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Have Fun Learning With These 10 German YouTube Channels

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The best way to learn German is by letting go and allowing your subconscious to do all the work. 

That might sound a bit too sci-fi for you, but it’s kind of true. 

Think about how German teens nowadays learn English—they sleep through English class in school, then come home and stay up late watching Minecraft videos in English on YouTube. 

Then the world praises Germany for being a multilingual country—but you can do it, too! All you need is a good recommendation. 

In this article, you’ll find ten different German YouTube channels covering a wide range of interests. At the same time, you’ll also see the Internet’s best free German educational resources to help give you a leg up when you’re not quite ready for late-night Minecraft binges.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in German Table of Contents
  1. How to Learn a Language with YouTube
  2. The 10 Best German YouTube Channels
  3. Conclusion

1. How to Learn a Language with YouTube

A Woman Listening to a Video and Thinking

Just like we said in the intro, you just have to sit back and relax—for about three to five years.

German teenagers have that kind of time, but what about you? You almost definitely want results faster. And you’ll get them!

The secret is to balance a good course that keeps you actively learning new words and grammar with enriching content made by German speakers for other German speakers. 

As you learn more and more nuggets of grammar or vocabulary from your courses, you’ll see those same units pop up again and again in the “authentic” content, and they’ll stick in your mind far more than they would have otherwise.

Slowly but surely, the language will come to you. Here are the best German YouTube channels to keep it coming.


2. The 10 Best German YouTube Channels

1. Kurzgesagt

Category: News/Interest 
Level: Intermediate

Kurzgesagt is known worldwide for its beautiful animation videos in English—it’s the purple one with all the birds. However, kurz gesagt is actually a German phrase meaning “in a nutshell,” and the original YouTube channel was in fact in German. There’s not as much content in the German YouTube videos, and the channel doesn’t have quite as many subscribers, but it makes up for this in its usefulness for learners. 

First of all, the narration is absolutely gorgeous. The narrator has a great deep voice, and it’s soothing to listen to even if you don’t understand what he’s saying at first.

All the videos have captions in German so that you can follow along as you watch and listen. Really getting to know this style of speaking is perfect if you end up taking a standardized German exam, where you’ll have to speak persuasively about the pros and cons of a certain process.

2. Hallo Deutschschule

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLrCFqC2cks

Category: Educational
Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Hallo is one of the more popular German learning YouTube channels, based out of Switzerland. The hook? It focuses rather uniquely on dialogues. 

Most people releasing German content for free don’t have the time or the talent to record lengthy dialogues and sync them up to animations, but that’s exactly what you can expect with Hallo Deutschschule

Interestingly enough, every single video available has subtitles in several different languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. If you know someone who speaks one of these languages and is learning German, send these videos their way! The dialogue-based format means that learners can memorize a back-and-forth exchange at a slow pace and naturally acquire new vocabulary in an easy way.

3. Galileo

Category: Documentary 
Level: Advanced

Galileo has a reputation among Germans for being the network unafraid to take risks. They have a lot of fascinating documentaries about life in “hidden corners” of the globe, including prisons, factories, and shantytowns. If you’re into different world cultures or even lifehacks, you’ll definitely find something interesting to watch on Galileo.

One neat thing about their programs is that they usually begin with a presenter who gives a short summary of the segment. This lets you sort of warm up for what the topic is going to be. As your level improves, you’ll get used to some of the recurring hosts as well. 

Lastly, Galileo shows how Germans still enjoy dubbing, even while being famous for speaking English well. Every time the hosts speak another language, it’s dubbed over in German, giving you excellent immersion.

4. Get Germanized

Category: Culture and Language
Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Domenic, the fellow behind this wildly popular German YouTube series, has made quite a name for himself thanks to his highly energetic personality. 

Once you see the intro a couple of times, it’ll be stuck in your brain forever. He’s got more than eleven hundred videos at the time of this writing, each one breaking down the language in a clever way. 

One of his most popular videos is a 90-minute full German course that lays a decent foundation for future reference—and he’s also known for longer videos (in mostly English) where he explains interesting points about German culture and throws in the odd German word. 

That’s great for someone not quite sure if they want to commit to learning German, but still want to pick up a few phrases here and there.

5. 24h Deutsch

Category: Educational
Level: Intermediate

Ida, your friendly host from 24h Deutsch, guides you through some fascinating points of Intermediate German in her YouTube series. Once you get to the intermediate level, you might feel that there’s so much to learn and so many little details to keep track of, but a good study resource like this will keep you right on track. 

Through a series of short skits and vlog-style videos, Ida explains things about German culture like the odd-seeming store hours mandated by German law. 

Most of her videos unfortunately don’t have subtitles, but she speaks relatively slowly and clearly. Ida is supported by the Goethe-Institut, so her videos have a great standard of production and they’ll keep you coming back to follow the story!

6. maiLab

Category: Science 
Level: Intermediate-Advanced

We’ll start off with the bad news: This German YouTube science channel is sadly on hold at the time of this writing. However, the good news is that it was excellent, and really one-of-a-kind when it came to exploring scientific topics in German. MaiLab was sort of like Kurzgesagt (they collaborated a couple of times) in that it explained difficult concepts about the natural world in a simple way. 

That’s exactly the kind of language that you’ll need for any academic German exam, and so watching Mai’s videos a couple of times will really lock in the advanced vocabulary and speech patterns expected on that kind of test. 

Plus, quite a few of her videos have captions in German for you to copy and paste somewhere else for later study!

7. LanguageSheep

Category: Educational  
Level: Beginner-Intermediate

The first time you hear the name LanguageSheep, you might think it’s a silly little channel for kids. However, take a look at the individual videos and you’ll see a fairly rigorous set of explanations of pronunciation points and grammar difficulties that foreign learners might have.

Particularly interesting here are the segments where a native speaker describes a picture. You’ll need this skill for taking some of the beginner or intermediate standardized German exams such as the A2 or B1 levels, and there are surprisingly few resources that give you examples like these.

8. Gronkh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFFZI8n-aVU

Category: Gaming
Level: Advanced

Gronkh is the name in the German gaming vlogger community. This is because he doesn’t seem to have any time to do anything except for gaming and editing his videos! He puts out content on a stunningly frequent basis, all with hilarious and thoughtful commentary.

For example, take a look at this video where he plays a remastered version of Skyrim, the 2011 open-world RPG in the Elder Scrolls series. 

You’ll get to hear the German voice dubbing for the game, as well as Gronkh’s commentary. Plus, it runs over 56 hours at the time of this writing, comparable to some TV series—and that’s just one game! He doesn’t add subtitles to his own videos, but you can see captions for some of the in-game audio, and his microphone is good enough to get a good transcription from the automatic YouTube captions.

    → If watching German YouTube gamers sounds like your thing, see our vocabulary list on Talking About Video Games to learn some vocabulary beforehand.

9. Die Merkhilfe

Category: Educational 
Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Getting good at German from hours of video games is possible in theory, but native Germans don’t just spend all of their time on games. The videos on this channel are made for native German students who need help with their ordinary school subjects, explaining what typical high school students need to know. 

These videos fit in the same sort of vein as those from maiLab and Kurzgesagt, but also include a lot of advice about how to write well in German, as well as explanations of concepts in the humanities (such as philosophy). The language used is never overcomplicated, but the subjects certainly might count as “advanced” if you find yourself watching a video about Wittgenstein!

    → GermanPod101.com has a vocabulary list all about School Subjects that you may want to study before watching.

10. GermanPod101 YouTube Channel

Category: Educational
Level: All levels

And here we are: practically the motherlode of German learning content on YouTube. Your schedule might not allow for detailed reading of the GermanPod101 website articles, and you might not yet have found a good time to listen to the GermanPod101 podcast. But surely you can set aside some time for the GermanPod101 YouTube channel. 

Aside from the expected grammar breakdowns and vocabulary lists, there are dozens of hours of listening practice videos where you can hear real-life German situations acted out slowly and clearly with an accompanying animation so that you can follow along. 

3. Conclusion

The best way to learn German through YouTube is to follow a balanced diet. You want to have something guiding you along, and something natural to keep as a goal.

It’s totally fine to watch German videos that you don’t yet understand—in fact, that’s a good idea since you’ll be constantly picking out the few words that you did get and looking for more. 

By studying with GermanPod101, you’ll notice those moments happening more and more frequently. Soon, German will seem like a total piece of cake, thanks to all the features available on the GermanPod101 website (like flashcards and grammar explanations). 

Once that happens, it won’t matter if YouTube recommends videos in German to you. It’ll all be fascinating just the same. 

Which of these German YouTube channels are you most interested in watching? Are there any good ones we didn’t include? Let us, and your fellow learners, know in the comments!

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