As we get older, it’s easy to get nostalgic and long for simpler times when not every single activity was mediated by technology. However, there is one aspect of life that technology has undoubtedly made much easier: language learning.
With language-oriented podcasts, for example, you can learn a new skill while you work out, commute to work, or have lunch before going back to the office.
That is why, today, we are going to talk about German podcasts.
Do you keep putting German lessons off because you’re too busy to do a traditional course? Do you want to learn German through content you actually care about? Thanks to German podcasts, soaking in the German culture and language has never been easier or more entertaining!
Below, you’ll find the best German podcasts for learners of every level.
Best German Podcasts for Beginners
The language course Deutsch – warum nicht? follows a journalism student named Andreas, as well as his mysterious “ex”, as he embarks on linguistic adventures. Each series consists of 26 lessons with exercises, free audio clips, and listening scripts.
The language course is aimed at students at A1 to B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which means it’s ideal for beginner to pre-intermediate learners. Although Deutsch – warum nicht? is the original idea of a passionate German teacher, it was developed in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, which is a public institution devoted to the promotion and encouragement of German.
So, how can you learn German with Andreas’ podcasts?
For example, in episode 25, you can learn how to say that you will pay for a meal at the end of a special date. In episode 19, Andreas teaches you how to say that you’re going to bed after a long day. As well as focusing on a language function, each episode has a linguistic focus. In this case, pronouns and articles in the accusative case, and the modal verb mögen, respectively. The fact that Warum Nicht is so highly entertaining while retaining a clear language focus makes it one of the best free German podcasts for learners of every level.
We’d been told that the best German podcasts were on Spotify, and after checking Long Story Short we can confirm the rumour is true. According to the creators of this great free German podcast, the best two ways of learning German are: (1) relocating to a German-speaking country, and (2), falling in love with a German speaker. But if neither of these options is possible, they assure us that their German podcast is the third-best choice.
Long Story Short is a series specially conceived for English-speaking learners. The stories are performed, then broken down, in both German and English. In the latest episode in November 2021, ”Ein Schuss ins Blaue” (”A Long Shot”), the Berlin-based actor Madlen Meyer tells a beautiful story that addresses a very deep question: When we finally find a sense of belonging, how far are we willing to go to keep that feeling? After telling the story, the hosts break down the story and delve into its cultural nuances with the help of a German learner, Danielle.
Definitely one of the best German podcasts on Spotify, Long Story Short is a true delight for both literature and language lovers.
Best German Podcasts for Intermediate Students
If you like to learn German with podcasts, you’re in for a treat with The Easy German Podcast. In every 30-minute episode, the hosts discuss news stories and relevant issues from Germany and around the world, while also focusing on specific words and phrases and answering questions about the language from special guests.
If you are into LGBTIQ+ stuff or you want to learn German while you take part in a relevant conversation, you will just love their latest episode 240. Stuart Bruce Cameron joins the hosts to discuss diversity and equal opportunities in German companies.
What makes TEGP one of the best German podcasts on Spotify is that every episode comes with a full description which tells you what kind of language you will find throughout the episode. In this one, for example, you should look out for expressions related to gender and sexuality such as aus dem schrank kommen (coming out of the closet), Geschlechtsidentität (gender identity).
For six years, the historians Daniel Meßner and Richard Hemmer have been telling each other interesting stories from German history week after week. The special thing about it: one never knows what the other will tell him until the episode has started. If you want to learn German while enriching your general knowledge, you can’t find a better podcast. Zeitsprung is about forgotten events, extraordinary personalities and surprising connections of history from all eras, often but not always connected with Germany.
In episode 314, for example, the hosts talk about the cholera outbreak in Hamburg in 1892 and how it was fought with aqueducts and filter systems. In 319, they jump into the 3rd century BC to talk about Ashoka, the power-hungry and brutal ruler of the Maurya empire. If, besides learning the language, you want to learn about German culture with podcasts that have great original content, make sure you check Zeitsprung.
Best German Podcasts for Advanced Learners
Is it possible to have fun while you learn with German podcasts? Anyone who has heard Fest & Flauschig knows that the answer is yes.
Fest & Fluschig, with Jan Böhmermann and Olli Schulz, is an award-winning show that they describe as a “bafflingly fabulous, limitlessly fantastic podcast for him, her, and it”. It’s not just one of the best German podcasts on Spotify, it was the single most successful podcast in any language in 2017, and has remained extremely popular to this day. Unlike other podcasts in the article, this is an unscripted, unstructured, mostly improvised show hosted by a comedian and a musician, so it’s most suitable for advanced learners who want to get exposure to real German conversations. The dialogue between the hosts Böhmermann and Schulz revolves around current political and social issues, personal events, and also fictional stories.
In the episode “Mediengequatsche” (Media chatter), they share great background stories from the media business, mainly about “comebacks, revivals and incidents involving chainsaws”, which is exactly as hilarious as it sounds.
Try Fest & Fluschig and you’ll see we’re not lying when we say it’s possible to learn German and have fun at the same time.
Elementarfragen is an exceptional show about exceptional lives. Looking for the reason behind the success of extraordinary people, Nicolas Semak interviews artists, scientists and politicians and tries to discover what makes them special. Since these are extensive, biographical conversations, you can expect to find lots of spontaneous past tense sentences in each 1-hour long episode, which makes it a great resource for language-lovers who want to learn German with podcasts that are linguistically relevant without being too focused on grammar rules.
In one of the most exciting episodes, Nicolas interviews Hans Kammerlander, an extreme mountaineer who has climbed the highest peaks on our planet and set numerous records. Nicolas asks him about his most dangerous adventures, his successes, and the tragedies that have befallen him in the course of his career. Definitely one of the best free German podcasts on Apple, Elementarfragen is a show that will teach you much more than German vocabulary.
So, is it possible to improve your German with podcasts?
With the free German podcasts above, you will get to practise your target language while having fun and learning a lot of interesting stuff about celebrities, German culture, and world history.
Now, of course, while getting lots of exposure to a foreign language is a wonderful way to improve your listening skills, if you want to learn German more thoroughly you will need to take a few lessons with a native teacher. Luckily, we can help! Our qualified German teachers are native speakers of the language who can prepare a syllabus tailored to your needs and interests, so all the content is highly relevant to you and you stay motivated during your German learning journey. Contact us now and we’ll put you in touch with a qualified native tutor for a Free Trial German Lesson, no strings attached!