I first became a fan of Annik Rubens a few years ago when I discovered her Schlaflos in München (SiM, Sleepless in Munich) podcast, which, as I write this, is now on episode 506. I wrote about her unique podcasts in German — and others — in 2005, when I was still the Guide for German at About.com (“Listening to Podcasts in German“). Since then she was on hiatus from “Schlaflos” for a while, and I lost contact with her podcast. But now she’s back — and has added a special podcast for people who may not be able to keep up with SiM (in regular German). Logically and simply titled “Slow German,” this newer podcast by Rubens is designed for people who want to improve their German skills, particularly listening.
Her latest podcast (Dec. 22) is about Weihnachten (Christmas). Each of her episodes offers both the audio and the printed text of what she is saying (at the website or on your iPod/iPhone). Here’s an excerpt from Slow German #041 (“Weihnachten”): “…dann ist Weihnachten. Wir feiern schon am 24. Dezember. In meiner Familie beginnt der Tag nach einem schönen Frühstück und Mittagessen damit, dass wir den Tannenbaum von draußen hereinholen, ihn in der Wohnung aufstellen und gemeinsam schmücken. Das macht aber jede Familie anders. Dann ziehen wir uns festlich an, versammeln uns wenn es dunkel ist um den schönen Baum, hören Weihnachtsmusik und zünden die Kerzen an. Und dann ist die Bescherung.”
If you need help with vocabulary, the website offers a unique feature: Double click on any German word and a pop-up shows the English translation. You can hear the entire podcast, and others, at her SlowGerman.com site. As with most podcasts, iTunes is one of the best places to find podcasts in or about German, including Slow German. Fröhliche Weihnachten! Merry Christmas and happy listening!