English, Chinese, Japanese, and More Podcasts: Brush Up on Foreign Languages for Free
We’ve (sorta) been there. You might not have been asked about English specifically, but there would be moments when you encountered someone speaking a different language from you.
Singapore is like a melting pot for foreign languages because of its multicultural society, and knowing more languages is sometimes pretty beneficial.
If you are thinking about moving here or simply want to learn for fun, there’s an affordable way to do so: Self-learn via podcasts.
Here’s a list of podcasts for you!
TL:DR: Best Podcasts to Learn English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Bahasa Indonesian, Spanish & French
Click here to jump:
- Bahasa Indonesia
- FAQs about learning a foreign language
Best Languages to Learn in Singapore
Well, there’s no best language; it really depends on what you want to learn.
Singapore’s official languages spoken and written are English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
The official working language here is English, and each individual, when going through school, will have to pick their respective mother tongues. This makes most Singaporeans bilingual, not counting the fact that some may have their own dialects.
And thanks to the Korean and Japanese waves, Korean and Japanese are popularised, with more people picking up these languages to communicate and understand their favourite celebrities’ words.
Similarly, French, German, Spanish and Bahasa Indonesian are choices of foreign languages to learn in Singapore.
Do You Need to Pay For Podcasts?
It depends on the platform you’re using.
However, most podcasts can be found online for free, but you would have to create or register for an account before you can access any materials.
For the uninitiated, you can refer to this list for the prices of streaming sites:
|Platform||Price per month (SGD)|
English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Indonesian, Korean and French Podcasts in Singapore
Working adults are busy bees. Sometimes, you just don’t have the energy to attend classes after work.
But thankfully, we have online podcasts to save our day!
Best Podcasts to Learn Bahasa Indonesian
For those who’re looking to learn Bahasa Indonesian, these are some podcasts you can pick up from:
- IndonesianPod101: $25 per month (Premium Membership) | $35 for 50 exclusive audio lessons
- Learning Indonesian: Free on website
- Survival Phrases: Indonesian: Free on website
Best Podcasts to Learn Chinese or Mandarin
No doubt, Chinese is one of the hardest languages to learn.
It can be challenging for beginners due to the intonations (han yu pin yin) and the same pronunciation of different words with different meanings.
- Slow Chinese: Free for Apple users
- Coffee Break Chinese: Free or on Spotify
- iMandarinPod: Free for Apple users
Best Podcasts to Learn English
If you’re considering working in Singapore, this is the language you must learn as it is the official working language here.
Check out the British Council’s website, LearnEnglish, a platform where you can find many beginner-friendly podcast lessons.
- LearnEnglish Podcasts: Free on website
- Learn English | EnglishClass101.com: Free on website
- ELIS Podcast: Free on website
Best Podcast to Learn German
Unquestionably, German takes centre stage as the official language of Germany.
While many European countries boast a diverse linguistic landscape, German primarily flourishes within the continent, finding sizable populations of German speakers in Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.
Despite its modest population, the allure of learning German has captured the hearts of language enthusiasts worldwide, earning it the prestigious rank as the fifth most studied language globally.
- German GrammarPod: Free on website
Best Podcasts to Learn French
For the uninitiated, French has traversed the globe alongside the French colonial empire, leaving its linguistic imprint far and wide. Presently, a remarkable total of 29 countries worldwide embrace French as a spoken language!
It is the third most widely spoken non-native language, a testament to its enduring allure and global reach.
- Talk in French Podcast with Frédéric Bibard: Free on website
- Learn French by Podcast: Free on website
Best Podcasts to Learn Italian
When I think of Italian, it’s always pizzas and pasta.
Learning Italian can undoubtedly help you familiarise yourselves with the exotic food names.
- 30 Minute Italian Podcast with Cher Hale: Free on website
- Coffee Break Italian: Free on website
- ItalianPod101.com: $25 per month (Premium Membership) | $35 for 50 exclusive audio lessons
Best Podcasts to Learn Japanese
If you’re an anime fan, I’m sure you’ve heard words like ‘Nani’ being thrown around.
The Japanese language has a trio of scripts: Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. Learning Japanese is equivalent to opening doors to a vibrant world of literature, art, manga, anime, and movies.
Best Podcasts to Learn Korean
Do you have a favourite K-Pop celebrity?
If ‘Oppa’ is all you know, why not take this chance to learn the language so that you can understand the songs by the artist?
- Talk to Me in Korean: Free on website | Spotify
- KoreanClass101: $25 per month (Premium Membership) | $35 for 50 exclusive audio lessons
- Let’s Learn Korean.: Free on website
Best Podcasts to Learn Malay
Singapore’s national language is Malay, which is recognised as the language of the Malay community, reflecting the country’s multicultural identity.
While English is the primary language for administration and business, Malay is significant in Singapore’s cultural fabric and is taught in schools as a second language. It plays an essential role in fostering a sense of unity and inclusivity among Singapore’s diverse population.
- Colloquial Malay (Beginners): Free on website
- Excuse My Malayness (Intermediate): Free on website
- Bahasa Melayu Alkitab (Advanced): Free on website
Best Podcasts to Learn Spanish
Behind English, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language worldwide and is the third most utilised language on the Internet.
- Spanish Obsessed with Rob and Liz: Free for beginners
- A–Zero To A–Hero: Spotify
- Españolistos: Free on website
FAQs on Language Podcasts & Language Classes
Can You Learn a Language Through Podcasts?
The only drawback in learning through podcasts is that you don’t have someone to practise speaking with.
But that said, you can still learn how to read and pronounce certain words through self-practice.
Can You Learn a Language Just by Listening to It?
Learning a new language is challenging.
Besides listening, you must constantly speak and read in the language to internalise your learning.
Can You Use Your SkillsFuture Credits on Language Classes?
Of course, if you’d like to attend classes formally, you can actually use your SkillsFuture credits to supplement your course fees.
However, this is only for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, so foreigners would have to fork out the full sum.
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