For quite a while I had been listening to some of the NHK podcasts, which are all great resources to practice Japanese, with the caveat that these are heavily weighted towards polite and somewhat formal language. In many cases the people are talking are professional radio DJs or have refined their skills of speaking to a great extent.
To balance things out, I was in search of a podcast with more casual Japanese when my wife found me one to perfectly fit my requirements..
The podcast is ”ゲームモゴモゴ” (geemu mogo mogo), where “mogo mogo” is a word used to express the sound of chewing, something roughly equivalent to the English “chomp”, and can also be said as “mogu mogu”. The word “geemu” is an English loanword meaning “game”, often a computer or other digital game (as opposed to a board game).
In this series, four Japanese people (two guys and two women) talk about various types of games, including those for mobile devices (iPhone, etc.) and for consoles (PS4, etc.). I’ve only listened to two episodes so far (one is around an hour), but there was also some talk about Anime, and about life in general. As to what “chomp” has to do with anything – I think it’s just a random title meant to stand out.
Although I did learn about a pretty cool game by listening to it (the augmented reality MMORPG Ingress), the best thing about “geemu mogo mogo” is that everyone speaks in a casual, natural way, as if they are a bunch of friends relaxing together as they talk. After listening to way too many NHK podcasts, I can really hear the major differences in their intonation, sentence structure, and different vocabulary that is used, and it’s really a breath of fresh air for my continuing studies in Japanese.
It’s also a nice bonus that one of the guys who is on the show is roughly my age, and another one maybe 10-15 years younger than him. From what I’ve heard the women on the show don’t use super girly speech (I’d guess one is in her 30s), so there is less for me to be concerned about accidentally using in my own speech.
While much of the discussion is what I would call everyday conversation, I noticed that the older guy uses some game-related terms I haven’t heard before. Originally I thought that was just because he was a game nerd, but when I checked the podcast’s site it looks like he is a game designer. If you are into studying both Japanese as well as the art of making computer games, this may be the perfect podcast for you.
Like most podcasts made by native Japanese people, you need a good grasp of the language to properly follow along. Having said that, regardless of your level it wouldn’t hurt to try out an episode of two. If you’re lucky and they discuss a game you are familiar with, it will be easy to pick up words here and there.
You can see the iTunes page of the podcast here, and their homepage is here. It looks like they have over 50 episodes, so if you get hooked you’ll have yourself a great many hours of happy listening prepared for you.