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Are You Listening to German?
Why you should be!

You Don't Have to Be in Germany to Listen to German Radio!
Streaming German Media: Audio and Video + The iPod

Anyone who is learning German and isn't using the Web and other resources for listening to Deutsch is missing an important opportunity and a valuable resource. And that includes beginners—especially beginners!

Why is listening so important?

Think about how you (and every human being) learned your first language. You did a lot of listening for a long time before you ever began to speak. (Some say that process begins in the womb.) You absorbed a lot of your native language before you uttered a single word or a phrase.

When you attempt to learn a second language, the same logic applies. How can you possibly learn to speak a language you don't hear a lot? It isn't natural!

That's why I can't stress enough just how vital the listening aspect is. Of the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing), it is by far the most important for the learning process! But all too often listening is the most neglected of the four skills in traditional language courses.

Good teachers (and learners!) know that students need to hear German in order to learn it. They use German in their lessons, they show feature films and videos in German, they play tapes and CDs of songs and music in German, and use many other techniques to make sure their students are hearing German as much as possible—even encouraging students to listen outside of class using—you guessed it—the Web!

Listening Sources - It's Fun!
You can take advantage of our many links for listening (and watching TV) on the Web. On this site and particularly in our Radio in German and News/Nachrichten links, you'll find many Web sites that allow you to listen to authentic German. We list radio and TV stations in German Europe that provide Real.com (or other) streaming audio listening links. (If you don't have the free Media Player™ or Real Player™ it's easy to download them quickly from most of the sites that offer streaming audio/video.) Web listening transports you (mentally) to Berlin, where you can listen to the live morning traffic report on Spreeradio. (Because of the time difference, listeners in North America should tune in late at night to hear German wake-up radio programs.) You'll find many online radio stations in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland on our Radio in German page.

You can also watch Die Tagesschau, the popular German nightly newscast, via RealVideo (also with the free Real Player). When the German Bundestag (parliament) is in session, you can even watch that via streaming video. (A 56K modem or broadband connection helps here.) Each of the national broadcasters in Austria (ORF), Germany (ARD/ZDF), and Switzerland (SFDRS) offers some form of video on the Web. You can find such links using our online listings. But see Adventures with German TV to learn how you can watch the real thing—deutsches Fernsehen—in your own home in North America.

Beginners sometimes make the mistaken assumption that they should wait until their listening skills are better before they do a lot of online or other listening. As I have pointed out above, that is a big mistake. To learn more about strategies that both Anfänger and intermediate learners can use for better listening experiences, read "Using Authentic Language Sources". The tips you'll find there apply to any kind of listening practice, including watching the news in German on your own TV...

I wish you good listening—online or offline!

Also see:

Related Pages

Adventures with German TV in the USA
How and why to watch German TV in your own home in the USA.

"MfG" and the Fanta4
A fun German song full of abbreviations!

The Sound of Music... and Lyrics
German music and lyrics make learning fun.

Using Authentic Language Sources
Make the Web work for you—beginners included!

Using the Web to Learn German
The Web: An authentic treasure trove for learning German.

Ten Ways to Keep Your German "rostfrei"
Tips for keeping your German from getting rusty.

Radio in German
Radio and TV for German in RealAudio and other streaming formats.

Online news in German as text, audio, or video. From your Guide.

Online Listening Poll
Vote and/or see the current results.

Online TV/Video
TV and video for German. RealVideo and more. From your Guide.

Text Translation
German-English (and other) translation. Also see our Translation NetLinks.

German for Beginners
Our free online course adds new lessons on a regular basis.

German Newsletters
Subscribe to a free newsletter!

German Chat


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