We all know that one of the hardest aspects of language learning is finding the time to practise. Life gets very busy, very quickly and it can be hard to fit your German learning in.
This is where podcasts can really come into their own.
Podcasts are portable, meaning that you can listen to one on your way to work, while walking around the supermarket or even while waiting for the kettle to boil.
They are also low-effort. While you will get more out of listening if you actively pay attention, just having one on in the background while you’re focused on the housework will have you picking up words and phrases in no time.
The downside is that there are so many it can be hard to know where to start. It is easier than ever to start a podcast, and the streaming service Spotify has spent a lot of money expanding its podcasting repertoire in recent years. So, to help you navigate the world of German learning podcasts, we have compiled this list of ten that you might want to check out.
Level: A0 - A1
Easy German Podcast
As the name suggests, these episodes are written in easy German. It is a popular podcast with a YouTube channel as well, where the hosts interview people on the streets.
Coming in at 30 minutes per episode, this is longer than most other podcasts aimed at beginners, which are normally around 10-20 minutes. So this is a nice one to have on when you’re ready to dedicate a longer amount of time to learning.
Easy German releases two new episodes per week, on a diverse range of topics from across the German speaking world. The core podcast is free, but they do offer a paid option which allows you to download transcripts and vocabulary guides if you’d like them.
Long Story Short
Another long one for beginners, each episode of Long Story Short also comes in at around an hour. Each episode is a self-contained story, which is then discussed by a native German speaker so you can pick up on anything you might have missed. The available series is aimed at A1 learners, though the producers Chatterbug are keen to expand to other levels in future.
So ist Berlin
Level: So ist Berlin - A2/B1
Level: Speaking of Berlin - A1/A2
Produced by language learning website Babbel, So ist Berlin is exactly as it sounds. Each 15 minute episode follows a different person around Berlin and explores that person’s favourite places in the city.
For those who like the idea but don’t feel ready for a show exclusively in German, there is a bilingual English/German version called Speaking of Berlin. The episodes are exactly the same as those on So ist Berlin but contains the additional English narration, making it ideal for beginner learners.
Coffee Break German
Coffee Break Languages | Website
The Radio Lingua network hosts podcasts in a range of languages. If you’re lucky enough to have a 20 minute coffee break, then these lessons will fill those nicely. The host, Thomas, is a native speaker of German and acts as a teacher to student Mark. This means you feel like you are in a German classroom. The episodes also feature cultural snapshots and grammar guides, giving a complete course.
News in Slow German
News in Slow German | Spotify
Recommended by one of our own Deutsch Gym course attendees, News in Slow German does exactly what it says on the tin. It presents news. In slow German. Episodes are around ten minutes long, and allow you to stay up-to-date with what’s happening both in Germany and around the world, while practising grammar and vocabulary.
Slow German | Spotify
Not to be confused with our previous suggestion, Slow German is the work of German social media expert and podcaster Annik Rubens. She also covers a wide variety of topics in a slow, and friendly, manner which will help you to broaden your vocabulary.
Warum Nicht | Website
This narrative podcast follows journalism student and hotel doorman Andreas and his adventures in life. Clearly, this is a departure from the other podcasts this article has recommended, which have been explicitly for teaching. But Warum Nicht is the result of a collaboration between Deutsche Welle (one of Germany’s top broadcasters) and the Goethe Institute, meaning that it is both entertaining and methodologically sound.
Authentic German Learning
Authentic German Learning | Website
This podcast is interesting, as host Marco Rösler aims to improve your whole sense of personal development as well as your German language skills. Ideal for intermediate (B1-B2) learners, Marco uses the tried-and-tested ‘Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling’ technique.
Elementarfragen | Website
Another podcast that doesn’t sit down and give you grammar and vocabulary, Elementarfragen (Elementary Questions) interviews experts on a variety of interesting topics. This is not a podcast suitable for beginners, but for B2 students, who are looking to expand their more specialised vocabulary, this is ideal.
Fest und Flauschig
Fest und Flauschig | Website
Our final podcast in this list is another ‘real’ podcast, not aimed at learners but enjoyed by native speakers across Germany. In fact, it is one of the most successful German-language podcasts on Spotify. Fest und Flauschig has been hosted by Jan Böhmermann and Olli Schulz since 2016 and covers a variety of topics that impact everyday life in Germany.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. There are podcasts devoted to anything people might be interested in. And if they exist in English, they exist in German too. So it’s worth checking out what’s out there.
Darren has been a language teacher for sixteen years, and has taught all ages from pre-school to adults. He has been a German speaker since he was 12 years old.
Use the knowledge from the podcasts you listen and practice your conversation skills in our online German meetups (7-day free trial, all levels) or try our online intensive Business German course.