Why go slow when you can go fast?
It’s true on the sidewalk (get out of my way, slow walkers!) and it’s true in language learning.
If you want to learn how to have real, natural German conversations, here’s how to get on the fast track: watch German videos with English translations.
You’ll hear conversational German phrases and quickly understand what they mean and how to use them.
In this post, we’ll show you some perfect videos for exactly this type of practice. You’ll learn conversational German skills for different realms of life, from friendship and dating to academia.
Every video comes with English translated subtitles, but we’ll also highlight some important phrases and their English translations that you can start using right away.
The Internet’s Best Videos for Real Conversations in German with English Translations
We’ll start with two video resources that are designed specifically for German learners. They make authentic German videos accessible with English translations and other helpful tools.
Then we’ll point you to some intriguing German videos that teach different types of conversational skills, each with lists of phrases and translations you can pick up right away.
Authentic Videos Supercharged for German Learners
To learn real German conversations with videos, you really can’t find a better tool than 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.
FluentU keeps track of the words you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.
This way, you have a truly personalized learning experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or practice anytime, anywhere on the mobile app for iOS and Android.
I can’t really stress enough how cool and useful this channel is. This is one of the most popular YouTube channels to learn German. It caters to non-native speakers who want to pick up German conversations with subtitles. This channel truly inspires easy learning of German conversations with really apt English translations.
Put together by a German couple, this channel makes it very easy for foreigners to pick up the language, as the subtitles are both in English and German.
The videos revolve around a wide variety of topics from everyday German culture to Germans’ views on international politics.
The best part is getting to listen to German spoken on the streets, but with English translations and teachers to help you understand.
German Videos with Conversational Phrase Guides
“Eiskalt” (“Ice Cold”)
This short film gives a very interesting take on how people can manipulate you on the internet, play with your emotions, gain attention… and hence be ice cold to your feelings.
The plot revolves around a sweet young girl, Leonie. She’s sincere, committed and works hard at everything that she does—be it school, music or being there for friends when they need her. She befriends a girl named Mila on Facebook, and they grow to become very close, sharing every detail of their lives.
In the process, Leonie gets so attached that when she learns Mila is having a tough time personally, she gives up on her concert and her friends to go and help her. After all of it, Mila cuts off communication—we won’t spoil it, but you can bet there’s a twist and Mila isn’t all that she seems.
This video and its English translated subtitles are great for learning colloquial conversation and especially internet conversation in German. You’ll also learn how to talk about school and feelings. Here are just a few important phrases you’ll hear in German with English translation:
Expressions of optimism and positivity:
- Wir schaffen das schon! (We will make it!)
- Ich freu mich (I’m glad)
- Fühl dich gedrückt (Sending you a hug)
- Das stimmt (That’s right)
- Du kannst mich jederzeit anrufen! (You can call me anytime!)
- Hab dich hier vermisst (Missed you here)
Expressions of doubt and uncertainty:
- Ich verstehe das nicht (I don’t understand that)
- Ich glaube es gibt Verbesserungsbedarf (I think there is room for improvement)
- Ist alles OK? (Is everything okay?)
Phrases related to school:
- Punkte abgezogen (Deducted points)
- Gib mal her (Let me take a look/Give it here)
- Ich schreibe nächstes Jahr Abi (I graduate from high school next year)
- Wenn du meinst… (If that’s what you think…)
- Furchtbar (Terrible)
- Du irrst dich (You are wrong)
“Fritten zum Mittag” (“French Fries for Lunch”)
This is a nice relaxed German comedy film. You’ll see the idea that “men are absolute dogs” is just as relevant in Germany as anywhere else!
The plot revolves around a guy who takes his girlfriend for granted, and flirts with the girl at the sausage shop—the Frittenfrau (frying girl) as she’s called in the film, who’s looking for true love. The Frittenfrau seems to be a hard nut to crack, and the guy places a bet with his suave friend as to who’ll be able to land a date with her.
The suave friend eventually wins and does go out on a date with her, only to get mugged at a store. While he runs away for his life, the frying girl busts the parade of the muggers who turn out to be complete wimps. By the end of the film, you’ll be relieved to see that the frying girl does find true love.
In this short film, you can practice your conversational skills for dating. Let’s take a look at some colorful and mushy phrases you can use in your own flirtatious conversations!
Cute phrases and compliments:
- Schatz (Sweetheart, darling)
- Die Kleine hat was (There’s something about her)
- Du kannst von mir jederzeit alles haben! (You can have anything from me anytime!)
- Muss ein toller Kerl sein (Must be a nice fella/bloke/chap/guy)
Asking someone out:
- Gehst du mit mir heute Abend aus? (Will you go out with me tonight?)
- Kann ich dir sonst irgendwie eine Freude machen? (Can I give you a treat otherwise?)
- Was hast du vor? (What are you up to?)
“Zu Besuch” (“On a Visit”)
This one has quite an eerie plot. By the end of the video, you might not be very sure what exactly happened. It’s sort of interpretational and left to the viewer to decide what the ending could mean. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting video to watch and learn some good Jugendsprache (youth language/slang).
The plot revolves around Emma, who’s hitchhiking across Europe and stops at a homestay. She’s welcomed to the flat by Leon, a couch-surfer. They hit it off really well.
They spend a nice night out together, where Emma gets drunk and passes out. The next day when she wakes up, she finds Leon to have disappeared with all his stuff. In a while, the doorbell rings and there’s a new roommate at the door!
An important point to note here would be the usage of colloquial German where most of the pronouns are dropped. For example: Bin neu hier instead of Ich bin neu hier (I am new here).
Let’s have a look at some useful German phrases from this video with their English translations:
Phrases related to travel:
- War echt anstrengend (Was really stressful)
- Jetzt geht es nach Hause (Now it’s [time to go] home)
- Fühl dich einfach zu Hause (Make yourself at home)
Expressions of positivity:
- Gerne (Would love to)
- Das sieht aber gut aus (That looks good)
- Ganz schön fettes Teil! (That’s pretty big!)
Phrases while drinking:
- Ein Schlückchen für dich und mich (A sip for you and me)
- Prost/Zum Wohl (Cheers!)
- Bin jetzt schon ein bisschen neugierig (Now I am quite curious)
- Mal gucken (We shall see)
- Thema wechseln (Change the subject)
- Egal (Nevermind)
- Ach was! (Nonsense!)
This is an excellent video with a very slow and suitable speaking pace, ideal for non-native speakers who want to learn German. The video consists of students from different parts of the world who are currently studying in Germany, and shows their experiences to the viewers.
This video is ideal to pick up conversional phrases in school, involving subjects, research, studying, etc.
A few noteworthy phrases from this video:
- Vor allem (Above all, especially)
- Etwas zur Welt beitragen und verbessern (Contribute something to the world and better it)
- Ich studiere hier in Berlin und lebt hier seit… (I study here in Berlin and live here since…)
Learning German conversation with English translation can be an easy or a challenging task. It all depends on having the right videos to watch!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.