This will take you down a wrong way.
I have been speaking Japanese for about four years now with a one year break, so I downloaded this to go over some of the basics. I enjoyed and found Coffee Break French to be useful when I went to France so I thought this also would be a good way to review myself.
Unfortunately, there are large glaring errors that concern me should someone use this to teach themselves Japanese for the first time. Yes, they say in the beginning that this is by no means a comprehensive course, but more than leaving out things they teach you things you will have to actually unlearn should you wish to speak Japanese like a real Japanese person.
First, the speaker Mark mentions how important it is to be polite in Japanese, yet right afterwards they teach you the informal way of saying thank you, without "gozaimasu" at the end. Perhaps they did not have time to fit this in their "one minute lesson" but they completely omit that a plain "arigatou" is for friends, family, and juniors and is very impolite when used to seniors. With this red flag it is no surprise that they continued on to "dou itashimashite," a phrase which is used almost exclusively by non-Japanese to say what is the equivalent of "you're welcome." In real Japanese speaking, thanks are simply returned by "iie," which means no, but is analogous to the English answers "it's nothing" or "it's not a problem." That is even easier than learning "dou itashimashite" so I'm not sure why they continue to uphold this incorrect and unused phrase.
Also baffling is how they choose to teach "I speak Japanese." The word "hanasemasu," which comes from the verb "hanasu" means literally to speak. So you are saying literally, "I speak/am speaking Japanese." However, this is not the common way to say this at all! The correct way to say I speak and understand Japanese is "Nihongo ga wakarimasu." Wakarimasu, from "wakaru," means to understand. But it is implied that if you understand then you can speak as well. If you want to say "I understand a little Japanese" you would say "Nihongo ga chotto wakarimasu." The word "chotto" means "a bit" or "kind of" or "a little" and is used to describe verbs, whereas "sukoshi" is used to describe the subject itself. Thus, if someone asks you "Nihongo ga wakarimasu ka?" as they will, never using hanasu, you can answer simply, "Chotto wakarimasu." All of this is much easier than learning a stoic unusable phrase, and it is very clear to me that non-speakers who don't understand how easy it is to modify Japanese with implied subjects designed this course.
These are a few of the most important grammatical errors, but as this podcast is only halfway through there will probably be more. As Mark states, this podcast is truly if you want to impress your Japanese speaking friends who are forgiving if you do not speak correctly and will be impressed by your effort. But if you are wanting to learn Japanese more seriously I can not recommend this, even as a starter course, because it is literally the quickest way to pick up bad habits you will have to unlearn once you begin to learn to speak seriously.
Reviewed on Apple Podcasts