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German Audiobooks from Beginner to Advanced and Beyond

You may begin to suspect that you’re a language nerd when you find yourself looking for apartments far away from your place of work on purpose. That way, of course, you’ll have more time on the subway each day to learn languages. It may sound crazy, but that’s what I did just recently and I don’t regret it one bit. One of my favorite ways to use that commute time is by listening to long podcasts and audiobooks. So in today’s post I’ll introduce you to some outstanding German audiobooks – perfect for any time your schedule is free to get some listening time in.

Children’s Stories

Emil und die Detektive – Erich Kästner
Emil and the Detectives is a classic story from 1929 Berlin about a little boy going to the big city for the first time and falling into an adventure of thieves and child detectives. It became immediately popular upon its release and remains well-known in Germany to this day.

Herr der Diebe – Cornelia Funke
You may already know this book by its English title The Thief Lord. Designed for ages eight and up, this story about a band of children living on the streets of Venice is sure to awaken the child and the traveler within.

Venice Canal

Best-selling German audiobooks

Globus Dei: Vom Nordpol bis Patagonien – Helge Schneider
Helge Schneider is a beloved German comedian and musician whose career spans more than thirty years. In this book he travels, as you may guess, from the North Pole to Patagonia and more, narrating the journey with his characteristic non sequitur wit. His writing (and reading) style makes the book complicated for a learner, but despite the length of the journey the story is relatively brief.

Quality-Land – Marc Uwe Kling
In Quality Land, everything is at your beck and call. Or rather, everything is optimized to a point where you don’t need to beck or call – the algorithms know where you need to go, what you want to eat, and who you want to be with. But what happens when the machines that run our lives start to break down in mysteriously human ways?


Old Free Books

I can’t write an article without recommending a free resource.

Archive.org, Librivox, and Project Gutenberg are three places to find literally hundreds of free public domain German audiobooks along with the full texts. Since the recordings are more often than not done by volunteers, the quality of the recordings might be a little less than polished sometimes.

Another thing to note is that these classic books are unabridged more often than not. That means the language used in them may be pretty old-fashioned. For the advanced learner, though, these are absolutely perfect for getting a deep understanding of German culture through literature.

Learn German with the LingQ podcast

Once you get these audiobooks in your hands, you can use them as extensive listening material as mentioned before. But you can also take the text and import it into LingQ (including ebooks) for hours upon hours of fantastic active study practice.

Here’s a quick example of how I import content into LingQ. I’ll be using the Archive.org.

First, find a book or magazine that looks interesting. I’ll use Aktueller Software Markt – Ausgabe, since the cover seems pretty cool.

Copy the whole text and import it into LingQ.

Import German transcript in LingQ

Import German audiobook into the LingQ App

From there, it’s pretty straight forward. Paste your text and add an image and audio.

Import German audiobooks into the LingQ app

Click save & open and start studying!

Using LingQ to Study German online
Remember how I mentioned that audiobooks are great to study during your commute to work. Well, you can do that plus a whole lot more by importing your German audiobooks into LingQ and using the mobile app!

Import German audiobooks into the LingQ mobile app

Also. LingQ’s dictionary lookup and flashcards are just a handful of ways to make your German study more efficient. So look around for your headphones and get listening now!

Check out LingQ today to discover the best way to learn German from content you love!


Alex Thomas minored in German years ago and now lives in China, but he still finds a way to use German every day. He enjoys lengthy podcasts and pensive German poetry.

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