16 Best Podcasts to Learn German for Beginners and Beyond

Variety is the spice of life and it helps immensely when it comes to learning the German language. You may be familiar with some apps to learn German or even books and online courses, but sometimes it’s nice to just casually listen to a German podcast. Podcasts are a great tool for getting that exposure to conversations, idioms, and accents that can improve your German language skills.

Why learn German using podcasts?

Just like reading is integral to learning a language, so too is listening to native speakers. Podcasts are a great way to gain a better grasp of German and can help you sound more natural when speaking. Listening to German will help improve your understanding and pronunciation. You will also grasp ‘unwritten’ language rules that speakers of German use but may not consciously be aware of.

Using podcasts to learn German is also more accessible since you can listen while commuting, cooking, or even when you’re in the shower! A lot of podcast episodes are also pretty short, making them a good way to squeeze in a lesson when you’re busy. I also find that podcasts can be helpful when I’m having screen fatigue and want to practice but don’t want to stare at a screen.

Without further ado, here are some of the best podcasts to learn German!

Editor’s note: To reach fluency faster, combine these podcasts with other resources, such as books, apps, online courses, videos and YouTube channels. For your convenience, we’ve compiled an epic list of 50+ German learning resources, including FREE ones. Read it, save it, and share it!

Best German podcasts for beginners:

1. Coffee Break German

If you’re a beginner German learner looking to get into podcasts, Coffee Break German is for you. Each episode focuses on a specific topic to get you speaking, such as greetings or asking for directions. They are taught in English and German so you won’t have to worry about getting lost in the lessons. As you progress through the series, they begin incorporating more German into the lessons so you can practice listening to conversations as well as participating in them.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Know only a little or no German
  • Want a podcast that gives you time to practice
  • Like bite-sized 20-30 mins episodes

2. Slow German mit Annik Rubens

Another really great podcast for beginners is Slow German mit Annik Rubens. This podcast is 100% immersive, but no worries! Annik includes the transcripts for each episode in the description and, as implied in the title, speaks slowly. She goes over German culture and language, and often includes little stories in the episodes.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Want an immersive experience
  • Enjoy learning about culture and language
  • Like having the podcast transcripts readily available

3. Learn German with LinguaBoost

If you’re looking for a German podcast that has an associated course, LinguaBoost’s Learn German is a great starting place. The podcast focuses on learning with context and topics generally take up one or two 10-minute episodes. The episode’s get progressively more complex the further in you go; you move from learning to say hallo to asking Was sind seine Hobbys? in a relatively short number of episodes.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Want a podcast that spends a longer time on each topic
  • Are looking for a podcast that uses context to teach German
  • Like having an associated course to go along with the podcast

4. Long Story Short

Chatterbug’s podcast Long Story Short is a great German podcast for beginners. Each episode is based around a short story that’s told mostly in German, though often with some English commentary, that the host then goes over in English. The unfamiliar words in the story are picked out and explained. Little tidbits about German culture are also mentioned along the way. The episodes end with German teachers discussing grammar and learning techniques.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Want vocab and grammar lessons
  • Learn well using association techniques
  • Like transcripts to follow along with

Best German podcasts for intermediate learners:

5. Auf Deutsch gesagt!

This podcast’s episodes can be pretty long, but Auf Deutsch gesagt! is a great resource for intermediate learners. Each episode is dedicated to a different aspect of speaking German and many also have cultural aspects! The host goes over a wide variety of topics ranging from the difference between northern and southern German, what to say in emergencies, holidays and vacations, and more.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Are interested in learning how to interact in different situations
  • Want to become familiar with a number of different topics
  • Enjoy longer podcasts that you can sink your teeth into

6. Das sagt man so!

This is one of Deutsche Welle’s podcasts and is perfect for intermediate learners who want to sound more casual when speaking. Das sagt man so!’s episodes are each dedicated to a common German phrase or colloquialisms. They give listeners the background behind the saying as well as the context it can be used in.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Like short two to three mins episodes
  • Want to sound more natural when speaking
  • Want to learn conversational German

7. News in Slow German

If you’re someone who enjoys listening to the news, then News in Slow German podcast is one I particularly recommend. The episodes tend to air weekly, so you can switch to German programming and get your fill of listening to German and international news. It is 100% in German, but the newscasters speak slowly and clearly, so understanding them isn’t too difficult when you’re at the intermediate level – but you’ll definitely still learn some new words and phrases!

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Enjoy listening to the news
  • Want to hear about current events from an international perspective
  • Want an immersive German podcast

Best German podcasts for advanced learners:

8. Der Anruf

If you’re looking to increase your speaking and listening skills, Der Anruf is a great podcast for advanced learners. The host of the podcast calls different people with interesting stories from all over Germany to speak on the show, exposing listeners to a wide range of dialects. I always love media like this because it allows you to strengthen your listening skills for when you’re in less-than-perfect listening environments or when talking with someone who has an accent.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Have a good grasp on the German language
  • Want to be exposed to different native dialects
  • Like longer podcasts

9. Alltagsdeutsch

DW German learning podcasts cover a variety of different topics while also teaching you German. A great source of culture lessons, Alltagsdeutsch focuses on everyday German life and holidays. Something DW does fairly well with their podcasts is that, on their site, you can see a glossary with new terms that appear in each podcast.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Want German podcasts with transcripts
  • Like podcasts that cover language and culture
  • Want study lessons to go along with the podcast

10. Sprachbar

This is yet another Deutsche Welle podcast and is pretty similar to Das sagt man so! but for more advanced learners. If you’ve tried that and liked it, you’ll probably like this too. Each of Sprachbar’s episodes focuses on a German idiom, headline, grammar tip, or way of speaking. The episodes are about 10 mins or less but pack a lot of information!

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Are curious about German idioms and common phrases
  • Enjoy linguistics and language usage
  • Want to improve your German vocabulary

11. Fest und Flauschig

If you’re an advanced learner and looking for a funny podcast, Fest und Flauschig is pretty popular. It’s hosted a bit like a talk show, so the episodes can be pretty long. The hosts speak casual German and throw lots of colloquialisms and stories into their episodes. Listening to them, you’ll be speaking like a native in no time!

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Are looking for longer podcasts
  • Want something on the humorous side
  • Enjoy banter and social commentary

Topic-specific German podcasts:

12. Learn Business German

This podcast is tons of fun because the host will teach you things about the German language while also talking about current events and business etiquette. Learn Business in German is a good podcast for intermediate or advanced learners. It largely focuses on what you would need to get by during business interactions in German. The host goes over the nuances of two-way prepositions, verb tenses, and much more in relatively short episodes.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Want transcripts to follow along with
  • Are interested in learning German for business
  • Want to learn language, culture, current events, and culture

13. Elementarfragen

For a more person-oriented podcast, check out Elementarfragen. In this podcast, the host interviews people who have done interesting things or have interesting jobs. The episodes are pretty long and conducted exclusively in German, but the interviews are pretty cool and you learn some unexpected things listening to them.  

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Are interested in personal stories
  • Like learning about unusual and/or interesting people
  • Prefer longer podcasts

14. Methodisch inkorrekt!

Another German podcast with fairly long episodes is Methodisch inkorrekt!. This podcast is firmly in the realm of science and is cohosted by two physicists who explain publications, concepts, and inventions in an easy-to-understand way. You need to have a pretty firm grasp of the German language to listen to this podcast, but I recommend it for advanced German learners, particularly if you’re interested in the sciences.

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Like science or fun scientific explanations
  • Enjoy movie-length podcast episodes
  • Are interested in learning new things

15. Schmutzige Geschäfte I

Since true crime podcasts are pretty popular, a list of topic-specific podcasts wouldn’t be complete without one! Schmutzige Geschäfte I is a German true crime podcast that follows in the footsteps of its English counterparts. A variety of crimes are covered on the show, from murder to fraud to things as small as fistfights, so you’ll never get bored!

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Like true crime
  • Are an upper-intermediate or advanced learner
  • Want a variety of ‘true crimes,’ not just murder and kidnapping

16. Der Geschichte Podcast

For those history lovers out there, Der Geschichte Podcast is a good German podcast to check out. As a history lover myself, I am delighted by this podcast because the hosts are always coming up with new and interesting topics about history, some of them well-known and others more obscure. They discuss history from all over the world—Germany, the USA, Mali, etc.—and from all different fields to keep the podcast interesting. The two hosts speak pretty clear German too, so I encourage intermediate learners to give it a try; you can always slow it down or pause it to look up words.

This is the only podcast on the list that you can’t find on Spotify, but it is still a free German podcast, so no worries about breaking the bank!

You should listen to this podcast if you:

  • Like history
  • Are looking for longer podcast episodes
  • Want to get better at random trivia

Tips for learning with German podcasts

Now that you know the best podcasts to learn German, let’s see how to make the best of them.

1. Use the speed, pause, and rewind functions

Spotify has functions to speed up or slow down music and podcasts, both on the web and on the app. If you find that you’re having trouble understanding what the hosts are saying, simply slow the podcast down! Learning a language is all about the long game, and slowing down your audio input is going to be vastly more helpful than suffering through a podcast you can’t understand.

In that same vein, these German podcasts are here to help you learn, so utilizing the pause button to take notes or the rewind function to revise will help you improve your skills. Some of these podcasts give you time to repeat words or phrases before moving on, and pausing or rewinding can give you extra time to practice these skills as well.

2. Don’t overextend yourself

By this, I mean don’t listen to podcasts that are too difficult for you. While I know it can be tempting to listen to podcasts above your level, particularly if they’re interesting, it won’t help you to learn German if you can’t understand most of what’s going on.

At the same time, though, don’t underextend yourself and listen to podcasts that are too easy. If you find yourself double-timing some of the beginner German podcasts, then it’s probably time to move up a level.

I suggest choosing a podcast that you find slightly challenging but not to the extent that you find it frustrating. This will allow you to practice your listening skills while also improving your command of German.

3. Listen frequently

This one is a bit self-explanatory, but you can’t just listen to a podcast once and expect to learn German. Instead, try listening to two or three episodes a week on different days. This will help improve your learning and prevent you from overloading on German input within a single day. This tip can be especially hard to adhere to once you find a podcast you like, but a tired brain can’t learn nearly as well as one that’s been given rest.

4. Don’t rely solely on podcasts to learn German

Finally, don’t rely solely on podcasts to learn German, no matter how useful or fun you find them. While podcasts can teach you a lot about German, it’s important to have a well-rounded education. Add variety with books or apps, and check out our list of 50+ German resources if you aren’t sure where to start.

viel Glück!

1 thought on “16 Best Podcasts to Learn German for Beginners and Beyond”

  1. Hi Ellie,

    My name is Mohamed. I have used German POD 101 Pod Cast and found it extremely helpful. Unfortunately ,I did not continue to go beyond beginner level but I learned a lot and it made my travel to Germany more productive
    https://www.germanpod101.com
    https://learnlangs.com
    https://twitter.com/GermanPolyglot
    • German Polyglot – Judith Meyer – I think she is the brain behind POD Cast.
    Have a look and have a good day
    Best regards

    Mohamed Al Majdhoub

    Reply

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