The 13 Best German TV Shows For Beginner And Intermediate Learners

German TV shows

If you're learning German, then German TV shows provide an entertaining and engaging way to learn the language, whether you're at a beginning or intermediate level.

Textbook explanations and repetitive exercises can make your learning experience dull.

So, why not make life more enjoyable with a German TV series that improves your fluency, comprehension, and pronunciation skills?

In this post, you'll discover 13 of the best German TV shows for both beginner and intermediate levels. I'll also share some tips to make the most of watching TV shows to enrich your German.

By the way, if you're getting started in German, my recommendation is story-based learning and that's exactly what you'll find in German Uncovered, my immersive and innovative beginner course.

German TV Shows For Beginners

You don't need any background knowledge to start learning from German TV shows. The series below offer you an entertaining way to jumpstart your language learning.

Also, many provide exercises, vocabulary lists, and other useful resources to boost your comprehension.

1. Deutsch Lernen Mit Dialogen

Level: A1, A2, B1 levels available
Where to watch: YouTube

If you're just starting to learn German, this web series by Hallo Deutschschule is a fantastic place to begin. You'll find over 200 episodes that help you work on your pronunciation, spelling, grammar, and reading comprehension. New videos are uploaded on Sundays.

Each animated episode is about 10 minutes long and includes short, simple-to-understand dialogues. English subtitles ensure that you understand every word. During the videos, you can test what you've learned by completing multiple-choice tests. The answers are revealed at the end of each episode.

2. Extra Auf Deutsch

Level: A1, A2
Where to watch: YouTube

Extra is an educational TV series that was filmed in English, Spanish, German, and French. The German version has 13 episodes with beginner-level words and phrases. You'll only need to have a basic vocabulary established to understand the series.

Similar to a sitcom, this show features three young friends living as neighbors and roommates. Trouble starts when Sam, who can't speak much German, enters the picture.

Not only will you become more familiar with common expressions, but you'll also learn a few things about German culture.

3. Nico's Weg

Level: A1, A2, and B1 levels available
Where to watch: Deutsche Welle

Another web series designed for German learners is Nico's Weg or Nico's Way. You'll learn the basic vocabulary for everyday situations, which you can review before or after each video.

For each episode, you'll find a grammar explanation, vocab list, transcript, and comprehension exercises.

The series follows Nico, a Spanish man who has just arrived in Germany from Spain. Upon arrival, Nico loses his belongings, including his passport.

His story continues as he tries to find his suitcase and directions to his aunt's house. Along the way, Nico converses with many friendly Germans, who help him get back on track.

4. Erste Wege In Deutschland

Level: A1, A2
Where to watch: Goethe-Institut

This series covers everyday words and phrases, particularly for individuals traveling to Germany. You'll learn new ways to express yourself at the doctor's office, bus station, and at work.

Other episodes will teach you how to complete a phone contract, search for an apartment, and make new friends in German.

Each segment contains exercises that test your comprehension. You can also turn on the subtitles if you have difficulty understanding, or download the transcript for each video.

What stands out about this series is that it not only helps you learn German but also teaches you essential skills you'll need if you're planning to move to Germany.

5. Easy German

Level: A2
Where to watch: YouTube

Easy German is a web series that teaches you to understand the everyday German language. Every Sunday and Wednesday, new episodes are uploaded that feature real native speakers.

Some of the topics include grammar, culture, dialects, and regional differences. At the bottom of the screen are English and German subtitles, which help you pick up unknown vocabulary much faster.

Many episodes begin with a question or topic for discussion. Then, the moderators go out in the street and ask random Germans what they think.

For example, one episode asks people, “what is your dream holiday?” Some episodes feature one-on-one interviews, while others take time to explain grammar concepts.

6. Verbotene Liebe

Level: A2
Where to watch: YouTube

Forbidden Love is a German soap opera that takes place in Düsseldorf. You'll find the short, simple sentence structures ideal as a beginner.

I recommend starting with the early episodes, which only require the most basic understanding. More complicated sentence structures appear as the series progresses.

The episodes follow a boy and a girl who fall in love, despite objections from their parents. One comes from the upper class, while the other comes from the middle class.

Later, they find out that there are other controversial reasons why they can't be together. The show first aired in 1995, but the premise has remained the same.

German TV Shows For Intermediate Learners

If you're an intermediate German learner, then  you'll benefit from the following German TV shows that dive deeper into topics of grammar, vocabulary, and culture.

7. Türkisch Für Anfänger

https://youtu.be/_zQ41t5dV4g

Level: A2, B1
Where to watch: YouTube

Turkish for Beginners is a German comedy that follows the story of a teenage girl, Lena, from Berlin. When her mother marries a Turkish man, she has to adjust to life in a multicultural household. Over 50 episodes were made, but can be difficult to track down.

Berlin has the highest concentration of Turkish residents, which contributes to a diverse population. At the same time, cultural clashes often arise. This series explores real-life cultural differences and how they can be overcome.

8. Deutschland Von Oben

Level: B1
Where to watch: YouTube

Germany from Above is a documentary series that takes you on a tour of German cities from a bird's eye view. This series will teach you the correct use of prepositions and strengthen your nature-related vocabulary.

Although the show contains many words that beginners won't know, the grammar and sentence structure is very straightforward.

Each episode has subtitles so that you can look up any unfamiliar words. However, in many instances, you can learn new words from their visual cues.

For example, you might not know what Storch means, but you'll realize it's a “stork” when you see them flying through the air.

9. Der Tatortreiniger

Level: B1
Where to watch: ARD MediaThek

The Crime Scene Cleaner is a dark German comedy that takes place in Hamburg. Heiko visits households to clean up where the investigators left off.

You'll enjoy the antics and twisted humor of the pragmatic Heiko as he interacts with those related to the deceased.

In this series, you'll become better acquainted with the north German accent through Heiko, as well as philosophical vocabulary. Each episode takes place at a different location, where the crime scene cleaner gets to know the friends and family of the victim.

You'll also learn to recognize different accents since Heiko meets people from all across Germany.

10. Stromberg

 

Level: B1, B2
Where to watch: My Spass

This TV comedy will give you a taste of German workplace humor. You'll also get more exposure to the formal Sie. Similar to “The Office,” this German show will keep you laughing while you pick up new informal expressions.

The series follows the life of the incompetent Bernd Stromberg, who is head of the fictional Capitol Versicherung AG insurance company. You'll probably find the sarcastic play-on-words challenging at first, but you'll catch on after a few episodes.

11. Tatort

Level: B2
Where to watch: Das Erste

Crime Scene is Germany's most popular and longest-running crime drama series that takes place in a different German, Austrian, or Swiss city each week.

Nearly every German raves about this series, especially when episodes feature their home towns. The cast of detectives is always changing and features some of Germany's best-known actors.

You'll get to know what German cities look like. And you'll also gain more exposure to a range of dialects. This show will also introduce you to new vocabulary related to extremism, corruption, tolerance, and other social issues typical of their geographic settings.

12. Lindenstraße

Level: B2
Where to watch: Das Erste

Lindenstraße is one of the most well-known and longest-running German soap operas. The series, which first aired in 1985, takes place in a fictional street in Munich.

In each episode, the characters deal with real-life current events such as immigration, unemployment, drug abuse, and other social challenges.

As an intermediate learner, you'll gain exposure to various dialects and colloquial expressions that help you understand the way real Germans communicate. There are over 30 seasons, so you'll be hard-pressed to run out of episodes.

13. Dark

Level: B2
Where to watch: Netflix

The science-fiction thriller takes place in a fictional town where two children go missing in a cave. You'll find both English and German versions available on Netflix. However, the original series was shot in German.

What you'll like about this show is that the characters speak clear Hochdeutsch. At the same time, you'll learn colloquial expressions and words that are common in everyday conversations.

These episodes are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat as you polish up your German grammar and vocabulary.

How To Learn By Watching German TV Shows

Learning German by watching TV shows, just like learning German through movies, requires some active preparation to get the most out of your viewing time.

Follow the steps below to optimize your learning experience.

Most importantly, you want to enjoy the program and avoid getting stuck on any particular word or phrase. Even if you don't understand everything that was said, you can often make an intelligent guess if you know the context.

Where To Find German TV Shows

If you're not sure where to find German TV shows, try looking at the following websites.

You can also try this full list of German TV stations. Many of these broadcasters offer free streamable content online.

Why You Should Learn German Through TV Series

Textbook lessons and exercises get boring right? That's why switching up your learning approach with TV shows can help.

Below are more reasons why you should watch German TV shows if you're trying to learn the language:

Another bonus is that you'll learn about German culture, ways of life, and social standards.

Viel Spaß beim Fernseh schauen!

Let me know in a comment below – have you seen any of these German TV shows before? If not, which ones are you tempted to watch to improve your German?  

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