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Shortwave Radio for Language Listening

  Tags: Radio | Listening
 Language Learning Forum : Music, Movies, TV & Radio Post Reply
13 messages over 2 pages: 1
United States
Joined 6529 days ago

13 posts - 13 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Spanish

 Message 9 of 13
30 May 2006 at 1:40pm | IP Logged 
to Will,

North to south signals do very well.

To find good frequencies, contact the broadcaster by mail, and they will send you a schedule. These frequencies must be online somewhere (e.g. on the broadcaster's website??).

If you are close to Mexico, try the lower bands (low frequency). If you are far from Mexico, try the higher bands (high frequency). Time of day may be critical for some countries.

I am in the southwest, near Texas. I did most of my listening in Japan, Maryland, and Tennessee.

Some advantages of SWL vs internet radio:

1) The receiver is portable.
2) You have options for target country and dialect.
3) You are one step away from amateur radio.
4) If you are into technical hobbies, you will have fun.
5) Your friends will think you are spy.
6) You can get cool postcards (do they still send out confirmations?).

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 6911 days ago

289 posts - 335 votes 
Speaks: English*, Latin, Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew
Studies: Japanese, German, Mandarin, Aramaic

 Message 10 of 13
30 May 2006 at 2:59pm | IP Logged 
Hey strings, it's nice to see another ham on the forum!

Edited by Qbe on 30 May 2006 at 2:59pm

1 person has voted this message useful

Forum Admin
Joined 7152 days ago

3094 posts - 2987 votes 
12 sounds
Speaks: French*, EnglishC2, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian
Personal Language Map

 Message 11 of 13
30 May 2006 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
Gentlemen, I am so glad to see that fellow forum members have pursued their quest for foreign language learning through radio listening further than I have. Many times did I try with a rather good receiver, but every time I got fed up to chase what I felt to be microburst transmissions of dubious interest. I know it's not fair on the short wave radio, but through the Internet there are just so many internationa and regular stations one can listen to in high quality. You don't need to stick to official, government international radio stations but can "tune in" to fun local stations. I just wanted to congratulate those members who have been more persevering than I was on this path, I don't think I gave short wave radio its fair chance!
1 person has voted this message useful

Joined 6670 days ago

2340 posts - 2444 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, Finnish, EnglishC2, Spanish
Studies: Mandarin
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 Message 12 of 13
30 May 2006 at 5:11pm | IP Logged 
Shortwave was OK in the beginning but rather too easy in the long run.

In my day the real pundits in DX:ing used to concentrate on medium wave exclusively once they got past the newbie stage after say a year or two of short wave.

Medium wave was much more difficult of course, you very rarely got the right conditions and you needed a directional aerial to get the best out of the conditions. But if you were persistant enough sooner or later you could end up catching a really rare station and it always felt like winning the lottery.
1 person has voted this message useful

Bilingual Tetraglot
United States
Joined 3483 days ago

66 posts - 155 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese*, Spanish, French
Studies: Mandarin

 Message 13 of 13
02 January 2015 at 9:06pm | IP Logged 
I got a shortwave radio for Christmas and have had some fun trying to pick up stations
here in central Brazil. However, my main interest currently would be French language
broadcasts, and I have hardly picked any of them up, and never with good reception.

Surprisingly, I have picked up a lot of Mandarin-language radio, and a couple of times
with pretty clear reception! My level is not good enough for pure listening to be
fruitful (I'm learning through video, as you can see on my blog). However, it is an
exciting prospect for me to be able to listen to Chinese radio in the future.

Obviously, Internet radio is much better. Shortwave is fun, but you have so many fewer
options and it seems the quality of the reception is a never-ending issue. HOWEVER,
the Internet is not ubiquitous for all of us. I do have wifi at my farm, but it
occasionally goes down, and my radio will be great for hikes where there is no mobile

I would be really interested in hearing from anyone else who is still using shortwave
in 2015. I am a complete newbie. I have seen the severe limitations of shortwave as
compared to traditional radio or Internet streaming, but I'm still hopeful I can put
it to good use.

1 person has voted this message useful

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