Using Real Audio,
a little program you can download free from the internet, you can listen to hundres of
local an international radio stations from all over the world. Whenever you are online,
you can switch your Real Audio Player on and let the language slip into your ears, a very
good passive understanding training you can have for free.
can do it too
The first thing is to get the Real Audio
applet (little program that can be called from your browser). The last time I
checked, it was still free but you had to look hard into their site to find the free
version. If you don't want to download it, you can still buy an internet magazine that
comes with a CD and it should be there too. Clicking on the logo above should
bring you to the right page for downloading.
Finding the right radio
Then, all you have is find an online radio station that fits
you. Some things you might look for in your pet stations include :
- Broadcasting language
- Of course you want to listen in your target language, so
that's the most important thing.
- Type of radio
- Some are local radios (the most outlandish
but some get boring quickly), others are national radios, more
interesting because you get the feel of the country, there are many sendings where people
talk and the language will be more intelligible. There are also international
radios, that is, radio stations that broadcast overseas in many languages for
travelling nationals and people like us. These radios are usually the most convenient for
language learning, with almost 100% talk in a very clear language, and topics of interest
- Server capacity
- You need a radio station that you can receive well, without
interruptions. Some have powerful connections to the internet and you'll never experiment
problems, but others are terrible. Experience is your best guide.
You should pay your first visit to the big international
radio stations that broadcast in many languages. There are easy to use and broadcast
probably in the language you are studying. As I'm mainly interested in spanish and russian
speaking stations, there's a bias in my list, but I I were you I would look at least at
the first three in my list :
|The best online
||The german international radio broadcasts in 35
languages, with many interesting sendings. More than 1400 people work there, they even
have programs in Sanskrit ! They also have an excellent connection.
||Excellent internet arm of the broadcasting
giant, 8 languages, good connection. This is a place for mainstream languages but you have
a wide choice and the sendings are usually interesting.
||Very good for russian, with twice daily news
where you can listen to russian politicians like nowhere else. Also in spanish and german.
||Good, with programs in russian, spanish,
ukrainian, chinese, and of course, french and english.
|List of spanish speaking
||What it says. The best one on the internet, it
is updated frequently. If you're learning spanish, this is the place to begin.
Voice of America
||Quite "American" but a good place to
find reliable samples of Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonse, Czech, Vietnamese, Urdu, and
many other languages in Real Audio.
||For a long time the voice of America which
broadcasted anti-red propaganda in Eastern Europe. 33 languages, mostly from the ex-soviet
block, including turkmen. Many links don't work, but still worth a try.