In-language podcasts
December 11, 2014 6:27 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for non-English language podcasts that do NOT focus on language learning.

Don't get me wrong - I listen to and appreciate a fair number of language-learning podcasts. But I also listen to so many interesting English-language podcasts, like Stuff You Should Know and various history podcasts, as well as entertainment like Read it and Weep and Welcome to Night Vale. And it occurred to me that while the English language may have a monopoly on podcasting, it can't be the only language in which people podcast!

Basically, I want podcasts similar to my current podcasts, but NOT IN ENGLISH. I'd prefer Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, since those are the languages I speak/study, but I'd also just like a reference to other non-English-language podcasts.

Quasi-language learning podcasts are ok, like News in Slow Spanish and Popup Chinese's "Advanced" episodes, which feature 2 native speakers chatting about something interesting for 10-15 minutes. But I would really prefer entire podcast series dedicated to . . . whatever! As long as that whatever is discussed in not-English.
posted by chainsofreedom to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can use iTunes Charts and instacasts charts to check out what spanish language podcasts are popular
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 7:05 AM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

In iTunes, change "Country/Region" in your Apple ID settings to a country that has your target language as an official language. For example, change your country to Mexico and you'll get about 100% Spanish content. iTunes provides you almost all English content now because you are registered as being in an English-speaking region.

Instructions here.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:31 AM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

I only know for French, but I know that if you go to Radio France's website (the large umbrella radio system) they have links to their podcasts. Perhaps that would be a good way to do it for other languages? Find a radio website and see if they have links to various news/culture/history/art podcasts?

Here is, for ref, France Culture's podcast list.
posted by microcarpetus at 7:38 AM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love Radio Ambulante. Mostly Spanish, with occasional English episodes. It's sort of in the style of This American Life, focusing on stories of Latin America.
posted by one little who at 11:02 AM on December 11, 2014

Response by poster: Will changing my iTunes region impact the sorts of things I can buy should I need, say, Taylor Swift's new album? (For example.) I remember specifically NOT changing my region on my ITunes account when I moved to Spain because I didn't want it to get stuck there and never be able to download music with my very American credit card ever again due to copyright laws.

Perhaps I need a second iTunes account . . .
posted by chainsofreedom at 11:56 AM on December 11, 2014

You can change your iTunes region at will - but need to fill in an address form. most nations have a "no payment method" option. You can fake an address with 5 mins on google - but obviously not a payment method to buy things.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 3:23 PM on December 11, 2014

Best answer: I LOVE podcasts in other languages!

There are zillions on iTunes. The national radio organizations generally do amazing stuff - so:

RFI (Spanish): RTVE (Spanish):
  • Nómadas - 60 minute travelogue
  • Documentos RNE - 60 minute features on all kinds of prominent people and events
Radio France:
  • Un Autre Jour est Possible - fantastic Monday-Friday half hour show with a different theme each week
  • L'Essai et la revue du jour - 5 minutes or so, summarizes a recent magazine/journal issue - I THINK the web pages for each episode tends to be a fairly faithful transcript of the show (for example, Le luxe, les Lumières et la Révolution / Revue Dix-Huitième Siècle ), which can be nice for checking comprehension
  • Le bestiare - 5 minutes, animals
  • Villes Monde - 60-minute travelogue
  • La marche des sciences - 60 minutes, science
  • La marche de l'histoire - 30 minutes, history
RAI (Italian): There's also Deutsche Welle; they have a lot of German-language stuff that very much fits into your quasi-language learning category - the advanced stuff is kinda-sorta for language learning, but it's very newsy and interesting - for instance:
Also, don't miss CienciaEs - they have fabulous shows like

There are LOTS and lots and lots more - those are just some of my favorites.

I believe I found all of these just by poking around iTunes searching on words like "ciencia". Once I found a good public broadcaster I liked (like RFI and Radio France), I then poked around at all their offerings to find other stuff. (I'm partial to the public radio sources because they tend to have great sound quality and excellent writing.)

When you find a podcast you really like, it can be useful to track down the podcast's website - often they have dozens more episodes than you'll find on iTunes.

I hope that helps - enjoy!
posted by kristi at 9:02 PM on December 11, 2014 [6 favorites]

French: I like RFI's 'Autour de la question' (a bit like a French version of Radio 4's In Our Time).
posted by ontheradio at 7:16 AM on December 12, 2014

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