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The 5 Go-To German Podcasts for Language Learners

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German is a stereotypically hard language to learn.

At some point, you’ve probably stumbled upon memes and videos comparing words in German to those in other languages. And, expectedly, the German words are almost always longer or more difficult to pronounce.

But let’s face it: While German may be slightly unorthodox, it definitely isn’t an impossible language to learn.

The real problem lies not in learning the language, but in mastering it—understanding all of its grammar rules, knowing all the exceptions, and being intimately familiar with all its nuts and bolts. Mastery of German requires full immersion in the language.

Speaking of immersion, few methods compare to intentional listening. German podcasts, in particular, provide a variety of benefits that will help you master the language. Below, we’ll break down just a few of these potential benefits before diving into a list of our favorite German podcasts for language learners.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in German Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn German
  2. The 5 Go-To German Podcasts for Language Learners
  3. The Best German Podcasts to Practice Listening
  4. Tricks to Learn German More Effectively with Podcasts
  5. Conclusion

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn German

Improve your listening skills.

A Woman Talking to a Man

If you live in a German-speaking country and are actively interacting with locals, chances are you’ve already realized the benefits of listening.

On the other hand, if you’re isolated from native speakers or don’t make an effort to interact with them, you’re probably lacking some important skills that every German learner should possess.

Podcasts fill this gap and provide a perfect immersion solution to guarantee you grow your listening skills. In addition, regular listening can help you develop a better feel for German and more easily memorize new vocabulary. That leads us to the next benefit…

Learn new words.

Sticky Note Words

The advancement of your vocabulary is what usually defines your level as a language learner. The more words you know, the higher your fluency level is. A bit of grammar here and there helps, but vocabulary is always the main variable. When you know more words, you’re guaranteed to have smoother conversations with locals and a whole lot more confidence. 

Listening to German-language podcasts will help you grow your vocabulary, give you a feel for the different word cases, and show you how to best articulate sentences in German. 

Familiarize yourself with the culture.

German Flag

Having a strong grasp of German culture is essential if you want to have good conversations with locals. It might surprise you how much the language differs from one German-speaking country to another, largely as the result of cultural differences. 

Podcasts will help you understand how Germans perceive different things according to their culture, and consequently, allow you to handle different conversations with greater ease.

2. The 5 Go-To German Podcasts for Language Learners

Woman Listening to Something with Headphones

All Levels

GermanPod101

GermanPod101 is the most consistent, diverse, and active German podcast you can find. The number of available episodes, coupled with our coverage of all learning levels, makes us the go-to resource for a versatile audience of German learners.

If you’ve been learning German primarily through informal methods—such as speaking to friends and family, or even just browsing the internet in German every once in a while—chances are you’re not totally sure about your current level.

The GermanPod101 podcast will save you time and help you slowly assess your level. If you feel, at any point, like you can jump to another level or explore a new topic, you can easily opt for episodes that interest you along the way.

Our podcast episodes range from very short clips of just a few minutes to four-hour compilations of past episodes. You can also find a 24/7 German listening live stream on our official YouTube channel.

This German language learning podcast is a reliable resource for the demanding learner who’s always hungry for new content and information. For access to even more lessons and tools, you can create a free lifetime account on GermanPod101.com

Beginner

Coffee Break German

Coffee Break German is one of the best German podcasts for beginners who want to get their feet (or rather, their ears!) wet with German listening. 

The hosts speak slowly and clearly, using an intelligent mix of English and German. In each episode, they present a topic specific to the culture of a German-speaking country and then discuss it in English afterward. 

The podcast is updated weekly, with a few long breaks in between. 

Intermediate

Easy German

Easy German is the most spontaneous of all the podcasts on our list. Each episode consists of the hosts simply going out to the streets of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland to interview people about their day-to-day lives.

Another thing that makes this podcast stand out is the English and German subtitles you can find through their YouTube channel.

The podcast also provides formal language learning episodes covering different topics, so you get a mix of the more “boring” side of language learning along with the more informal Easy German teaching method. 

Slow German mit Annik Rubens

Annik is a successful radio host of Armenian-German descent, famous for the show Schlaflos in München. She has won several awards for her work, and her podcast had 10,000 daily listeners.

Today, she runs the podcast Slow German, where she covers several topics in very slow German. All of the episodes are accompanied by subtitles to help you follow along.

Annik publishes new episodes around every two weeks, averaging two to three episodes per month. The length of the episodes ranges from five to fifteen minutes.

Advanced

Elementarfragen

For the advanced learner, podcasts like Elementarfragen present a great challenge. Host Nicolas Semak invites different guests over to ask and discuss questions on a variety of topics: viruses, Mars, the mafia, and more.

Elemntarfragen is updated on a weekly basis. It will help expand your vocabulary within lexical groups you may not have had exposure to yet.

3. The Best German Podcasts to Practice Listening

Now, if you’re a little bit more advanced or just want to get used to the “everyday” German that’s used in daily conversations, we recommend listening to some regular podcasts in German. You might learn some new words and phrases, and you’ll also start to understand German culture and people better.

Here are some of our recommendations:

Almost Daily

In hundreds of episodes and counting, the crew behind Almost Daily talks about literally everything that’s on their minds. There’s usually one leading topic per episode, and all participants share their thoughts and experiences. The topics vary from very absurd ones (like how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse) to more serious ones like first jobs or first apartments. Sometimes, they just play word games such as Stadt-Land-Fluss (“Categories”).

The tone is usually very light and entertaining. This German podcast is a great resource for learning new vocabulary and for getting tips before visiting Germany.

Lästerschwestern

The name of the podcast literally translates to “gossip sisters,” and it’s all about the German social media cosmos. If you’re interested in German YouTube/TikTok/Instagram trends—not to mention some insider information on how the influencer world works—this podcast is a great fit for you. 

This podcast will help you add some social media-related words and slang expressions to your vocabulary. In addition, it’s a great starting point if you’d like to dive into the German YouTube world and discover new people to follow.

Die Sprechstunde 

This podcast is trash talk par excellence—no serious topics, with a focus on pure entertainment. Every few days, the group around the famous German YouTube producer LeFloid gets together and discusses what they’ve experienced the past few days, sometimes even involving topics suggested by listeners. 

If you want to learn German slang and conversational German, then this podcast is for you. Think of it as just a group of friends talking about everything under the sun. 

Weird Crimes

Weird Crimes is just what the title promises. The German journalist and writer Visa Vie talks about true crimes, while input from German comedian Ines Anioli turns her stories into a weird mix of mystery, thriller, and comedy. This podcast offers a unique experience, though it’s not for everyone since the hosts often describe violence.

You might hear some vocabulary related to crimes and the German legal system. 

Fest und Flauschig

What happens when the leading German late-night show host and a sarcastic singer-songwriter come together? Well, then we get Fest und Flauschig (lit. “solid and fluffy”), a highly popular and awarded show. The topics vary from German politics to spirituality, and they’re always discussed with a twinkling eye. 

This podcast is a Spotify original, so it’s limited to one platform. But this didn’t stop it from becoming one of the most popular podcasts in Germany.

You should listen to this podcast if you’re interested in German culture and current events.

4. Tricks to Learn German More Effectively with Podcasts

This is where it gets interesting. Learning through any method can be ineffective if done incorrectly, especially when it comes to listening and reading. You can easily lose focus when practicing these two skills and end up spending lots of time with little in return.

Below, we’ve broken down some tricks for getting the most out of podcast listening. The tips and tricks below will assure you get the most out of your time, whether you’re at home or on the go.

On the Go

A Man Listening on the Go

If you’re an adult, chances are you have certain commitments you need to commute for every day: school, work, picking up the kids from kindergarten, or anything in between.

During your commutes, you can put on a German podcast and take advantage of that time, instead of wasting your time merely staring at traffic or people. But of course, podcasts come with no visuals or graphics to keep your brain engaged at all times. It’s hard to pay attention, especially when you have distractions all around you during your commute.

That’s where these tricks will come in handy. 

  • Train yourself to repeat words and phrases after the host. Many podcasts designed for language learners have specific repetition exercises integrated into each episode, so definitely take advantage of this. Even if you’re listening to podcasts for native speakers, you should try repeating after the host(s) whenever you can. This will help enhance your pronunciation, ingrain new vocabulary into your mind, and keep you attentive throughout the podcast. 
  • Do this twice: on the way there and on the way back. Listening to and repeating after the same episode twice will ensure you memorize even more vocabulary per episode. 
  • Write down new vocabulary words to practice later at home. You can even add them to a digital flashcard deck

At Home

Home sweet home. In the convenience of your own place, you’re in control of pretty much everything when it comes to how you learn using podcasts.

A podcast like GermanPod101 will enable you to access vocabulary lists and cheat sheets created specifically for each episode you listen to. That will allow you to really capitalize on the content of every episode and make sure you don’t miss out on anything. 

To access the materials for an episode, you can check the description for a link. There, you can leverage the different GermanPod101 tools—voice comparison, slowed-down audio, digital flashcards, and more—to get the most out of every podcast.

5. Conclusion

Congratulations on getting this far. You’re now ready to rock and roll with the top German podcasts for your level, as well as the best study methods you can use both on the go and at home.

We recommend you start small with podcasts regardless of your level.

Maybe go down a level, or start out with episodes you may find easier to grasp. Even better, you can opt for a podcast like GermanPod101 that offers episodes for every level. 

After you’ve built a habit of listening to podcasts and have familiarized yourself with German audio, you can start shifting to higher-level podcasts.

Happy learning!
Viel Spaß beim Lernen!

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How Long Does it Take to Learn German?

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What dedicated language learner could pass up an opportunity to spend endless days studying German and all its nuances? Unfortunately, in our society, time is money and the reality of things can be quite different. Most of us just don’t have the time to study languages at our leisure. 

Because time is such a constraint, there’s an important question to ask yourself before beginning to learn this beautiful language: How long does it take to learn German?

Mark Twain said: “A gifted person ought to learn English in 30 hours, French in 30 days and German in 30 years.” But it might not take quite that long!

I’m sure we all instinctively look for the fastest and easiest ways to learn new things. Being efficient with our time allows us to start practicing and using our new skills much sooner, so we can find a better job, travel abroad, or better communicate with a loved one. 

Learning a foreign language is always an amazing and fulfilling process, though often arduous. By learning to understand, speak, and think in a different language, we not only add a new skill to our repertoire but we also change the very way we see and interact with the world.

It’s understandable that you’d like to know for certain how long this marveolus language learning journey will take you, so that you could make plans and form solid expectations. The reality is, however, that there’s no one best way to learn German and there’s no set timetable for it! 

Everyone learns differently, and how long it takes to learn German will depend on many factors. 

In this article, we’ll explore some of the factors that will affect your learning and how you can speed it up as much as possible!

Hourglass against a Dark Background
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in German Table of Contents
  1. Experience
  2. Learning Style
  3. Approach
  4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Level?
  5. How Our Website Can Help

Experience

One of the most important factors to take into account when considering how fast you can learn a language is your personal experience with languages

The Language(s) You Speak

What’s your native language? And what other languages do you speak? 

Yes, this might actually be a defining element in how quickly you’ll be able to pick up the German language. If you’re a native (or near-native) English speaker, you’re in luck! German and English actually share the same roots and forty percent of German vocabulary is similar to English vocabulary!

If you’re a native speaker of a Semitic language like Arabic, on the other hand, it might be a little trickier to learn German—but all the more challenging and rewarding! So, don’t be discouraged. Just be aware that your native English-speaking classmates might have a bit of a headstart…but that doesn’t mean they’ll learn it better than you!

Several Language Learning Textbooks

Your Previous Language Learning Experience

Have you ever learned another language before?

If you already speak a foreign language fluently, or were raised bilingual, it may be easier and quicker for you to learn German. Several studies have now proven that bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language. This is because they already have experience learning and using a second language, and are thus more accustomed to the entire process.

Even if you’re not bilingual, having studied and learned a foreign language at some point in your life will help. Having fluency and skill in one language will help you gain fluency and skill in another, even if the two languages are unrelated! 

Your Previous Grammar Knowledge

One of the first steps in learning a foreign language is finding out how it’s built and how it works. This is usually done by studying its structure and grammar. 

If you already have some experience studying grammar and syntax, even in your native language, it will be much easier for you to study the grammar and syntax of a foreign language. 

So, if you plan to start learning German (or another language!), it’s a good idea to have some grammar foundations to build on!

An Asian Woman Studying German

Learning Style

The way you learn and study is another essential aspect that may affect how long it will take you to become fluent in German. 

Your Methods

If you limit your learning to a classroom setting, even if you show up every day, it will probably take you a little longer to learn and feel confident using your language skills. Try to expose yourself to German outside the classroom (or online lesson) and you’ll cut down the time it takes you to learn it! 

Try reading German newspapers, watching films and series in German, and even listening to German podcasts while you drive or cook. Of course, finding a language partner to practice conversing with will also go a long way toward making you fluent faster! 

Your Time

There’s another aspect we haven’t mentioned yet, but it’s the most important of all when asking yourself how long it takes to learn German: The time you dedicate to it!

If you want to learn fast, try to dedicate as much time to learning as you can. 

Daily practice is ideal, and research has actually proven that learners who dedicate an hour a day to language learning—whether studying grammar, memorizing new words, watching a film, or reading a book—learn significantly faster than those who just attend weekly classes. 

And of course, if it’s an option for you, full immersion is best. If you can travel to Germany and live there for a while, that will make a big difference!

A Christmas Market in Germany

Approach

This is quite possibly the game-changer that will determine how fast you learn German. It can really make a massive difference!  

Your Motivation

It really is no secret that staying motivated is essential for learning a foreign language. Why do you want to learn German?

Have this clear in your mind and set weekly (or even daily) goals for maximum efficiency. This will help you stay motivated and interested in learning, and you can remind yourself every day why you’re learning this beautiful language. 

Your Attitude

Keeping your motivation up will make you feel like you’re learning more efficiently, and it will help you maintain a positive attitude during your language learning journey! 

It’s key to see learning as a fun and interesting activity that you’re choosing to do, and not a chore that you’re forced to do.

A Man Expressing Victory

Remember that learning a new language will open your mind and your horizons, and it will give you a great set of skills you can use in your day-to-day life. 

When you think this way, you’ll feel like learning something new every day and the process will be more enjoyable and much faster! 

How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Level?

So, let’s get to the point. Even though it’s hard to say for sure, we’ve tried to make an estimate of how long it might take you to reach a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level of German. 

Beginner

A beginner speaker of a language will be able to introduce themselves, understand slow and simple spoken language, and ask basic questions (probably making some mistakes along the way!). 

This level is probably enough if you just want…

  • …to be able to greet people. 
  • …to order a meal at the restaurant
  • …to understand when someone talks to you slowly and carefully. 
  • …some basic reading skills. 

You’ll be able to do all these things after about 180-200 hours (level A2) of German classes. This means that if you’re motivated and willing to put in 10-15 hours a week, you can travel to Germany without any worries in just over three months! 

So get studying now, and you’ll soon be having some basic conversations with native speakers!

Intermediate

If you reach an intermediate level, you’ll be able to understand everyday conversation (if spoken clearly), even if you have to ask some questions here and there to keep up. This level will also allow you to… 

  • …watch videos and read the news without major problems understanding the main points. 
  • ask for and follow directions
  • …have basic interactions with locals about familiar subjects. 

We estimate that to achieve an intermediate level in German, you’ll need around 350 hours of study. This means that, if you dedicate around 15 hours a week to practicing your German, you’ll be able to reach this level in just six months! 

Advanced

If you want to achieve fluency, this is what you’re aiming for: advanced language skills. With this level, you’ll basically be able to… 

  • navigate any kind of situation that may arise in your daily life or while traveling.
  • …have in-depth conversations with native speakers. 
  • watch movies without subtitles.
  • …read books in German with no problem.

You’ll be fluent! (Even if there will always be something more to learn about this intricate and beautifully complex language…)

A Woman Studying Late at Night

So, how long do you need to learn German if you want to reach this level of fluency? 

According to the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (FSI), you’ll need about 750 hours of study to become fluent in German. This means that if you study 12-15 hours a week, you’ll be able to speak like a pro in just a year! 

If this seems like a long time, take into account that harder languages like Japanese or Arabic may take up to 2200 hours, three times longer than German!

How Our Website Can Help

What are you waiting for? The right time to start learning a new language is now! 

The sooner you start learning, the faster you’ll achieve your language objectives and start speaking German. 

As you consider your options (and the world’s ongoing pandemic), you might wonder how to learn German online. GermanPod101 is a great place to start! 

To keep you motivated and interested (and to make your language learning adventure easy to navigate), we offer all kinds of language learning content on GermanPod101.com. Here you’ll find lessons for all levels, as well as vocabulary lists, dictionaries, and blog posts. 

Above all, how long it takes to learn German just depends on how much time you’re willing to invest. Our courses and resources are specifically designed to give you all the right tools to learn German as quickly and easily as possible, so that your precious time is well-spent!

Whether you’re a beginner who wants a full immersion experience or an advanced speaker who just needs to refine your skills, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if this article helped you! Do you feel ready to tackle the challenge of learning German? We look forward to hearing from you!

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How to be a Good Lover in Germany

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Click here to listen how to pronounce those lovely words!

– Ich liebe dich.
I love you.

– Du bedeutest mir sehr viel.
You mean so much to me.

– Möchtest du mein Valentin sein?
Will you be my Valentine?

– Sie sind so schön.
You’re so beautiful.

– Du bist mehr als nur ein Freund für mich.
I think of you as more than a friend.

– Hundert Herzen wären zu wenige, um all meine Liebe zu dir zu tragen.
A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

– Liebe ist nur Liebe. Es kann niemals erklärt werden.
Love is just love. It can never be explained.

– Du bist so schön.
You’re so handsome.

– Ich bin in dich verknallt.
I’ve got a crush on you.

– Du machst mich zu einem besseren Menschen.
You make me want to be a better man.

– Lasse deine Handlungen in der Liebe geschehen.
Let all that you do be done in love.

– Du bist mein Sonnenschein, meine Liebe.
You are my sunshine, my love.

– Worte können meine Liebe zu dir nicht beschreiben.
Words can’t describe my love for you.

– Wir waren füreinander bestimmt.
We were meant to be together.

– Solltest du – während du diese Zeilen liest – über jemanden nachdenken, bist du auf jeden Fall verliebt.
If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

Break up? Want to impress friends? Learn German with our other vocabulary lists!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From GermanPod101.com!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at GermanPod101.com! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn German together!

And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study German with GermanPod101.com!

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

From the GermanPod101.com team!