In this post I’d like to discuss the Japanese podcast “僕と、嫁さんと、息子と、ゲームと” which I’ve been listening to almost every day during my commutes to work lately. (By the way, if you aren’t using podcasts to help supplement your Japanese studies, you’re missing out! You can see a few other of my podcast reviews here)
This podcast, translated as “My wife, son, games, and I”, is pretty true to it’s name: it involves a husband and wife talking about raising their child, along with discussions about games and gaming in general. To be honest, the content itself isn’t that groundbreaking–if you are personally raising a child or are a gamer yourself, you won’t necessarily learn that much, though you’ll likely have many “そうだよね〜” moments where you nod in agreement as you listen. This is pretty much in line with the authors intentions, since they explicitly say at the beginning of each episode they are making these recordings as a memento of their lives so they can come back someday and remember how things were (“後から振り返るために”)
As someone studying Japanese as a foreign language, the great thing about this podcast is the medium, not the message. Though there are occasionally polite forms used, the conversation is between a husband and wife talking about things very personal to them, like how their son had to go to the hospital for some problem. They aren’t professional broadcasters either, nor are they aiming for the type of formal atmosphere, so you just get two people chatting naturally about everyday stuff. Once they start talking about a subject, they tend to stick to it for some time (though they sometimes go on a tangent), which helps Japanese learners understand the flow of conversation easier, especially when there are words or phrases you aren’t familiar with. Also, both of them are pretty expressive with a rich vocabulary of phrases, and that I always pick up new things from each episode.
For those of us learning Japanese that are trying to get away from stiff, formal, or unrealistic (from anime, etc.) language and hear “real” Japanese as it is spoken by everyday people, this is a real treasure trove. And if you are into raising children and games, like me, then it’s even better. I’d even go as far as to say that this is required listening for parents who are raising their son or daughter bilingual Japanese, but are not native speakers theirself.
So why not start listening now? Even for beginners who are still learning basic grammar and vocabulary, I think a few minutes of this day will work wonder to enrich your Japanese. There isn’t that many special terms used, and getting a good grasp of the language they use is essential for anyone considering (or currently) living in Japan, or just wanting to increase their conversational fluency.
You can check out their website here, and their iTunes link here. Skimming through it myself for the first time, I noticed that the father from this podcast is actually a big fan of another podcast I’ve reviewed previously.