability. That goes for any foreign language until your mind gets used to the pace and structure of each sound.

    2. Like Amy says, I think the sooner you start adapting to natural pace and natural speech patterns, the better. It may seem relentless at first, but it gets easier, I promise!

  7. 先日、このポッドカストを見つけました。長さはかんぺきで、ティムは面白いで英語の訳書は便利です。大好きです!ありがとうございます😊

  8. Hi,

    Just wanted to add on top of everyone else that I found your podcast to be really helpful! Being able to hear a short story helps to reinforce learning a lot better than flashcards etc.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Really enjoyed it, thanks a lot! Superhelpful for practicing Japanese. Looking forward to new ones!!

    Thank you very much once again!

  10. Excellent for listening practice. I think it’s a fine idea to align with JLPT and I listen to all levels regardless. I found your podcast through a recommendation on Tofugu. Keep it up!

  11. I think you should add tags or some sort of categorization for the JLPT levels, so people can easily find all of the audio for a particular level. For instance, someone who is at N5 level probably has no interest in something that is N2, and it can be frustrating to search through all the pages of the site trying to find ones for a specific level, especially as the amount of content continues to grow. I like the site in general, this would just help me like it more 🙂

    1. Hey, thanks a lot for the feedback! I’ll put up a widget to filter by level as soon as I can. You can currently do this via URL, as they are all tagged like this:

      I would encourage N5 listeners to listen to them all, and vice versa. I found listening to Japanese news very helpful early on, even though I understood very little at the beginning. Best of luck and thanks again!

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