List of the Best Podcasts to Learn German for Beginners
Discover the best podcasts to listen to if you’re a beginner:
Deutsch – Warum Nicht?
The Deutsch – Warum Nicht? podcast, which debuted in 1991, is a fantastic podcast. The episodes follow Andreas, a journalist who also appears to work as a doorman, and the people he encounters. It’s a great podcast to learn “every day” vocabulary and train your oral comprehension! One of the most enjoyable parts is that all of the associated lesson plans and other German learning materials are free.
Slow German mit Annik Rubens
Annik Rubens started this podcast in 2007, long before the rise of audio learning. This podcast is one of the best ways to learn the language. Each of the five-minute episodes discuss a broad variety of topics. The episodes cover a lot of ground, from courses for absolute beginners that are tracked in English to readings of German myths. And, as the title suggests, everything is said slowly and clearly to help you understand.The podcast, which divides her episodes by themes such as “Food & Drink,” “Art & Culture,” and “Sustainability and Climate Change,” provides an easy way to grow your vocabulary in particular must-know areas.
Coffee break German
Coffee Break is part of the Radio Lingua network, which provides podcasts in a variety of languages. Coffee Break German offers a slow, coffee break length language lesson for those in a rush. The courses are more structured than Slow German’s, with each episode lasting about 20 minutes. It is hosted by Thomas, a native speaker who is trying to teach a boy called Mark. This framework simulates the sense of a classroom environment. Mistakes are made, and lessons are learned – but you’re all in this together, from the basics of saying Guten Tag to the finer grammatical details and cultural insights. They introduce a cultural correspondent and grammar guide to communicate their own additional insight on the language in order to widen their coverage. Overall, it’s a very well-done introduction to the German language.
Speaking Of Berlin
In this podcast, addressed to English speakers learning German, we look at Berlin, possibly the most famous German city of all. Each episode follows a different individual as they explore the city’s rich history. Each episode is about 15 minutes long and includes a link to a transcript, making it a great lesson for novices.
Long Story Short
Long Story Short’s first series takes you on a different journey every episode, with the protagonists navigating multiple social interactions, misunderstandings, surprises, and social relationships that ensue. The stories are then broken down via a discussion led by a German speaker. Each episode concludes with a segment called Grammatically Speaking, in which two German teachers share their best tips for memorizing German grammar.
The Best Podcasts to Learn German for Intermediate Users
If you are intermediate and wish to take your German to the next level, these are the right podcasts for you:
Many German podcasts aimed at language learners are short, but this does not have to be the case. Episodes of Easy German are about an hour long and have a ton of stuff for you to dip your toe into. Topics range from the definition of “philosophy” to travel, and the presenters also reply to questions from the audience in each episode. If you’re having trouble keeping up, they have a full subscription version that includes a full transcript and vocabulary guidelines for each episode.
Perhaps, like many others, you are learning German for business purposes. In that case, you might want to try Marktplatz. This show is for people who already know the fundamentals but want to expand their vocabulary in areas such as finance and trade. It’s a short course with only 26 episodes, but it’s among the most valuable available.
Langsam Gesprochene Nachrichten.
The same broadcaster that distributes Deutsch – Warum Nicht? also has a daily news podcast in slow German, Langsam Gesprochene Nachrichten. Episodes are usually under 10 minutes long but include just a few top stories from both Germany and the rest of the planet, with free transcripts available on their website. The German in this podcast is relatively slow but it is just proper for learners who are still working on their ability to understand.
The Easy German Podcast
The philosophy of this channel is based on learning from real people and having natural conversations. The Easy German channel is supported by a number of side projects, such as the language learning app Seedlang, the Super Easy German channel for absolute beginners, and their podcast.
Janusz and Cari, the hosts of the weekly videos, march in the streets of German cities to strike up meaningful conversations with strangers, all so you can gain knowledge from native speakers. They ask the general public it all from banal questions like “What did you have for breakfast?” to intrinsically complex questions like “What is the meaning of life?”
With the same desire to provide thought-provoking yet understandable content for learners, their weekly podcast answers fan questions and discusses a wide range of topics about culture, life, and anything else they feel like talking about – all in comprehensible German.
A flavour of German
After you’ve learned the basics, the creators of Coffee Break German introduce you to another podcast to help you develop your German skills. A Flavour of German is similar to Coffee Break German in that it features a native German speaker and a German learner. However, the emphasis this time is on idiomatic expressions and popular phrases varying from the weather to love and anger. Each episode is only eight to ten minutes long, making it ideal for listening in your spare time.
The Best German Language Learning Podcasts for Advanced Users
Lastly, if you are an advanced user and still wish to practice, take a look at the following podcasts:
Some German words may appear intimidating, but they do not have to be, particularly when used in context. Expertly German, a podcast series, includes and explains a great deal of economic and business terms from prevailing news stories, as well as a helpful transcript at the bottom of each episode. They also include interactive exercises, which are typically in the form of grammar quizzes.
Bayern 2 presents Sozusagen!, a podcast for anyone interested in the German language. This podcast is targeted at advanced learners and has a higher level. Each episode delves into a different linguistic topic, ranging from a discussion of German dialects to an examination of political linguistics in Germany.
This other example of an older podcast that is interesting to check out is a podcast that is entirely in German with no interpretations in English. DazPod is a difficult and exciting podcast for those of you who are venturing into the uncharted territory of “no explanations” podcasts, with 50 episodes presenting scenarios. To avoid having to explain things in English, it employs repetition and synonyms to make the point clear in German as you learn it.
Elementarfragen is a German podcast aimed at native speakers, produced by Viertausendherz. The episodes are detailed and lengthy, lasting between one and two hours each. More serious issues are discussed, such as Chernobyl, psychiatry, and the Red Army. Experts on the subject are invited to present facts and express their opinions.
It’s not the most upbeat show to listen to, but it’ll have you speaking like a native in no time.
Was Jetzt, Die Zeit’s daily news podcast, is primarily directed at native German speakers, but the host actually speaks quite clearly about a broad array of topics, all relating to the most intriguing daily news from Germany and around the world. With each episode lasting about 10 minutes, it’s a fun way to digest the day’s top news stories through the eyes of Germans.
Why Is Listening to Podcasts a Good Way to Improve Your German?
There are many reasons to listen to podcasts if you wish to improve your German level:
It helps you improve your listening vocabulary
Podcasts have been shown in studies to be an effective way of teaching vocabulary. Indeed research has proven students learned more phrases from podcasts than from conventional vocabulary teaching exercises.
Podcasts can help listeners improve their speaking skills by allowing them to learn new words. Learning vocabulary through lists is tedious, ineffective, and out of date. Instead, you have a much better chance of recalling vocabulary learned in context. That context is provided by podcasts. The good thing is that podcasts allow you to understand how to learn German on your own and therefore improve wihout being limited by anything or anyone.
There are many German learning games and many best apps to learn German that can do the same thing.
Listening to Podcasts will improve Grammar skills
Listening to others can help us improve our grammar. Why? Constant exposure to native German provides a learner with numerous examples of how to construct a sentence correctly. It assists the learner in developing expectations about what sounds ‘correct’ and what does not. The learner can then use these examples to develop their own speech when talking.
It will improve your Pronunciation
Pronunciation can be improved by listening. When we listen to native speakers construct sentences, we improve our own pronunciation. Podcasts can assist by directing listeners to emphasize the appropriate syllable in a word or the accurate word in a sentence. Another advantage is that by listening to podcasts a lot, words and expression will be stuck in your head unsconsciously therefore making it easy to even learn German while you sleep.
Should You Learn German With Podcasts or by Traditional Methods?
Although both methods are very efficient and can be complementary, podcasts cannot serve as a substitute to traditional methods. Moreover, only listening to podcasts will not be enough for you to learn an entire language. Indeed, while the interest of podcasts in improving your understanding of German or teaching you new vocabulary is unquestionable they won’t ever replace “traditional” lessons or resources such as German learning books.
However, podcasts fall into the category of entertaining, passive learning techniques, along with some other ones such as learning German with the best YouTube videos, watching the best TV series and shows in German and even German learning cartoons!
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