Sunday, 12 August 2007

Your recommendations for German podcasts

Hello blog readers,


A couple of weeks ago, I had a request from Chris in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, asking if I could recommend any good podcasts for learning German in general. I don't listen to any other German podcasts, so I'm no use for giving a recommendation on that. But I thought, if anyone can, my listeners can.


So I promised I'd ask if any of you have a recommendation. If you do, please could you add it as a comment to this blog (along with a quick word about what level of German you're at, so others will know which podcasts are best for their level)? No negative recommendations please, so I don't get angry emails from makers of other podcasts. I'm sure there are some fantastic learn German podcasts out there, and if anyone knows about them, it'll be my listeners. So if you have a spare moment, can you list which ones you like on my blog and why? Also, if they're not in the iTunes podcast directory, can you say where people should find them?


I meant to put this request in my podcast itself, but I've just put another episode of German GrammarPod up on air, and I'm afraid I completely forgot. I will try and remember to put a request in the next one. But until then, if anyone has a recommendation, this is the place :)

26 comments:

Jimmy said...

I've been searching - there's really nothing quite like "Chinesepod" for German just yet. www.learnfrenchbypodcast.com have great french lessons, and have registered the German version of the domain for some future date...

For the newbie, I liked RadioLingua's My Daily Phrase German, but it's very simple - a phrase a day.

A kindred spirit to Laura can be found by looking up GerGermanGrammarPodcasts, which are pretty low-fi, and are made for an advanced high school class... but are pretty fun.

I like dradio-Kulturinterview for listening to interviews on all sorts of topics.

And for the beginner-to-intermediate, Deutsche Welle had a series of "radio learning" called "Warum Nicht?" that you can find on ITunes - 4 series, each with 30 lessons, and accompanying PDFs at www.DW-World.de, follow links for "German Courses", then to "Learning German" for that. There's also an interactive "Rosetta Stone" like online learning course available at the same place.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

There's http://german-podcast.blogspot.com/

for learning German by listening to podcast.

Anonymous said...

I would recommend "Deutsch - warum nicht?" or really anything else in the Podcasts -> Deutsche Welle section of the iTunes Store.

Just search for "deutsch warum nicht" in the iTunes store, and you'll find that and all the other podcasts from Deutsche Welle.

Anonymous said...

Hi! When I learnt Spanish, a language I am now proficient in I was living in Spain at the time, and so I was able to submerge myself into the language much to the envy of my fellow flatmates who prefered to local ex-pat pub. But being away from the country of your target language need not be so much of a problem as it used to be. Music, on-line & satelite TV, journals, podcasts and film can all make for an interesting study session at home(or even a night out) I try to spot phrases & words Laura teaches in the various broadcasts. My level is roughly intermediate though my competence can depend on the weather. But, put simply, the more exposure you have to the language the easier the studying becomes.

Matty said...

well, all so far mentioned i would agree with and i've pretty much tried them all as i've been teaching myself german.

mydailyphrasegerman is great for absolute begginners. deutsch warum nicht is good for something more advanced. mygermanclass.com has some nice videos for beginners (set up the vid and leo the same time to learn vocab in action). german-podcast.de is nice but sometimes a little strange as there are some epidoes where the host is just telling you about his life and not really teaching german but still i found some episodes really good. i think this is basically all of them...

Jim M. said...

I agree with the others here who have mentioned "Deutsche, Warum Nicht." It's a great set of lessons, with a story that keeps things interesting. As a rule, I recommend listening to a few different sources as well, because each set of lessons often has a different group of core words that it considers the most important. If you have access to some TV shows in German, that is also very helpful for getting a feel for how the language sounds when spoken at a normal pace. DW-TV is available nearly everywhere in the world. If you live in the States, Dish TV also has a German language package, that includes movies and TV shows from Germany. Sometimes these are in regional dialects, which will really give you a workout. Of course, the best way to get better is to practice it either in Germany, or with people who speak German.

jlly-coppercorn said...

Sorry, can't advise differently. I love Warum Nicht ?
I've had some independent German classes at the adult college over the years but never could find a class higher than beginner's level. So I took 3 separate classes hoping to learn a little extra from each teacher. Then, about a year ago, I found "Warum Nicht?" and downloaded the whole series. I would listen to it over headphones every day while at work (desk job, little outside or inter- office contact)and sometimes in the evenings at home if I was just surfing the net. I'd listen to a run of episodes one day and then overlap them the next with new ones. In a year I'm sure I listened to each episode at least 5 times if not more. While I still have little confidence speaking German, I understand it when I overhear it in stores or when a segment of TV or movie is in German. What surprises me most is when I overhear people speaking and I know what they are talking about before I register that they are German. I've lived in South Florida my whole life, surrounded by Spanish speaking people but now I understand German better and more instinctively than Spanish.

jlly-coppercorn said...

Also, I know this may sound crazy but listening to Rammstein has helped as well. They ennunciate clearly and most of the cds come with lyrics (in German). It's great for getting used to the cadence of the language and their music is enjoyable if you like the heavier rock stuff.

Anonymous said...

Some time ago I found a free German video course called Fokus Deutsch:
http://www.learner.org/resources/series104.html
(you have to register with an e-mail address).

For more advanced learners Slow German might be a good podcast of not too fast spoken texts with transcripts: http://slowgerman.libsyn.com/

Martin

Anonymous said...

Lately I have been downloading podcasts of the RTL Nachrichten and ARD Tageschau or Tagesthemen to expand vocabulary as well as comprehension. I think as with watching German Television, the addition of video to the language helps greatly especially if you have no practical human resources.

I think the combination of lessons, radio and tv shows, and information given by German GrammarPod is a good approach.

Chuck in Michigan

Sarah said...

For the beginner, I would recommend checking out the About.com site for German:

http://german.about.com/od/
onlinecourses/u/StartLearning.htm

There are a ton of resources on there: charts; lists, top ten mistakes; forums and chat rooms; culture information on holidays, music, films, etc.; and even a verb conjugator. I think there are quizzes on there, as well.

This is how I started learning German, and it helped greatly.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Warum Nicht? is a good and well paced course. At the moment, I'm really enjoying the Pukka German podcast which teaches a lot of colloquial language, idioms and German slang. If you've reached an intermediate level in your German I'd recommend checking it out.
All the best,
Steffi

paulF said...

I'm about halfway through Warum Nicht? as well and can really recommend it.

Communication Department Forum said...

Hi, Laura. Have you ever talked about post-positive 'prepositions'? I notice that gegenüber sometimes comes before and sometimes after the noun or phrase it modifies.

Anonymous said...

The Podcast, Slow German, is excellent for the intermediate level learner. Each Podcast which comes out about every two weeks, covers a different aspect of the culture, politics or daily life in Germany. There is a companion web site that will give you the the text of the Podcast and by highlighting the German word, you will get the English translation. For the more advanced speaker, Schlaflos in Muenchen is great.

John said...

Laura, you know what would be great? A podcast on flavoringg particles and such. Also, the way that modal adverbs assist meaning. I think, for instance, "hinaus" helps "über" mean "beyond" in this sentence: Die Ausweitung, die Heidegger über Dilthey hinaus vornahm..."

Laura said...

@ John - Modal/Flavoring Particles

Wikipedia has rather a good description of modal/flavoring particles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_modal_particle

I found that for me the best approach was to pick them up one or two at a time. I think the first three I started with were probably mal, aber and ja.

After that I listened out for particles in sentences that sounded like the sort of thing I would say and copied those. I'm not entirely sure how I picked up meaning. I did discuss the meaning of some particles with native German speakers, but I found that that was only helpful for some particles, others seemed too hard to explain. I think I may also have worked out the probable impact of particles from the meaning of the rest of what was being said.

Dave C said...

I use many sites but one that is a little unusual and one other learners may not have thought of is www.deafVision.de. This site is for the hard of hearing and has German language video clips with sub-titles. In my opinion it is a great resource for learners who can read German but may have difficulty understanding the spoken word especially if the speaker has a dialect (with the added benefit one can pause the video and look up a word in the dictionary).

Aaron said...

LAURA YOU ARE A CHAMPION!!

Thankyou very much for making these podcasts. I have just return to Australia after living in germany for 2 years. After listening to your podcast i now feel alot more confident with the german langauge and i am looking to go back to germany again next year.

Two things i would like to suggest is maybe talking a little bit slower. Some of these grammar concepts are new and take time to sink into the brain. Second is maybe a "english grammar for german students" podcast. Now that i have decided to learn german properly, instead of just speaking it to get around germany. I have had to go back over my english grammar "What is a verb?" I learnt this at school when i was 5, and i have never had to think about it since. I asked around today my office to see how many people knew the answer. Out of 20 people, only 2 and english is their second lanuage! So maybe a pod on the "grammar buzz words" would be really helpful for others.

Thanks again for these, looking forward to more!

Cheers...

Aaron

Casey Redd Kennington said...

I found some online lessons that also double as great charts to have around. The author also has several quizzes and you can check your answers. The lessons are very understandable, and, along with this podcast, are a great resource (if it hasn't already been mentioned):

http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar.html

Jeff said...

Deutsche Welle has another course called "Radio D", found at http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,9671,00.html

I think it is simpler than Warum Nicht, and only has 2 series. Each lesson lasts about 15 minutes, and you can download PDF transcripts. Like Warum Nicht, there is a story to follow. There is a focus on learning by picking up clues from the context (sounds, tone of voice, etc), which is an important skill to pick up.

Brian Beam said...

First off, this podcast is wonderful. It's exactly the kind of information I'm looking for.

One of the previous comments mentions listening (and singing along) to Rammstein. I also have found this helpful - as well as Megaherz and Eisbrescher. Some caveats though... while I think listening to this music helps with German pronunciation, songs (and other forms of poetry) may bend grammatical rules in order to make ideas fit a particular rhyme or meter. Especially Rammstein, which also tends to do lots of word play, in order to make a song's meaning more ambiguous... i.e. Du Hast... is he saying "du hast mich" or "du haßt mich"?

But, even the pronunciation can be a little off and should not always be taken literally. For example, I hear quite a few "ish" sounds instead of the proper "iksh" while Till Lindemann's vocals (Rammstein) can be very theatrical, with overly rolled R's and mixing rolled R's and uvular trilled R's, etc.

But, in general, I think this is a great idea -- if you like this type of music. Definitely not the answer for everyone, though.

Anonymous said...

I find Doris Dorrie both readable and enjoyable. Don't be put off if you have heard that she is a feminist and it's not to your taste: she is a very amusing writer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge here. May I suggest that you make it more slow for slow learners

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate these podcasts, but its hard for me because I am a visual learner. If Laura is listening, do you think you may ever re-do these pod casts on youtube with some visual learnining egl power point or something? if not, does anyone know of any other visual type of classes? I really would like to take word order to task :) I am at project_tek@yahoo.com

Laura said...

That sounds like a good idea if I can find the time. I probably wouldn't present the existing ones in person, as that would be a lot of re-recording work, but I might make a presentation (what I'd write on a blackboard) and run the sound with that. I assume that would still work. What sort of input works best for visual learners like you? Can I mainly put the examples up in writing or do you need pictures and diagrams as well, and if so, what sort?