As I get to the pointy end of writing my Honours thesis, language practice has been restricted but I haven’t suspended it completely. It’s actually been an effective and important way to distract my mind from stressful thoughts. I haven’t been working to any structure or with any goals in mind, I’ve just been doing stuff as I please such as attending the conversation groups at uni. Here’s what I’ve been doing with German recently.
The SBS German podcast is – surprise surprise – somehow better produced and more organised than the SBS Spanish podcast. While SBS Spanish covers news and current events stories very well and does interesting PSA-type pieces on health issues, SBS German tells stories, too. I just listened to a 25 minute interview with a German couple who settled very happily in Nimbin and a chat with the first importer of Tim Tams to Germany (leider sind beide diese Folge jetzt nicht mehr verfügbar). These episodes reflect SBS German’s engagement of cultural differences between Germany and Australia.
Australians are really lucky to have SBS. I haven’t been able to find an equivalent multi-lingual public radio service anywhere else in the world (if you know one, let me know!). ARD (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is Germany’s public radio broadcaster (kinda like our ABC) and SWR (Südwestrundfunk) is one of its branches. I’ve been a bit slow in getting into German-language podcasts, but if I were looking I’d start with ARD.
SWR2 Wissen is one of their shows I have checked out and I highly recommend it, though it’s definitely for those with advanced proficiency in German (at the very least B2+). The episodes run about half an hour long and sound great due to their production quality. I learned about the impact of MOOCs on the education world, and the history of football in South America (highly recommended!).
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Der Spiegel is essentially German TIME Magazine. I still haven’t gotten around to reading the 3 copies I bought while on exchange (in 2012…). In amongst their many short news stories, Spiegel TV on YouTube does longer documentaries, too. Meet the Rübenacks, a family of 13 who live in Leipzig (26m27s):
Finally, German football clubs Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund have very professionally-curated YouTube channels. I feel the dubbing on this interview with Xabi Alonso (one of my favourite players ever) really captures German’s inherent dorkiness:
And if you haven’t had enough of that cringeworthiness, here is FC Bayern’s annual lederhosen photoshoot.
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There you have it, a clutch of resources for practicing German endorsed by yours truly. Thanks a lot for reading, leave a comment below, tweet to me at @TimSpricht or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click “Follow” at the top right of the page to get me delivered to your inbox.