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Audiobooks in German

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Listening to audiobooks in German is both entertaining and educational, especially if you’re learning the language. Here’s a brief guide.

German is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, and it’s been rather popular in language learning circles for decades (centuries, even). The reasons for its linguistic stardom are plenty: there’s good literature to enjoy, it opens plenty of doors when you’re looking for a job, and it lets you immerse yourself in German culture and impress your international friends with your language skills.

However, learning a language is a difficult endeavor, especially for beginners and German learners who don’t have a lot of chances to meet native speakers to practice with. Thus, it follows that any extra exposure to your target language should be welcome. Of course, taking courses and hiring tutors and personal language coaches is fine, but that can only take you so far. To truly master a new idiom and immerse yourself in the lingo, you need input, and the best way to get input is to listen to audiobooks.

If you’ve listened to some audiobooks and podcasts in English, you’re probably aware of how nifty they are whenever you need to pass some time or multitask. But, with German audiobooks and German short stories, or foreign language audiobooks in general, you can be both efficient and get some extra audio input to work on your listening skills and get that pronunciation down to a fine art!

Audiobooks in German to guide language learning

The German language is difficult, so you’ll naturally need any help you can get to make gains and reach your fluency goals. The reason why audiobooks can be the best tool in your arsenal is that they’re the second best thing next to interaction with actual native speakers.

Just think about it: the best audiobooks, such as those you can find on Audible, are practically designed to get you hooked. They’re recorded in well-equipped studios and are narrated by masters of their trade, such as voice actors, who will bring your favorite tale to life. 

Professional, high-quality production means fantastic pronunciation. In other words, you can look forward to increased phonetic sensitivity and substantial pronunciation as well as listening skills gains. And should we even mention all the new words you’re going to learn? Your vocabulary will expand within days. 

In addition, audiobooks are great for practicing speed listening and reviewing your study material since most platforms that distribute and apps you’ll use to play them let you fine-tune the speech rates, playback speeds, etc. 

Best-selling German audiobooks

There are a ton of audiobooks in German, but if you start looking around, you’ll quickly see that most lists focus on audio textbooks and purely learning material (e.g., audio courses, Pimsleur German readers, various German dialogues, etc.). Such books might be useful, but they sure as shooting are not as fun and as interesting as a good short story or novel. Of course, your choices can be English books translated into German, which might be great if you want to listen to an already familiar tale like Harry Potter in a new language. But what if you want a native German story?

Emil und die Detektive

Emil und die Detektive (Emil and the Detectives) by Erich Kästner is nothing short of a children’s classic in Germany. It’s been a staple in most house libraries in Germany for decades, and it’s guaranteed to entertain you.

The plot is simple: it’s a tale about a young boy getting robbed on his way to Berlin. Once he’s in the city, he goes on a quest to retrieve his stolen money. The story might seem simple, but it will take you on an unforgettable ride through 1920s Berlin, offering you a taste of what life was like in the Weimar Republic. In short: it’s fun and educational.

Heidi

Everyone knows Heidi by Johanna Spyri, the classic tale of a young girl in the Swiss mountains and her grandfather who slowly warms up to her love. It’s an old story, and you’ve surely at least seen the movie.

Since classics such as these need no further discussion, we’ll just say the book is a fantastic vocabulary builder for both beginners and intermediate learners, especially those who are focusing on Swiss German and want to get a taste of the Swiss countryside.

TTS technology

Alright, German books in audio format are great for practicing listening comprehension, and you’ll probably have lots of hours of recorded material to choose from. Unfortunately, though, you’ll eventually run out of interesting books to listen to. What will you do then? Give up? Of course not. 

Speechify can read emails and web pages in German so you can continue to hear proper pronunciation on an on-going basis. 

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.