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Top Resources for Learning

German

Do you want to finally become fluent in German and feel like a local in 6 countries where German is the official language? Find below a summary of my top recommendations for tools and resources that will help you learn German.  I've personally tried and tested all of them and selected the ones that I found to be most effective, user-friendly, and fun. Mix and match them, and use 3 or 4 of them interchangeably to keep your motivation high and attention span - focused. 

Find a more in-depth description of my recommended German-learning tools here. 

   

Best audio course

This is my #1 recommendation for anyone starting to learn German or trying to improve their listening and pronunciation skills. The 30-minute lessons are easy to fit into your schedule, and they do wonders for pronunciation and speaking skills!

 

Effectiveness: *****

Easy-to-use: *****

Cost:

   

Best live lessons with a tutor

Learning a language successfully is impossible without interacting with native speakers and getting lots of speaking practice. This app gives you access to thousands of professional and community teachers, and you can book private online courses with them for as little as US$ an hour!

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost: $$

Best learning through story

This online course has the most impressive innovative way to teach you German through immersion into an addictive and super-fun story. Rather than following a standard curriculum of grammar, sample dialogues, etc., the teaching happens by engaging you into a creative story context, and it's surprisingly effective! Although access to this course is on the pricier side, it's one of the best investments you can make to help you learn German, and it's totally worth it.

Effectiveness: *****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $$$

Best free YouTube courses

Enjoy this free YouTube channel with excellent German classes from a very fun teacher Anja. Her content is engaging, fun, and really effective! She covers the basics as well as challenging grammar concepts. This would be an excellent complement to other learning tools you are using. 

Effectiveness: ***

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  

   

Best bite-size lessons

This website and app have great short 10-15 minute videos and podcasts with lessons from beginner to advanced level, flashcards, dialogues, grammar break-down, and vocab lists. Premium plans give access to a tutor for accountability and faster progress. 

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost: $$ 

   

Best app for busy people

Mondly is a fun game-style app that teaches you vocabulary through core words and phrases. The app breaks the learning process down into short lessons and puts them into themed packs. It has great visuals and is easy to use if your schedule is too busy for more structured or intensive courses. A free version has a lot of good content, but more complete premium access is also a bargain.

Effectiveness: ***

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost: $

Best on-the-go app

This is my favorite app to train my memory and retain vocabulary in German. It uses spaced repetition system to help you remember words and phrases more effectively. It also has a great game-like interface, making this app a fun and exciting pass-time. And you can complete a session in as little as 5 minutes, making it very easy to practice your German on a break or during a commute. 

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $

Best comprehensive free course

With the free German courses from Deutsche Welle, you can learn German at your own pace: E-learning on the computer, with videos, audio clips, and podcasts – or using traditional methods with worksheets you can print out. Select between German language courses for beginners and advanced levels. With hundreds of hours of content, this is one of the most well-researched and comprehensive courses for German learners!

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $

   

Best progressive course

For me, Rocket Languages is like learning on steroids. It has great audio content, comprehensive vocabulary-building tools, pronunciation training, solid grammar break-down, and a steady path for progression. It's a pricier course and somewhat trickier to do on-the-go, but it's incredibly well-structured and effective.

Effectiveness: *****

Easy-to-use: ***

Cost: $$$ 

Best podcast

This is my favorite podcast for learning German. Its 20-25 minute episodes teach useful vocabulary, every-day phrases, grammar, and culture, and do so in a progressive and easy-to-follow way. There are over a hundred episodes starting with the very beginner level and going all the way to advanced. The podcast is completely free, although premium content is available for a small subscription fee. 

Effectiveness: *****

Easy-to-use: ***

Cost:  

Best app for learning with audiobooks

This fun app helps you learn Languages with Audiobooks and Music. The app shows the exact same text in two languages, side by side, so you can compare the two and learn the language in context. And all texts have audio narration! The texts go from fairy tales and news to science papers and novels, and new ones are added every week. You can listen to a native speaker narrate at your preferred speed (even with your phone locked or while offline) and take tests to assess your comprehension.

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $

Best course for spoken German

This Conversations course from StoryLearning.com helps you understand real German and transform your listening skills. It's based on recorded short conversations on a variety of topics between two native speakers who speak the way people actually speak on the street, so you really get an ear for the sounds. This course is quite pricey, but its quality and great results justify this price and make the course worth it. 

Effectiveness: ****

Easy-to-use: ****

Cost:  $$$