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What's Your Favorite Kind of JPod101 Story?

Posted: May 30th, 2008 4:44 pm
by markystar
we have a lot of listeners from all over the world. obviously, not everybody learns the same way and not everybody has the same likes and dislikes.

we try to craft our stories in many different styles for a number of reasons.
hopefully, there's something for everyone at 8)

so my question this week is...

what's your favorite kind of story?

if you vote, can you tell us your favorite story/series? :ojigi:

Posted: May 30th, 2008 5:05 pm
by kitty-chan
Crazy!! :obaka: :obaka: :obaka:
I still go back and listen to the Taro stories! :kokoro: :kokoro: :kokoro:

But actually, I like it when the story is serious and there is 1 crazy thing hidden in it. Like the story about the ryokan. 8) 8) 8)

Posted: May 30th, 2008 5:09 pm
by sTeVe aUsTiN
I like all the stories, really.

I voted for funny.

What qualifies as a crazy story? Karoshi?

Posted: May 30th, 2008 5:19 pm
by sTeVe aUsTiN
Oh, I forgot to pick a fave.

It's hard to choose, but recently the one where the guy eats a flying squirrel was pretty funny. I'll never forget the phrase 死ぬほどうまい. :lol:

Posted: May 30th, 2008 11:48 pm
by schenkus
I like the crazy ones a lot (I still miss Shakespeare Takahashi :wink: ), but I think it is the mixture between crazy, funny and serious episodes that makes listening to japanesepod so great.

I also liked the old "practical" survival phrase episodes, where a specific topic (changing money / taking trains / ...) was covered quite thoroughly.

Posted: May 31st, 2008 5:57 am
by Psy
I don't know what it says about me, but I loved the bonus track with the security guard...


Posted: May 31st, 2008 10:14 am
by danieru_s
I like all of the stories, but prefer ones that use closer-to-normal speech. Sometimes the "acting" makes it difficult for a beginner to pick up the Japanese.

Do you guys take story submissions -- rather than just concepts? I'd like to see more stories that focused on vocabulary and not try to introduce new grammar.

Posted: May 31st, 2008 3:53 pm
by markystar
actually, there are some like that.
i can't remember the titles off the top of my head... but there was one on colors and one weather that were heavy on the vocab. the banking story that's currently running is all function-based and heavy on banking vocab. the notorious "destruction of nature" lesson was also heavily vocab-based. there are others that escape my memory at the moment. but generally speaking, tho, if a lesson is heavily vocab-based we try to keep the vocab in the pdf (and in the review track for the newer lessons). the reason for this is, past experience has shown that just listing related vocab makes for a boring audio lesson. so for those interested in related vocab, we mention some important ones in the podcast and list it in the pdf & review track for those who want to expand their vocab.

as for the stories that I like...
personally, i like funny stories. but i try to tell the writers to keep keep a balance.
i think variety is key. :D

keep the votes & comments coming!![/i]

Posted: June 1st, 2008 6:48 am
by Ulver_684
Mina-sama! :wink:

I like JP101 just the way you are, don't change! :D

Posted: June 1st, 2008 11:42 am
by Sean
Personally, I'm fine either way, but a serious, down-to-earth one every now and again is nice. I liked the old 中級 lessons with Chigusa and Yoshi; she was a lawyer and he was a taxi driver, they travel back to Chigusa's hometown, I think there was some mysterious pasts lurking around (I've been meaning to catch up with how that ends).

One thing I was wondering about when listening (wannabe writer's brain gets going at the wrong times), while the subject of stories is up: Are the basics stories thought up first and the lesson's main grammar point added later, or do you pick some aspect of grammar first and write a story around it?

Posted: June 1st, 2008 12:05 pm
by markystar
the stories come from various places.

if naomi or yuichi write a story, i think they start from a grammar perspective.
if i write a story, i start from a function or just story telling perspective.

Long series

Posted: June 1st, 2008 4:46 pm
by andamanislander
My favorite were the LONG intermediate series: the first set with the college grads taking their trip to Okinawa, ending up in jail, having to hire a lawyer, getting sexually harassed by that lawyer, getting another lawyer to bail them out and then having that second lawyer run away to Hokkaido with her cab driver. That was great. (It got less good later on when it went all syrupy and sappy.)

I also liked the Agnes Murakami series.

There was something of the Soap Opera quality of those series that kept me coming back for more. I wanted to learn Japanese, sure, but part of you actually gets emotionally involved with the characters and then you also kind of want to listen just to find out what happens next.

You don't seem to do many of those lately.

Also, re-listening to those early Intermediate stories, I can't help but feel like the teaching was both more ammateurish and more thorough. Obviously Piitaa-san had less practice, so lessons would often run long or get sidetracked. But grammar sections were more thorough and used more examples.

This could have something to do with Naomi sensei's increasingly prominent role. She is a *great* teacher. But she's also much more professional than Natsuko-san. That's a good and a bad thing. A lot of the slightly manic edge of the early lessons came from the sense that you were making-this-up-as-you-went-along. It was weirdly fun that way.

Recently, lessons are much more polished. Less time is wasted. The instruction is more concise and precise. But it also feels a bit more shrink-wrapped, not as fun.

Posted: June 1st, 2008 5:00 pm
by sTeVe aUsTiN
I also liked the Agnes Murakami series.

Are you kidding me? I wasn't into the Agnes story at all.
I was happy when she got hit by the bus right before Christmas, LOL. :lol:

Though I do have to say I was shocked they killed off a character like that! :lol:
Never a dull moment around here.

Posted: June 1st, 2008 5:03 pm
by markystar
they killed off a character

another character is going to get it soon too.
can you guess who?

Posted: June 1st, 2008 7:52 pm
by andamanislander
Oh my, the things you miss when you don't listen to the Bonus Tracks! I totally hadn't heard Agnes's demise until just now! Yow!

Anyway, crazy stories are alright, but variety is the key. Some crazy, some fun, some functional. For instance, it seems like you keep threatening to run a series or two on common news and journalism phrases to help us all with NHK newscasts, but they never come. How about it?

And I really hope the soon-to-die characters are from the Karoushi series...DULL as hell!