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Learn That Language Now -- Learn a New Language 3 Times Faster
Using the Internet to Listen to Radios in your Target Language
Home > Guide > Tips & Tricks > Foreign Radios

Using Real Audio, a little program you can download free from the internet, you can listen to hundres of local an international radio stations from all over the world. Whenever you are online, you can switch your Real Audio Player on and let the language slip into your ears, a very good passive understanding training you can have for free.


How you can do it tooRealAudio.gif (1654 bytes)

The first thing is to get the Real Audio applet (little program that can be called from your browser). The last time I checked, it was still free but you had to look hard into their site to find the free version. If you don't want to download it, you can still buy an internet magazine that comes with a CD and it should be there too. Clicking on the logo above should bring you to the right page for downloading.


Finding the right radio for you

Then, all you have is find an online radio station that fits you. Some things you might look for in your pet stations include :

Broadcasting language
Of course you want to listen in your target language, so that's the most important thing.
Type of radio
Some are local radios (the most outlandish but some get boring quickly), others are national radios, more interesting because you get the feel of the country, there are many sendings where people talk and the language will be more intelligible. There are also international radios, that is, radio stations that broadcast overseas in many languages for travelling nationals and people like us. These radios are usually the most convenient for language learning, with almost 100% talk in a very clear language, and topics of interest to foreigners.
Server capacity
You need a radio station that you can receive well, without interruptions. Some have powerful connections to the internet and you'll never experiment problems, but others are terrible. Experience is your best guide.

You should pay your first visit to the big international radio stations that broadcast in many languages. There are easy to use and broadcast probably in the language you are studying. As I'm mainly interested in spanish and russian speaking stations, there's a bias in my list, but I I were you I would look at least at the first three in my list :


The best online radio ressources
Deutsche WelleThe german international radio broadcasts in 35 languages, with many interesting sendings. More than 1400 people work there, they even have programs in Sanskrit !  They also have an excellent connection.


BBC World ServiceExcellent internet arm of the broadcasting giant, 8 languages, good connection. This is a place for mainstream languages but you have a wide choice and the sendings are usually interesting.


The Voice of RussiaVery good for russian, with twice daily news where you can listen to russian politicians like nowhere else. Also in spanish and german. Good connection.


Radio Canada InternationalGood, with programs in russian, spanish, ukrainian, chinese, and of course, french and english.


List of spanish speaking radiosWhat it says. The best one on the internet, it is updated frequently. If you're learning spanish, this is the place to begin.


The Voice of AmericaQuite "American" but a good place to find reliable samples of  Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonse, Czech, Vietnamese, Urdu, and many other languages in Real Audio.


Radio Free EuropeFor a long time the voice of America which broadcasted anti-red propaganda in Eastern Europe. 33 languages, mostly from the ex-soviet block, including turkmen. Many links don't work, but still worth a try.

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