If you need a bit more structure to your German learning, a good place to start would be an online German learning app. I would never suggest that an app can make you fluent in German. The apps on this list should be used with other materials in order to make a complete language curriculum. That being said, I believe they each have their place in your German learning journey.
When you are starting to learn German, flashcards will be one of your greatest tools. You can learn how I recommend you use flashcards here. The difficult part, however, is knowing which words to put on the flashcards and making sure that when you write sentences on flashcards that they are correct. Deckmill takes all of the thought out of making the flashcards and gets you set up with 3000 flashcards to be used on the Anki platform.
The flashcards are designed to start with simple phrases and work your way up to more complex phrases. Since it is built on the Anki platform, you will never have a problem forgetting older vocabulary. The spaced repetition method brings back old vocabulary on a regular basis to make sure that you don’t lose old vocabulary in the pursuit of new vocabulary.
The best part about Deckmill is that it isn’t a subscription. You pay once and you have access to all of the cards in all of the 8 languages available. Normally the price is €14.99, but you can get 20% off with the code HERRANTRIM when you check out. Click here to get started with Deckmill.
LingQ is a very cool website where you can import a text or audio and turn it into a German lesson. There are tons of premade lessons already in the system and more are being added every day. Simply start the lesson and you will see the text with words you don’t know highlighted in blue and words you have seen before, but not learned completely in yellow. For my full review of LingQ click here.
One of the most important aspects of learning a language is speaking the language. This can sometimes be incredibly difficult, however. Language exchange apps don’t really hit the mark and in-person meetups are hard to find or too far away.
Enter Deutsch Gym. With Deutsch Gym you can practice speaking with German learners as your level while supervised by a German native speaker. There are different meetups for every level from A2 through C1. All of the levels from A2 through B2 meet every day and C1 meets 5 days each week.
Before each meetup Deutsch Gym provides a list of questions to help keep the conversation going during the meetup. Each meetup has a theme so you get to practice speaking German on a variety of topics. The meetups take place on a voice channel on Discord, which means you don’t have to worry about what you look like or what the room around you looks like. You are there to speak German and you do just that. After a quick introduction from the native speaker, German learners are split into groups of no more than 3 to practice speaking German. The native speaker makes their rounds and checks in on each group.
If you are familiar with my YouTube channel, you will know that Lingoda has been a sponsor on my channel for a very long time. There is one big reason for this. They are AMAZING! Lingoda is THE online language school for anyone wanting to learn German, French, Spanish or English. They can take you from knowing zero German to passing your C1 exam in no time. Their systematic approach to language learning, their individual attention in group lessons and their simple and flexible lesson scheduling make Lingoda my #1 choice for language learning lessons online.
If you are looking for 1-on-1 lessons with a qualified German teacher, iTalki offers a ton of options. iTalki is a great source for finding a personal tutor in German and getting the extra help you want. Unlike online courses and other such websites, iTalki allows you to schedule one-off lessons when you need them. You only pay for the lessons you take. It isn’t a subscription. It is simply, buy a lesson, get a lesson.
If you are looking for a great app that will teach you practical phrases and vocabulary in a fun and entertaining way, look no further than Babbel. It uses real dialogues and gamification to train your brain in the language of your choice (hopefully German). Included with your subscription to Babbel, you will get access to their language learning podcasts, which will help you supercharge your language skills in no time. Games, stories and podcasts all designed to help you learn and retain the German language.
I did a full review of Busuu a long time ago, but since then it has only gotten better. You get the basic benefits that you see from Duolingo, but you also get a chance to practice writing and speaking. Then you get those writing and speaking exercises checked by native speakers. One of my biggest complaints about Duolingo is that it is stilted and doesn’t allow for creative expression or anything that is “outside of the box”. Busuu allows you to learn German with the gamified app style learning you have probably seen elsewhere mixed with the perks of having a German native speakers friend who can check your work. If you have to choose between Duolingo and Busuu, I would pick Busuu every time. You can see my full review of Busuu here.
Another great app for German learners is Mondly. It is another software based German learning site, but it is mobile first. This means it is meant to be used on the go. You can use it when you have a few spare minutes in the car, train or bus, on a break at work or when ever you have a little bit of time. They use native speakers for all of their audio and encourage you to practice pronouncing the words as you learn them. They even have a conversation portion, which allows you to record yourself and listen to it. This allows you to hear your own voice and adjust your pronunciation as needed. If you are looking for a great mobile language learning experience, Mondly is a great choice. You can see my full review of Mondly from 2016 here.
I kept seeing ads for Lingopie on Instagram, so I finally tried them out. It is like Netflix had a baby with a language school. You can watch 1000s of hours of tv shows and movies in German. It has subtitles for everything. When you see a word or phrase you don’t know, you can click on it and get it translated. If you want to save it for later, you can put it into your flashcard list. Lingopie is the perfect combination of entertainment and education.
FluentU has a ton of amazing language learning related articles on their blog, but their app is equally as awesome. You can watch authentic German language videos and use them to learn German. You can watch music videos, movie trailers, news shows and more. The video contents are transcribed below each video. You can tap on a phrase or word you don’t know and it will translate it for you in context. It is a great way to get authentic listening comprehension with the support you need in order to succeed. You can get a free trial with FluentU here.
Der Die Das Rockets
Der Die Das Rockets is an Android and iOS app that aims to help you remember the genders of over 300 German nouns. It is fun to play, has a great story to go with it and the animation is adorable. The general premise is that a city is being attacked with rockets with words written on them. You have to swipe in the correct direction in order to detonate them before they reach the city. The direction you swipe is dependent on the gender of the noun. Swipe up for feminine, down for masculine and right for neuter.
There are 8 categories with 8 levels in each. Each level includes 6 words. This brings the total number of words in this game to 384. The categories of vocabulary include: body, animals, work, house, food, city, nature and mixed. The vocabulary in the “mixed” category doesn’t really fit into any of the other categories. Things like “Beispiel”, “Frage”, “Anfang” and “Angst”.
I love this app and couldn’t recommend it more highly. It is simply fantastic. You won’t find a better vocabulary trainer for $0.99 anywhere. If you want to read a full review of Der, Die, Das Rockets, click here.
This site is one of the best ways to make lists and flashcards out of the vocabulary you come across while reading German articles and news online. You can import an entire article or just a word or two. The words and phrases you want to learn are then put into flashcards similar to Quizlet and when you are ready to review them, the site will test you over your knowledge in the same way Quizlet does. Learn with Oliver is a unique take on learning languages through reading. Here is my full review of Learn with Oliver.
*Links to Deckmill, LingQ, Lingoda, iTalki, Busuu, Mondly, Lingopie and FluentU are affiliate links.
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