The Duolingo Spanish Podcast is a 20- to 30-minute weekly podcast that is designed to help intermediate Spanish speakers get better at the language (there is also a French version). Now in its sixth season, the podcast features real stories told in English and Spanish. The episodes don’t include sentence-by-sentence translations; instead, each episode unfolds in Spanish and English so that the languages work together to tell a complete story. The idea is that if you get lost during the Spanish speaker’s story, you’ll be able to pick up context from the English sentences that follow. Aitza B., 25, who has been living in Spain since 2018 and learning the language for six years, finds the Duolingo Podcast a helpful commute companion. (Aitza’s journey to work can be anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on the day and can include a mix of buses, trains, and carpooling.) “[The episodes] sometimes offer topics for me to discuss with coworkers and help my vocabulary,” she says.
When it drops: Every Wednesday
9. Circe by Madeline Miller
“I choose my commute audiobooks by the quality of the writing, how engaging the story is, the quality of the narrator, and length,” Connor T., 27, who commutes 50 minutes each way on the Washington D.C. Metro, tells SELF. “Even with a subscription to Audible, I want to get the most out of my money/credits. I won’t even look at an audiobook that’s under 10 hours long.” With those qualities in mind, Connor, who has an extensive collection of audiobooks in her queue, recommends Circe by Madeline Miller, a dramatic story about the daughter of Greek god Helios and ocean nymph Perse. “The story is beautifully written, [and] the character shows growth—making mistakes and showing relatable thought processes up until the end,” Connor says, adding that the narrator, Perdita Weeks, also keeps her coming back. “Her voice is unwavering, and she turns the already beautiful writing into poetry,” she says.
Where to buy it: Audible, $ 20