“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. 

Radio Ambulante

Radio Ambulante is an award-winning podcast series which tells Latin American stories, covering a range of issues from immigration to bee-keeping. They have thousands of episodes to choose from, allowing listeners to filter by country, topic, and length. Most episodes are both in Spanish and English, which makes Radio Ambulante suitable for both beginners and advanced Spanish students.

LightSpeed Spanish – Podcast

With sections ranging from beginner to advanced, this podcast covers a wide variety of topics, most of which center around using Spanish in everyday life. The episodes are mostly 10-15 minutes long and gradually move from using some English to explain ideas to speaking exclusively in Spanish. The hosts do a great job of explaining their ideas and topics for every level learner.

French Podcasts for Beginners

Here are some podcasts which would be excellent for beginning French learners:

How Are You? 28min: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cbf-1-01-how-are-you/id263170419?i=1000163412494&mt=2.
This podcast is from Coffee Break French, which has several seasons of podcasts for learning French for beginners. The first episode introduces the phrase “ça va?” and its possible responses. Although the host is non-native (and has a Scottish accent), his pronunciation is not bad. Expressions are introduced in French and English, with plenty of room to practice and repeat phrases.

The Alphabet 12min: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/5-a-look-at-the-alphabet/id160256534?i=1000010654926&mt=2.
This Podcast, presented by Learn French by Podcast, introduces the French alphabet and pronunciation in French. The speakers use French and English to describe the pronunciation of each letter, including words which use those letters.

Radio, Podcasts, and other Audio – Media Resources 4

Welcome to the fourth installment of our media resources series! This post features a collection of audio resources suitable to a variety of skill-levels in the languages supported at Reed.


Radio Aswat

This Moroccan radio station broadcasts news, cultural programming and sports in Arabic. Programs are available to stream live or to listen to later. The website also includes Arabic-language news stories.

Radio Sawa

This American-funded radio service has radio programs on topics from across the Arabic-speaking world. Programming includes music and news stories. Many programs are available to listen to online at any time, or you can stream live radio.

Airing Pods

These podcasts are perfect for beginners looking to listen to more of the language. They are free and downloadable through iTunes. Try out Survival Phrases!

BBC Xtra

The BBC has a daily 2-hr posting of Arabic culture and trending events. They speak slowly enough that intermediate learners could follow along, but would also be suitable for advanced learners.


Slow Chinese

Slow Chinese podcasts are stories and commentary by native Mandarin speakers read at a slower pace. Accompanying transcripts make these podcasts useful for intermediate to advanced students interested in working on comprehension and reading. Podcasts are available for download, or you can subscribe to Slow Chinese on iTunes.



The international voice of French radio, RFI offers streaming and archived programming that is interesting to French speakers and learners outside of France. In addition to regular programming, RFI also offers a variety of audio options for French teachers and learners under RFI Savoirs. The website may start streaming immediately when you access it.

Radio France

Listen to French news, cultural, or music programming live online. There are a wide range of programs to choose from, as well as print stories with accompanying audio and video.


Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle is an international German news source, with both broadcast and written stories. In addition to offering news from a German perspective in dozens of languages, including both German and English, Deutsche Welle also provides resources for German language learners. They offer several podcasts, including Deutsch im Fokus, which explores spoken German idioms and vocabulary, and Top-Thema, news stories in simplified German with accompanying transcripts.


Russian Podcast

This is a language learning podcast appropriate for beginners to advanced students who want to review. Paid subscriptions provide transcripts of episodes, but the podcasts are free to listen to, and they also include free PDFs with vocabulary and other information.


Radio Ambulante

Radio Ambulante is an award-winning podcast of stories from Latin America. The high production value and interesting subject matter make these stories compelling. Radio Ambulante is a good resource for intermediate and upper level Spanish learners. Translations are also available for many episodes.

La Rosa de los Vientos

This is a classic Spanish podcast. It is about mysteries of all kinds.

La Parroquia

This is one of the best podcasts about comedy–it really gets Spanish humor!

Practise German on the go!

So you want to practice your German, but you’re always busy. Maybe your regular coursework takes up too much time or you’re not currently enrolled in a German class and are scared of losing the language; maybe you can’t devote precious hours to reading or even watching TV in order to sustain your skills. What do you do? Enter the German language podcast to the rescue! The Deutsche Welle site is a great place to find and download podcasts on a variety of topics that you can listen to at the gym, in the car, or during your other unproductive errand-time. They run podcasts that stream both free from iTunes or an RSS feed.

Deutsche Welle Podcasts (http://www.dw.com/en/media-center/podcasts/s-100977)


If you want something more instructive, check out their course Warum nicht? which guides you in English as well in German. There are four parts, each with 26 episodes about 12 minutes long. The course takes you through many different types of German media while also incorporating German culture. It can get a little pedantic but it is incredibly helpful when you are coming from a background with little to no previous German experience.

The Mission Berlin series also takes place in English and in German and follows various characters around the city as they try to solve crimes. It’s a fun follow-along story that will get you more familiar with the language without being completely immersive or overwhelming if you don’t have a lot of experience in German.


The series Wieso Nicht? is the next level up from Warum Nicht? and is completely in German. It is full of short (approx. 10 minutes long) stories about life in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The pacing is slower than some of their other entirely German-language podcasts and so it is easy to follow along if you’re still trying to become more comfortable in an immersed German situation. The stories are often funny and fit perfectly in that 10 minute gap as you walk to your next class!


Most of the website is dedicated to space for the 20+ podcasts dealing with a huge variety of topics aimed at a German audience. The same podcasts are also available entirely in English, just in case! Just switch which language you’re viewing the webpage in to access either. Some of the podcasts include a video component but you are still able to just listen to them if you don’t have the time. There is definitely something for everyone on this website, so if you’ve been looking for a new podcast to start, this is a great place to find one!

News in Slow and Easy German

It’s easy to find German-language podcasts, videos, and radio stations that are aimed at either absolute beginners, or those for native speakers. But what if you want to immerse yourself in intermediate German without having to strain yourself or be bored? Here are a few resources for listening comprehension for the intermediate German learner (i.e. German 220).

Nachrichtenleicht by Deutschlandfunk: The best resource for slow German news, Nachrichtenleicht presents short German audio clips (approx. 2-3 minutes) about relevant news, accompanied by a written transcript, so you can follow along while you listen.

Langsam Gesprochene Nachrichten by Deutsche Welle: Daily German news on current topics. Episodes are about 10 minutes long, and can also downloadable on iTunes.

News in Slow German by Linguistica 360: Dialogue-based German news, released weekly in slow German, accompanied by written transcripts. Episodes run approx. 8 minutes, and can be downloaded from iTunes as well.

Slow German mit Annik Rubens: Short segments in German on just about every topic, from contemporary German slang to an introduction to German literature. Episodes are about 4-7 minutes long, and are downloadable from iTunes as well.