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Do you know about any type of educative video series for learning German? For example, like Destinos for learners of Spanish.

The only option I have been able to find so far is Muzzy, a British animation series for children translated into multiple languages including German. But Destinos is much more appropriate for adults.

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3 Answers 3

Intermediate-level learners may find the TV shows Sendung mit der Maus and Wissen macht Ah! very instructive. The first one targets young children, and the second one older kids, and they both have a strong educational character, but they are also very entertaining.

Both shows present a series of short features (typically 2-5 minutes long) each answering some question that a young person may have, such as, "how does wind power work?", or "how are balloons made?", or "how come teabags don't fall apart in hot water?", or "why do people say Holzauge sei wachsam!?" (In fact, I think that the ideas for many of these features come directly from questions sent in by the shows' viewers.)

These short films are extremely clear and vivid, which makes them understandable even to those who don't fully understand the accompanying spoken commentary. I'm particularly impressed by the fact that they treat scientific ideas and methods very naturally, as part of everyday life, along with skateboards, ice-cream, rain, and everything else, and without any of the fanfare or otherworldliness that American TV typically slaps onto any scientific content.

The segments are also very imaginative, sometimes whimsical, and sometimes downright hilarious, so they are invariably entertaining, even for viewers well beyond the shows' target ages. (In fact, somewhere I read that the average age of the Sendung mit der Maus viewership is 39! Also, I've been told that it is not unheard of for university professors to "borrow" clips from these shows as audiovisual material for their lectures.)

Lastly, for some episodes there are versions with subtitles in German, although I have not yet found a reliable way to search for such subtitled shows.

Both shows can be viewed online, and one can subscribe to them as podcasts (e.g. through iTunes).

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Belles Lettres ist eine Sammlung von Videos zur dt. Sprache, aber auch Artikeln zu einzelnen Fragen, also nicht als Kurs aufgebaut.

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I think those videos are of interest for intermediates. A few even for upper-intermediates. Imho not suitable for beginners. –  Em1 Dec 17 '12 at 13:20
    
@Em1: Yes. Did I miss a hint, that the videos shall be suitable for beginners? I reread the question, the headline and the tags and don't see such a hint. Does 'educative' imply beginners? –  user unknown Dec 17 '12 at 18:21
    
@userunknown, arguably "to learn German" (as opposed to, say, "to improve one's German") suggests that the person is starting from scratch. That said, however, I think the thread would be useful to more people if it lists resources for learners at various levels. I, for one, am glad that you posted your answer. Thanks! –  kjo Dec 22 '12 at 14:30
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I think the courses offered by "Deutsche Welle" are what you are looking for.

For example this course is quite interesting.

All possibilities are listed here below the course finder.

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