German teachers often advise their students to listen to German music, which might sound odd at first, but it can be highly effective. Besides making the process a lot more fun, studies show that listening to music puts people into a relaxed state of awareness, optimising conscious learning. Not only will you get a glimpse into German culture, it will also develop your listening comprehension skills. Hearing a language spoken in songs help learners to recognise how expressions, intonation and form can be used, from employing poetic devices, to understanding street language that wouldn’t be picked up in the classroom. Discover eight classic songs that will help you learn German.
Wir Trafen Uns Im Garten by 2RAUMWOHNUNG
Hone your German skills with this cute and almost cringe-worthy pop song about a couple’s first meeting in a garden. After hearing it a few times, you’ll be better equipped to talk about relationship matters, feelings stirred by ex-lovers and breaking up in German. Straight out of 2007, the song is upbeat, catchy and has plenty of positive energy.
Tour de France by Kraftwerk
Learn German with the aid of Germany’s biggest electronic band from the 80s, Kraftwerk. Tour de France was an international hit and, as you may have guessed, is about competing in the world’s biggest cycling event. The song is catchy, quirky and doesn’t have too many lyrics, making it the perfect tune for beginners.
Übers Ende der Welt by Tokio Hotel
Tokio Hotel’s biggest hit from 2007, Übers Ende der Welt, moved fans enough to learn German just so they could sing along to the lyrics on the band’s worldwide tour. The title means ‘over the end of the world’ and it’s basically a song about personal power, letting go of your inhibitions and following your heart. Something to help inspire you while learning the language.
Warum? by Tic Tac Toe
Warum? meaning ‘why’ is brought to you by the all-girl hip-hop group Tic Tac Toe. A real winner for new, niche vocabulary, it tells the story of a drug addict who succumbs to an overdose. Unfortunately, after the song was released in 1997, the girl gang had a public quarrel during a press conference and split up. Why oh why!
99 Luftballons by Nena
In 1983, this song became famous for its anti-nuclear war motif, and became something of a protest song that successfully captured the Cold War climate of the times. Being terribly catchy, an even more famous English version was recorded with the title 99 Red Balloons instead of Air Balloons.
Leider Geil by Deichkind
The German word ‘geil’ is slang for ‘cool,’ and has been transformed from its original meaning of ‘horny.’ This satirical number talks about all the stupid, negative things in the world that are ‘leider guile’ or ‘unfortunately cool.’ For example, despite causing environmental damage, getting a sleek new ride is leider geil. With the help of this song, your range of conversation topics in German will surely expand.
Männer by Herbert Grönemeyer
Männer, meaning ‘men’ in German, is a semi-humorous men’s liberation song that ironically points out the conditioning of manhood. The slightly odd lyrics translate as: ‘men provide security yet men cry in secret… men can do everything yet men have heart attacks.’ Grönemeyer is one of Germany’s most commercially successful artists.
Für immer Immer by Fettes Brot
Refine your geography and German vocabulary skills with this 2013 hit about all the women Fettes Brot has loved from all over the world.
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