If you’re looking to take your listening comprehension to the next level, then you should probably check out Duolingo Podcasts.
They’re currently only available in a handful of languages, which is unfortunate as they have quietly gone on to become one of Duolingo’s best features.
But what makes them so good? What languages are they available in? And how do you start listening to them?
All will be revealed. Let’s get into it!
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What are Duolingo Podcasts?
Duolingo Podcasts are fairly self-explanatory: they’re podcasts made by Duolingo that are designed to support the learning you do on the app.
Duolingo describe them as “Fascinating stories in easy-to-understand French/Spanish/English.”
And they are. Every podcast focuses on a different story with a healthy combination of your native and target languages.
The target language isn’t so advanced that a beginner would really struggle, but isn’t so easy that an intermediate to advanced learner would get bored.
Podcasts are mainly focused on improving your listening comprehension, but they can also work wonders for your speaking as well if you practice saying out loud what you hear.
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What languages are Duolingo Podcasts available in?
Duolingo Podcasts are currently available in Spanish and French for English speakers.
They are also available in English for Spanish and Portuguese speakers.
Are Duolingo Podcasts free?
Yes, Duolingo Podcasts are 100% free!
How to get Duolingo Podcasts
There are many ways to start listening to Duolingo Podcasts.
The most obvious place is over on the Duolingo website at podcast.duolingo.com.
However, my preferred method is through Spotify so I can easily tune in on the go. Simply type “Duolingo Podcasts” into the search bar and they should come up at the top of the search results. Once you find the series you’re looking for, simply hit “Follow” so you never miss an episode, then dive in.
Alternatively, you can access Duolingo Podcasts through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, PocketCasts, iHeartRadio or Overcast.
You may also be able to get podcasts through the Duolingo app in the Audio Lessons tab.
Are Duolingo Podcasts good?
Duolingo Podcasts have been pretty well-received by the Duolingo community.
They do a really great job of immersing you in your target language, without overwhelming you with over-complicated words and phrases. There’s also the comfort blanket of your native language, which helps you stay on track even if some of the phraseology gets a bit tricky.
Another cool thing is the authenticity of the stories. The majority of the stories are based on real-life experiences and the perspectives can be really fascinating. If you’re learning Spanish, for instance, then you can expect some interesting adventures through the Americas.
That said, it’s all down to personal preference. Whether you’re interested in the subject matter will be for you to decide. You’ll probably enjoy some episodes more than others, and so you’ll probably get more out of these episodes than the others.
The good news is that Duolingo regularly release new episodes, so there’s a good chance you’ll regularly find episodes you’re interested in.
Do the podcasts come with transcripts?
Yes, Duolingo Podcasts DO come with transcripts.
To get them, simply head over to podcast.duolingo.com, choose your series, and scroll down to the episode you would like the transcript for.
These are really great when combined with something like LingQ, as you can import the transcript and save all the words and phrases to your vocabulary database.
When should you start listening to Duolingo Podcasts?
The general consensus in the Duolingo community is to get started as and when you feel like it.
If you start really early into your language learning journey then chances are you won’t understand much. However, any exposure is good exposure, so even if you’re struggling to follow along, it’s still good for your passive language acquisition.
In my case, I got started on the French podcasts about a month after I started the tree again. My French was pretty crap at that point but I was still able to get the overall gist of what was being said. The English was a big help in this respect, but actually, I didn’t find the French to be *too* challenging either.
So my advice would be to get started whenever you want!
What do you think?
I’m a big fan of Duolingo Podcasts. My only wish is that they were available in more languages — I know my Russian would definitely benefit from them!
But what do you think? Have you listened to any yet? Which language would you like Duolingo to do a podcast for next?
As always, let me know in the comments below!