Listening to German speech and english to german is much more difficult than speaking it yourself. When you say a phrase, you are prepared in advance for how it will sound. And when listening to speech, you have to adapt to the speaker on the fly. Plus, the words merge into one stream, and the speaker may not pronounce them quite the way you used to imagine in your head.

As counter-intuitive as it may sound, before listening to something in German, you must definitely understand the grammar and vocabulary. You will not be able to understand what is being said if you do not know at least 70% of the words and are not used to the grammatical structures that the speaker uses. For example, if you have already analyzed how inversion is done in a German sentence, you are unlikely to understand such a sentence by ear – the semantic verb is not in its place!

Prepare for the audition
Listen to english to german audio materials on the topic you are currently studying. It is best, especially at an early stage, to take the notes that come with the study guide. You will know exactly most of the words and structures in the text. If after 2-3 listenings you realize that you don’t understand anything, go back to the theory – repeat the grammar and vocabulary again. Audition isn’t going anywhere.

Listen actively
It’s not enough just to listen to someone speak German. If you turn on a podcast in the background and do other things, there will be no benefit. Listen to the speech, if you do not understand the speaker – rewind, repeat the phrases aloud. A useful exercise is to write down a transcript of an audio track from dictation. So you will immediately develop the skills of listening, speaking, and writing.

Avoid overly complex entries
If you listen to very difficult tracks from the very beginning, you will not understand them, get upset and lose interest in the language. Such recordings include German radio, TV shows and films. Instead of the radio, take special educational podcasts – the speech in them is slower than in life, and the words are specially selected so that the listener knows them. When it’s cinema’s turn, start with foreign films with German dubbing, where the actors are forced to speak more slowly and more clearly than in real life. Once you get used to that, move on to authentic movies and podcasts for native speakers.