The best podcasts for students of German

by Barbara Classen

Slow German, Easy German and die ZEIT - a review by Barbara Classen

German podcasts A1-C2

I will start with the easier podcasts as from A1/2 onwards and will work my way up to C1/C2.

The following recommendation is suitable for A2/B1 students and possibly the ambitious "end of A1" learner of German. Deutschlandfunk offers news in easy German. Their target audience is not primarily students of German, but Germans with barriers to understand complex sentences for whatever reason. Each audiocast is 1-2 minutes long and the website has a page with the written text of the news too which serves as transcripts.Nachrichtenleicht.de

Deutsche Welle is the veteran of language learning podcasts. I really like their slow news or Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten. Each episode is about 5-6 minutes long and comes with a free transcript. Deutsche Welle state on their website that the podcasts are suitable for B2 and C1. In my opinion students can listen to normal news as from B2/C1 onwards and I would recommend slow news to students as from B1 onwards or even to the ambitious A2 student with the patience to listen to the audio cast several times. You will recognize some of the news from listening to the news in your mother tongue. Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten

Deutsch-to-go is a private project by two German tutors who upload 2 new short texts every week. You can search by level (A, B, C) and by topics. If you want, you can answer some questions to check whether you understood the text. Comes with some optional grammar and the transcript. A funny photo with each podcast helps with the understanding on what the text is about. Highly recommended for those with little time. Deutsch-to-go

Annik Ruben's podcasts for the intermediate students is excellent for their mix of useful and interesting topics from Thormas Mann to Jobsuche. She has been around for a long time and you can listen to more than 200 audiocasts with transcripts. It helps that you can search by category and key word. Annik's podcast and transcripts are free of charge, though donations are welcome. Slow German

Very likeable and informal Cary and Januzs and team started Easy German in 2005 with excellent and funny videos. Their more recent audiocast of 60 minutes is being uploaded on Tuesdays. It's free to listen and a $2 weekly donation will give you access to transcripts and vocab. Like a lot of podcasters the Easy German folk welcome questions from listeners. On 18 March they started Zwischending, which translates as "thing inbetween (Tuesdays)" to adjust to the new and everyday changing situation we are all in at the moment. Recommended for B2 upwards. Easy German

Needless to say that above mentioned public (and free of advertising) broadcaster Deutschlandfunk has a comprehensive range of interesting podcasts for German native speakers and advanced students, all with transcripts. I really like Hintergrund and just listened to an interesting podcast on Corona and homelessness. Hintergrund

And finally for C1 and C2 students the podcasts by German weekly quality newspaper DIE ZEIT.  Choose between 15 different podcasts for all interests. The sex podcast talks about all aspects of relationships and Verbrechen is the legendary podcast on crime. DIE ZEIT

I hope you will get hooked by one or several podcasts during your breaks away from a screen, whilst cooking or going for a walk. Any podcast YOU really like listening too? Please drop us a line...

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