Podcasts around the world

Finished all the books that you checked out, including eBooks? Seen all the interesting movies and short films but want to try something new? Try listening to podcasts!

You’ll be surprised to know that podcasts have been around for almost 20 yearsLast year saw a dramatic rise to the number of podcast listeners and there are now over 1 million podcasts around the world. 

The word “podcast” was first coined by Ben Hammersley in an article in The Guardian in 2004 - a combination of the words iPod and Broadcasting. What started as an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication), has developed into an audio file of speech, music, and broadcast materials that users can download anytime, anywhere - on their computers or smartphones. Appealing mostly to a younger generation (under 35s) podcats enable listeners to listen to their favourite celebrities, learn something new, and listen to book reviews while walking, driving or just chilling out.


Interestingly, a recent survey shows NZ is a nation of podcasters. According to the Scoop article “Research shows New Zealand is one of the fastest-growing and actively engaged podcast markets globally”.

Are we really a nation of podcasters? I didn’t have to go far (I couldn’t even leave the house, anyway). I asked my fellow librarians if they have discovered the joys of listening to podcasts and what are their top picks? The following are well-chosen podcasts from our multicultural staff.

Deb: Brazilian Portuguese

Som das torcidas

Tells the stories and histories of soccer clubs through the supporters' chanting. Conta a https://open.spotify.com/episode/1xG5dNtRoCizSSEMoFJ6ob?t=0história dos clubes é através dos gritos de suas torcidas.

Fronteiras da Ciência

Produced by University of Rio grande do Sul, it focuses on a variety of subjects such as an episode dedicated to COVID-19.  Produzido peal Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul com foco em uma variedade de assuntos científicos como um episódio dedicado ao COVID-19

Escriba Café

O conteúdo coloca o ouvinte no centro de grandes acontecimentos históricos com uma ambientação sonora impecável. The content places the listener in the centre of great historical moments with a perfect sonography.


O podcast explora uma história cheia de aventura em 13 capítulos. / The podcast explores a story full of adventures in 13 chapters.

Beata: about NZ (English) and Polish

RNZ: The Aotearoa History Show

A fantastic podcast with 14 episodes that talk about NZ history. Excellent, especially for those who were not born in NZ and did not go to NZ schools. A perfect piece of history for those who feel like need to catch up a little bit more with the past.

Godmother (Polish)

Angelika talks about how to bring up creative thinking, innovative, bilingual children. She talks about different schooling systems, how to encourage children to be book readers, how to develop their talents and encourage independent thinking.

Jo: Korean

This podcast is made by EBS (Korean Educational Broadcasting System). We can listen to the story of books direct from authors and poets.

재즈가 알고싶다

Easy commentary, luxury performance, enjoyable talk from a No. 1 jazz broadcaster. Learn about jazz while enjoying luxurious music.Get a cup of coffee, settle back and enjoy relaxing to this podcast. Perfect to listen to on a sunny Autumn day. 

Claudine: French

One Thing in a French Day

A small slice of a Frenchwoman’s day.  A fun podcast to improve your French.

French Blabla

Will transport you to the daily life of a French woman. Will cover specific vocabulary to increase fluency while practising particular grammar points.

Hong: About China (English) and Chinese

For people who are interested in China, its history and culture.

The history of China

.A great explanation of topics on ancient China.

Mandarin Bean

An interactive Chinese language learning website containing free podcasts for every skill level. It is especially useful for beginners as there are pinyin accompanied Chinese characters so people can learn how to pronounce these characters in Chinese.

For Chinese speakers


Bowuzhi is a Chinese podcast founded in 2015. It explores the global museum culture from an Asian perspective. The podcasts are delivered in Mandarin Chinese. 世界博物馆文化为主题的汉语播客。


A comprehensive podcast site including various topics on life in China such as leisure time, music, movies and parenting. The podcasts are delivered in Mandarin Chinese.涵盖日常生活各方面的综合性播客。

Anna: Chinese

Loud Murmurs

Loud Murmurs is a podcast dedicated to a thoroughly modern interpretation of American pop culture, television, and movies.


Two User Interface designers host this podcast. It's a good place for designers and enthusiasts to gain inspiration, feedback and a sense of community.


Experiencing the museums from around the world from the comfort of your own couch.  

Hayley: About Filipino folklores (English) and Filipino


A podcast about the different folklores and creatures from Philippine mythologies. It brings back memories of stories we were told when we were young plus stories of other creatures that we don’t know of.

Wag Kang Lilingon

Filipino kwentuhan (sharing of stories) is not enough without a horror story . Filipinos are very much into horror stories. The scarier, the better. It could be the same story recycled and re-told hundreds of times, we don’t care as long as it’s been delivered effectively

Helen: About NZ (English)

Explore other countries, learn more about other cultures, and live adventurously from your own armchair, with these three great travel podcasts:

The Big Travel Podcast

What could be better right now for those suffering from lock-down wanderlust, than a travel podcast? Answer: A travel podcast that takes you adventuring with your favourite celebrities. Hear authors, sportsmen, musicians and actors, as well as politicians, soldiers and everyday adventurers, relate experiences you may, or may not, want to miss. From Indian Ox Road accidents with Bill Bailey, to tales of Cold War Espionage with Humphrey Hawksley, the Big Travel Podcast unveils the lives and adventures of fascinating individuals.

Armchair Explorer

Looking for a truly immersive travel experience? Travel writer Aaron Miller uses cinematic effects to help tell the stories of amazing adventurers. Trek through the Himalayas with the shepherd group the Anwals, climb Everest with the first Lebanese woman to ever conquer it, and, while you’re at it, why not join John Herrington for a spacewalk?

The Food Chain

Are you fascinated by food, or more specifically, by other cuisines? As that answer can only inspire a yes, here is another podcast to love- the BBC’s ‘The Food Chain’. Listen to internationally celebrated chefs discuss their lives through five dishes, have your long-held food beliefs about international trends and products busted, learn what foods have been hoarded around the world since Covid 19, and much, much more.

Helen also added these podcasts if you want to more about New Zealand:

RNZ has some fantastic podcasts to help you get familiar with NZ history, culture, life, and language.

NZ Wars: Stories of Waitara

An oral history mingled with re-enactments of the NZ wars, this makes for an epic, and informative podcast.

The Citizen's Handbook

If you want to become a better NZ citizen then ‘The Citizen's Handbook’ aims to help you exactly with that. This podcast tells you more about New Zealand’s historic and current issues, in a light and amusing way.

Voices and Conversations with my Immigrant parents features the fascinating stories of Kiwis from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds.

Kīwaha – Give it a Go

Give yourself a few basics in Te Reo Maori, by learning everyday phrases you can drop into your next conversation!

More about podcasts and podcastiing

Lynda.com : Producing Podcasts

Podcast Resources in our library

Access Video: The Value of Podcast

Watch it on Kanopy:  Wiki, Podcasts and Blogs, Oh My!

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