My Thoughts on JapanesePod101.com
JapanesePod101.com has been around for years, and I used it on and off back in the early days, and would always get annoyed with it and quit. They have continued putting out new content on a regular basis, and are now probably one of the largest and best resources of Japanese audio for learners. While everyone may have their own opinions, I think the majority of their content is not very good. However, I think they do have some really good content that is worth paying for. I will talk some more about which lessons I personally found the most useful below, to hopefully keep you from wasting your time or having a bad experience.
A lot of their lessons have a short dialogue, along with a much longer discussion about the grammar and vocabulary and things contained in that dialogue. I would spend some time on each lesson making sure that I fully understood the dialogue, then I would keep the dialogues to listen to whenever I could. I would listen over and over and over again. I'm still listening to them years later.
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My Recommended Lesson Path
In my opinion, these are the most important lessons to work through, and the best order to do it in. Please enable "Classic Mode" in the lesson library in order to find these.
- Absolute Beginner Seasons 1-2: Only recommended if you have no experience with Japanese.
- Newbie Seasons 2-5: A good starting point if you have already studied Japanese a little. Please skip season 1, its pretty bad.
- Particles: The dialogues are pretty solid.
- Beginner Seasons 4-6: This is a direct continuation from Newbie Season 3.
- Japanese for Everyday Life Lower Intermediate: A more interactive lesson that prompts you to try answering in Japanese.
- Lower Intermediate Seasons 2-6 (in reverse order): Things are getting more difficult, make sure you are good on the previous lessons before moving into this.
- Advanced Audio Blog Season 1: Just some Japanese dialogues, without any discussion sections.
- Upper Intermediate Seasons 1-5: The discussion and explaination parts are almost completely in Japanese.
- Advanced Audio Blog Seasons 2-7: Probably the most difficult content on the site.
Other recommended Lessons
- Japanese Culture Classes: Learn about Japan.
- Survival Phrases: Good to know if you are visiting or moving to Japan.
They have a ton of other stuff that you can browse as you like. A lot of it just rehashes the same things that are covered in the other lessons, or are low quality lessons from their first few years. I like to stay subscribed to their free podcast feed in order to catch all of their new lessons.