Favorite (and by far most effective) learning German Podcasts (long post warning)
Just realized I haven't been on Duolingo for 4 months. Not that Duo is not useful- but I think it's more helpful in building vocabulary but less effective in keeping me motivated... So I want to share some resources I've been using and see what kind of suggestions everybody have!
My favorite podcast so far are Deutsch – warum nicht and Audiotrainer. They are both provided by Deutsch Lernen (http://www.dw.de/deutsch-lernen/deutschkurse/s-2068). They're both available on the websites and podcast. There are also many other courses under this Deutschkurse module. But those two are my favorite, but they are different in structure as well.
Warum Nicht have many series, and in each series there are about 25 lessons. Each lesson is conversational based, which is what duolingo lack of. I remember on duolingo many are confused about how to use "doch", "ja" and other such particles. You'll find the answer in those conversations. Because they are so colloquial, there are many smalls words used. When I listened to them so many times, they start to play in my head like a song automatically. Sometimes I don't even know what they mean, but I can speak them. The conversation is short, 15-20 exchange of dialogues at most? At the end there are grammar points. So 5 mins on average one episode. And they are very interesting! All lessons basically form into a long story at the end! So it's like a mini sitcom just without the picture. Not gonna tell you too much, one important character in there is an invisible elf. How often can you come across a language learning course that involves an elf? Not for me at least. When I learn English, the only non-human thing in the textbook is a parrot that does no talking. So I must say Germans got humor, no doubt.
Audiotrainer is more textbook-like. Each lesson have a setting, such as complaining about a hotel room, then 10 sentences you normally would use in such situation would be said in English first and German translation. They are said clearly and a bit slower than normal pace, which is good for beginner like me. I always try to guess how to spell from what I heard. As you know German is a phonetic language, meaning it sounds like what it spells, it really boosts your success rate and make you feel good if you do that :)
Another resource I've finished is from here (http://fsi-languages.yojik.eu/languages/german-headstart.html) It's a little old (1977) but really practical. I learn how to ask for directions, book hotels or flights/train tickets, order in a restaurant, etc. Also conversational based, and maybe an authoritative source (considering it's edited by defense language institute.. so you learn army ranks if you are interested).
I also found these three sources work cooperatively with each other! Sometimes I have questions when I use one and next day I find answers in another material. And another thing is the recordings are real-people's voices, as opposed to machine voice, which is more realistic and train your ear to be used to the tone you would hear in a conversation.
Hope this can be a bit helpful if you are still searching supplemental materials besides Duo to use. And maybe let me know if you have good ideas. Viel Spaß und Glück beim Deutsch Lernen!
Great resources, thanks!
You might also like DW's other series Langsam Gesprochene Nachrichten (http://www.dw.de/deutsch-lernen/nachrichten/s-8030), which like the title says, is a daily podcast of a few news articles read v e r y slowly in German. The artificiality of the very deliberately spoken words is a little odd and people would stare and politely smile if you actually spoke like that, but it's great for discovering new words and their pronunciation through the context. They also give the text for these podcasts so you can read along or check the spelling.
A bit more natural are High Noon (http://www.fritz.de/media/podcasts/sendungen/high_noon.html) and DeutschlandFunk's Interview (http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/interview.693.de.html). High Noon is a longer (45 min) call-in show with a specific topic, from favorite movies to current political issues. The language used isn't too complicated and the narrowed topic makes it easier to make a reasonable guess about new words.
DFunk's interview is much shorter (5-10 min) and more serious, usually about politics. The text for these interviews is sometimes available on their site, so you can get a rough idea before listening.
A bit more advanced are the Tatort audio plays (http://www.ard.de/home/radio/ARD_Radio_Tatort/94130/index.html). Like High Noon and Interview, these are produced for German speakers and not necessarily learners, but the language used in them is real and current in slang and the way certain phrases have their own expected melody. Much of the script is far too advanced for me, but the conversations are great for learning natural German (or how to lie to the police). A downside is that these are sometimes regional, with the slang and pronunciation expected of different areas. Moin!
I would like to tag this discussion so I can come back to it at a later date, in order to check out the links you and lizst_1412 have provided. Do you know if there's a way to do that? A few weeks ago someone had some links I wanted to check out, but now I can't find the message again.
Now that you've replied, it will be in the activity stream on your profile page.
Thank you,. glass_bees. I was aware of items showing on the activity stream but I thought there was another way that didn't require that I add to this discussion.
Wouldn't hitting that big green button "follow discussion" at the top of the page do the same? That way you would not need to comment.
By bookmarking do you mean doing what glass_bees says, to comment on this discussion so it will show on my personal Activity stream?
moin moin! this has be a complete list of what I'm going to do next. DW has so many fun programs for beginners like me. I'll go from there...thanks a lot!
Thank you a LOT! I've been searching for podcasts to listen to, but everything I tried was either (overly) simplified for learners, or too complex for me to understand, but your last three links seem to hit just the right spot, challenging me to concentrate hard, but being understandable overall. I am in your debt <3
Thanks a lot for the last three recommendations. I have also been looking for podcasts in German, especially since my all time favourite podcast - Schlaflos in München seems to be no longer active. High Noon sounds just perfect!
Thanks for the informations. A friend of mine is learning German, i will give her the information.
I myself learn English. I use different sources with podcasts and videos, how you describe it. For me the most important point is: I will have fun when I learn the language, I want enjoy what I do. This is important for my motivation, for the long way to learn a language. I mean, when I go to the library, I take five English books with me and if a book is not interesenting, I take the next one. And when the book is interessting I like to read it.
And I think, this is the longest English post that I have ever written.
Ich wünsche viel Freude beim Lernen.
Thank you! Your English is flawless. I'd really like to read more like you do, but it's so hard to find time.. so it's easier to listen to podcast on the go. For English podcast, if you like fun facts with theories behind it - my latest favorite is RadioLab. They talk about crazily fun stuff. Another one is Freakonomics. They are fun and I like when I can learn the language as well as something new!
That sounds interesting: fun facts with theories behind. I will see it. Thanks!
Thamks! Started the Warum nicht Serie 3. It's good. Brotip: I'm listening to the Spanish version for laddering ;-)
Thanks for sharing and have a great day, Carole
Thanks for the sharing the info, sounds like something I could benefit from. Have a lingot
Thanks for the information. I will check the resources. I actually find DL very addictive, I love it. But I know I need more practice.
Another one I like is: http://www.goethe.de/lrn/prj/gad/deindex.htm?wt_sc=gad
Thanks lizst_1412! You actually helped me so much! I just joined 2 days ago but now, I understand more
Thanks for sharing.
I have finished Warum Nicht and enjoyed it a lot. Though it helps a lot in learning. I learned a lot, though passively (listening and reading only).
If you need handy phrases - such as hotel booking; transactions at post office, bank, with taxi, etc - 50Languages (http://www.goethe-verlag.com/book2/EN/ENDE/ENDE002.HTM) will be very handy. It also helps learn important phrases with their equivalent phrases in English.
GermanPod101 (http://www.germanpod101.com/) and Duolingo gave me an opportunity for active learning (where I can speak and write).
Quizlet (www.quizlet.com) helps you to test your skills and boost your motivation ;)
What level of German knowledge would be needed in order to use (understand) the sources listed here or found in some of the comments responding to this posting? I tried to have a conversation with a native speaker who is learning English. The problem was that neither of us knew enough to be able to talk to each other without having someone around who could speak both languages to be able to translate for us. Has anyone else had a similar problem. Any ideas to overcome this situation?
I'm officially a B1.2. Lizst's links are very easy to follow, germanpod is a tiny bit harder, those that glass_b posted are very challenging, but manageable. I haven't looked at other links.
"Any ideas to overcome this situation?" don't try to have a natural conversation. Stick to small talk, simple concepts, basic words. Some years ago I was hosted by a woman with whom I didn't share a single common language. We couldn't talk philosophy and become fast friends, but between yeses, noes, smiles, pointing and some gesticulating we both managed to communicate basic info, questions, answers. So if some understanding is possible even with no words, some words are already a better start :D don't demand too much of yourself and others, and allow sentence exchanges (not yet full-fledged conversations) to be broken and super simple. That's where it starts. It will build up over time :)
I went through the first 11 lessons of Warum Nicht audio course and I would say you could start that without any prior knowledge of German. What was really cool is being able to hear the language at a fairly normal rate.
I'm with you...that's why I went through so many resources but found a few really work well for me. As a beginner myself, I'd say the links in my original post are pretty manageable. Especially Warum Nicht series 1, simple context and conversation with basic but essential grammar point. German Headstart has a lot of exercises in each lesson, which may sound boring and daunting, but I have to admit that practice really helped me quickly improve. Glass_bees post to me is more advanced because those are more real world based materials. I guess what we can do now is to start small :)
I'm just starting to learn German and your post is very useful. Thank you so much.
Excellent! Thank you for this. I was hitting a wall with Duolingo. This has helped me get a better grasp of what I had already learned, but more in a normal context. I think it would be great if Duolingo introduced more actual conversational pieces. Perhaps even pictorial pieces with audio. They could show you as the participant in various daily settings and then have you actually take part in a conversation. They could also have some written pieces like you being at a train station trying to purchase a ticket, or read the latest headlines from a newspaper.
Thank you! I'm with you entirely! If duo can have conversational context that'll be perfect. Just a side note, if you're in US and have membership of public library, you can get Mango for free which is another popular language learning app. Mango is more interactive, and you can record your voice and actually see the sound wave, and then compare it with the example. I'm using it for learning French. very fun.
I just wanna ask that am I able to communicate with a German if I finish all German lesson on Duo-lingo?
It all depends on what you mean by 'finish all'. In my opinion, yes, if you finish and grasp most. To be able to communicate requires practice, enough vocabulary for the context. The good thing with German is that, once you learn a few hundred words, you will be able to understand (or even create) new words out of what you already know. Those long words and the grammer looks a bit wierd but in short, German is a really logical language, at least for me.
Last year I had not finished the tree and was able to do fairly well while in Germany. Couple things to remember if you are concerned about traveling to Germany without knowing the language.
Most Germans know at least some English and more so in the major cities. I was told by a waiter in Berlin that English is pretty much the universal language in the tourist areas. The only time I found someone who did not know any English was out in the remote towns where tourists rarely go. With the limited German I had learned I was able to carry on a conversation (albeit a bit broken one) with one young German who was on his way to Eisenbahnschule (Vocational Railway Training).
If you have an Android device you can actually download offline the language for the Google Translate App. It even does a fairly good translation of signs you capture with the devices camera.
What I would like is to be able to hear and understand more of the words when someone speaks to me in German. That is why I am pressing forward with the Duolingo tree and why some of these other tools like Warum Nicht! should help. There are also some free interactive apps available from Goethe-Institut for both Android and Apple devices.
I like Audiotrainer too. It helps me to recognize the pronunciation and new words or grammar. Sometimes a topic or theme (names of the week, for example) is far down on the Duolingo Tree but listening to the Podcast gave a headstart and it made it easier to remember those words when I came to that skill on Duolingo.