It’s been several years since I’ve actively studied Pashto. I’m returning to a somewhat stale vocabulary base. In these cases, listening is one of the more useful ways to reactivate words I once knew, or to learn new words from scratch in context. Podcasts are usually a really useful way to get that active language practice. For most big languages you’re usually spoiled for choice (think French, Mandarin, or even Arabic) but Pashto has fewer options despite around 50 million people speaking it worldwide (source for estimates here and here).
Hardly any of these are directly available via a search on a good podcast client like Overcast so you’ll have to manually add whatever you like via the RSS feed.
There are a few options that I’ve managed to find so for the few souls who are also looking, perhaps this might be useful:
CELCAR Pashto Language Learning Podcasts (RSS)
This is no longer updated but you can find a bunch of audio excerpts read out. They’re intended as language study materials so they’re a bit more user-friendly for the intermediate language learner.
This is an Australian broadcaster that offers news and cultural reports regularly in podcast format. You can find it on Overcast by searching for ‘SBS Pashto’. Episodes are sometimes very local (i.e. tailored to Australian news) but it’s a regular source of input nonetheless.
This podcast / broadcast is released in the evening (Afghan time) every day. Episodes last 30 minutes and are made up of various small news reports and sometimes interviews. It’s a good way to stay up to date with the news and also keep your formal media Pashto up to scratch. The reports and stories are usually pretty interesting and engagingly told.
This is a serialised drama produced by PACT Radio out of Jalalabad. Unfortunately they don’t offer episodes in RSS format so you are forced to either visit them at their Facebook page (ugh) or their own website and manually click to listen. The quality of the material and storytelling is excellent, however, so I usually try to listen in despite the shortcomings in the delivery method.
RFE/RL Azadi Radio (RSS)
Radio Freedom - Radio Liberty offers a wide variety of their programmes for subscription as podcasts (via RSS). Some are more regularly updated than others but this is a useful and interesting set of materials to complement VOA’s more straightforward news broadcasts.
I will update this page as and when I discover more. One of the big missing pieces is BBC Pashto. I can’t seem to find any of their broadcasts / materials online in a subscribable format.