Have you ever watched a German TED talk? While following an expert life talk in a foreign language might seem challenging, you should give it a try. TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. But the range of topics is much broader and touches on all important developments of modern life and, of course, language learning!
With TEDx, the concept went global, catering to communities all over the world. There are also plenty of possibilities to adapt each talk to your individual learning needs. For example, you can watch videos in German. You can look at the subtitles for support or print out the script and work through it before watching. You can even watch in English to learn about German culture, language or language learning in general. Here are 5 TED talks you can start with.
- The secrets of learning a language
- Germany is in need of a German food culture
- Ich esse Fleisch!
- Auf Holz gebaut
- Poetry Slammer: Matze B.
1. The secret connection between math, poetry and German
This TED talk by Harry Baker uncovers not only how math, poetry and German are alike. It also takes you through the different stages of the language learning experience, ending in a masterpiece of German-English slam poetry. If you are still new to German, don’t worry. You will learn what a Falafellöffel is while enjoying this brilliant performance in English.
2. Germany is in need of a German food culture
One of the local TEDx events, hosted by the TUBerlin, is this talk by Billy Wagner on German culture and food. While the expert is German, he is giving his talk in English. Listen to Wagner’s thoughts on Germany’s need to rethink food. If you want to take more with you than new ideas on the way Germans eat, why not try to summarize the talk in German? Or follow up on the same topic with the next TED talk in the German language.
3. Ich esse Fleisch!
Another TEDx event, this time from Frankfurt, this talk by Frank Kühne explores how to consume meat (typical German?) in a more conscious and responsible way. Again, you will gain insight into German food culture and the need for more awareness of personal and ecological questions. This TED talk is in German and, unfortunately, there are no English subtitles available. However, following the German subtitles might help to understand the expert who speaks clearly and not too fast. And if you miss something, you could always rewind and listen and read again. The benefit of modern media in language learning!
4. Auf Holz gebaut
More ecological awareness and sustainability will be discussed in this talk by Hubert Rhomberg from Salzburg, Austria. He has developed a wood-hybrid construction system for high-rise buildings to reduce carbon production. Again, only German subtitles are available. In this case, this is especially helpful, as not only do we get to listen to a very important topic, but also have the chance to hear the Austrian dialect.
5. Poetry Slammer: Matze B.
Poetry Slam in German? Don’t let that scare you. Matthias Brenner is the ideal expert for a German TED talk, as his career spans from rapper over poet to German teacher. He plays with German rhymes and tongue twisters, so most of the effect comes from the sounds as such, even if you don’t understand each and every word. If you want to though, you can follow the English subtitles.
Learning German with added value: TED talks from Germany
German TED talks are a great way to learn about interesting concepts while advancing your German comprehension. Turn on those German subtitles, and you can practice your reading skills, too. No matter which way you choose, you can’t go wrong.
Sandra lives in Istanbul, together with her kids, cat and dog. As a historian she thrives exploring this ancient city with her two- and four-legged loved ones. Together, they also love to go on adventures through all of Turkey and its neighboring countries. The perfect opportunity to put all the language learning into practice. If she’s not on the road, Sandra is busy putting her experiences into writing as a freelance copywriter for the travel industry and everything related to language, culture and family. Her particular interest lies in providing information on animal welfare with her website contentrundumstier.de.