Small Talk in Japanese
Small Talk in Japanese is a podcast for intermediate to advanced Japanese learners to practice listening to real Japanese conversations. Typically the conversations are held by two enthusiastic Japanese friends who discuss topics relevant to Japanese culture and daily life.
Each episode is about 45 minutes long, during which the narrators speak at a relatively natural speed, but not so fast that intermediate learners would struggle to make out each word. The last 5 minutes are dedicated to reviewing the new vocabulary mentioned during the episode. During this review, sometimes one of the narrators explains the new words in Japanese, other times she will provide a direct translation into English. You can also find this vocabulary list on the Small Talk in Japanese blog — if you do visit the site, however, don’t be deceived by the “sign up” function at the top — this will simply sign you up for your own blog, rather than give you extra podcast benefits.
Overall, Small Talk in Japanese is an excellent resource for practicing listening comprehension. You can also check out Japanese With Noriko if you would like more structure in your learning.