Welcome to this first episode of Coffee Break German, our new German course for beginners. In weekly episodes you’ll join native speaker Thomas who’ll be teaching learner Mark in gradual, structured lessons. Our “Cultural Correspondent” Julia and our “Grammar Guru” Kirsten will also join us in each episode to share their knowledge and love of all things German.

Coming up in this lesson…

In this first lesson, Thomas introduces us to the German language, and you’ll learn some useful words and phrases:

  • how to say “hello” and “goodbye”;
  • how to say “how are you?” and how to answer this question;
  • the words for “yes” and “no”, and other useful German words which will come in handy every day.

You’ll also meet the other members of the Coffee Break German team: learner Mark is more used to teaching French and Spanish in Coffee Break French and Coffee Break Spanish; Kirsten, our Grammar Guru and self-confessed grammar geek, will be bringing us regular explanations of the trickier aspects of the German language; and Julia, our Cultural Correspondent, will provide the inside knowledge on all things German, Swiss and Austrian.

Listen to the lesson

This audio lesson is free, as are all the main audio lessons of Coffee Break German. In addition we do offer a members’ version of the course which includes video flashcards, lesson notes and bonus audio materials.

Use the audio players below to listen to the lesson, or subscribe in iTunes to receive this lesson and all future lessons automatically.

Accessing the Premium Version

The premium version of Coffee Break German provides additional materials which will help you move forward more effectively with your German studies. The premium version includes the following elements:

  • Video flashcards: listen to each lesson and see the words and phrases covered in the lesson displayed on the screen of your computer, phone or tablet (mp4 format);
  • Bonus audio materials: use our review lessons to practise the language covered in the main lesson, and to pick up some useful bonus vocabulary;
  • Comprehensive lesson notes: study the language of each lesson in greater detail and access additional information about the German language.

Learn more about Coffee Break German Season 1

The members’ version can be accessed through our membership system. You can purchase the course using the links below. Think of this as a “Season Pass”.

Coffee Break German Study Packs for the iPad

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 19.24.02Coffee Break German Study Packs are now available on the iBookstore. These books feature the audio, video and text of the members’ materials in a handy iBooks version. The Study Packs are published in groups of five lessons and are published normally 2-3 weeks after the lessons are published on our site. To see which Study Packs are currently available, please visit Coffee Break German on the iBookstore.

Subscribe links

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    34 replies to "Lesson 01 – Coffee Break German"

    • marcottantotto

      YAY! 😀

    • mim

      lets take it syllable by syllable. LOL

    • Alexandra

      Hello, guys 🙂

      You are great! But, please, don’t forget to leave enough time for us – listeners, to repeat after Tomas. Like you did in CBS with Cara…

      Waiting for the next lesson!

    • Janice

      Danke, Mark and Thomas, for the inaugural Coffee Break German lesson. It’s quote exciting to be learning from a native speaker. If I may make a suggestion, for me, at least, it would be helpful to have a pause for repeating in which I can hear only my voice echoing Tomas. It’s a bit hard to critique my pronunciation over Mark’s voice or Thomas’s.

      But that’s a small quibble. This is going to be so much fun! Can’t wait for the premium materials.

    • Mark Pentleton Mark Pentleton

      Thanks so much for your early reviews of the lessons. One of the best things about creating a course like this is that we can take your feedback on board immediately. We thought we had left enough time for listeners to repeat the words after the final time Thomas says each word, but from your comments it looks like we’ve not done this. We’ll look at this for lesson 2 and will do our best to ensure that there’s enough time to repeat. I’m delighted to be learning with you!

    • Al Dorman

      Keep em comin, Mark.
      Hopefully some day we’ll see Coffee Break Basque and every other obscure language of the world!

    • Maryann Biady

      Loved it! Had forgotten so much from schooldays but can feel it coming back already.. Have done Coffebreak French and Spanish but would love to see Coffebreak Italian one day, which I have never studied.

    • marcottantotto

      …but ausgezeichnet is way too hard 😉

    • Badr Alotaibi


      I’m from Saudi Arabia,
      (my dad speaks perfect German as he studied in Germany)

      I think it’s so nice,

      but I’m sad, thought that all lessons will be available on 23rd of Jan 2013,

      As my plan was to buy everything at once all 40 lessons, as I’m so happy with coffeebreak french, all levels.

      I don’t know whether all lessons are already recorded or will as a matter of fact be recorded

      I still LOVE RadioLinua, confused 🙁 want to do more than one lesson per day as beginners level is not so hard.

      Help 🙁


      • Radio Lingua Radio Lingua

        Hi, Badr.

        Thanks for your comments. As with all our courses when they are first released, the lessons are published over a period of time. We have recorded many parts of the lessons, but as you can see from the comments above, we constantly enhanced the future lessons, sometimes even changing explanations or editing the audio episodes to improve them, based on the feedback of our listeners. Very few off-the-shelf language courses can take on the feedback of listeners as they develop, and this is an aspect of our course that we very much value.

        We hope this helps to explain where we’re coming from.

        Best wishes,

        Radio Lingua

    • Badr Alotaibi

      Hi Mark, I LOVE your shows,

      OK 🙂

      I will join as member for Level 1 A & B.

      I was waiting for Coffeebreak German everyday, even while working 😉

      best regards

      I’m happy now 🙂

    • Badr Alotaibi


      member now

      danke schoen Mark

    • Badr Alotaibi

      Hi guys,

      Well done as usual, especially the bonus audio,

      great linguistic analysis and close looking at the language,

      I think it worth every penny, and everyone should consider buying this material.

      • Radio Lingua Radio Lingua

        Thanks, Badr. We’re delighted that you’ve found the members’ materials useful already. Best wishes with your continued learning.

    • GermanLearner69

      Critical feedback: Thomas seems kind of stiff and humorless (and speaks way too fast – it isn’t him teach us so much as Mark asking the right questions for learners). Come on dude! We’re all beginners here! 😛

      Julia and Kristen, but contrast, sound vibrant (probably because they “get” the Radio Lingua spirit). 🙂

      Overall, the lesson was ausgezeichnet!

    • Dan

      Very good start to the new series! Really looking forward to learning more German with Mark and the team very soon! I agree with GermanLearner 69 that it would be good if Thomas took on a proper teaching role, giving Mark chance to be a ‘genuine’ learner, but very impressive start and another wonderful collection to the flagship coffee break courses! Well done to everybody on the team and please keep up the hard work!

    • Radio Lingua Radio Lingua

      Thanks for your feedback. As Mark has lots of experience teaching languages he is likely to ‘lead’ the lessons, particularly at this early stage. As an ‘expert learner’ hopefully Mark will ask the questions which learners have in their minds as they listen. We’re sure that as the lessons progress you’ll notice that Thomas becomes more comfortable in his role too!

    • Jaime Valles

      Only one word for the first episode ‘ausgezeichnet’! But no Grüß Gott? I Hope that comes later!

      I really enjoyed the authenticity of listening to a native German speaker. I thought Thomas did a very good job. The podcast is, however, very different in feel to coffee break Spanish. Obviously, there is going to be more reliance on native speakers which may, initially, prove more demanding.

      It will be very interesting to see how the series progresses. I hope the podcast will, however, will give a really good flavour as to the diversity of German language and Culture.

      I would be very interested to know from Mark as to what he considers to be strengths of this particular course over those already on line. Deutsche Welle springs to mind.

      • Radio Lingua Radio Lingua

        Thanks for your feedback, Jaime. Coffee Break German will have a different feel from CBS and CBF, not least because we’ve moved on since we first released our French and Spanish courses, and we want to make Coffee Break German a team effort. Crucially, we wanted to introduce cultural and grammatical aspects, but we felt that these were best done in ‘mini segments’ in each lesson. With regard to other courses available online, of course there are many very successful and well produced shows. We feel that with Coffee Break German we’re providing a very friendly, accessible and structured course which will help listeners to make real progress, building on the foundations laid down in early lessons.

    • Wendell Grogan

      Enjoyed the first episode. I used to know a fair amount of German many years ago, but its all gotten very rusty. I’m going on a Rhine River cruise this summer, so this course comes at just the right time for me!
      I’ve enjoyed the other coffee break courses and am really looking forward to CBG!
      I would like to endorse the request CB Italian at some point also.

    • Bert

      Delighted that the Coffee Break German has started, and (for a change) I’m in on the ground floor. But can you give us an idea of how long it will take CBG to join it’s French and Spanish predecessors on Kindle?

      • Radio Lingua

        Since our Kindle (and iBooks) content is published in groups of five lessons, these “study packs” will be submitted to the respective stores on or near the release of the fifth lesson. Following of from there, the next pack will be submitted around the time of the tenth lesson being published, and so on. The time it takes for the lessons to become available for the devices will depend very much on the approval process which can unfortunately be lengthy. Hope that helps.

    • Axel

      I really enjoyed Coffee Break Spanish and I’m a native german speaker, so I decided to listens to Coffee Break German just for fun. Well, I’m not impressed. In my opinion there are two problems with Thomas in regard to learning german as a foreign language:

      – First there’s his southern accent. It like trying to learn english from someone from Texas or spanish from a person from Catalonia. It would have been better to choose a person speaking a less accented german.

      – Then there’s the choice of word he’s trying to teach. “Tschüss” or “Wie geht’s?” are *VERY* informal words that you definitely don’t want to use when talking to a complete stranger, esp. not if your conversation partner is more of an older person. “Wie geht’s?” is much more leaning towards “What’s up, buddy?” then it is to “How are you?”

      Anyway, I think it’s great to have another Coffeee Break language course. Keep up the good work!

      • Radio Lingua Radio Lingua

        Thanks for your feedback, Axel, and I’d like to address a couple of points.

        We’re disappointed that you’re “not impressed”, and that you formed this opinion after one lesson. Coffee Break German is very much a series and, just like with Coffee Break Spanish and French, we have designed the series in a very structured way, introducing words and phrases gradually and only when it makes sense to do so. Of course “Tschüss” and “Wie geht’s?” are informal phrases, but they were introduced in the context of me and Thomas: two friends learning from each other. We wanted to avoid going straight into an explanation of informal and formal forms in the first lesson – just as we avoided this in French and Spanish. However, if you listen to lesson 2 you’ll hear that we start to introduce formal forms, indeed focusing on the formal form for the question “What is your name?”, a question which is most likely to be asked to a stranger. In the explanation Thomas gave of “Wie geht’s?” he mentioned that it literally means “How is it going?”

        With regard to your comment about learning German from Thomas being like learning Spanish from someone from Catalonia or English from a Texan, we would want to stress that if you happened to have a friend from Catalonia who taught you Spanish, or a friend from Texas who taught you English, you would learn the words and phrases he/she taught you – and an interesting regional accent. We are absolutely not teaching regional German (though we will introduce some words and phrases in future lessons from around the German-speaking world), but we are focusing on standard German. It so happens Thomas has a southern accent – but I have a Scottish accent and yet most listeners seem to understand me. Just as with Coffee Break Spanish we stressed that whether learners focused on “Spain Spanish” or on Latin American pronunciations they would still be understood throughout the Spanish-speaking world, so we would stress that if learners emulates how Thomas speaks then they will be understood by any German speaker. It is also worth pointing out that we specifically wanted Julia to be involved as she has a very different accent to Thomas.

        I hope this helps to explain where we’re coming from and to allay any fears from other learners who have read your comment.

        Best wishes,


    • Will

      Enjoyed the first lesson. I’ve benefitted from both your French and Spanish courses so keen to use this to resurrect my school German.

      Don’t forget to update your navigation – Languages > German > ….

      • Radio Lingua Radio Lingua

        Thanks, Will. We’re gradually adding all the relevant information to the site as things settle down with the launch.

    • Lily

      I really love it! I am studying German for three years!
      This could be amazing! 🙂

    • Barry

      Hi Mark and team,
      Is it possible for me to download these lessons so that I and my daughter can listen to them without having to need internet access, eg on an MP3 player in the car. I have previously been able to do this with Coffee Break Spanish, which turned out to be a great help on this year’s Spanish holiday.


      • radiolingua radiolingua

        Absolutely. Follow the links for the podcast feed on any of the posts and you’ll be able to download the episodes in your podcasting app and store them locally without having to rely on an internet connection. Hope that helps.

    • StaceyG

      I’ve just completed German I and will begin German II. Prior to taking the classes I stumbled upon CBG and listen as I drive or exercise. The grammar lessons and phrases reinforce what is said in class. The first grammar lesson on cases had me lost, then we went over it in class. I listened to Kirsten again and it clicked. Her explanation was better than my textbook. Well done. And thanks to Julia I have options on where to live when I’m ready to move to a German speaking country.

      – stacey

    • Jacqueline Hemmings

      I have listened to most of the CBS lessons and I have to say that I am very, very impressed. Mark may not be a native Spanish speaker, but he has taught me more than any CD or cassette that I have listened to with native Spanish speakers. I am actually starting to think how to translate English sentences into Spanish instead of repeating phrases ‘parrot-fashion’ Hopefully CBG will have the same effect. Well done!!

      • radiolingua radiolingua

        Many thanks for your positive comments, Jacqueline!

    • Tyana

      it’s nice, but unfortunately, too many English explanation, so the audio length contains small pieces of German words. But nice try, guys, thanks anyway

    • FatimaAb

      I have just started listening to the lessons and I am quite enjoying them. Having those chunks of language commented on was very useful especially when the perspective of the learner is present. Danke!

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