Here is a quick “lifehack” for you. You can now learn foreign languages and stay current on politics all at once. How so? By taking advantage of a smart podcast concept being used by French and German broadcasters. Radio France Internationale (RFI) issues a daily program called Le Journal en français facile (iTunes — feed — web site), which delivers the nightly international news in slow and easy-to-understand French. Along the same lines, the German media company Deutsche Welle (which puts out many great language and music programs) also has its own nightly news program — Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten (iTunes — feed — web site). It’s essentially the same concept: informative news presented in very simple German, and, in this case, it’s spoken very slowly.
Now, what’s very nice about these programs is that they also provide a written transcript of the spoken word. So you can read along as you listen and make sure that you’re really comprehending. (See transcripts in French and German). Even cooler, with the German version, if you have a video iPod, you can read the transcript on your little portable screen. (See directions).
Finally, check out this offbeat suggestion sent our way by a reader: Nuntii Latini (mp3 — web site) is “a weekly review of world news in Classical Latin, the only international broadcast of its kind in the world, produced by YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company.”
To learn more languages, please visit our complete collection Learn Languages for Free: Spanish, English, Chinese & Beyond.
Related Resource: See our article called “Coffee Break Spanish & The Threat to Traditional Media”