Meet a tutor: Clara Hay (German)

Clara Hay ’26, German language tutor

Hi! I’m Clara, and I’m a sophomore Sociology major and German minor. I have taken German 311 and 342 and am super excited to help with German grammar, vocabulary, essays, speaking, or any other questions you might have! I’m available during drop-in sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and  Thursdays, but feel free to reach out about other times during the week/weekend.

Media Recommendation: German Music (part II)

So, you listened to everything I recommended in my last post, and you’re looking for a bit more (or you hated it all). Here are a few more suggestions, ranging from hip-hop to Indie social commentary. Follow along with the lyrics, or just sit back and catch up on some contemporary German culture!

Fiva – “Das Beste ist noch nicht vorbei” 

One of Germany’s only female rappers, Fiva speaks very clearly, so it’s a great song for beginners. Lyrics are here.


Bausa: “Was du Liebe nennst” 

This song was huge last year, and it’s catchy enough that you’ll see why. Bausa has become Germany’s Drake…meaning that all of his songs sound the same. Check out the lyrics here.


Von Wegen Lisbeth – “Meine Kneipe”

Catchy Indie music, reminiscent of OK Go. What more is there to say? Find the lyrics here.


Seeed – “Augenbling”

Seeed is one of Germany’s best-known bands. A mixture of hip-hop, reggae, and dancehall beats, their music is definitely one-of-a-kind. Check out the lyrics here, and watch out for the English section.


OK Kid – “Gute Menschen”

Another soft-rock/Indie group, but this time with social commentary about bourgeois German desire to be “good people.” Check out the lyrics here.



Media Recommendation: German Music

Learning German and getting tired of Mozart, Rammstein and “99 Luftballoons”? Here are a few bands (covering a few different genres) that are a little newer.

AnnenMayKantereit – “Barfuß am Klavier” 

A slow ballad, “Barefoot at the Piano” features some beautiful lyrics. As YouTube commenter Ryan King once said, “I’d never thought of German as a particularly beautiful language… that is until now.”


Cro – “Traum”

If you’ve been to Germany, you’ve probably heard this one. Cro, a German rapper/artist is known for his secrecy (he always wears a panda mask). This one’s a bit faster, but it’s catchy, and the lyrics aren’t too complicated.


Namika ft. Black M  – “Je ne parle pas français.”

Most of this song is in German, with some French thrown in there when Black M raps. It’s slow, simple German, and repeats a lot. Find the lyrics here.


Olli Schulz – “Dann schlägt dein Herz” (Live) [Start at 2:33 for the song, or from the beginning to hear his introduction]

Olli Schulz, one of my personal favorites, is an indie-rocker with a great sense of humor. Here are the lyrics, and you can find the non-live version here.


Ready for a challenge? Then try:

Yung Hurn – “Ok cool” 

Basically the Austrian equivalent of Trap. You’ll probably need the lyrics for this one.

Media Recommendation: Babylon Berlin (2017-)


Babylon Berlin (2017-) is a German crime series created by Tom Tykwer. The show is set in 1920s Berlin in the Weimar Republic, and deals with the intersecting criminal activities of that age.

Babylon Berlin is a must-watch for anyone interested in learning German. It is the most expensive non-American TV series ever made, and features beautiful cinematography. It’s also a good way to learn more about Berlin culture, since the series is very well-researched.

The first two seasons of the show are streamable on Netflix, and have good English and German subtitles. The language is fairly difficult to follow, mostly due to the Berlin accent that some of the characters use, but most of the story can be followed in context.

Check out the trailer here:

And check out this short interview in German with Liv Lisa Fries, who plays the principal female role, Charlotte Ritter:




Deutsche Welle App

The Deutsche Welle App is an excellent place to start if you’re looking for a German grammar review, or to improve your German skills on the go.

Start with an “Einstufungstest” (placement test) to figure out which level you’re in. Deutsche Welle features A1, A2, and B1 exercises, that is, from beginner to intermediate. Each placement test features 30 questions. 

The “Übungen” (exercises) in the placement test can also be found in the “Alle Kurse” (all courses) section. These are divided into levels, beginner through intermediate, and contain exercises focusing on grammatical concepts.

The Deutsche Welle App also features an overview of grammar, including verbs, adjective endings, and cases. These short summaries are similar to what you’d find in a German 100 or 200-level textbook, and are divided into bite-sized pieces.

The grammar review section (Grammatikübersicht) gives clear, short descriptions of the grammatical concepts. Although they aren’t as thorough as college textbooks, they are useful for reviewing.

Have fun learning!


Media Recommendation: “Sommers Weltliteratur to go”

“Sommers Weltliteratur to go” (Sommer’s World Literature to go) is a German YouTube channel made by Michael Somme, and originally presented by Reclam (those little yellow books every German student knows and loves). Each episode summarises a literary work, from the German classics like Faust and Parzival to modern literature like Der Hobbit and Harry Potter.

The fun twist is that Sommer presents these works in vignette form, using Playmobil figures…

The episodes are fairly short, normally between 6 and 12 minutes, and are a great way to brush up on your knowledge of German literature (and other classics), while also practicing your listening skills.

The language in the episodes isn’t too complicated, but it is sometimes spoken a little fast. I’d recommend starting with some books you’re already familiar with. Start with something like Der Herr der Ringe (The Lord of the Rings) or Der große Gatsby (The Great Gatsby) before moving on to Goethe, Brecht, and Kafka!


Die Heute Show: German Late Night TV

Based on shows like The Daily Show and The Tonight Show, the heute-show is a satirical late-night program presented by Oliver Welke.

The heute-show presents the news in a comedic way, often tying in interviews, skits, and a whole lot of sarcasm. Episodes are shown Friday nights, and you can either watch live on their website, or find clips on their YouTube channel.

The language level is intermediate/advanced, since it requires understanding of the subject and its humor, but the visuals are helpful for understanding the materials provided. The heute-show also often covers American stories.


“Einschlafen Podcast” – A German Podcast to Help You Fall Asleep

Subliminal learning, the idea that you can learn a new language just by listening to an audiobook while sleeping, is probably a myth at best. However, there is some evidence that you can gain, or at least reinforce, new vocabulary by listening to something in a foreign language while asleep.

Even if subliminal learning isn’t effective, that doesn’t mean that listening to podcasts in bed isn’t a good idea! My recommendation for this week is the “Einschlafen Podcast,” which is available on Spotify, on its website, on YouTube, and on iTunes.

Einschlafen Podcast” (German for “Falling Asleep”) is an excellent German podcast, featuring the relaxing voice of Toby Baier. Each week, Toby starts out by talking about the news, his recent life, and any other random facts, and then eventually starts reading excerpts from books in a calming, slow voice. The books range from Alice im Wunderland to Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft.

The point of “Einschlafen Podcast” is to fall asleep. For those trying to learn German, this is a great way to increase your daily input, simply by falling asleep. Although “passive learning” is still fairly controversial, I feel like I’ve benefitted from listening to a little extra German every day, especially in listening comprehension. is a language-learning website with numerous exercises. Levels range from approximately A1 (beginner) to B2 (advanced). This could be a very helpful tool for those looking to brush up on German skills or trying to advance their language. has a number of grammatical exercises, including ones on verb tenses, case and declension, nouns, adjective endings, prepositions, and the passive voice. These exercises are neatly categorised and are easy to find on the website.

These textbook-like exercises require the user to fill in missing information, and the solutions give the correct answer. 

It also has “vocabulary builder,” which quizzes the user on words which grow progressively more difficult. 

Perhaps most unique to, and also most useful, is the “reading” tool, which presents short texts and then quizzes the user on the content. also features a verb conjugation tool, which is especially useful when reviewing for a test or trying to learn more irregular conjugations.