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Tips on improving your listening comprehension in German

Listening is an essential component of learning German. It's the only way to hear how the language works in real life, and it helps you improve your pronunciation. When you improve your German listening comprehension skills, you also improve your German pronunciation, so you gain a lot of advantages. So, if you want to sound like a native German speaker, let's get started.

1. Listen to German radio stations, podcasts and audiobooks

The more you listen, the better you will get. The best way of improving your listening comprehension skills is by listening regularly because practice makes perfect. For radio fans there are a number of online radio stations that broadcast in German, such as Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Deutsche Welle (DW) and SWR2. These can be listened to online or through apps like Shoutcast Radio or TuneIn Radio.

If you’re an avid bookworm you can choose from a variety of book genres such as fiction, non-fiction, historical, horror, comedy, action, fantasy, etc when it comes to audiobooks. If you enjoy listening to podcasts whilst handling other tasks then check out popular German podcasts such as Fest & Flauschig, Minkorrekt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Ja Ja Nee Nee, Gemischtes Hack, Deutschlandfunk and Mit Verachtung which all cater to a wide variety of conversational topics so even if you are a picky person when it comes to choosing media, you’ll still enjoy listening to it.

2. Watch German movies and TV shows

Watching German movies and TV shows is a great way to improve your listening comprehension. You can find German movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and iTunes. If you're looking for an easier way to watch them, then use Deutschland Fernsehen (Germany Television) which provides subtitles for most of the content that they stream online. If you have trouble understanding what's being said in a movie without English subtitles or dubbing then try watching the same film with English subtitles instead of German ones or vice versa. This will help you pick up new German words without having to rely solely on context clues from what other characters say around them which can be tricky if they're not speaking directly at each other! If there isn't any dialogue at all during certain parts of your chosen German movie or tv show then try turning off all sound as well so that only visual cues remain; this allows for extra German practice with figuring out meanings based purely on visual cues rather than relying solely upon verbal communication between characters within their scenes together.

3. Listen to German music

Listening to German music is a great way to improve your listening comprehension. You can do it in two ways, either actively listening or passively listening. If you want to actively engage in German music then make sure to really pay attention to the lyrics. You can make a note of new German words and phrases you don’t recognise. You can also try translating the German lyrics into English without using a dictionary that way it will help your brain remember more German words. If you want to passively listen to German music, you can put it on in the background as you are doing something else such as the laundry or work. Listening passively to German music is also a great and easy way to improve your German listening skills because when you’re multitasking your brain will absorb all the German song lyrics and you’ll get used to hearing German often so it wont sound foreign in your brain.

Here are some other tips to when it comes to improving your German listening comprehension with German music;

  • Listen to German music that you like. If you don't like the sound of it, then it won't be as fun for you, and it will be harder for you to understand what's going on.

  • Look for songs in English that have been translated to German, this will make it easier for you to translate the German lyrics into English as you already know the English lyrics and you’re already used to the sound of the song.

  • Get active as you listen to German music by incorporating some dance moves just to make your German learning more fun.

4. Read the same text in two languages consecutively

Reading the same text in two languages such as English and German consecutively is a great way to improve your German listening comprehension skills. It is also known as reading parallel texts or reading sequential texts, depending on how you read it. Reading parallel texts means reading both versions of the same passage simultaneously, line for line, with one eye on each version of the text or screen. This can be done by printing out both versions of your chosen passage and placing them side-by-side on top of each other so that they line up perfectly with each other or by simply opening up two windows on your computer screen so that both versions are visible simultaneously! Reading sequential texts means that you start at one end of either version then move onto another part before coming back again later. When you’re finished reading through all parts from start until finish this helps build understanding of German over time rather than just going through everything all at once in order which may seem overwhelming at times because there might be unfamiliar with German words/phrases present within some sections too!


Improving your German listening comprehension is something that many people struggle with, but it’s not impossible! With some dedication and practice, you can start to make progress in no time and soon you’ll be able to fully understand German without needing any help.

If you’d like a fast way to enhance your German listening skills then head over to the GermanMind website where you can find amazing German courses in Dublin and be taught by professional German teachers that can help you improve your German in no time.

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