The best podcasts to learn German

The best podcasts to learn German

by Jakob Straub

Updated November 7, 2022

Listening to a language in spoken word and conversation is a great way for picking up on essentials and how a living language is used. You can use German podcasts to sharpen your listening comprehension skills and improve your pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. We present you with the best podcasts to learn German: the top five with actual German language lessons, and another five top German podcasts for acquiring the language from native speakers with a range of topics.

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The 5 best German podcasts for German learners

1. Coffee Break German

The free German language learning podcast is Coffee Break German targets beginners and intermediate language learners. You can choose from a wide array of free audio content with lessons of 15 to 20 minutes in length. Other episodes feature life in Germany, highlight important details of the country’s history, or talk about an aspect of German culture. So grab that cup of joe and your headphones and get started on your next language learning coffee break!

2. Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle or DW for short is Germany’s international broadcaster and an important media outlet, kind of like a German BBC. They have their own portal for learning German with content for all levels. Among the most popular is Nicos Weg, a podcast with video lessons and exercises which takes you from A1 to B1. Also of interest is Marktplatz, a business-oriented podcast which will teach you Business German. Try it out, it’s one of the best podcasts to learn German!

3. Slow German

No, you won’t be slow to learn the language with the Slow German podcast! Despite the title, maker Annik Rubens actually targets intermediate language learners with her episodes. She narrates entirely in German, yet at a slowed-down pace, so you can fully concentrate on the subject and recreate the pronunciation. Podcast transcripts help you with vocabulary and comprehension. There are also lessons for absolute beginners, which are conducted in English and provide a more gentle introduction to German and everyday situations where you’ll need to speak a bit of the language.

4. Easy German

On the weekly Easy German podcast, hosts discuss topics typical for Germany as well as global issues. They explain words and expressions, answer questions from listeners and give practical language lessons. Bonus content includes access to interactive transcripts, videos and a vocabulary helper app.

5. Learn German by Podcast

Learn German by Podcast teaches you “real-life German for everyday conversation” with language experts. Thanks to mp3 lesson format, you can listen on a wide range of devices and also have transcripts and lesson guides available. Lessons currently target beginners only.

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5 podcasts to learn German in a fun way

German podcasts don’t have to be about language learning itself in order to teach you German. You can also listen to pop culture, history or science podcasts to learn German and pick up other useful facts and knowledge at the same time. Here are our recommendations for learning the language in this way.

1. Viertausendhertz

Viertausendhertz (literally four thousand Hertz) is Germany’s first podcast label and has produced several successful and popular podcasts to date. You can browse their long list of podcasts to find something of interest to you, but we particularly recommend Elementarfragen, which talks about extraordinary people and their biographies, Deine Welt, which interviews people all around the globe to show their particular part of the world and Kiezrekorder, which portrays people people in Berlin. 

2. Zeitsprung

Zeitsprung is a weekly podcast which has been running for more than five years. The exchange between the two historians Daniel Meßner and Richard Hemmer reliably puts the story into history. The clou of each episode is that they never know what the other will talk about, so you can experience their immediate reactions to the subject matter. Past episodes have talked about blood transfusion, Irish whiskey, the Olympic games or the greatest art heist in history.

3. SWR2 Wissen

One of the most successful German-speaking podcasts is SWR2 Wissen. You’ll be presented with daily news regarding research and world affairs or history and education. Each half hour episode is based on thorough research, focuses on important connections and delivers surprising background information. SWR2 Wissen is available on Apple and Google Podcasts, Spotify, Deezer as well as national public radio.

4. Deutschlandfunk Nova

Deutschlandfunk Nova is an informational service by the public radio station Deutschlandradio. The programming is free of advertising and features stories, news and interesting guests as well as music. They also have a whole range of podcasts available: Ab 21Eine Stunde FilmEine Stunde MedienEine Stunde History or Das perfekte Buch für den Moment deal with lifestyle topics, film, media, history or literature and specifically target young listeners.

5. Fest und Flauschig

Satirist Jan Böhmermann and musician Olli Schulz were the hosts of the successful radio show Sanft & Sorgfältig. In 2016 they launched the successor Fest & Flauschig as a podcast on Spotify. Each episode is basically a ranting dialog between the two hosts. Conversations can range from current issues in politics and society to personal narrations. There are also guests and recurring elements, such as top five lists. If you want to pick up some German while trying to understand this oddity called German humor, this is the podcast for you.

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Jakob is a freelance writer in Barcelona, Spain, and his favorite books have pages all empty. As an expert storyteller, he publishes creative fiction in English and German and helps other authors shape their manuscripts into compelling stories. Thanks to an expertise in a wide range of topics such as writing, literature and productivity to marketing, travel, and technology, he produces engaging content for his clients. Apart from the escape that books offer, Jakob enjoys traveling digital nomad style and stays active with climbing and hiking. Find out more about him on his website, Twitter or on Goodreads.

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