Learn German - German to-go: Deutsche Welle's free offer

Menschen mit Deutschwörterbüchern Enlarge image (© picture-alliance/dpa) Improve your German with Deutsche Welle's audio and video programs, which include language lessons for beginners, information about Germany and news in German.

Challenge yourself and learn German with Mission Berlin! [English Version]

Once she reaches 2006, Anna tells Paul they have to jam the machine. But they need a code. Anna follows the music and then the woman in red arrives. Will "die Chefin" stop Anna, who is so close to reaching her goal? Anna is back in 2006 and shows Paul the rusty key that is supposed to jam ... blockieren ... the machine. But the machine needs a code. Anna tries the notes contained in DACHFEG's name. Then the woman in red appears and demands the key but Anna sticks it in the machine and enters the code. Will the woman in red stop the destruction of the machine? Or will she, like the machine, become history?

Flash player is not installed

Time is running out and Anna bids farewell to Paul before she goes to November 9, 2006. Once she's there she'll only have five minutes. Will it be enough? With only minutes left to complete the mission, the player tells Anna to use the pandemonium to her advantage and to make a quiet exit. But she doesn't want to go without saying a proper goodbye to Paul. Anna does her game save and realises the rusty key is needed to solve the mystery. The music is the other. But can she get back in time to save the day? She only has 5 minutes to successfully complete her mission.

Flash player is not installed

Anna retrieves the metal case hidden back in 1961 but can't open it because it's rusty. When she does manage to open it, she finds an old key. Is this the key to the mystery? Time is flying and Anna has to open the metal case. But the player warns her not to do it in front of others. She opens it and finds a rusty old key. Now she has to return to 2006 so she can stop the woman in red. But does she have enough time?

Flash player is not installed

Anna hitches a ride on the back of a scooter to get to Bernauer Straße. Her helper is Emre Ogur who wishes her luck in Berlin. But will she need more than that to escape the woman in red and find the hidden metal case? The player tells Anna to get a ride to Bernauer Straße as time is running out. She hitches a ride on the back of a scooter ridden by a young man, the future inspector Emre Ogur. But just after Anna runs into Heidrun Drei and Paul, the woman in red arrives. Paul and Heidrun Drei's husband Robert throw chunks of the wall at her. In the meantime, Anna gets away to go and retrieve the metal case. But will it still be there after all these years?

Flash player is not installed

Anna is taken to 1989 and arrives in a city going wild over the fall of the wall. She needs to move through the crowds to get hold of the hidden metal case. Will she make it? Just as Anna is about to leave for 1989, the bikers appear. The woman in red tells her gang it is imperative that they find ... finden ... Anna. And she wants Anna alive ... lebendig. Anna gets into the time machine and goes back to Berlin in 1989 just as the city is going wild over the fall of the wall. But she's at the Brandenburg Gate where everyone's partying and she has to get to Bernauer Straße. With 30 minutes to go, can she move quickly enough through the crowd of millions in a once divided city?

Flash player is not installed

Anna goes back to 2006 to find that pastor Kavalier has been kidnapped by the woman in red. As there is no way of discovering the pastor's whereabouts, she sets off for November 9, 1989, the night the Berlin Wall fell. Back in 2006, Paul tells her that the priest has disappeared ... verschwunden. The woman in red has kidnapped him. Paul obviously knows more about Pastor Kavalier and the time machine, but there is no time to discuss it. She agrees to go to the evening of November 9, 1989 when an enraptured Berlin is celebrating the fall of the Wall. She wants to retrieve the case amidst all the commotion.

Flash player is not installed

Anna is still no closer to the solution of the riddle. Which historic event does RATAVA want to prevent? The player tells her to come back to 2006 and then go back to 1989. How dangerous are these leaps in time? Before Anna returns to 2006, there is a passionate farewell from Paul. She only has 35 minutes to complete the mission and she still has to find out the historic event that RATAVA wants to stop. Anna and the player realise that RATAVA is not after the construction but the fall of the wall. The player tells her to come back to 2006 first and then go back to 1989 when the wall fell.

Flash player is not installed

With 40 minutes left, Paul and Anna escape from the woman in red and end up in West Berlin. But it's the wrong side. Paul adds on another complication by declaring his love for Anna. Is this an aid or a hindrance? Anna has to be in East Berlin to succeed in her mission. But she's stuck in the West. Then there's another problem: In this difficult situation, Paul tells her he's in love with her. He wants her to give up the mission. But the player tells her to go back to 2006 to work out another plan. Will 35 minutes be enough for a solution?

Flash player is not installed

Anna discovers that the woman in red is the head ... die Chefin ... of RATAVA. There are only 45 minutes left to save Germany and all Anna has as a clue is a hidden case. Can she retrieve it and complete her mission? Heidrun Drei, Paul, and Anna head towards Bernauer Straße but on the way they meet Heidrun Drei's husband, Robert. He tells them there are soldiers everywhere. Worse still, the motorbikers are out again. They all hide in the courtyard of an old brasserie. As the woman in red appears, Paul tells Anna that she is the head ... die Chefin ... of RATAVA. The player tells Anna to follow "die Chefin" and with Paul they go into a cellar where they see the woman in red hide a case. They get it and hide it in a different place as they make their escape. The player says he'll think of a way to retrieve it. But with only 40 minutes left, will he have enough time?

Flash player is not installed

With only 50 minutes left, the player says it's time to trust the cashier. Paul is dubious about helping Anna. A radio report says East German soldiers are erecting barbed wire fences. Is this RATAVA's historic event? Anna still hasn't realised that the cashier is Heidrun Drei and the player tells her that she has to trust the helpful cashier even if her brother is suspicious. But despite his reservations, he agrees with his sister that they should help Anna elude the motorcycle gang. The three of them go out to look at the East German army, who are starting to build barbed wire fences. The player tells Anna it's the construction of the Berlin Wall. Only 45 minutes left to save Germany.

Flash player is not installed

Upon her return to 1961, the armed motorbikers are still pursuing Anna. She gets help from a strange woman in this dangerous situation. Why is she doing this? Can Anna trust her? The motorcycle gang is on Anna's heels and she hides in a grocery store but just as the manager tells her the shop is closing, the assistant says that Anna is her friend. The cashier takes Anna to her house and tells her that she is an old school chum. Anna is dubious about the move but the player says that she has to trust her. Back at the cashier's house, Anna is introduced to Paul Winkler, her brother.

Flash player is not installed

In a divided Berlin, Anna has to get from the East to the West. That's not the only problem. She has only 55 minutes left to find out RATAVA's target. Is it the construction or destruction of the wall? Now back in 1961, Anna tries to go to Kantstraße. But that's in West Berlin and she is in East Berlin. Anna can't get into the West because the GDR government has started building the Wall. After her latest game update, the player and Anna realise that there are two possible targets: the construction or the destruction of the Berlin Wall. They only have 55 minutes left to find out which is RATAVA's goal.

Flash player is not installed

Anna discovers the time machine and is told that a gang of time terrorists are out to erase an historic event. But which one? The player sends her back to 1961. She has only 60 minutes left. Can she trust the pastor? The pastor knows the significance of the phrase "In der Teilung liegt die Lösung" and is aware too of the danger posed by RATAVA. The player says Anna has to go back to 1961 to solve the mystery and promises to help her get back once she's there. The pastor gives her the phrase, "Die Liebe versetzt Berge", ... love moves mountains ... which will help her get back. She sets off for August 13, 1961 but with only 60 minutes to finish her mission. Is it enough time?

Flash player is not installed

The church proves to be the place for guidance. The pastor explains the tune to Anna and tells her it is a key to a time machine. But what kind of contraption is he talking about? When the game is re-started, Anna and the woman in red get in a scuffle but the woman in red runs away as the pastor arrives. He tells Anna that Inspector Ogur is only wounded and recovering in hospital. The pastor plays the tune again and tells her that the music notes D A C H F E G are the key to the machine. The breakthrough gives Anna and the player a 10 minute time bonus. But will it be enough?

Flash player is not installed

Anna has 65 minutes left. She figures that the music box is the missing piece of the church organ. The woman in red appears again and demands a key. What key? Anna hears a familiar song. The church organ is playing the same melody as the music box. As Anna approaches the organ, she overhears the sexton explaining to a visitor that the organ has been fully restored but has been missing a part, ... ein Element ... since the construction of the wall. Anna realises the box is the missing link and adds it to the organ. As the organ starts playing a trap door opens and Anna finds herself standing in front of the woman in red. She loses another life and only has 60 minutes left.

Flash player is not installed

Anna tells Paul about the mysterious motto, "In der Teilung liegt die Lösung; folge der Musik!" Paul realises the danger. He tells Anna to go and see Pastor Paul Kavalier. But is he on the right track? Paul discovers that the tune on the music box doesn't play until the end. A part is missing. Anna tells him the mysterious message, "In der Teilung liegt die Lösung; folge der Musik!" Paul gives her "die Spieldose" and tells her to go and see Pastor Markus Kavalier at the Gethsemanekirche. The player tells her that it was a meeting point for opponents of the former Communist regime.

Flash player is not installed

The player combines August 13, 1961, the day the Berlin Wall was built, and November 9, 1989 when it fell. The success of the mission depends on something to do with those dates. But what should Anna do? Paul and Anna take refuge in the department store KaDeWe where Anna does her game save. The player tells Anna that the Berlin Wall was built on August 13, 1961 and fell on November 9, 1989. Anna realises the key to the whole mission is the division of Berlin.

Flash player is not installed

Anna escapes from the Variety Theatre but the woman in red catches up with her at Paul Winkler's shop. She gets away again thanks to Heidrun Drei. Anna has one piece of the puzzle. How can she get the other? Ogur has tipped off Anna about the RATAVA time bandits. Back at the clock shop, Paul Winkler shows her the repaired music box. It plays a tune called "Nostalgie" by Friedrich August Dachfeg. "It's our tune", says Paul to Anna but she doesn't get it. Suddenly the lady in red shows up and opens fire. But Heidrun Drei arrives and gets into a scuffle with the woman in red to help Paul – and Anna – escape. Anna has two dates to go on: August 13, 1961 and November 9. But what year?

Flash player is not installed

Ogur, wounded in a gunfight with the woman in red, tells Anna about the sinister RATAVA outfit and their intention to change history. Before passing out, Inspector Ogur gives Anna a date. November 9. But what year? Ogur, who suspects that Anna is hiding somewhere in the theatre, tells her to flee. The woman in red appears and shoots Anna, who in turn, loses one more life. The game is re-started and Ogur tells Anna that RATAVA is a group of time terrorists who want to change history. Though Ogur is wounded, he gives her a clue in form of a date, November 9. But what year?

Flash player is not installed

Anna eludes the motorcycle gang by slipping into a Variety Theatre. There she meets Heidrun again and Inspector Ogur tells her that RATAVA is after her. That makes two enemies. But why do they want her? The player tells Anna to return to Paul Winkler's shop to get the music box back. On her way there she has to dodge the motorcycle gang by going into a Variety Theatre where she bumps into Heidrun Drei again. Inspector Ogur arrives to quiz Heidrun Drei about Anna's whereabouts. He senses that Anna is hiding in the theatre and warns her that RATAVA is on her trail. Then the woman in red arrives. What does she want from Anna?

Flash player is not installed

Anna bumps into another person who seems to know her. This time it's a woman who says they were friends in 1961. Anna is further baffled with the news that a woman in red is on her trail. Faces unfamiliar to Anna are emerging at every corner. And this time it's a woman. She says she and Anna were chums back in 1961 and she says she wants to help her again in her dangerous mission. Heidrun Drei also tells Anna to watch out for the woman in red who is after her. But how does Heidrun Drei know so much?

Flash player is not installed

Anna takes the music box to the clockmaker for repairs. But it's more than just a job for Paul Winkler. He tells Anna he knows her from way back. But how can this be? She's only just arrived. When the music box is opened up, it appears it is more than broken. Paul Winkler finds a piece of paper inside with the numbers 19610813 written on it. What do they mean? And what is Paul Winkler talking about? Anna asks him if he can repair the clock and he says that they know each other. In this bewildered state, Anna does her back up save and has 90 minutes and two lives left. She has followed the music as the phrase suggested but what does "division is the solution" mean?

Flash player is not installed

Anna arrives at her destination on Kantstraße but it's closed. She's told that the owner is in a café. They seem to know each other. Anna has 100 minutes left. Will she have enough time? Anna is thrown off completely when she finds the shop closed. Leo Winkler is dead. An organ player tells her that the new owner of the shop is Leo Winkler's son, Paul. He has his daily hot chocolate at a nearby café. She goes to the café and asks for a coffee ... Kaffee ... and there's a man with a silver violin pendant smiling at her. Ogur enters the cafe and tells Anna that her mission is dangerous ... gefährlich ... as is RATAVA. Intrigued, Anna hurries after the elderly man with the violin. But what's in his case?

Flash player is not installed

Anna heads off towards Kantstraße but is held up because she has to ask for directions. She loses more time when the men on motorcycles arrive and shoot at her. The mission has obstacles. When she asks children on roller skates for directions, the black helmets gun her down. After the game is re-started, she finally reaches Kantstraße. But will she find what she is looking for there?

Flash player is not installed

Anna starts to answer Ogur's questions but is interrupted by the sound of motorbikes and gunshots. She escapes to a museum where she discovers an address on her music box. Can it shed any light on her mission? Anna takes refuge in a museum. Worried that the police or the armed motorbikers are still pursuing her, she hides in the men's toilets. There she notices the address of a Leo Winkler on Kantstraße written on her music box. Is he still alive and can he help her?

Flash player is not installed

Anna's mission is to save Germany from a disaster. She has to keep the secret, solve the puzzle, and watch out for men on motorcycles. She's got 130 minutes. But where's her first clue? Anna wakes up in room 14 ... Zimmer vierzehn, in a hotel in Germany with a police superintendent ... Kommissar ... on his way to her room. Superintendent Ogur introduces himself and mentions the murder of a guest in room 40 ... Zimmer vierzig. On the bathroom mirror he notices the phrase, "In der Teilung liegt die Lösung; folge der Musik". Anna goes down to answer the superintendent's questions. But what does the phrase mean?

Flash player is not installed
(© 2017 DW.COM, Deutsche Welle)

German for beginners: Paula and Philipp are Radio D reporters who have several mysterious cases to investigate. [English Version]

To finish with, German students can test their listening comprehension once again with a little quiz. Eulalia and Compu present four listening exercises that need to be solved. Which words are missing? For the last episode, the team at Radio D have thought up something special. Eulalia presents a quiz where listeners have to guess certain words. Compu can give a few clues, but whoever has been paying close attention in the last 25 episodes will be able to work it out without any help. Correct answers can be sent in by email to bildung@dw-world.de. And after so much hard work the professor lets listeners off from further grammar exercises.

Flash player is not installed

Now it’s time once again to say goodbye: unfortunately Jan’s internship is coming to an end and Philipp and Paula are thinking about a letter of reference. Today Jan expresses his generosity. There is to be a small farewell party to mark Jan’s last day as an intern at Radio D. He surprises his colleagues with some drinks and snacks. But Paula and Philipp are still busy writing him a letter of reference. For this they need to find the right phrasing, because if Jan gets a good reference then he can maybe attend a journalism school. The professor is taking a look at the conjunctions “falls” and “wenn”, and explains conditional sentences to the listeners.

Flash player is not installed

This time Jan is visiting a school that offers an unusual idea for a German project. He asks the pupils why they are learning German on top of their mother tongue, and what they want to do later in life. Jan comes up with a report from a school that consists 80 percent of immigrants and presents them with an unusual German project. There he meets Vladimir, Yen-Lin and Gülseren who report about their experiences with two different languages and their difficulties in learning German. The professor goes easy on listeners this time and limits himself to a short grammar lesson. He explains temporal phrases with the conjunction “bevor”, which mark an event in the past.

Flash player is not installed

The excursion through Berlin ends for Paula, Philipp, Jan and Josefine with a relaxing and informative meal in the garden of the Tacheles Art House. There Josefine makes an interesting acquaintance. Marching around makes you hungry and the journalists from Radio D would like to eat something. Only after conferring can they eventually decide on a place. In Tacheles Josefine meets an artist who makes sculptures out of rubbish and from him she learns more about the history of Tacheles. The listeners, on the other hand, learn more about relative clauses and syntax from the helpful professor.

Flash player is not installed

This time in the Radio D studio Paula is looking at German reunification. She has invited several guests to discuss this matter together with her. Paula is hosting a discussion on the theme “East and West Germans”. She speaks to an east German car mechanic, a psychologist and an economy expert. Her questions to the guests today: are there still prejudices? And what would be a more positive perspective for East and West Germans? The professor also has some complex questions to tackle: he is shedding light on the subjunctive of “haben” and “sein” and the subjunctive construction with the verb form “würde”.

Flash player is not installed

In Berlin Paula, Philipp, Jan and Josefine visit the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate and the wall path, which shows where the Berlin Wall stood. Radio D presents a radio play about the construction of the wall. On the evening of 13th August, 1961, the GDR national police begins erecting a wall along the border with West Berlin. A married couple whose house lies directly on the border spontaneously decides to flee. In the West the fire brigade is waiting and they catch all the people who jump out of the windows. In today’s grammar lesson we have the indefinite article “ein” and the indefinite pronoun “eins”. The professor draws your attention to several hazards that one must watch out for in these situations.

Flash player is not installed

Paula and Philipp are busying themselves in Berlin with the art project “United Buddy Bears” that is being organized by artists from 120 different countries. An interview should reveal more details about the project. Back in Berlin Paula and Philipp go on an excursion through the capital with Josefine and Jan. Josefine is most fascinated by a very special art project: 120 big plastic bear statues are going on a world tour as a symbol for tolerance. The journalists question the press spokeswoman of the company and learn more about the colorful bears. While the others amuse themselves in Berlin, the professor has work to do: he is explaining adjective endings that come before the substantive. Not an easy business.

Flash player is not installed

At the end of their stay in Jena, the two reporters visit a particularly fascinating museum. In the House of the Romantics they make the acquaintance of several famous German thinkers of the 18th century. The House of the Romantics in Jena is devoted to early Romanticism. Here visitors can learn more about the new ways of thinking of the era and learn about the attempt at an intellectual and poetic revolution. The two journalists from Radio D take the listeners with them on a foray through the museum and introduce them to Fichte, Novalis and the salon of Caroline Schlegel. With so much going on at the same time it stands to reason that the professor should explain the conjunctions “als” and “wenn”, which can be used to describe simultaneous events.

Flash player is not installed

In the 18th century Jena attracted numerous great thinkers from various other towns. Among them was the famous writer Friedrich Schiller. Philipp and Paula present a radio play about his first lecture in Jena. In this episode listeners learn a bit about Schiller and Goethe and can plunge into 18th century Jena. Here Schiller gave his first lecture at the age of 29. Over 500 students came to this event. Due to the huge surge in listeners, a new venue for the lecture had to be found at the last minute. The professor brings listeners back from the past to the future and looks this time at the verb “werden” which indicates a future event.

Flash player is not installed

The mystery of the secret laser beams is almost solved. But Paula and Philipp have little reason to be happy. The whole story is already in the newspaper. Where did their rivals get all the information from? Bad news for Paula and Philipp: there is already a detailed report about the origin of the lasers in the newspaper. That just leaves the question of why the entrance to the optics plant wasn’t better guarded. The two journalists set off on their way there. Once there, they hope to find a press conference and a statement by the press spokesperson. Who was it who actually spoke here? On the occasion of all this confusion, the professor asks this question and looks at direct and indirect speech.

Flash player is not installed

Paula and Philipp have come a step closer to solving the mystery. They now know where the laser beams are coming from. But Eulalia has not returned from her reconnaissance flight. What could this mean? After Paula and Philipp have located the laser beams, they inform the optics plant so that the case can finally be solved. But they are most concerned by the disappearance of Eulalia. The two journalists have heard a suspicious cry. Has something happened to Eulalia? After so much tension the listeners can take a breather with some grammar. The professor deals with the possessive pronouns of the third person singular “sein” and “ihr”.

Flash player is not installed

The two journalists from Radio D don’t get any further with their own investigations. Then, just at the right moment, Eulalia surprisingly pops up in Jena. Maybe she can save Paula and Philipp some work. Paula and Philipp can’t get into the optics plant and the building is very high. That’s where Eulalia comes in helpful since she can observe from the air where the laboratories of the plant are located. And the clever owl does indeed make an interesting discovery. But then something unforeseen happens. The professor is also totally confused by all this commotion so in this episode he takes the example of the reflexive verb “konzentrieren”. This presents a good opportunity to take a closer look at reflexive pronouns.

Flash player is not installed

Philipp and Paula have a first suspicion and want to take a look at what the laser experts are doing in the “optic town” Jena. And they already have an idea where they could get some information. In the optics plant Philipp and Paula want to investigate a lead. An interview at the site should answer their first questions. But the press spokesperson doesn’t want to give them any information at all and sends Paula and Philipp away. The reporters investigate on their own initiative and become witnesses of secret events. The professor proves that he is more talkative than the press spokesperson by dealing with everyday speech, in particular abbreviated phrases in the spoken language.

Flash player is not installed

As soon as they arrive in Jena, Paula and Philipp of course want to get to the bottom of the mysterious laser attacks. Soon after, there is already another occurrence. What is going on? On the way to the hotel, the two reporters from Radio D use the opportunity to ask the taxi driver about the mysterious occurrences in the town. They come across a sudden warning: someone is going around and destroying car mirrors with laser beams. Are these attacks connected to the laser congress that is currently being held in Jena? The grammar situation looks rather more harmless. The professor explains the prepositions “mit”, “zu” and “in”, which take the dative.

Flash player is not installed

Philipp’s car is broken so the two journalists from Radio D have to travel to the site of their next investigation by train. Some very strange occurrences are taking place there. A clear case for Paula and Philipp. Just as Philipp has finished taking his car to be repaired, a new investigation is already waiting. In Jena someone is causing trouble with laser beams. Paula and Philipp need to shine a light on the matter. So they go by train to the site of the occurrences. But as is so often the case, not everything happens as it should. The professor uses this as an excuse to look at the modal verb “sollen” and explains its meaning in a statement or question phrase.

Flash player is not installed

The professor takes up the listeners’ questions about the episodes so far. With the help of several audio samples he shows the listeners that they can already understand a lot without knowing every word that is said. The main focus of the mail from listeners this time is strategies for better understanding of the spoken language. The professor answers the learners’ questions again and gives useful tips on listening comprehension and vocabulary learning. Among the things he presents are loudspeaker announcements, phone calls, and radio announcements. The listeners learn how you can order what is said based on intonation, known words and background sounds and guess unknown words from the context.

Flash player is not installed

At the age of 22, Ludwig van Beethoven composed the world famous “Ode to Joy” that is now the anthem of the European Union. An audio play leads the listeners out of the Beethoven house and straight into the 18th century. Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most famous citizens of the town of Bonn. Paula and Philipp present an audio play about the composition of his well-known 9th Symphony and the greatest stroke of fate in the life of the famous composer: the loss of his hearing. When someone doesn’t understand something, it makes sense to repeat what was said. The professor deals with indirect speech in subordinate clauses with the conjunction “dass”.

Flash player is not installed

The two journalists from Radio D are still puzzling over whether the music students are right with their suspicions. But Eulalia is again one step ahead of them. She too has made a night-time discovery. Eulalia surprisingly appears in Bonn and comes to the aid of Paula and Philipp once again. She has already seen the unknown pianist and knows where the music is coming from. The reporters from Radio D follow Eulalia’s advice to conduct an interview with the “young Beethoven.” But will they manage to find the musician? Even though Paula and Philipp have still not succeeded in finding out the explanation for the strange piano concerts, our professor can show us how to go about conquering something as he tackles subordinate clauses.

Flash player is not installed

Philipp and Paula want to find out who is playing the piano so beautifully in the Beethoven House each night. In a street cafe they find out some interesting things. Have they got a hot lead or is it just rumors? After a short night Paula and Philipp are sitting in a street cafe when they overhear an interesting conversation. Three music students seem to have a suspicion about who the night-time pianist could be. Paula and Philipp learn of an especially gifted and mysterious music student who everyone calls “Beethoven”. While Philipp and Paula wonder who the passionate pianist in the Beethoven House is, our professor passionately devotes his time to indirect question phrases without an interrogative.

Flash player is not installed

Jan begins his first day as an intern at Radio D. But Paula and Philipp hardly have time to take care of him because Compu has a new case for them. The reporters have to rush off to Bonn. Just as Jan has got to know all his colleagues in the editorial office, the first investigation is already underway. Paula and Philipp have to rush head over heals to Bonn. In the birth house of the composer Beethoven strange things have been happening at night. On the site they both set about getting to the bottom of it. Less mysterious than the events in the Beethoven House is word order in indirect questions, which the professor is taking a closer look at today.

Flash player is not installed

“Use your head to save your legs”, goes the expression. But sometimes that’s not enough. Eulalia tells listeners an interesting story, because she too knows of an unusual race. Story time on Radio D: like in Grünheide, it went similarly for the hedgehog who challenged the hare with much bigger legs to a race. Together with his wife he wanted to teach the hare a lesson about what such pride leads to. Most of the story is told in the preterit form. For the professor it therefore offers another good reason to investigate the past tense forms of verbs -- this time also the irregular verbs which present a few hazards.

Flash player is not installed

In Grünheide strange things are happening. How can it be that the Trabbi reached its goal before the fast Porsche? In Jan, Paula has a quick-minded companion who knows where the mystery’s solution lies. Thanks to Jan Backer, Paula makes an interesting discovery on the way to Möllensee. Something doesn’t quite seem right about this race. Paula is on the trace of the Trabant driver’s trick. And what does Philipp know? He seems to have fallen for the Trabant driver Günther’s trick. Only the professor can never be fooled. This time there are more preterit forms on the program and the irregular verbs “haben” and “sein” are no problem for him either.

Flash player is not installed

In the bar in Grünheide a young man suddenly appears who Paula takes along to the finishing line of the race in Möllensee. What does the stranger know about the unusual race and what links him to Radio D? As Philipp’s car won’t start, Jan Becker, who Paula met shortly before in the bar, comes unexpectedly to their aid. While Philipp stays in Grünheide, Paula drives with Jan to Möllensee. That is where the race is supposed to finish. On the way Paula learns something about the stranger that she really should have known already … The Professor also looks to the past and examines the preterit forms of the modal verbs “müssen” and “wollen”.

Flash player is not installed

In the bar in Grünheide Paula and Philipp begin to ask around. The villagers are all convinced that the Trabbi will win the race against the Porsche. But Philipp sees it very differently. In order to find out what is going on with the race in Grünheide, Paula and Philipp take to the local bar. There they hope to get some useful information from the regulars’ table. But they keep on hearing the same stories. After a couple of beers, Philipp gets himself into a risky bet with the locals. The professor is still concentrating on the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives, especially with the umlaut accents on some of the adjectives and the different forms of the superlative.

Flash player is not installed

Paula and Philipp’s next assignment takes them to a small village in Brandenburg. A very special kind of race is supposed to take place here. Of course the two reporters from Radio D could not miss out on that. An unusual race draws Paula and Philipp to the countryside. Initially it doesn’t seem like much is going on. But once they arrive in Grünheide in Brandenburg it becomes very interesting. Lots of people are bustling towards the local bar. The driver of a Trabant, a popular East German car, claims his car goes faster than a Porsche. For the professor the race is a good opportunity to take another close look at comparative and superlative forms of adjectives. Which car is fast, which is faster than the other, and which is the fastest altogether?

Flash player is not installed

All listeners who are joining in for the second part of Radio D still have the opportunity in this first lesson to get to know the completely normal chaos of the office. There is some excitement in the Radio D editorial office: The editors Philipp and Paula, the cleaner Josefine, the owl Eulalia and the computer Compu receive an email from their former colleague Ayhan. Since Ayhan left Berlin to look after his father, Paula has had the blues. Philipp, on the other hand, seems to be in a very good mood. And the professor, who’s always willing to listen to the listeners’ questions, also gives some important tips for listening comprehension for newcomers in Part 2 of the series.

Flash player is not installed

It's a sad day in the Radio D office. Ayhan is saying goodbye and moving back to Turkey. Although his co-workers have prepared a surprise for him, the farewell party can't lift the blue mood. Paula comes to work in the morning to find everyone is preparing for a party. But she doesn't like the occasion at all: Ayhan is leaving Radio D and going back to Turkey to help his father. To say goodbye, his co-workers have prepared a little speech and a gift to remind him of his friend Eulalia. In honor of the farewell party, the professor leaves out the grammar portion. But he still manages to get in a few words about noun compounds.

Flash player is not installed

The journalists try to understand the term "getürkt" and visit an unusual port where every ship is greeted in a particular way. At Port Willkomm-Höft, each ship is greeted with the national anthem of the country whose flag it's flying under. In their radio play, Paula and Philipp examine the origins of this tradition -- which may be associated with the meaning of the word "getürkt." Meanwhile, Ayhan kills time at the office by reading a book about owls. Since Eulalia can't read, Ayhan reads to her. This episode focuses on verb prefixes and the ways a verb's meaning can change when its prefix is altered.

Flash player is not installed

Eulalia the owl helps get Paula and Philipp on the right track. They discover that their co-workers from the Hamburg newspaper are in on the game. Paula, Philipp and Eulalia find out that the Hamburg newspaper thought up the shark in the port basin and staged the whole thing in order to sell more copies. Later, Philipp and Paula get in a fight over the use of a particular word. Philipp hopes that his invitation to Port Willkomm-Höft will calm Paula down. If Philipp had paid closer attention to his word choice, Paula wouldn't have gotten upset with him. A verb prefix may be short, but it can alter the whole meaning of the word. It's also important to note that some verb prefixes are separated from the infinitive.

Flash player is not installed

Paula and Philipp solve the mystery of the shark sighting and once again uncover a fraud. However, the reason for the staged incident is unclear at first. While looking for the missing surfer, Paula and Philipp meet a diver and discover a clue. With a shark fin on his back, the diver had scared half of Hamburg. But why? Meanwhile, Eulalia has shown up in Hamburg ready to help. She's made a discovery, too. Eulalia just found a clue that might help Paula and Philipp -- a perfect opportunity to use the perfect tense. Pay close attention to forming the past participle.

Flash player is not installed

Philipp and Paula search for traces of the shark and make a peculiar discovery. A surfboard without a surfer in the port basin and a confusing newspaper article peak their interest. Away from the chaos of the crowd, the two journalists investigate the shark sighting. When they find a broken surfboard, they start to fear the worst. Then, in a Hamburg newspaper, they see a picture of the shark -- and their co-workers Laura and Paul with a look of fear on their faces. But how does all that fit together? This episode emphasizes the pronouns "sie" and "er," which can also be used to refer to feminine or masculine nouns, respectively, that have already been mentioned.

Flash player is not installed

When the temperature in the Radio D office becomes unbearable, Paula and Philipp are glad to get an assignment that takes them to the coast, where a shark has been spotted in the port basin. Paula, Philipp and Ayhan don't have it easy. The heat in the office is insufferable and they don't even have a fan. Paula wishes she could go to the sea and, fortunately, Compu is able to make this possible. The journalists have to go to Hamburg because a shark has allegedly been sighted at the port. Due to the crowd of people who have already turned out to catch a glimpse of the big fish, Paula and Philipp can't get through. Things also get complicated for the professor, who is tackling the accusative ending of masculine articles. The negative "kein" follows the same pattern of endings.

Flash player is not installed

Paula and Philipp ask the listeners for their opinion. The topic of the program is, "Is lying a sin?" The listeners can express their thoughts on the fake crop circles and the farmers' behavior. "Is lying a sin?" Paula and Philipp ask the listeners. The question is spurred by the events in the corn fields, which the two journalists reported on. Are the farmers' actions reprehensible, or is it the tourists' own fault for being so gullible? The listeners are unambiguous in their response. Unlike the journalists, who ask the listeners a "yes" or "no" question, the professor presents a task with three possibilities. German nouns can have one of three genders: masculine, feminine or neutral. This is explained in this episode in conjunction with the articles "der," "die" and "das."

Flash player is not installed

Although the crop circles were made by the farmers, Eulalia still believes that UFOs exist. Philipp and Paula's investigation into the fraud takes them to the local pub, where they talk with the villagers. Paula and Philipp have solved the mystery of the crop circles, but they're still not sure if UFOs exist or not. And what does U-F-O mean anyway? Eulalia insists that she has seen one. Finally, the journalists ask the guests in a village pub what they think about the fake crop circles. The pub visit is a good opportunity to introduce the past tense, especially with the irregular verb "sein" (to be). The modal verb "können" (to be able to) is also reviewed in this episode. Pay close attention to vowel changes when conjugating the verb.

Flash player is not installed

Paula and Philipp want to get to the bottom of the crop circles and go at night to investigate. But what they find doesn't appear to be the work of aliens. The owner of the field with the mysterious circles is charging tourists 5 euros to take pictures of it. Meanwhile, Philipp and Paula camp out in the forest at night to wait for UFOs. Instead, two men turn up with a machine. Did they make the crop circles to attract tourists? In the end, a UFO does seem to turn up, which adds more confusion to the mix. The versatile verb "machen" is less confusing than the events in the corn field. In this episode, the professor shows you numerous ways to use the word.

Flash player is not installed

When mysterious circles are discovered in a corn field, Paula and Philipp go to investigate. Did a UFO land here, or is somebody trying to pull a prank? As Ayhan arrives at the Radio D office, Paula and Philipp are rushing out. Enigmatic circles have been discovered in a corn field and no one can explain how they got there. The two journalists aren't the only ones interested in the unusual attraction; many tourists come to check it out as well. The residents of the village soon find ways to profit from the mysterious event. In the turmoil, many people with different interests come together. The tourists want to satisfy their curiosity, the journalists want to solve the mystery and the farmers apparently want to make money. Take a closer look at modal verbs in this episode.

Flash player is not installed

Both journalists are fascinated with Icarus, the tragic hero from Greek mythology. But do the listeners know who Icarus was? Paula and Philipp tell his story. Seeing a little boy in an Icarus costume gives Paula and Philipp an idea: They decide to present the Greek saga in one of their radio plays. The story is about a youth who doesn't heed the advice of his father Dädalus and falls while trying to fly. He can't resist the temptation to get close to the sun, but he gets so close that the wax in his wings starts to melt. "Don't fly too high, don't fly too low," Dädalus tells his son Icarus. The imperative, which is covered in this episode, can be used to make a request, a demand, a warning or an order. If Icarus had listened to his father's warning, maybe he wouldn't have fallen.

Flash player is not installed

From the streets, Paula and Philipp report on Carnival once again. They discover different kinds of costumes and even learn a few German dialects along the way. Back in the office, Paula takes revenge on Ayhan -- ironically by means of a Carnival custom. Then, amidst the celebration in the streets, Philipp and Paula report on the original costumes they see. They come across Papageno from Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" and Icarus, a hero from Greek mythology. Philipp and Paula meet people from different regions in Germany, who speak in their local dialects. Click on the link below to open DW-WORLD.DE's Dialect Atlas.

Flash player is not installed

Despite difficulties, Philipp manages to report safely from the Black Forest and gets into the Carnival spirit himself. Paula, on the other hand, has some problems with the customs. Philipp enjoys the Carnival atmosphere, while Paula finds it chaotic. Not only does she search for Philipp, she also has to find his stolen car. Masquerade games make this task a bit more difficult for her. Even Ayhan plays a dirty trick on poor Paula. The functions of the verb "sein" (to be) are just as diverse as the costumes you see at a Carnival party. In this episode, you will take a look at various verb compliments.

Flash player is not installed

Not everyone at Radio D is excited about Carnival. Compu's assignment takes the two journalists to the Black Forest, where the Carnival spirit is strong. In certain regions of Germany, Carnival is celebrated with gusto. In the Radio D office, the traditional party causes a rift. Paula can't share Philipp's enthusiasm and she thinks his witch costume is ridiculous. To Philipp's delight, their investigation takes them to the Black Forest, where people in witch costumes are stealing cars in the midst of the Carnival madness. The journalists try to do a live program, but to no avail. The witches drag Philipp out of the car and kidnap him. Word order in German is somewhat less chaotic than Carnival. This episode focuses on the position of the subject and the predicate.

Flash player is not installed

If there's something you don't understand, it's always good to ask. The professor answers the questions about past episodes that Radio D listeners have sent in. The listeners ask and the professor answers, getting to the root of every question. It's a good opportunity for the listeners to review information, expand their knowledge, or just ask something they always wanted to know. Listen for these question from the listeners -- and the professor's answers to each of them: Which address is suitable for which situation? When can I use "du" or "Sie"? How do I introduce myself? When do I know when to use first or last names? What do modal particles like "denn," "doch," and "eigentlich" mean? What is the difference between "nicht" and "nichts"?

Flash player is not installed

Where does the name Eulalia come from? Compu, Ayhan and Josefine look into the meaning and come up with several different answers. A Spanish co-worker helps them out. Eulalia the owl wants to know what her name means. The team in the Radio D office goes to work and finds out that the name comes from the Greek. Carlos from the Spanish department has interesting information on the topic: He knows a saint with the same name. Yet again, the team has plenty of questions to answer. In this episode you will hear questions posed with and without question words. Intonation is particularly important.

Flash player is not installed

Philipp meets the actor playing the role of King Ludwig in the musical and asks him to do an interview. Suddenly he recognizes the man's voice. Meanwhile, an unexpected visitor turns up at the Radio D office. At Neuschwanstein Castle, Philipp manages to solve the pretender's identity, even without Paula's help: it's the actor from the King Ludwig musical. Philipp uses the opportunity to conduct an interview with the man. When he returns to the Radio D office in Berlin, he is surprised to find a talking owl there. This episode holds many surprises for Philipp. You will hear him say "Das glaube ich nicht" (I don't believe it) and "Das weiß ich nicht" (I don't know) several times. This is a chance to take a closer look at the negation "nicht."

Flash player is not installed

Philipp also finds a clue to the stranger's identity. He sees an ad in the newspaper for a musical about King Ludwig. On the way there, he interviews tourists visiting from all over the world. While Paula sits in her office in Berlin, Philipp is running around Munich. He doesn't know anything about Paula's discoveries, but is on the right track himself. A newspaper ad for a musical about King Ludwig sparks his interest. In the bus on the way there, he speaks with tourists about their expectations for the musical. Practice your listening comprehension in this episode. In the bus, you will hear many languages being spoken. Try to recognize the German words. The negation "nichts" and its position after the verb will also be introduced.

Flash player is not installed

At Neuschwanstein Castle, Paula and Philipp question the would-be King Ludwig. Paula stumbles on an interesting discovery and finds a clue as to who the mysterious stranger really is. The two journalists talk the allegedly resurrected King Ludwig into doing a live interview. His real identity remains a mystery, however. When Paula returns to the office, she sees a television commercial that tips her off. The voice in the ad sounds strangely familiar. You can't express preferences without saying what or whom you like. The verb "lieben" takes an accusative object. In this episode you will be introduced to the accusative case.

Flash player is not installed

Paula and Philipp introduce King Ludwig to their listeners in the radio play. Night-time sledding, wild parties and strange inventions make for a first impression of Ludwig and his time. The two journalists take their listeners back in time to the 19th century. They get to know the fantastical King Ludwig, his love of nature and Richard Wagner's music and his connection to his cousin, the legendary Empress Sissi. Everyone is amazed by an original table that Ludwig himself had invented. This episode is all about King Ludwig's preferences, which lends itself to learning the verb "lieben" (to love). The same endings apply to the verb "kommen" (to come), which you will also hear.

Flash player is not installed

In Neuschwanstein Castle, Paula and Philipp meet a secretive stranger who is wearing King Ludwig's cloak. They do some research on the mysterious circumstances surrounding Ludwig's death. A man with King Ludwig's majestic cloak around his shoulders wants to make Paula and Philipp believe that he is the late monarch. How did Ludwig actually die? The two journalists create a radio play to illuminate for their listeners the various theories on King Ludwig's unresolved death at Lake Starnberg. No one knows for sure if it was murder or suicide. The meeting with the mysterious man is an opportunity to hear the customary differences when speaking with a friend or a stranger. Listen for the formal "Sie" and the informal "du." The infinitive of the verb "sein" (to be) is.

Flash player is not installed

Paula and Ayhan welcome their new co-worker to Radio D. They already have a pressing assignment: The late King Ludwig of Bavaria is supposedly still alive and the teams wants to investigate. Philipp meets his new co-workers Paula and Ayhan, as well as the eccentric Josefine, who is responsible for order in the office. There's not much time, though, since Philipp and Ayhan already have their first story. It is rumored that the legendary King Ludwig II of Bavaria is alive, even though he was supposed to have died under mysterious circumstances in 1886. The two journalists go to Neuschwanstein Castle to investigate and make a spooky acquaintance. Mysterious matters raise plenty of questions. In this episode, you can take a closer look at question words and responses.

Flash player is not installed

The editorial staff at Radio D is waiting for Philipp. Paula and Ayhan, his future co-workers, are killing time. But there's no sign of Philipp and the telephone lines are down. Due to bad weather, Philipp is very late. He tries to call Paula to let her know, but he cannot reach her. Paula and Ayhan finally leave the office. A call from Philipp's mother only adds to the confusion. Philipp apologizes for the delay. In this episode, you will hear various forms of apology and excuse.

Flash player is not installed

Philipp heads for Berlin. Due to the unfriendly weather, getting there is easier said than done. Along the way, Philipp makes a few acquaintances. Philipp drives to Munich, where he is planning to catch a flight to Berlin. Thanks to a heavy rainstorm, the trip takes longer than expected. In this episode, the Radio D staff, Philipp and his mother introduce themselves more thoroughly. You will hear both formal and informal introductions.

Flash player is not installed
(© 2017 DW.COM, Deutsche Welle)

Learn German

Jugendliche vor dem Computer

Deutsche Welle offers you up-to-date reports that are easy to understand and are supplemented with vocabulary lists. [in German]

Mittlerweile ist es normal, im Alltag ständig das Smartphone zu benutzen. Die Nutzung wird allerdings ungesund, wenn die Medien zur Sucht werden. Darum ist es wichtig, immer wieder mal Zeit offline zu verbringen.

Flash player is not installed

Drei deutsche Bundesländer haben 2017 neue Landtage gewählt, zuletzt Nordrhein-Westfalen. In allen drei Ländern hat die SPD Stimmen verloren und die CDU gewonnen. Das wird auch als Zeichen für die Bundestagswahl gesehen.

Flash player is not installed

In Deutschland werden täglich zu viele Lebensmittel in den Müll geworfen, die man eigentlich noch essen könnte. Gegen diese Verschwendung hat ein Start-up-Unternehmen eine App entwickelt.

Flash player is not installed

Emmanuel Macron hat am 7. Mai 2017 die Präsidentschaftswahl in Frankreich gewonnen. Zwei Drittel der Wähler haben sich für ihn und seine Europa-Politik entschieden.

Flash player is not installed

50.000 Männer wurden in der Bundesrepublik wegen ihrer Homosexualität verurteilt. Erst 1994 wurde der Paragraf 175 abgeschafft. Mehr als 20 Jahre später sollen die Männer jetzt von der Regierung entschädigt werden.

Flash player is not installed
(© 2017 DW.COM, Deutsche Welle)