Textbooks, reading, and classes all have their place, but if you would like to learn how to speak German, there is nothing quite like hearing it being spoken.
Even discussions with fellow students don’t live up to the benefits of actually hearing German spoken by a native. In fact, the simple art of listening is one of the most underrated forms of tuition and should be included in your studies whether you are learning German at home or in a school.
When you listen and learn German, there are many benefits. Not only will you learn German pronunciation, but your grammar and vocabulary will improve too. Actually, when you listen and learn German you also pick up language nuances that cannot be found in textbooks!
If you want to learn German for beginners, start by listening and you will be surprised at how quickly you will become fluent.
Listen and Learn German through Radio
Watching television in a foreign language is an excellent way to immerse in a language when you cannot actually live in a country where it is spoken. If you want to learn how to speak German, this is definitely something you could do, however, when you are short on time, you could turn to the radio and enjoy very similar benefits!
When you listen and learn German through topical conversations around current affairs, song lyrics, and news broadcasts on the radio, you are exposed to wide ranging vocabulary. Make sure that you choose a station that interests you and if you are in South Africa, remember that you can live stream channels on any of your chosen devices!
Learn German for Beginners through Podcasts
Another superb idea for beginners is to learn German by podcast. Podcasts are a relatively new media channel that has truly taken off in popularity over the past few years due to the fact that they are so easily accessible on mobile devices. This makes them very well suited as a way to listen and learn German when commuting for instance.
All of this great, however, be aware that podcasts can be created by anyone, so if you are using them to learn how to speak German, try and find recommended material or official sources.
If you want to learn German online, you could start your search for a tutor on Superprof.
The Benefits of Learning Through Audio
One of the best things about audio is that they can be listened to in the background while actually getting on with other tasks. In fact, when it comes to multi-tasking it doesn’t get better than this – imagine being able to listen and learn German while doing your housework or exercising?
In today’s time-pressured world, this can work really well if you have to carry on with real-life but really want to learn a new language. This is really do-able if you want to learn German by podcast or audiobooks.
When it comes to learning German at home, you would be surprised to find out just how much you can learn through using audio techniques to supplement your more formal methods. If you want to learn German for beginners, making use of the digital tools that are so easily accessible to everyone these days is really a must.
Using app technology, you can learn German by podcast, audiobook, and even stream radio that is being broadcast in Germany!
If you have decided that you want to learn how to speak German, it is up to you how much audio content to include in your studies. Audio can be an excellent way to use the time usefully while on a train or bus. Imagine being able to learn German for beginners over a year of commuting to the office?
Another fun way to listen and learn German at the same time is to enjoy German music. Not only will this help your pronunciation and vocabulary, but because German is so repetitive, it can really help to absorb the content, while you are being entertained too!
Listening to spoken German helps you pick up language nuances.- Source: UnsplashSo whether you prefer radio, audiobooks or to learn German by podcast, every method is perfect if you have a busy lifestyle. But even if you have all the time in the world, remember that to truly immerse in a language you need to hear it spoken a lot.
The Best German Radio Stations
Deutschlandfunk is one of Germany’s best news stations and is linked to Deutschlandradio which is a well-known station for culture and pedagogy. It reports on various current affair topic and includes regular interviews with well-known personalities from many social, political, and economic sectors. The content is quite high level if you want to learn German for beginners, but perfect for intermediate students who want to progress even further.
If you are interested in sport, then make sure that you include Sport1.fm into your listen and learn German routine. It obviously covers news of local games but also includes international news. Listening to commentating, game analysis, and post-game interviews is a fantastic way to increase your German understanding through a topic that you love.
Radio for Music Aficionados
German people love music and this is reflected in the many available radio stations for music lovers. Listening to German radio is a great way to get into the mood if you are learning German from home. If you are a rock enthusiast, you can listen to Star FM, while TrueHipHop is for those rap fans! FluxFM fits into the indie or folk genre while pop lovers should tune into Radio SAW. And if you are a classical music lover, Klassik Radio is the one for you.
These are just a few of the radio stations to choose from, but there are many others, some of which are mainstream, while others cater for a specific audience. Why not try experimenting with different options until you find the one that really appeals to you?
You could tune in on your mobile device and immerse yourself in the German language while you are driving, working around the house, or even while you are walking the dog.
Match Your Interests with German Audiobooks
Audiobooks are another perfect intervention for learning German at home. Effectively, these are talking books that offer hours’ worth of German listening pleasure! Audiobooks started out as cassette tapes, but are probably better known today for how easily available they are to download onto all digital devices. All you need are your earphones and your favourite digital device, whether that’s a tablet, mobile phone, or laptop.
Of course, if you are listening to audiobooks to learn how to speak German, you would probably need more than just a comfortable chair, have a notebook and dictionary handy too. Remember you can always hit the pause button to take notes or look up a word.
Audiobooks are less easy to recommend because they are so dependent on personal taste. The best way to choose audiobooks is to find your favourite title but in German. If you already know the storyline it could help you immensely to follow the translated version.
Podcasts to Benefit German Beginners
This series of audio programmes, hosted by Munich-based journalist Annik is perfect for both intermediates or beginners. Annik has a unique way of emphasising each syllable which really helps the listener to absorb the sound.
As already mentioned language immersion is the best way to learn a foreign language. However, if you are learning German outside of Germany you might need to be more creative. This podcast specialises in a wide range of topics where the two main characters use colloquial German language that is typical of the everyday conversations that you would actually hear if you were in Germany.
Learn German by Podcast
This podcast, with an emphasis on education, acts out scenarios and then repeats them. This is followed by a discussion on the speech in more detail.
In addition to the podcast, this app allows you to download helpful learning materials like transcripts, lists of vocabulary, and exercises to practise what you have just learnt.
Coffee Break German
This unique format features a native German teaching a student which makes you, as the listener, feel like you are being taught too. It is well done because the student asks relevant questions at just the right moment. Subjects are practical and lessons are a manageable 30 minutes each – perfect to go with your coffee break.
Finally, consider finding a private German tutor to teach you at a level and pace that is suited to you. You could opt for online lessons or, if you use Superprof, actually find a tutor located near to you. You could very well find a tutor who offers their first lesson for free, which is a great opportunity to discuss exactly what you hope to achieve through learning German. Besides using media like radio, television, audiobooks, and podcasts, your tutor may have other creative recommendations when it comes to supplementing your German lessons. Viel Glük!