Does watching cartoons to learn a language sound like fun to you? Then, why aren’t you? With so many streaming services offering content in languages from the world over you are bound to find something you want to watch. And with simple language used to tell stories that are visually appealing, it will be no time at all before you are picking the lingo up! Not sure what to watch first? Here are some great cartoons to watch if you are learning German.
Nichtlustig is not a cartoon for children so do not be thinking you can watch this with a younger audience! It’s not quite South Park but Nichtlustig is distinctly adult humour; great for picking up some additional language with if you’re already perhaps intermediate level. So, if dark humour and dirty jokes is your kind of thing, get tuning in; the cartoon appearance is a little bit Futurama-like in style so if that works for you, this is perfect! Want to see for yourself? Here is a clip; perhaps view on your own just in case!
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Janoschs Traumstunde is a beloved cartoon series based on stories written by German children’s author Horst Eckert. The series is finished now so you only have a limited number of episodes to watch, but don’t that stop you! Janoschs Traumstunde will charm you, we think, from the very first viewing. Each episode is either a self-contained story or a couple of shorter, self-contained stories, exploring the world through different characters including bears, tigers, and rabbits. Did we say how charming this cartoon is? Because it is just that; charming. What better way to practice your German than by watching wonderful whimsical characters going about their days? Here is a sneak peek so you can see for yourself!
If you are after another cute cartoon Bali is a good watch. Based on French storybooks by authors Magdalena and Laurent Richard, Bali tells the tale of a preschool-age puppy and his stuffed animal Kikou. There are only 26 episodes, or, for the way the show is structured, 52 11-minute-long segments; perfect to fit into your study routine no matter how busy you are! The cartoons are simply animated but perfect for learners, with easy language for you to follow. Here is a clip to see if Bali is the cartoon for you; just be aware it has been translated into a few languages so you might have to hunt for episodes in German!
Biene Maja is another simple cartoon that is perfect for German learning. Based on a children’s book by Waldemar Bonsels, the series follows the adventures of Maja, a bee born into a hive at a time of internal unrest, and the lives of her other insect friends beyond it. This beautiful story, which some say has a political undertone, has been adapted from book to animated series and also into a children’s opera, a musical, and a puppet musical. So if you run out of episodes to watch, well, there is more to study with if you want! Here is a clip of Biene Maja so you can decide if this is a cartoon for you.
Wickie und die starken Männer
Our last suggestion of German cartoons to try for studying with is Wickie und die starken Männer. This follows the life of a young viking boy named Wickie, who has a sharp wit that at times is the only thing to help his fellow vikings out of trouble. Over three seasons of 78 episodes you get to see all kinds of adventures of Wickie and his friends. This is a very simple animation with clear language that will definitely help you perfect your pronunciation. Give Wickie a quick watch here to see what the series is like! What you will find about cartoons like Wickie und die starken Männer and Biene Maja is that because they are produced by a German-Japanese team, whether intentional or not the language used is very universal, meaning it translates well and is easy to follow. Happy watching, whichever cartoon you choose!
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