12 Awesome German Podcasts to Accelerate Your Language Learning
How can you possibly find enough time to study German?
German TV shows and movies, as fun as they might be, require your undivided attention. Who has time for that?
These German podcasts are about to become your new best friends.
I’ll show you my favorite German podcasts below for all levels (beginner, intermediate and beyond), including several no-cost podcast options to learn German for free.
- Listen and Learn with 12 Great German Podcasts
- Why You Have to Try German Podcasts
Listen and Learn with 12 Great German Podcasts
Level: All levels
Cost: Limited content with free account; $4.00 monthly for a basic account, $6.50 monthly for a premium account, $14.87 for a premium plus account
These are lessons designed for every level of ability, from the absolute beginner to the advanced speaker.
The lessons feature acted-out scenes, with the dialogues translated by the two hosts, Chuck and Judith. The hosts then delve into verb conjugations and other aspects of grammar. There’s a good rapport between them and they occasionally provide some interesting cultural insights.
A free account will get you the list of survival phrases, vocabulary lists, a word of the day and a few new lessons every week. If you’re serious about learning, upgrading your account might be worth it.
Here’s our full review of GermanPod101 for more info.
2. Slow German
Level: Beginner and intermediate
Cost: Free; premium membership for $4.50 a month includes exercises and bonus material
The episodes are hosted by Annik, a journalist who lives in the city of Munich in southern Germany. Annik narrates totally in German but at a relatively slowed-down pace.
Older episodes for beginners are designed to help you navigate specific situations, such as ordering in a restaurant, and include explanations in English. Most episodes are for intermediate learners about German culture such as food, holidays, elections, work and more.
A transcript in German of each podcast is provided. When you sign up for premium membership, you can get the episodes in faster German, bonus exercises and more grammar explanations.
3. Coffee Break German
Level: Beginner and intermediate
Cost: Free; option to purchase full accompanying course for $145 per level
Coffee Break German is a podcast series designed to help you start from the beginning. Each season goes up a level, and there are currently three seasons, from beginner to upper intermediate.
The format features native speaker Thomas teaching learner Mark. Thomas always delivers with clear and informative explanations. The podcasts cover a breadth of everyday situations such as checking into a hotel.
The average episode runs nearly 30 minutes and features dialogues, plenty of vocabulary, explanations and occasional acted-out scenes. The podcast is free, but if you’d like additional video lessons, bonus audio and lesson notes, you can purchase the courses.
4. Easy German
Level: Beginner and intermediate
Cost: Free; membership for $9 a month offers transcripts and bonus materials
You might already know the popular Easy German YouTube channel. The podcast is a spin-off of the series and features the same hosts. Easy German even has a book club and in-person meetup in Berlin!
Each episode is about 30 minutes long, and the topics include German culture, language and occasional grammar points. The podcast comes out twice a week and there are already over 400 episodes available.
On the website, there’s a handy vocabulary list for each of the episodes, plus some references. If you become a member (through Patreon), you can also have access to an interactive transcript and bonus materials.
5. German Stories
Cost: Free; membership for $9 a month for accompanying lessons
Are you not a fan of learning a language and grammar in the regular old-fashioned way? German Stories teaches German vocabulary and grammar through one ongoing story.
The story starts at a beginner’s level and gets progressively more advanced. We follow Paul, who’s having a barbecue in Munich, when something important goes missing. The podcast uses over 30 professional voice actors and was in production for over a year before the first episode was ever released!
If you pay for a membership, you get additional backstories in practice exercises, transcripts, forums to ask questions, vocabulary lists and more.
6. Learn German with LinguaBoost
Cost: Free; accompanying course for $19.90 per level for transcripts and review lessons
If you really only have time and patience for something short and sweet then Learn German with LinguaBoost might be the podcast for you.
It’s a similar concept to Coffee Break German, where you’re able to purchase an additional course if you like. The biggest difference is that rather than a conversation between a teacher and a student, it’s a listen-and-repeat audio style.
Each episode is about ten to 15 minutes long and features to the point German lessons based on important phrases. It’s also quite affordable to buy the courses in bundles as Vol. 1, 2 and 3 for $19.90 each or $39.90 for all three.
7. Radio D
There’s nothing like a good detective story to make you prick up your ears, and in this Radio D series by Deutsche Welle, Paula and Philipp are reporters traveling across Germany to investigate several mysterious cases.
Fun, imaginative and instructive are just a few of the words that describe the Radio D German podcast series for beginners. There are sound effects, humor, interactive elements and acted-out scenes.
An English-speaking host is your guide through each episode and she’s joined by conversational partners who help to break down the German conversations. Transcripts in German are available for download. Check out both Season 1 and Season 2.
8. Deutsche — Warum Nicht?
Level: Beginner and intermediate
The Warum Nicht series goes from level A1 to B1, or from basic to lower intermediate. It follows the adventures of a journalism student in Germany in search of a mysterious ex-girlfriend.
Warum Nicht introduces grammar points and vocabulary in carefully structured PDF files. Dialogue transcriptions and practice exercises with English language instructions are also available. There are four parts to the series—if you’re at the intermediate level, you should begin with part 3.
Simple and entertaining, with lots of learning points, the Deutsche Welle podcasts are top-notch.
9. Wieso Nicht B1
Level: Lower intermediate
This is also a Deutsche Welle creation. It’s different from Warum Nicht in that it includes no explanations or commentary in English.
The podcasts portray colorful scenes of everyday life in Austria and Germany. The topics are fun and relatable, and the production is flawless.
PDF files with full transcriptions of each episode are available. These are very convenient and thorough because they include grammar explanations with examples and vocabulary lists. There are exercises too with fill-in-the-blank questions and listening checks!
Surprisingly, all of these are available for free. You can definitely learn a lot with this podcast because it encourages you to learn actively rather than just passively listening.
10. Marktplatz — Business German
Level: Upper intermediate
Also from Deutsche Welle (they really want German to conquer the world), this is a fantastic business German podcast for the upper intermediate level. If you need German for your job or are planning to start doing business with Germany, this is your go-to podcast.
Each episode is a full thematic lesson. You can download both the lesson PDF and the full transcription of the episode.
The exercises are dynamic, with visually attractive layouts as opposed to long strings of text with no graphic differentiation. Some of them reach 10 pages, so you can really take your time with these.
Level: Upper intermediate
Cost: Free; membership for at least $7.99 a month offers transcripts and exercises
If you’re looking for a great immersion podcast with no English language introductions, yet which is still geared towards language learners, LingQ will be your favorite. Each episode has a theme; from pets to books and camping trips, LingQ has it all. The native German hosts speak in a conversational tone that’s great for jumping right into real-life German.
While all the episodes have free transcripts, you need to sign up to listen to them and do the exercises. A free signup has certain limitations, and there are different paid options. But if you just want to train your ear listening to some cool intermediate podcasts, it will cost you nothing, which is not bad at all.
12. ExpertlyGerman Podcast
Cost: Free; membership for $11.50 a month includes transcripts and study notes
ExpertlyGerman was created by Tom, a finance expert turned German teacher and educational content creator.
Tom teaches classes to groups and individuals, has a YouTube channel and also a podcast. You can also find his shorter German videos on social media such as TikTok and Instagram! He speaks English well and often provides explanations in English.
The podcast episodes are five to 20 minutes long. The topics are German culture, grammar, expressions, vocabulary and daily life situations. If you become a member, you receive early access to episodes, transcripts and study notes.
Why You Have to Try German Podcasts
They’re perfectly suited to a busy lifestyle.
Podcasts are a wonderful on-the-go solution to language learning. You don’t have to sacrifice precious time to sit down in front of the television or stare down a textbook. You don’t have to cough up lots of cash. Just download your favorites, sync up your music player, hit the road and start learning German for free!
By taking the time to discover the best German language podcasts out there, you can give yourself freedom to study German without interrupting your daily routine. Play your Deutsch podcast at the gym, in the car, when you take the dog for a walk or while you’re feverishly typing away at work.
They teach you to listen well.
Without any accompanying visual cues or subtitles, you’ll be forced to pay attention to vocabulary and pronunciation more closely than ever—especially if the bulk of the podcast is in German. This allows you to get some incredible training for your ears.
Many of the podcasts do have transcripts that you can view online or download, so if you ever get stuck there’s a way out.
They stay fresh and current.
New German language podcast installments are frequently updated, meaning you’ll always have something new to learn!
Many podcast hosts have taken to incorporating topical themes in their lessons on German vocabulary and conversation skills. Listening to modern, casual conversations is a great opportunity for you to reinforce all those common phrases and slang words you’ve been learning!
If you ever want to add a visual component to your podcasts, you can get all these benefits—plus built-in learning tools—with FluentU.
FluentU is one of the best websites and apps for learning German the way native speakers really use it. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Watch authentic media to simultaneously immerse yourself in the German language and build an understanding of the German culture.
By using real-life videos, the content is kept fresh and current. Topics cover a lot of ground as you can see here:
Vocabulary and phrases are learned with the help of interactive subtitles and full transcripts.
Hovering over or tapping on any word in the subtitles will automatically pause the video and instantly display its meaning. Interesting words you don’t know yet can be added to a to-learn list for later.
For every lesson, a list of vocabulary is provided for easy reference and bolstered with plenty of examples of how each word is used in a sentence.
Your existing knowledge is tested with the help of adaptive quizzes in which words are learned in context.
To keep things fresh, FluentU keeps track of the words you’re learning and recommends further lessons and videos based on what you've already studied.
This way, you have a truly personalized learning experience.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)
Time to get listening to these incredible German podcasts and start improving your Deutsch from anywhere!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.