Most days I listen to online radio stations in a variety of languages – at the moment I listen mainly to Scottish Gaelic, Irish and Welsh, and also to French and Czech, and occasionally to Mandarin and Cantonese. This keeps these languages ticking over in my head, and helps me learn more of them. With the exception of Czech and Cantonese, I can understand them all well, or at least fairly well, and can often guess the meanings of unknown words from the context. Even with Czech and Cantonese, which I don’t know as well, I have a basic idea of what they’re talking about.
Yesterday I decided to listen to some Japanese and fired up the radio player on NHK, the Japanese national broadcaster. To my surprise what came out of the speakers was first Spanish, then Indonesian, Vietnamese and Burmese. I checked the website and discovered that they cycle through 17 different languages in their international broadcasts. In each language they have news from Japan and around the world, and it’s possible to get some idea of the stories they’re covering even in completely unfamiliar languages from the names of places, people, countries.
So if you feel in need of a good linguistic workout, have a listen to NHK World or a similar multilingual radio station. Also, after listening to languages you haven’t got round to learning yet, the ones you’re studying will seem much easier to understand.