Video killed the radio star. Really?

Do you remember that song? “Video killed the radio star ………and you remember the jingles used to go ….’

But what does that have to do with learning German?

We all know that the quickest way to learn German (or any other language) is to learn it in Germany (or the other countries, of course 😉 ) ,where you are constantly surrounded by the foreign language. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible, so the next best thing is to surround yourself with as much German as possible.  Watching TV is one way, either with satellite TV or on the internet, but the problem with watching TV is, that, once you’ve lost track you don’t know what’s going on. And as we all like to multi task, it’s very difficult to keep track of a German TV programme. Watching German TV is great for a short time  but hardly any good for surrounding yourself.

Cue: radio!

I found a website that lists a lot of German radio stations – (edit 2020 that site isn’t secure but I found TuneIn Germany)  – which has a huge list of German radio stations (and other countries, too).  Have a look and then a listen, but to make it easier, I had a look at some of them for you.

They all play songs in German and English and have news, weather, information and adverts – perfect for learning new German words/ phrases. You know how any catchy  advert jingles stick in your mind! And if you’re not multi tasking and have time to read a bit, their websites also have lots of useful text for learning German.

alsterradio  comes from Hamburg, so if you’d like to hear some news from the north of Germany, chose this station.

BR1 covers Bavaria.

WRD1 comes from Cologne.

KISS FM  – the beat from Berlin!

NDR also comes from Hamburg and covers Lower Saxony.

This is just a start. If you come across a German radio station that you really like and I haven’t mentioned it, let me know.

Either way, have fun listening to the radio and at the same time pick up some German!

EDIT August 2014: I’ve just heard on twitter about an Android app “German Radio Online” which has  over 100 radio stations. Thank you for the tip – I’m in German radio heaven  🙂 

Oh, and if you are now disappointed because you expected to hear ‘Video killed the radio star’, here it is 😉


20 Responses to Video killed the radio star! Really?

  1. LynnTulip says:

    Great resources, and you are so right Angelika; learning through immersion is best

  2. […] Do you remember that song? "Video killed the radio star ………and you remember the jingles used to go ….' But what does that have to do with learning German?  […]

  3. Robert Killington says:

    Thanks for the links. Now listening to NDR 1 🙂

  4. Mary C. Weaver, CSCS says:

    Very cool—I’m going to share these links with the mother of our godchildren. Their daddy works in a German company here in the States, and the girls take (and love) German lessons in Saturday school. 🙂

  5. A very helpful list of resources, Angelika 🙂 I always encourage my ESL students to listen to English radio stations – I think it’s a good way to get/absorb the ‘feel’ of a language (its rhythm, stress etc) as well; even if you’re only half listening and it’s on in the background.

    • Exactly, that’s the beauty of radio. Even if you only half listen or it’s in the background, you’ll still pick up bits – and if you’re really lucky, they may sometimes even be something useful 🙂

  6. Sarah Arrow says:

    A useful list Angelika, thanks for sharing it with us. I loved Video Killed the Radio Star, it was my favourite song that year…

  7. […] while ago I wrote how listening to German radio stations can help with learning German, and then the blog post Learn German with Children’s TV […]

  8. Riayn says:

    For intermediate and advanced learners, I recommend avoiding the commercial radio stations that play predominately music and turning into the news radio stations where you will be listening to German 100% of the time rather than for just 5 -10 minutes every hour. Recommended is NDR Info and Deutschlandfunk, both cover major news stories & are easier to follow if you have read/seen/heard the news in your native language before turning in.

  9. Mark Casey says:

    I agree Angelika, radio is much better for learning German. With tv, you can feel you’re doing fine but I found it too passive. Radio is a challenge but well worth it. I’ve added a couple to your list 🙂

    For Austrian radio stations online:

    For classical music buffs, this is a bit like BBC Radio 3 in the old days:

  10. […] Spotify is another good choice. I have written about some playlists on Spotify before: How to use Spotify to learn German.  Yabla also has songs and if you really have some time, use Lyrics training  to work with a song (read what I’ve said about it: Improve your German listening skills with lyrics training ).  if you’d rather sing or learn some children’s songs, check out Mama Lisa And if you just want to listen to German radio stations, see my list here. […]

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