I see in the advertising that the backup audio CD features "banter free" lessons.
Could we please have these for available for regular download ?
The banter has always annoyed me. I treat my lessons as serious - I want to concentrate on learning, not unrelated and distracting chatter. It is even more irritating if you are listening to the lesson again for review.
Yeah, the Japanese banter is great, I wish there was a Japanese commentary bonus track for every lesson. Just keep them in there chatting for another 10 minutes, although I'm sure it's not that simple The English banter seems to be less useful since it tends to veer off topic, and I did get a bit frustrated reviewing the beginner lessons at times. I generally reviewed the PDF and the dialogue, though, since it's all English no matter what at beginner level. It's hard for them to make everything fun and useful when they can't speak any Japanese.
Wow. I'm all for offering banter-free lessons in the name of choice, but the banter was one of the things that really drew me in to the podcasts. I agree that it's a bit annoying if you're reviewing lessons, and obviously as you progress you want more of it to be in japanese. But don't lose it altogether please!
Honestly, that was what drew me in. Knowing that the people are enjoying what they are doing and they are regular people help me stay focused on what is going on. Granted, there is a "TOO much", but I have yet to hear it.
In my opinion, you get used to what you call banter; it is what kept me going with the listening to Japanesepod101. If I wanted a dry and straight forward lesson - I would purchase one of the many "Learn Japanese" books and CD's in the bookstores. It is my belief that they were and are trying to keep it lively and interesting
I can understand your point of view for review, but you have to take the good with the less desirable.. I haven't reached the Intermediate level yet, but I can only imagine they get down to business much faster.
To me it's just like College, if you had a dull, dry, check box type of professor then you didn't get much out of the lesson, but when you have a lively and entertaining professor you felt like you could absorb more.
Anyhow I am sure there is going to be Pros and Cons to everything.
I agree with all you previous writers. The banters make it easier and motivating to keep on learning Japanese, although it sometimes does get annoying if one wants to listen to only the dialogs for practice.
I think a good idea would be making the episodes in versions with and without banters. And why not a version with chatter in Japanese only, since listening to Japanese explanations is a good way of learning alternate ways of saying the same thing.
And one tip for listeners here is to try EnglishPod101 too. The dialogues are of course in English (surprise surprise!) but all other talkings are (mostly) in Japanese. Also it's quite interesting to hear what Japanese translations would be likely/suitable to spoken English expressions one hardly finds in traditional academic textbooks of any language, as far as I know ("I got it", "aw, get on!" etc)
I just listened to the sample lesson in EngPod101, and I find it funny that I think a podcast to learn English is more useful than one that's geared towards Japanese I'm still in the Beginner lessons, so I might have to make that transition as I get more advanced.
There, you can select the "dialog" files. In iTunes, for example, you can create smart playlists that will do live updating on the criteria you want. This would be good to set up a dialog only list after you've listened to it and have learned everything.
I don't mind the lesson being framed in this "talk-show" format, but there really is too much banter. I find it overly cute and distracting.
On another note, some of the more advanced lessons (e.g., onomatopoeia) have incredibly slow, syllable-by-syllable review of the dialog. While this is useful at a beginner level, it is very inconvenient and irritating at an intermediate level.
I am VERY surprised by this topic. What made the difference in Japanesepod101.com and made it so succesful is, I think, the fun atmosphere, the radio show feeling, and the fact that in particular in the old times (I am referring to beginner season 1 and 2, intermediate 1, lower intermediate 1-2...) you got to know the different character of the hosts (Peter, Natsuko, Yoshi... Takase!), you understood the jokes and so on... Simple straightforward lessons could have got boring easily and quickly. Also, jokes and stories are good mnemonics and actually helped me to remember very well some vocabulary, and grammar. Also, I think this kind of 'fun' atmosphere' is lacking in the latest seasons making them much less interesting, though maybe better organized. Bring back some of the fun.
The problem is actually when you want to listen a lesson the second time. Separating the dialogue and the vocabulary review was a nice step.