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10 Best Websites to Learn German

Do you want to learn German but feel overwhelmed with the number of learning resources available out there? Fear not, help is on the way! It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner, if you want to learn for free or are willing to pay. We’ve put together 10 of the best websites to help you learn or improve on your German.

Deutsch Akademie claims to be the “most comprehensive” free resource for learning German. Here are a few of its best features.

Highlights: You don’t need an account with Deutsch Akademie to be able to access all of the material on the website. Even as a visitor you are free to use more than 20,000 grammar and vocabulary exercises as well as more than 800 hours of interactive online resources. The courses are structured according to the European Framework of Reference for Languages, so this resource is great as a starting point for learning German, or as a supplement to a current course you are taking.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free

Obviously, Babbel is one of the big names when it comes to language learning. Their courses may come at a cost, but they have been tried, tested and proven effective.

Via Babbel

Highlights: Babbel’s German course draws into two core categories – pronunciation and vocabulary. A fancy feature is the speech recognition tool that is integrated with your browser. Take note that you need a microphone and the most recent version of Flash for this to work. Babbel’s strategy for helping you improve your vocabulary is “optimal intervals” or exercising the words and rules that you struggle with the most. Another cool feature is the Babbel mobile app. This tracks and synchronizes your progress so you can take your learning with you.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Price: First lesson free, next lessons only available through paid subscription

3. BBC

Trust the world’s oldest broadcasting company to inject an entertaining twist into learning one of the world’s oldest languages. From stand-up comedians to F1 drivers, the BBC’s selection of resources is a fun take on improving your German.

Via BBC

Highlights: Not quite sure if your German is beginner, intermediate, advanced or somewhere in between? The BBC has a test that can help you determine your current fluency. Feeling adventurous? Challenge your skill-set by watching/listening to actual German news on TV and radio. You can also watch video tutorials and learn handy holiday phrases on this website for no price at all.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free

ActiLingua is a frontrunner in German language education. Established in 1988, ActiLingua has three schools located in Vienna, all of which have great cultural and leisure programmes. The school-owned residences hosts both students and families. To supplement this learning, ActiLingua’s website is home to some excellent resources for learning German.

Highlights: There are 10 lessons available for beginners and 24 lessons (concentrating on grammar) for advanced learners. If you’re not quite sure what level you are, you can get an evaluation through ActiLingua’s Test Your German feature. This can help you match your level of fluency with the available courses.

Level: Beginner and Advanced

Price: Free, register here to access their Free Member Area

Deutsch Online draws on four core language competencies: reading, listening, speaking and writing. This course offers person-centered learning methods to improve your German.

Highlights: The course begins with the Goethe-Institut’s standard placement test. This will determine your level and course recommendation. Each course is divided into chapters that touch on situational conversations, vocabulary and grammar. Different learning methods are available for your learning styles and needs. Online classes with personal tutors are then scheduled for you to be able to develop your speaking and communication skills. Upon completion, you will be awarded a certificate by Goethe-Institut.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: €675 per level, you can register or book a consultation on their website

Other than being an international broadcasting agency, Deutsch Welle, or DW, is also an advocate of language learning. The German Courses section of their website allows you to learn the language at your own pace.

Highlights: E-learning is the name of the game with DW. Videos, podcasts and audio clips are available on their website for both students and teachers of German. The levels are categorized according to the European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free

DUO is your easy-access go-to web portal for learning German for various purposes.

Highlights: If you are preparing for a trip to Germany, DUO will equip you with the skills you need to communicate comfortably in German. People have found the tutorial side of the course extremely useful when it comes to expressing themselves more confidently. The course may come at a cost, but you can’t put a price tag on progress.

Level: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Business

Price: Courses start at €109

Duo Lingo is a household name when it comes to language learning. Its German lessons only take 5 minutes to complete but are presented in a fun, game-simulation session. Duo Lingo also claims that its courses are scientifically proven to work!

Highlights: Duo Lingo is great because it adapts to your specific learning needs and pace. The vocabulary exercise are tailored to help you learn as much as you can, as fast as you can. To top it off, you are given your score as soon as you complete the exercise – allowing you to get immediate feedback and monitor your progress. This progress can then be synchronized with your Duo Lingo app, so that you can even learn German on-the-go.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free

GermanPod101 takes pride in providing culturally relevant material for learning German. Not only do you get to learn about everyday Germany, you also get to do it through out-of-the-box, fun-filled lessons.

Highlights: GermanPod101 updates its library every week, so there’s always something new to look forward to. To date, over 750 million lessons have been delivered. Your course progress on the website can also be synchronized on a mobile app.

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Price: Free to an extent. Basic, Premium and Premium+ subscriptions available on their website

Last but definitely not the least (and quite possibly the most amusing) resource for learning German is Grimm Grammar. True to its name, this website is an “irreverent revival and shameless exploitation of 19th-century Grimm Fairy Tales for honorable pedagogical purposes”. In other words, 36 19th-century characters from the classic story book have time-travelled to help you learn German!

Highlights: The parts of speech are individually and humorously introduced in sectional overviews, then integrated into more complex topics as you progress. Grimm Grammar is an excellent resource for beginner learners, on its own or to complement an existing course.

Level: Beginner

Price: Free

Websites are a fantastic resource for learning German, as long as you are willing to put time and effort into doing so. From here the internet is your oyster!

What websites have you found most helpful when it comes to learning German? Don’t forget to let us know in the comment box below!

About the Author Charity Johnson

Charity Johnson is a third sector worker and former secondary teacher based in the Scottish Isles. Her blog, Archipelagal, is the (re)telling of her geographical and ideological whereabouts.

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