Film or TV show recommendations for beginners

Hello all,

Can anyone recommend any films/TV shows (for adults or kids) for German beginners level A2?

Cheers,

Thomas

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I always recommend “Victoria”. for beginners as their first German movie. It’s a steady mix of English and German, because it’s about a Spanish girl hanging out with some German guys. It plays in Berlin and was filmed all in one shot, which is impressive.

@JohnChatterbug recently published a blog post with 9 movies to learn German.
Here are the names of them, you should check out the blog post for more detailed descriptions :slight_smile:

  • Lola rennt
  • Goodbye Lenin
  • Keinohrhasen
  • Friendship!
  • Herr Lehmann
  • Die Welle
  • Er ist wieder da
  • Das Leben der Anderen
  • Berlin Calling

Out of this list, I’d maybe start with “Keinohrhasen” because the story is easy… there even is a 2nd part now which is called “Zweiohrküken”.

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Totally banging! Thanks for that Kjanina!

Oh, and I love the “Sachgeschichten” of “Die Sendung mit der Maus”.

It is actually a TV program for kids, BUT it’s amazing. It explains every day things in great detail and with lots of useful vocabulary for any level of German learners. It’s mostly short clips of 4 - 15 Minutes.

I’m sure you find something that interests you… no matter if it’s zero gravity in space, the bakery, ice cream or why ducks don’t mind walking on ice. :joy:

Here’s the list of all the “Sachgeschichten” clips from “Die Sendung mit der Maus”

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Keinohrhasen
Knocking on heavens door
Doctors Diary (series)
Vincent will Meer

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“Vincent will Meer” is really a great movie Lari :+1::sunglasses:
I usually also suggest to see cartoons in German. My alltime favorite and of course very corny is “Das letzte Einhorn” :unicorn:
Old German crime shows might also help to get into the language?
“Derrick” e.g…“Harry hol’ den Wagen” :joy:

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As in most languages, I find TV shows, movies, cartoons etc. are pretty hard to understand, even if they’re for kids. What I often recommend is watching shows/movies you already know (maybe even by heart) in German with German subtitles. Since you already know the plot, you can focus on the dialogue and language more :slight_smile:

Personal favourites are Spongebob Schwammkopf (yes, his name is sponge-head in German). I watched a lot of that as a kid and imo it is actually way funnier in German :smiley:
Sitcoms are also really helpful, so shows like Friends, Scrubs, HIMYM, Big Bang Theory,… (note: I don’t really like these shows but I’ve heard students say they are easy to understand. They also contain a lot of everyday language, which can be useful in real life!)

Happy binge-watching :wink: :popcorn:

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That’s also great advice. Thank you.

Hello Thomas,
I also like the series “Nico´s Weg” from Deutsche Welle, it starts with level A1 and goes up to level B1, with different exercises and glossar. It takes place in a WG (Wohngemeinschaft), so you can see another way to live in Germany.
Enjoy,
Brigitte

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I’d agree with starting with Keinohrhasen because as you will quickly learn there are limited actors in German movies and Til Schwieger is the god of German film. I would say to be careful on some of these to start because there are a few of these with a decent amount of slang (e.g. Herr Lehmann (Christian Ulmann another actor you will see in a lot)) takes place in Berlin and they are drunk the majority of the time. However, I would have to 100% agree with antomoor that anything remotely entertaining (even for children) will be difficult in a new language. You should just start watching things and it will help you. I’ve been doing it for a long time now and I don’t always understand everything, but I’ve picked up a lot and learned what people actually say. You will surprise yourself with how much you’ll understand through the visuals and tones.

That being said I would like to prove with this post that the time I do not spend on Chatterbug is spent watching random things in German on Netflix that might even not be something I’d normally watch. Furthermore, a lot of Germans don’t watch a lot of new German series or German media at all (which I understand, because if I wasn’t trying to learn German I’d be watching American stuff too ;)). Thus, I am going to highlight some of the German stuff in my Netflix history.

A lot of Germans laugh when I say I am a “Mord mit Aussicht” (series/sitcom/krimi) fan but that is the first show I started with and all of the characters who aren’t supposed to be rednecks speak very clear. They also don’t use some of the slang they might use in some of the other more modern / younger audience-oriented media. The series is basically a mix of a crime series and a comedy. It is very lighthearted and you can laugh about the stereotypes of Germans on the countryside. Plus, Frau Haas (die Kommissarin) is my first German character I fell in love with, however, I will save that for another post.

Türkisch für Anfänger (series/sitcom) – This is a chance for you to relive your teen angst in German. It’s about a family comprised of a Turkish father who had a past marriage and a German mother with a past marriage in Berlin. Of course with the clash of these two cultures in a melting pot such as Berlin hilarity can only ensue. As a 28-year-old man watching this alone I felt sort of silly, however, I enjoyed it.

Dogs of Berlin (series) - criminal series taking place in Berlin. There will be a lot of slang in this one and… “adult themes”

Bad Banks (series) - New series about banking in Frankfurt. A lot of the characters are not German, but speak German so it is pretty good high German.

Dark (series) - This is a dark “supernatural” mystery if you will about the disappearance of two children. The story surrounding this is also filled with very dark themes. I’m pretty sure this is internationally popular because I’ve heard friends talking in the states about it.

Sarah Wiener Eine Woche Unter (Docuseries) - This is about a famous Chef in Germany and she goes around to different random places (on a boat, in a camp for young athletes, a military base) and works as a Chef for a week.

Paradies Series (docufilm series) - Haha this is some ridiculously artsy dark stuff from Austria that I found on Netflix. Watch these at your own risk.

Honig im Kopf (movie) - Here is a heartwarming story about a fading grandfather and his granddaughter. Of course, Til Schweiger is there as well.

Blockbustaz (comedy series) - This one is about a Turkish rapper in Berlin. They get into a bunch of ridiculous situations living in a poor neighborhood. You will learn some pretty funny slang here.

How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) (comedy series) – Two bestfriend dweebs in highschool start selling drugs on the darkweb because of the initial intent to impress a girl. Naturally, they soon find themselves in over their heads.

Fack Ju Göhte 1 and 2 (Movies) – These are pretty entertaining, but they are definitely teen movies. The main character is played by Elyas M’Barek who is in the series mentioned above Türkisch für Anfänger and you will see in a lot of movies.

Rabiat (Docuseries) - This is pretty much the German version of Vice. Of course, since it is in German that means that the topics are even more ridiculous and dark.

Tannbach Schicksal eines Dorfes (Miniseries) ZDF production about a village that was split between the Americans and the Russians after WW2. I found this series extremely interesting (I like history) and well made.

Blaumacher (series) – this is basically a German series that is the same plot as the movie American Beauty. A man has a mid-life crisis and tries to break free of what seemed like a German suburban life-style if there is such a thing. I really liked this series.

Manta Manta (movie) – this is a pretty goofy throwback movie with a younger Til Schwieger racing cars and chasing women. This is the kind of thing I’d watch when I didn’t want to fully invest my time, but laugh at something.

Familie Braun (miniseries) – this is a critique of racism/nationalism and is a very quick series. I thought it was pretty interesting.

Vorsicht vor Leuten (comedy movie) – a guy who is down on his luck gets involved with a con artist and the real estate market in Spain.

Wo ist Fred (comedy movie) – Til poses as a mentally disabled person in order to get a signed basketball from a professional player for the son of his girlfriend. The con goes much too far and naturally a bunch of funny things happen along the way…

Pedal the World (documentary) – documentary about a German guy riding a bike around the world.

Wilkommen bei den Hartmanns (comedy movie) – This movie is about a family who invites a refugee to live with them. The cultural biases provide a stage for comedy and of course then we all learn as always that we are beautiful people on this earth together. I found this movie pretty funny.

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Great recommendations @kgeisl1 ! I knew you were the person to go to with this question haha

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Holy smokes! That’s some answer! Cheers kgeisl1!

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