Sprachbar is a podcast from the Deutsche Welle for advanced German learners; it helps you understand the latest and greatest in idioms and headlines in German news.
Take for example the podcast "Staumeldung," or traffic news; this podcast clarifies actual Stau (a traffic jam) and the figurative use of Stau in German politics as well as in daily life.
In the Sprachbar related vocabulary is italicized, e.g. Staumeldung, zähfließendem Verkehr, Autoschlange, stehenbleiben, auflösen, Totalschäden. The meaning is perhaps clear at first glance, and then comes the idiomatic meaning.
Sprachbar offers well-written articles with audio (in MP3 and WMA formats), a transcript, questions to check your understanding, and finally a task to complete. In this case it's a half-page statement regarding the advantages and disadvantages of cars and the traffic jams that result from too many cars being on the road at the same time.
Remember, the best exercise is to repeat, repeat, repeat! You can rely on the Sprachbar for high-quality materials that you can read and use again and again because it's high quality--it is from the Deutsche Welle, afterall. So repeat, repeat, repeat--as often as you can stand it!
Here are a few ways to use this article in your German learning:
- Listen to the podcast once through and then listen to it while reading the transcript, marking things that weren't clear the first time around. Repeat the sections that weren't clear until you can hear them clearly.
- Read the article with a specific goal in mind: underline all uses of Akkusativ or all the Nebensätze. Perhaps you're working on verbs with prepositions, so circle the verb and its preposition; make a list of all the ones you can find in the article.
- Mark the Satzmelodie with a colored pencil--where does the speaker's voice go up? And when does it go down?
- Imitate the speaker--read the transcript out loud while you listen to the podcast and imitate the speaker. You'll be surprised how much you can learn about a language by imitating a native speaker!
What other ways could you use an article & podcast combination like Staumeldung? Comment below and find some new ideas from other people, too!