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German is not a beginner-friendly second language to learn for new polyglots. Good samaritans created podcasts and audio resources for German learners to use in their language improvement.
One of the most common language learners’ is: “how long does it take to learn German?” In all honesty, the success of learning a language depends on many things. One of the factors that affect your German learning experience is the materials and resources you use. If one learning system is not working for you, there’s a good chance you’ll do better with finding new methods than sticking to your current system.
Most students learn flashcards and Space Repetition Apps in studying. Others would instead try videos because of its visual and audio learning inputs. And then, there are a few who choose to learn German podcasts due to certain reasons (such as limited data bandwidth). You might be asking, who in their minds are still doing podcasts in this age? Podcasts were the rage a few years ago, but not in this era, where the video is the King Content of the internet.
Even thorough it is considered an “oldie” internet media, podcasts are excellent materials for learning the language. In fact, people who rely on ears a bit more can find podcasts the best way in language study, complicated languages like German. Today, we will present to you some of the best German podcasts for language study.
According to Frankfurt International School, there are seven types of language learners. Most people are visual learners, who are more efficient in learning a language if they can see the word being learned. Others are tactile learners who prefer to touch or manipulate objects while studying. Kinesthetic learners must make tons of movements to understand most stuff.
Then there are the auditory learners who enjoy and learn better when listening to the lessons. For example, if you’re going to teach auditory learners things like basic German phrases, it’s better to make a song about it or make a conversation. Auditory learners would rather listen to podcasts than using pictures or flashcards.
Of course, if you’re not an auditory learner, you might find listening to podcasts very dull and uneventful. But for auditory learners, audio learning makes them understand lessons better and faster. This is where the maxim, “To each his own,” is more valid than ever.
And as for audio materials, podcasts are probably one of the high-quality materials in learning a language.
Much like learning Portuguese via podcast, one of the benefits of learning German in this method is pronunciation. German podcasts accommodate learners and native speakers alike, giving a more immersive feel and realistic daily life usages of the language.
So if you’re unsure about how to pronounce a particular word, listening to a podcast might help you remember the proper pronunciation. In retrospect, this would also give you new words to play within your pronunciation and vocabulary. With both pronunciation and vocabulary practiced, you would be able to express yourself in more ways.
Another good thing about learning in a German podcast is that you can do it anywhere. It is not a focus-demanding task like working on flashcards or watching a video. You can listen to podcasts on your commute or during your jog around the neighborhood.
And last but not least, you will learn about new things in topics that are important in the German culture. Fortunately, German podcasts do take learners in mind when creating new content. Hence, most podcasts are a beginner to intermediate friendly. If you just want to relax after a long day, but you don’t want to skip your German lessons, listening to a podcast is worth a try.
Without further ado, here are some of the best German podcasts on the internet right now. If you want to start learning via podcast, these sites are proven and tested to work, especially on auditory learners.
The Slow German podcast is hosted by Annik Rubens, one of the most prominent journalists in Munich. Just like what’s stated in the podcast name, the Slow German podcast is designed to be slow. It’s a way to let the new learners catch up with the conversation. Slow German is pretty much recommended for many people who just started learning the German language.
There are lessons recorded in English for those who are absolute beginners. Each episode only lasts for five minutes and tackles various topics, including culture, society, history, and fairy tales. This makes the podcast great for those who don’t have more time to learn. Transcript of episodes is also available, in case you missed a word or encountered a new one.
Coffee Break German offers both beginner and intermediate courses for different kinds of speakers. Each podcast features a character named Mark, a language teacher who is learning German with the native speaker Thomas. Each episode is about half an hour long and uses themes such as “saying how you are feeling” and “Using adjectives in the accusative.”
There are other podcasts that neither included in beginner nor intermediate lessons and features a travel diary. Each entry is about Karin and her family’s travels using their Wohnmobil. Although it’s in a travel documentary style, the examples given have significant lessons like demonstrating pronouns and explaining pluperfect tense.
Deutsche Welle, better known as DW, is a state-owned broadcaster known all around the world. For German learners, the company is also an excellent resource for learners in their A1, A2, and B1 levels. Warm Nicht is just one of the podcasts created by DW, which encourages German language learning.
Warum Nich or “Why not?” in English, was created by DW with the collaboration of the Goethe-Institut. It is consists of four seasons that aim to get you from beginner level to expert. As of this writing, the Warum Nich podcasts are available on iTunes and RSS and consist of over 24 hours’ worth of materials.
Another part of DW’s curriculum is the Marktplatz podcast. This is targeted at people who are learning German for business purposes. B2 level proficiency is suggested before attempting to listen to this podcast. Although learners in the lower levels can use the material, it might be overwhelming to flesh out.
The aim of this podcast is to teach the German lexicons used in trade and economics. Fortunately, there are text scripts provided along with the audio file for further studying. Marktplatz has a total of 26 chapters and can be accessed via iTunes or RSS.
DW Radio D is the ultimate podcast for people who don’t have any idea about the German language. It is aimed to be an audio material for learners in levels A1 and A2. Just like its other podcasts, Radio D is provided with both audio and text materials. Most parts of the materials are recorded in English. As of now, the podcast released two seasons (26 episodes for Series A and 52 episodes for Series B). Each episode is about 15 minutes long.
The story features two characters, Paula and Phillipp, two traveling journalists across Germany. Each episode flows into different scenarios where the characters explain and how several linguistic points in German.
Learning German by Podcast is not just a podcast for beginners; it can act like a proper German course. The site has textbooks, exercises, and vocabulary lists to use alongside the audio materials. Most of the podcasts are done by German voice actors who try to imitate a scene and point out important language lessons in situations.
But before you get the whole experience, you need to pay for the lessons to get access to the awesome content. Once you opted for the program, you can access all the learning resources any time, anywhere. If you want to test the water first, you can try sample podcasts and materials for free.
The Easy German Podcast is a unique beginners podcast, in which you can enjoy better content while learning basic German. This podcast offers more variety of content that is usually more interesting than basic German phrases and words. You can even expect to learn some philosophy.
Most of the questions being answered are in every episode are from the fans who want to know more about the culture. If you don’t have easy access to their site or prefer a more familiar platform, you can find them on YouTube. Take note: each episode actually lasts for an hour, so be prepared to spend quite some time in this podcast.
German LingQ is a platform that offers a variety of German topics and categories via podcast and transcript. If you’re looking for a straight German podcast experience, LingQ might appeal to you. They don’t use “baby-wheel” tactics and go straight to speaking the language. However, the platform uses acted scene tactics to show how a word or phrase is pronounced and used.
Take note: if you don’t know any basic German words, this podcast is not suitable for you.
Downloading the podcast is free, so you can listen to it anywhere even without an internet connection. However, for additional learning materials like transcripts and exercises, you need to sign up with a premium plan that costs $10 a month.
For all the history geeks out there who also like to exercise their German every week, Zeitsprung is for you. Unlike other podcasts that use scripted scenarios for their materials, Zeitspring uses interesting historical events and facts as a topic. It can be a bit controversial, but it sure is an interesting one.
One of the hosts, either Daniel Meßner or Richard Hemmer, will read the story of the day. The other one would be clueless about the story. It’s a good way to imitate a real-life conversation.
Save the last for the hardest: Elementarfragen is the most controversial podcast on the list. It is also the one with the hardest German used. Basically, it is a podcast where the host interviews someone (usually an expert) who did something very interesting. It can be about any topic, but mostly about German politics. Only attempt to listen to this podcast if you’re confident about your German basics.
Learning a language on your own is never an easy task, but it’s still doable. If audio resources stimulate you more than another traditional German study method, try these podcasts listed above and get better with your study.
As always, native German tutors are available and are just one click away using the Justearn platform. If you need help in understanding a podcast, you can always try our trained tutors to help you grasp a topic more efficiently.
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