I decided to take a break from my usual lineup of Japanese podcasts and download a few episodes of a podcast I’d heard once or twice before, “青春あるでひど”. The title is made up the word 青春 (seishun), which means roughly means “youth” and あるでひど which is probably a reference to アルデヒド (aldehyde) which is a common organic compound.
The website gives a interesting description of it’s content so I’ll excerpt that and give a rough translation of a portion of it here.
Cutting Edge Science Radio: Arm yourself with logic to get through a cheerio-holding slacker life.
(I tried to give a fairly literal translation but the result is less than ideal. A less literal translation would be sound much more natural in English.)
The content of this podcast matches up pretty well with the above description. It’s about science with a splash (or a waterfall) or joking around mixed in.
I’ve only listened through around 7-8 of the newer episodes so far, but answering listeners science-related questions in detail has been a large portion of the show. There are also extended discussions about various topics including science, food, and traveling, which can last 10-15 minutes on some of the topics. Sometimes there is also guests invited to show, like a Rakugo expert who spoke about this form of traditional verbal entertainment.
The show is hosted by two younger men (hence the ‘youth’ portion of the title), roughly late 20s to early 30s, which is a big plus for me since I feel that I can learn more useful expressions from someone in my age group. The drawback is that they speak Kansai dialect, so I try to avoid copying their pronunciation and sometimes think thyself what their lines would sound like in Tokyo dialect.
The presence of a dialect is the only reason I don’t recommend this for beginner students of Japanese, since there is a chance they might pick up the regional pronunciation of certain words. Studying Japanese as a second language at my age, I don’t expect to ever be able to sound exactly like a native speaker, but I try to make an effort to focus on speaking standard Tokyo dialect, and recommend the same for most beginners. If you have friends or family who speak Oosaka/Kansai dialect, or you want to live there because of interest in that region, of course it’s OK to choose that dialect as your base. However just pick one dialect and try to stick to it.
For those looking to listen to science-related Japanese spoken in Tokyo dialect, you can try this podcast out which is generally easier to follow: http://science-podcast.jp/voynich.html
Although the hosts speak in an everyday casual tone, the wide range of subjects and accompanying technical terms can make this podcast hard to follow, but I still enjoy the portions I can understand, and feel that I learn a lot from this show.