What is a podcast?
An audio file which can be downloaded from the internet, or streamed from the internet. It is generally in installments (weekly, monthly, randomly). The topics can be anything – from true stories to podcasts about technology or design.
What do you need to listen to it?
If you have a phone you can download an app. The iPhone now comes pre-loaded with a Podcasts app. I use the Overcast app which has the advantage of skipping forwards or backwards 30 seconds, but that app is currently iPhone only.
How can you find Dutch podcasts?
If you have an iPhone and have your store set to the Netherlands, the Apple Podcasts app does have a nice selection to browse through. I find it a bit easier to look at the options on my Macbook than on my phone, simply because you can see more options at once.
Another good place to look are on the NPO podcasts pages. There are a few options here. NPO radio 1 has the widest selection of podcasts, while there are also some choices at NPO radio 2 (but less than NPO radio 1). If you are happy staying within the NPO world you can also download their app called “NPO Luister” which covers podcasts across their programming. Toendra is a good example of a podcast I followed there. Or try Lang Verhaal Kort by NPO 3FM, which started in January 2021. Each podcast is about 5 minutes and is related to the news.
You can also check out VPRO which has their own podcasts page. Plots (from 2013) is one I enjoyed. Or try the website podcastluisteren.nl, but note the site is grouped more by episode and theme than by podcasts themselves. There is a search function however.
A more general site to try to find new podcasts is podchaser.com. It is not Dutch specific, but you do have the option of filtering by language. One way you can do so is to select “Podcasts” from the top bar on the homepage, then select “Podcasts: Discover new podcasts to follow”. Click on “Add filters”. The only downside to this website is that it can be pretty slow sometimes. It reminds me of surfing AOL back in the early ’90s. But, outside of that one downside it is pretty great and I check it out every few days.
What other recommendations do I have?
Echt gebeurd (“Really happened”) – definitely my favorite Dutch podcast. It’s another true story type podcast, but in Dutch. The speakers are random people who have a story to tell. There are studio recordings once a month in Hilversum (with an audience present). I am just not a fan of the episodes where someone reads out of their diary from their teen years, so I skip those. “Bij Echt Gebeurd vertellen mensen op een klein podium mooie, bijzondere of grappige verhalen over iets dat ze zelf hebben meegemaakt.”
Spoorcast (“Track” cast, aka train tracks) – this podcast is about Dutch trains, including all Dutch operators (NS, Arriva…). It was started in late 2019. Of course a lot of the monthly episodes in 2020 focus on corona in one way or another. It is hosted by three gentlemen and is in more of a conversation format. Every month they announce the award for “Conductor of the month” or “Train engineer of the month”, or sometimes even just “Train worker of the month”, and then they have the honoree call in.
De Podcastcoupé (“The podcast coupé”) – another train related podcast, this one specifically for the NS. They just started at the beginning of 2021 and not everything is about corona, luckily. The episodes are shorter, only about 20-30 minutes each. There is a host for the show and each episode he talks with a different NS worker.
RELAAS (“Tale” or “Narrative”) – Similar to Echt gebeurd, this is a true story podcast. The stories are told by the people who experienced the event. In addition to the podcast you can listen to the audio on the website directly. Keep in mind it is a podcast from Belgium so the accent can sometimes be difficult.
Man met de microfoon (Man with the microphone) – along with some regular episodes, this podcast also includes episodes filmed daily during the corona lockdown in spring 2020. The episodes are titled Lock Down aflevering 1-10 (lockdown episodes 1-10) and similar. It does provoke an “Oh yeah… I remember that…” feeling if you go back and listen to it now.
De Paulien Cornelisse podcast – Paulien reads from her book Taal voor de leuk and De verwarde cavia. The first one is about language, whereas the second one is a fictional story about a confused guinea pig told over 100 or so episodes. I really liked the guinea pig story, and finished the entire run in about two or three days.
De Taxichauffeur – a fictional podcast about a taxi driver. Each episode he meets a different passenger, but all of the passengers seem to be connected. There are only 7 episodes so it is quite an easy binge.
Het Geheim van Wijsman – a NPO radio 1 podcast (in partnership with the Dutch National Archives) which investigates the murder of a man in 1921. He travelled by train from Amsterdam to The Hague to see his parents on New Years’ Eve. But when the train doors opened at Holland Spoor, he was found dead in one of the first class cars. It is only 5 episodes long but well researched.
Do you have any Dutch language podcasts to add? Feel free to leave a comment!