Anja has one of the biggest Youtube-Channels for German learners. And like many Youtubers, she has her own German course. Anja’s course is very special though, because it’s not just a bunch of grammar instructions and exercises. Instead, it’s actually a multi-season comedy show. And it’s really funny and really professional and there are lots of guest stars from the online German teacher scene like Maria, Cari or me. If you like Anja and you have enough money, it’s a great option!I have written a full review with more details about what it is, and what I think are the pros and cons, so if you want to check that out you can find it here:
The best (and biggest) channel for German learners. Originally, Cari and Januzs started out by interviewing people on the streets about a topic and adding German AND English subtitles, so you can learn how real Germans sound like while also getting a glimpse into their minds. But the channel has grown a lot and they’re also doing grammar easy grammar explanations and awesome lifestreams. And if you’re a premium supporter via Patreon, you also have access to exercises and vocabulary lists for the videos.It’s really a great channel, the concept is great, the production quality is great and most importantly, the people are great and I’m happy to call them friends!
As far as study material goes, this show is definitely one of the most entertaining things you can watch. On the surface it is a sort of comedy soap opera… the story is basic, the acting is totally over the top and even off camera laughs. They clearly don’t mean it seriously :)But they are serious about the learning aspect and they have done an amazing job. All the actors speak super clear and slow they keep repeating key phrases … and still it feels somewhat natural and not at all “schoolish”. And there are subtitles, too…. at least you can turn them on. At the end of each episode there is a little recap of the important phrases, and last but not least… the episodes are long so none of these 5 minute things that are over before you know it. Bottom line: this BBC made series is extra super.
Lach- und Sachgeschichten is a segment in the uber famous German kids show called “Die Sendung mit der Maus” (the show with the mouse). The idea behind Lach- and Sachgeschichten is to look at something from the real world and see how it’s made or how it works… in kids terms. But at least for me, when it comes to how a the technology behind a touch screen works or how tofu is made, then kids terms is just perfect.Seriously, the videos are absolutely lovely and many adults in Germany enjoy watching them, too. The language is simply and the speaker speaks very clearly and if you don’t understand the words the video often helps out and allows you to guess. Of course you need a decent amount of vocabulary to really enjoy it but for an intermediate learner it’s a great way to train listening while learning a lot of random interesting things like “How is a toothpaste made”.
One of my favorite podcasts of all time (And it’s an OG podcast… podcast before they were cool) In each episode, Tim Pritlove talks with one or to experts about a certain topic. A lot of topics have to do with computers (IPv6, the DNS-scene, ARM architecture, various programming languages, app-design) but they also discuss the German tax system, Bitcoin, coffee, beer, board games, World of Warcraft, the solar system, the human ear, secret services, movie dubbing, feminism and post-structuralism…. just to name a few :). I’m sure you’ll find something. They really go into depth on a topic. No wonder that an episode is usually between 1 and 3 hours long. But it’s not a boring presentation but rather two guys just having a relaxed dialog along an outline. And Tim Pritlove is really pushing for layman’s terms and has a great talent to rephrase and summarize things. There are about 200 episodes and I think I’ve listened to almost all of them, even if I wasn’t too interested in the topic. It’s just kind of soothing. Like a slow evening where you sit with friends and you just listen to their nerd conversations. The audio quality is amazing by the way, and it’s completely free and runs on donations which is amazing, too. So… if you want to listen to some a lot of authentic (and fairly slow) German, while learning a bit a whole lot of stuff then check this out!!
You’re already advanced and you want to listen to German literature? This is the perfect site for you because here you can find… free audio books. And it’s legal. Isn’t that great? There are lots of classic stories of (mostly but not exclusively German) literature like Kafka’s “Die Verwandlung” or “Frankenstein”. Or how about one of the wild west novels of Karl May, one of the most famous popular writers in Germany, who has written about the wild west like no other and yet he’s never even been there. The audio quality is great and the speakers are generally good at what they’re doing. There’s also a large crime story section and you can find some drama and some non fiction there too. So if you are into audio books and serious literature and you want to improve your German… check it out.
The TestDaf is one of the most widely accepted language certificates for the German language. On their webpage they offer a lot of information including lots of links where you can sign up for preparation courses or buy guide books but they also have 2 sets of tests samples there. It contains all 4 types of task (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and you can listen to the listening comprehension audio on mp3 and read the transcript there. It might look a little intimidating at first glance but don’t worry… you can do will get there eventually because you are awesome! Enough motivation?… by the way… there is not many of the usual fill in the blank grammar exercises there, so this is good I guess. The link here leads to the digital version, but there’s also a separate preparation section for a paper exam. Just click around and you’ll find it.
If you’re advanced already and you’re looking for material and grammar explanations in German, you might want to check out SpraKuKo (SpracheKulturKommunikation) Patrick, the creator of this online school, lots of material to read in German and also plenty of exercises. And if you like his style, he also offers courses on improving vocabulary & pronunciation, a regular language course from B1 to C2 and special grammar courses, in which you learn essential grammar for the language levels B2 and C1.
I usually answer all the question you ask in the comments, but I don’t know everything and I am just ONE person, so when it comes to more subjective things, it might be good to get input from more Germans. German.stackexchange is a great forum for all kinds of questions about the German language like nuances, differences or grammar. A lot has been asked already so you can find a wealth of information there. There is also a rating system and one can collect reputation so our natural human desire for gathering things is definitely catered for ;).