Podcasts are digital audio files that have established themselves as a popular and practical way of learning a foreign language.
Why are they so popular? You can listen to them anywhere at any time and on a variety of platforms. Also, they numb the searing pain of our quotidian lives.
Whether you’re passionate about politics, science, cinema or marsupial dating habits, podcasts offer is something for everybody, and occasionally lots of things for nobody. Like TV shows, feature films and documentaries, podcasts are a great way to learn expressions and vocabulary, improving your oral comprehension, oftentimes while being entertained.
Gymglish has hand-picked 5 German language podcasts from a bountiful field full of them in order to help you advance in your German learning journey.
Launched in 2018, the podcast Alles gesagt? (Has everything been said?) is hosted by German journalists Jochen Wegner and Christoph Amend. The concept is easy and effective: they discuss a variety of topics including art, gastronomy, racism and more with famous guests (Alice Schwarzer, Juli Zeh, Herbert Grönemeyer, etc.). Why is this podcast unique? Simply because only when the guests have pronounced a specific phrase (“Everything has been said”) can the show truly end. It’s precisely for this reason that certain episodes have lasted eight hours.
Who it’s for: If you have time to kill, you’ve come to the right place. This podcast targets more advanced learners of German – however, depending on the guest, the podcast may be more or less difficult to understand.
Servus. Grüezi. Hallo.
The political podcast Servus. Grüezi. Hallo (Three different ways to say hello) was launched in 2018 and is produced by the online portal Zeit Online. Every Wednesday, Political journalist Lenz Jacobsen chats with two correspondents, historian Matthias Daum from Zürich and journalist Florian Gasser from Vienna. Together, they discuss current affairs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but above all what the neighboring countries can learn from one another.
Who it’s for: Servus. Grüezi. Hallo will help learners discover and discern an array of German-language dialects. In a 45-minute time span, you’ll know much more about what’s happening across all three German-speaking countries. Don’t forget to tune in on your commute to work!
You’ll always find a good reason to learn German – and listening to macabre stories is one of them. Hosted by journalists Laura Wohlers and Paulina Kraser, Mordlust is one of the most popular true-crime podcasts in Germany. In each episode, the two journalists showcase two notorious criminal investigations that shook Germany. In their view, most of the crimes have a reasonable explanation, and that’s precisely what they are trying to prove. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Who it’s for: Upper-intermediate and advanced learners of German will come to love the 58 gripping episodes of this podcast. What’s more, Mordlust is one of the rare podcasts that uses gender-neutral language.
In Madame Moneypenny, self-made businesswoman Natascha Wegelin gives women a voice. Her podcast aims to encourage women of all ages and backgrounds to become financially independent. Across her 144 episodes, she deciphers financial terms and gives her listeners sound advice on how to manage their money wisely – because financial dependency is a significant risk in the lives of women.
Who it’s for: If finance isn’t your thing, Natasha’s comforting voice is also noted for its soothing qualities.
100 Sekunden Wissen
100 seconds to improve your German and learn new vocabulary words? Sounds like ein major bargain. 100 Sekunden Wissen (“100 seconds of knowledge”) was launched by Swiss broadcasting company SRF (Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen) and is all about learning things quickly. Each 1 minute and 40-second episode examines a new word in German and explains its origins and its use in everyday life.
Who it’s for: Listening to this podcast daily will help you get more familiar with German pronunciation and intonation. What’s more, fitting a couple of these podcasts in your busy schedule should be a piece of cake.
Bonus: Arte Radio
European cultural channel ARTE, a collaborative channel combining French and German production and perspectives, needs no introduction, at least to Europeans. You’ll be happy to know that the group created a new radio branch in 2002 called ARTE Radio. On the online platform, learners have access to several new podcasts every week which provide a unique perspective of the world and our multifaceted lives. Their motto: “Listen to the world and the lives we lead”.
Looking for more? We all are. Try our online German course Wunderbla for free: fun, short and personalized lessons to jump-start your German learning.
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