Over 95 million people in the world speak German (Deutsch) as their native language, while 10 to 15 million count it as their second language and another 75 to 100 million as a foreign language.
German is an Indo-European language that is an official language in these six European countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein.
Free Resources to Learn German
Free Learning/Studying Apps
Duolingo – iTunes – Google Play – Duolingo has become a leader in the language learning world and for good reason. It’s fast, fun, well designed, suitable for all ages, and turns learning a foreign language into a challenging and pretty addictive game.
Tinycards – iTunes – Google Play – Tinycards is a free flashcards app, from the creators of Duolingo, which uses spaced repetition and nicely designed “decks” to help you learn anything, including foreign languages. Tinycards uses gamification, like Duolingo, which makes it fun and easy to use.
Memrise – iTunes – Google Play – Memrise is a really fast, fun and free language learning app/website that is sure to get you hooked. There is a visual flashcard component which also incorporates audio from a community of native speakers. Memrise uses spaced repetition and is really effective at drilling vocabulary and phrases into your memory.
Drops – Learn German – iTunes – Google Play – This simple but powerful app is entertaining, educational, and free. With a focus on visual learning and 5-minute lesson limits, this app is easy to integrate into your daily language learning regimen and is very effective.
Clozemaster – iTunes – Google Play – This popular app uses gamification and is a great addition to your language learning regimen, no matter what your level. It is very effective for vocabulary acquisition and billed as a great app to use after Duolingo.
Deutschtrainer A1 – iTunes – Google Play – This app by the Goethe-Institut is tailored for beginners (Level A1). The 10 chapters teach you German vocabulary that is practical to use in everyday life and combines listening, reading and writing skills.
Learn German by 50 Languages – iTunes – Google Play – This app is great for beginners (A1-A2) to increase practical vocabulary which is useful for managing everyday situations (at a store, restaurant, bank, doctor, etc). With the free version, you will have access to 30 complete lessons.
HelloTalk – iTunes – Google Play – HelloTalk is a global language learning social network that connects you with native speakers of other languages so that you can practice your speaking and listening skills with native speakers via text/audio messages and free audio and video calls. The free version allows you to choose one native language and one target language.
Internet Polyglot – iTunes – Google Play – This free app uses lessons, games, and pictures to teach foreign languages to beginners. Although Internet Polyglot is far from a standalone language learning tool, it is a useful supplement to help you to learn and retain vocabulary.
Tandem Language Exchange – iTunes – Google Play – This app matches you with language exchange partners from all over the world, providing the opportunity to practice those essential conversation skills that are necessary to take your language skills to the next level.
Free German Dictionary/Translation Apps
Leo – iTunes – Google Play – In addition to definitions from the popular LEO dictionary, this app also provides noun and verb tables, real voice audio pronunciation, grammar, and etymology information.
Google Translate: iTunes – Google Play – Google Translate offers online text translation between 103 languages by typing, offline translation for 59 languages, camera translation for 38 languages, image translation for 37 languages, conversation translation in 32 languages, and translation of handwritten characters in 93 languages. The app also has a phrasebook which allows you to save translated words and phrases for future reference in all languages.
iTranslate – iTunes – Google Play – iTranslate is a leading free translator and dictionary app that provides translations for text in over 100 languages. Other functionality includes transliteration, sharing, favorites, history, and audio in both male and female voices. Voice to voice translations and the use of offline mode is not available with the free version.
The Free Dictionary By Farlex – iTunes – Google Play – This dictionary and thesaurus app provides millions of precise definitions, drawn from the most trusted industry publications and sources, including idioms, slang, and etymology of words. The Free Dictionary works offline and offers additional functionality like voice search, sharing, games, word of the day, and more.
Reverso Dictionary – iTunes – Google Play – This app serves as a dictionary and translator for millions of words and expressions, accompanied by contextual examples. Other features include a powerful linguistic search engine, natural pronunciation, phrasebook, flashcards and more.
Learn German with Deutsche Welle – This YouTube channel features videos produced by Deutsche Welle, which is regarded as one of the best free resources for learning German on the internet. All DW resources can be found at their website.
Deutsch für Euch – With many millions of views, Katja’s YouTube channel provides videos that are both instructional and entertaining. She focuses a lot on explaining grammar, so this series will be a good supplement to your regular language learning regimen. She speaks English a fair amount, so an understanding of English is important.
Easy German – Easy German is another leading YouTube channel for German language students. It produces German language learning videos every week that are filmed in the streets showing interactions with real people speaking German. So you will learn about German language and culture, vocabulary and phrases, pronunciation and grammar, all the while hearing German spoken in a natural setting. German and English subtitles are available.
Learn German with Jenny – Jenny offers German video lessons for all levels (A1 – C2). This channel provides fairly structured instruction, touching on all of the essentials like vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension and so on. In addition, Jenny provides exercises, worksheets, and flashcards.
smarterGerman – Covering all of the learning essentials, smarter German features professional German tutors, Michael & Margareth, who create 3 videos per week, each with the goal of helping you to improve your German.
Learn German with Herr Antrim – Herr Antrim is a fantastic German teacher who has been creating entertaining and informative teaching videos for both beginner and intermediate level German language learners for many years.
Deutsche Aussprache – It’s safe to say that you can improve your German pronunciation by tuning into the Deutsche Aussprache YouTube video channel, which is devoted entirely to the pronunciation of German words, letters, etc.
Learn German with GermanPod101 – This is a fun and helpful set of videos to add to your regular German language learning regimen.
Edupedia World – The Edupedia World YouTube channel offers a very comprehensive set of free German-language video lessons.
LangMedia – LangMedia provides language learning resources including videos, audio, study guides, etc. LangMedia is run by the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages and their mission is to share examples of linguistic and cultural diversity with language learners. In the “Language by Country” section of the LangMedia website they provide videos which focus on practical aspects of everyday life (For Ex: Basic Communication, Shopping, Transportation, Culture and Social Life). The conversations often include colloquial language and all videos are accompanied by translations and transcripts. LangMedia highlights German in Germany in this section.
Learn German for Beginners by Mawuood Academy – This YouTube channel offers 86 concise German lessons for beginners.
Deutsch Lernen by Andrea Thionville – This YouTube channel features simple, animated lessons for children and beginners and teaches German vocabulary in a repetitive and expressive way.
Learn German with Anja – Anja, your enthusiastic German teacher, brings lots of energy and fun to her German lessons. Check out her extensive YouTube playlists like Learn German in Real Life, German Pronunciation, German for Beginners (A1 Level), and Learn German Out Live (B1).
Dialogues for German Learners: Beginners’ Level – iTunes – This audio course was created by the University of South Wales. The dialogues were designed to help you practice your German language skills and primarily present German in a work-related context.
Mission Berlin by Deutsche Welle – iTunes – This beginner German course is part of the larger Mission Europe series brought you by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. It is an A1 level course (absolute beginner) but could certainly be useful even for more advanced students as a fun source of review. There are 26, five minute long lessons which center around a mystery that you have to solve while on a video game-like adventure.
Coffee Break German – Spotify – iTunes – Coffee Break German is meant to appeal to those just embarking on their German learning journey and also to others needing to refresh their existing German skills. Your main teachers will be Thomas and Mark, while Julia will chime in with interesting cultural tidbits and Kirsten will focus on helping you learn the rhythm and sounds of German.
One Minute German – iTunes – In this free German language learning podcast, your teacher Julia will cover the basics and provide you with ten bite-sized lessons which are just a few minutes in length.
Audiotrainer by Deutsche Welle – iTunes – These 100 lessons, created as a result of a collaboration between German broadcaster Deutsche Welle and the Goethe-Verlag, are based on the German language learning levels A1 and A2. This course is designed to teach basic vocabulary that you will need in your everyday life as well as work on perfecting pronunciation.
Slowly Spoken News by Deutsche Welle – iTunes – Deutsche Welle produces this brilliant, daily newscast that is specifically targeted to German language learners. The news is read slowly and with very clear articulation so that it is easy to understand for non-native speakers.
Learn German with Spotify – This is a great, comprehensive beginner German course.
Vocabulearn German – This free program on Spotify is divided into three parts, each of which is approximately three hours long and teaches about 2500 vocabulary words and useful phrases.
- Vocabulearn German Level 1 on Spotify
- Vocabulearn German Level 2 on Spotify
- Vocabulearn German Level 3 on Spotify
Vocabulearn German Word Boosters – Spotify – This program aims to supercharge your vocabulary by teaching you 500 of the most essential German words and phrases.
Learn in your Car: German Verbs 101 – Spotify – These German language lessons teach students how to conjugate the 101 most used German verbs in all forms (present, past, and future tenses, active and passive voices, as well as past and present participles.)
Learn German Fast on Spotify – This German language learning audio course by Spotify aims to take you from beginner to advanced conversations over the course of 30 podcasts.
Learn German in Your Car by Henry N. Raymond – This free Spotify podcast teaches fundamental German grammar and very practical vocabulary and phrases to beginners.
- Learn German in Your Car Level 1 on Spotify
- Learn German in Your Car Level 2 on Spotify
- Learn German in Your Car Level 3 on Spotify
Slow German – iTunes – In this free podcast, German broadcaster Annik Rubens (played by journalist Larissa Vassilian) speaks, you guessed it, slowly. Any language learner can appreciate the value of a slow and clearly articulated broadcast. Her podcast is informative and entertaining, as she touches on the topics of everyday German life and culture. You can read the complete transcript of each episode here.
News in Slow German – iTunes – Google Play – These free audio lessons teach listening comprehension, build vocabulary skills, cover German grammar and improve pronunciation. The course covers the weekly news in a simplified way and uses it as a teaching tool.
MyDailyPhrase German – iTunes – This free podcast, brought to you by the Radio Lingua Network, stars Catriona who will teach you the fundamentals of German over the course of 100 lessons. This is great for beginners, as it provides good basic instruction in small doses.
Learn German with GermanPod101.com – iTunes – This is a fun and informative podcast to add to your regular German language learning regimen. Every lesson is free for a period of time; each new audio and video lesson (3-5 lessons are published per week) is free to access for 3 weeks before being locked into their library, which can be accessed only with paid membership.
Deutsch – Warum Nicht? (Podcast) by Deutsche Welle – Another gem brought to you by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle and created in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut. Each of the series (of which there are 4) consists of 26 lessons with dialogues, exercises and downloadable audio clips. This course is great for both beginner, intermediate and advanced German language learners, as it covers levels A1, A2, and B1.
- Deutsch – Warum Nicht? Series 1
- Deutsch – Warum Nicht? Series 2
- Deutsch – Warum Nicht? Series 3
- Deutsch – Warum Nicht? Series 4
Radio D by Deutsche Welle – Created by Deutsche Welle in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, this fun, and creative podcast language course is appropriate for beginners and the material is based on German language learning levels A1 and A2.
German SurvivalPhrases – iTunes – These fun and innovative audio lessons teach basic German and are accompanied by PDF guides.
Complete German Course by Language Transfer – YouTube – This free beginner German audio class uses an unconventional approach called language transfer, which they refer to as “the thinking method“. Rather than focusing heavily on grammar, vocabulary, and memorization, this course teaches the structure of the German in an exploratory, interactive and conscious way.
Learn German by Complete Language Lessons – Spotify – 10 free German lessons on Spotify.
Learn German the Easy Way by Language Superstar – Spotify – This podcast on Spotify has many hours of German language instruction spread over 12 lessons.
Learn German Fast by Language Superstar – Spotify – This podcast on Spotify has many hours of German language instruction spread over 10 lessons.
German Audio Course for Beginners – This free audio course on Spotify offers 154 lessons spread over 3 volumes which teach basic vocabulary for beginners.
- German for Beginners Volume 1 on Spotify – 44 German vocabulary lessons.
- German for Beginners Volume 2 on Spotify – 56 German vocabulary lessons.
- German for Beginners Volume 3 on Spotify – 54 German vocabulary lessons.
Learn German Words – Spotify – Learn 1000 vocabulary words and 80 useful phrases from native speakers over the course of 23 lessons using this free Spotify Course.
Learn German Vocab House and Home – Spotify – These 23 lessons on Spotify teach basic thematic vocabulary for beginners.
Learn German Vocab Family and Friends – Spotify – These 22 lessons on Spotify teach basic thematic vocabulary for beginners.
Quick Vocab German Vocabulary Builder on Spotify – These audio lessons will teach you the most common German vocabulary words and each word is pronounced by a native speaker.
- German Vocabulary Builder – Common Verbs on Spotify
- German Vocabulary Builder – Common Vocab Business on Spotify
- German Vocabulary Builder – Common Vocab Food and Restaurant on Spotify
- German Vocabulary Builder – Common Vocab Animals on Spotify
Colloquial German: The Complete Course for Beginners Book 1 and 2 – This collection of audio files, each a few minutes in length, provides concise and clear German language instruction for beginners. These free audio lessons were made to accompany the Colloquial German: The Complete Course for Beginners textbooks (Book 1 and Book 2), which are aimed at teaching German to beginners in a practical way to prepare them to effectively communicate with confidence in everyday situations.
Foreign Service Institute (FSI) German Headstart Course – The Foreign Service Institute (U.S. Department of State) originally created this and many other language learning courses to train government employees and members of the foreign service in preparation for a post abroad. All FSI courses are wonderfully thorough and a treasured free resource for all language learners! The FSI German Headstart program includes ten modules over fourteen audio lessons in MP3 format, as well as a glossary, instructor guide, manual of administration, module X guide and Student Guide, all in PDF format This is a self-paced course which provides a good introduction to beginner German, with an emphasis on giving you the tools to navigate conversations in everyday, basic situations.
Foreign Service Institute (FSI) German FAST Course – The FSI German Fast Course was created as an intensive and challenging course that would yield the best language learning results in the shortest period of time. It was originally designed to be an 8-week program to be studied for 6 hours per day to prepare someone to live and work abroad in a German-speaking country. The ten lessons emphasize culture in addition to language and primarily focus on teaching someone to confidently speak German in very practical situations. The FSI German Fast Course includes ten modules in MP3 format, as well as a Student Textbook / Guide in PDF format.
Foreign Service Institute (FSI) German Basic Course – The FSI Basic German Course is a wonderfully thorough and effective German language course that lays a very solid foundation, preparing students to speak accurately, fluently and easily. It employs various instructional methods, including guided imitation, repetition, memorization, pattern practice, and conversation. Your success with the course, as with all language learning, relies on consistent practice and use of German in everyday life. The program is divided into two sections, Volume 1 and Volume 2, each of which is comprised of 12 Units of instruction in MP3 format and accompanied by a Student Guide / Textbook in PDF format.
Foreign Service Institute (FSI) German – A Programmed Introduction Course – The FSI German: A Programmed Introduction Course was created by the Foreign Service Institute (U.S. Department of State) to supply a solid introduction to German, to build confidence and to set you up for success with next level learning. As such, this is a good precursor to the Basic German course and is sure to enhance all future German language learning classes. The program is comprised of 25 Units of instruction in MP3 format and is accompanied by a Student Guide / Textbook in PDF format.
Defense Language Institute (DLI) German FLAMRIC Course – This course is intended to be a German language refresher course, and requires basic German language skills as a prerequisite. It is accompanied by 14 e-textbooks in PDF format with a total of 2882 pages, and 2 audio files in MP3 format with a combined running time of 1 hour and 32 minutes. This German language course is part of the language learning program developed by the U.S. Department of Defense as a means of training employees for foreign assignments. As a result, a good portion of the material focuses on military-related content, however, on the whole, there is a lot of value for all.
Defense Language Institute (DLI) German Modular Language Course – This course features a series of 3 modules which were designed as supplements to the Basic German Course and other DLI German courses. It is accompanied by 33 e-textbooks in PDF format with a total of 3701 pages, and 5 audio files in MP3 format with a combined running time of 2 hours and 26 minutes. This German language course is part of the language learning program developed by the U.S. Department of Defense as a means of training employees for foreign assignments. As a result, a good portion of the material focuses on military-related content, however, on the whole, there is a lot of value for all.
Defense Language Institute (DLI) German SOLT Language Course – This course is for absolute beginners and is divided into 2 parts, each with 3 modules.
- DLI German SOLT Language Course: Module 1-3 – Includes 36 e-textbooks in PDF format with a total of 1467 pages and 108 audio files in MP3 format with a combined running time of 5 minutes.
- DLI German SOLT Language Course: Module 4-6 – Includes 42 e-textbooks in PDF format with a total of 1530 pages and 127 audio files in MP3 format with a combined running time of 35 minutes.
Defense Language Institute (DLI) German – SOLT Language Course: Homework Workbooks – These workbooks contain homework exercises and worksheets that support the teaching in Modules 1-6 of the SOLT German Language Course. They should be used with the guidance of a German teacher since there are no answers provided. Includes 4 e-textbooks in PDF format with a total of 103 pages, and 33 audio files in MP3 format with a combined running time of 6 minutes.
German Courses by the University of Cambridge Language Centre – These free German courses are web-applications developed by the University of Cambridge.
- Basic German – This basic level course covers listening and reading skills while incorporating lots of activities to improve speaking and writing.
- Just In Time (JiT) German Grammar – This program is designed to provide German grammar practice in a very targeted way.
- German Academic Reading Learning Objects – German Learning Objects are independent resources that can be incorporated into a course or simply used for self-study. These particular learning objects are intended to improve academic reading skills.
- German Business Learning Objects – German Learning Objects are independent resources that can be incorporated into a course or simply used for self-study. These particular learning objects are business related.
- German Health Learning Objects – German Learning Objects are independent resources that can be incorporated into a course or simply used for self-study. These particular learning objects are health-related.
- German Miscellaneous Learning Objects – German Learning Objects are independent resources that can be incorporated into a course or simply used for self-study. These four learning objects focus on grammar, vocabulary and conversation skills.
Deutsch Interaktiv – Deutsch Interaktiv is a free online language course, created by German broadcasting giant Deutsche Welle, which is responsible for a wealth of German language learning resources. It is geared towards beginner to intermediate German learners (level A1 to level B1). It offers Audio and video clips, worksheets, grammar units, a dictionary with over 7,000 vocabulary and pronunciation aids, making this a really vast and valuable learning tool.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Courseware – MIT offers a ton of free classes, several of which are in German. German I – IV are a great place to start and if you already have a foundation in German, you can move on to several other courses in the German language focusing on literature and culture.
- German I – This undergraduate university level course was taught in 2008 at MIT. It covers the basics of the German language (vocabulary and grammar), provides an introduction to German culture and is taught in German.
- German II – This course is an undergraduate university level course that was taught in 2005 at MIT. It should be taken following German I and will explore more German vocabulary and grammar, German culture and is also taught in German.
- German III – This course is an undergraduate university level course that was taught in 2004 at MIT. It should be taken following German II, will expand skills in speaking, reading, listening, and writing and is also taught in German.
- German IV – This course is an undergraduate university level course that was taught in 2005 at MIT. It should be taken following German III, will focus on the development of interpretive skills, using literary texts and contemporary media texts, and is also taught in German.
OpenLearn German – The Open University is a UK based, online university providing free educational resources. It offers four different, free German courses.
- Beginners’ German: Food and Drink – This is a free beginner German course that covers all of the fundamentals, like listening, writing, reading and speaking skills, and the content is all centered around food/drink.
- Rundblick: Beginners’ German – This free beginner German course helps you to develop and improve your German skills by teaching you how to navigate everyday situations in the context of traveling to different German-speaking countries.
- German: Regionen, Traditionen und Geschichte – This free course is for those of you who already have a good command of the German language. It teaches about differences in dialects and cultures across the various regions in Germany.
- Landschaftliche Vielfalt – This free course aims to help you to speak and write about nature, geography, and politics in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland while teaching you to summarize, analyze and describe various texts.
Deutsch Akademie – This free, online German course includes 20,000 + German grammar and vocabulary exercises, 800 + hours of interactive online German instruction, as well as the ability to interact with a German teacher who can answer your questions.
Start Speaking German with Modal Verbs Course on Udemy – This beginner German class teaches about Modal Verbs, how to conjugate them and how to use them in practical, everyday situations. Includes 7 lectures and 41 minutes of video.
3 Minute German: Free Taster Course on Udemy – The 3 minute Language Series gets students speaking from the beginning by providing a solid foundation in the language so they can easily start to communicate their thoughts. Includes 19 German lectures and 1 hour of video.
The German Alphabet Course on Udemy – This quick and simple beginner course helps students learn the alphabet, how to spell words in German and provides listening practice. Includes 20 German lectures and 1 hour of video.
German Grammar – This website offers an immense number of lessons (with a huge focus on grammar), video and audio clips, exercises and more to help you along with your German language studies.
Grimm Grammar – The University of Texas at Austin is known for using creative, innovative and sometimes unconventional tools to teach foreign languages. Grimm Grammar is just that: an online German language resource that uses zany stories about post-modern Grimm’s fairy tale characters to teach German grammar concepts. The stories feature witty dialogues paired with cartoon images and supporting audio in a variety of German dialects. This free tool is a comprehensive source for beginner and intermediate level German language students looking for solid grammar explanations, self-correcting exercises, relevant audio from native speakers and entertaining imagery.
LanguageGuide.org – Explore the world of German by learning an abundance of vocabulary in a sound integrated, animated guide. After learning the vocabulary you can take part in games to test your comprehension.
Babadum – A free language learning website that features fun flashcard games to help you brush up on your vocabulary.
German.net – This website offers a lot of free online exercises, games and grammar guidance for all levels of German language learning for both beginners and advanced learners. The verb conjugation trainer is certainly useful.
Deutsch-Lernen.com – This website has a multitude of free offerings, including 10 Beginner German lessons and 24 Advanced German lessons, along with tests, pen pal services, and study tips.
Lingolia – This website has a number of useful exercises and provides helpful explanations about grammar.
BBC Languages: German – The BBC German Language website is a treasure trove of wonderful resources and information. It is high-quality, comprehensive and provides a lot of intelligently presented and produced materials. All BBC language learning pages were “archived” a few years back due to cost cutting measures, which means they are no longer adding new information or updating the pages. However, you should have no problem accessing the existing information.
Goethe Institut – German Language – The Goethe-Institut is a renowned German cultural nonprofit that offers mostly paid language courses, but they have a section of their website that has a nice selection of free online exercises and apps.
Deutsh.info – This website offers several free German courses along with grammar explanations.
Learn German with DW – Deutsche Welle is probably the best free resource for learning German on the internet. Their free German courses facilitate learning wherever you are and however you want, whether e-learning on your computer, with videos, audio, and podcasts or good old-fashioned worksheet printouts. Their multimedia resources are first rate and cater to all levels of German language learners, from beginner to advanced.
Schubert Grammar – This website offers lots of free exercises and they are organized to your level of competence in German.
The German Project – This website has a selection of free German lessons and children’s stories in German.
ielanguages.com – This website offers free basic language learning text and audio instruction.
Ilanguages – This site is designed to teach German with free vocabulary, phrases, grammar and flashcards, while focusing on highly used words and phrases necessary for everyday living.
Polly Lingual – This website offers some fun games, exercises and beginner level instruction with lessons that include text and audio.
Learn101 – This website features free beginner lessons to guide you through learning German, step by step, starting with the Alphabet, moving on to grammar, vocabulary and phrases, and finally offering simple quizzes to test your progress. These lessons are a basic introduction to the language and have images, text and audio.
CoolJugator – CoolJugator is a verb conjugator website that makes conjugation easy and straightforward.
German Stories by BookBox – Cartoons have always been a wonderful asset to language learning, particularity for children. These animated children’s stories are great because the viewer can read along with the narration, which is shown on-screen as “Same Language Subtitles (SLS).” Each word is highlighted in time with the audio, which helps with comprehension and retention.
Omniglot – This site specializes in providing information about languages and their alphabets and writing systems.
First German Words by Oxford University Press – The Oxford First Words book series is a language learning tool for children. This First Words book features over 400 words in German and the interactive online interface allows you to click on the pictures to hear the audio in German along with the English translations.
Digital Dialects – This website makes learning vocabulary fun with interactive games.
Hello World – Hello World has created hundreds of free language learning games and activities that cater to the way children learn best. The goal is to teach languages using cognitive immersion and to keep the process fun in order to increase learning potential. Approximately 1,300 vocabulary words are introduced over 70 different categories.
Goethe Verlag – This website offers 100 German lessons for beginners, each with words, phrases and corresponding audio files.
Loecsen – Loecson offers a free mini course consisting of fun lessons that provide a basic introduction to German with the help of text, audio, simple illustrations and quizzes to test your progress. You will learn high frequency vocabulary words and commonly used phrases relating to 17 themes which are relevant to everyday life.
Verbix – Online German verb conjugator.
Conjuguemos – Conjuguemos is a go-to site for over 14,000 schools that has helped millions of people learn their verb conjugations. Created by Alejandro Yegros, a high school Spanish teacher from the USA, it is described as a self-grading, self-timed conjugating and vocabulary-building program for learners of all ages that offers over 300,000 activities created by language teachers from around the globe.
I Love Languages German Lessons – This site provides 17 beginner German lessons designed to help you improve your speaking, reading, and writing skills. Supplementary resources include vocabulary, grammar tips, and phrases.
Cultural Interviews with German-Speaking Professionals by UT Austin – In addition to touching on various cultural issues and business topics, these interviews with German executives provide a variety of examples of natural spoken German, which is helpful to language learners. This free educational resource is brought to you by the University of Texas at Austin.
Sounds of Speech by The University of Iowa – This website is dedicated to helping students to learn how the sounds of German are formed using animations, videos, and audio samples to explain each consonant and vowel.
Lang-8 – This free network is a nice tool to support your language learning. Native speakers are available to make corrections to your text and provide feedback. In return, you provide help to others.
HiNative – iTunes – Google Play – HiNative is an app brought to you by the creators of Lang-8 that allows you to ask questions to native speakers from around the world using your smartphone. HiNative was created to be used alongside Lang-8, and is different from Lang-8 in that it focuses on a Q&A type of learning while Lang-8 is a journal writing experience.
RhinoSpike – RhinoSpike is an interesting website that connects language learners from all over the world allowing them to exchange audio files to help improve pronunciation skills. It allows you to submit text that you would like to hear read aloud by a native speaker, and in turn, you receive the audio file. In exchange, and to speed up the process you can, in turn, provide audio files in your native language for other learners.
MyLanguageExchange.com – This online language learning community connects you with other learners so that you can practice speaking in your second language with a native speaker and vice-versa.
Italki – A community of over 2 million language learners that facilitates free language practice with native speakers. You simply exchange time teaching your native language for time learning a foreign language, making it mutually beneficial and free.
Tivi – Although this is a children’s website, it can be helpful to read the basic stories and watch videos that are more simplistic in nature.
DW.com – If you are ready to move beyond the DW “Slowly Spoken News” program mentioned above, check out the Deutsche Welle news site for native German speakers.
Deutsch Perfekt – This news site is geared towards German language learners and the articles are labeled according to the difficulty level.
Nachrichtenleicht – Nachrichtensleicht (Newslight) is a collaboration between the radio station Deutschlandfunk and the Technical University of Cologne. Multiple news stories are published every Friday, with the goal of providing the news in simple language that is easy to understand.
ZDF – ZDF is a large German public broadcasting company that provides tons of content to watch and livestream.
Der Spiegel – Der Spiegel is a leading German news source known throughout the world, and it is a website that is definitely worth reading.
ARD – This national German news network makes their programming available to stream for free.
Tagesschau – The is probably the most important news show in Germany. It is held in high regard and is very popular, although it might be more challenging for beginners to understand.
EuroNews – EuroNews is a news media company that features news from a European perspective and offers content in 12 different languages online.
Google News – Read the world news in German with Google News.
SBS Radio German Program – iTunes – SBS is an Australian broadcasting company that targets non-native English speakers and creates programming in many languages. This podcast allows you to listen to interviews, features and community stories from the SBS Radio German program, including Australian and world news.
WordReference – There is no need for a German-English dictionary if you have WordReference. Featuring good translations of words and solid definitions, this site also has helpful forums where German speakers from around the world contribute to explaining subtle nuances or more obscure words.
Forvo – This crowd-sourced site is a great tool to help with pronunciation as it allows you to listen to words and phrases spoken by native speakers.
Dict.cc – A go-to German dictionary and translation website which also offers crowd-sourced recordings by native speakers.
Leo – Another trusted German dictionary and translation website.
Bab.La – This “language portal” boasts 44 dictionaries for 28 languages, as well as a wealth of other language learning resources, such as helpful articles, games and quizzes, verb conjugations and phrase books.
LearnWithOliver – In addition to a dictionary, this site offers games and flashcards to support your German Language learning.
Tatoeba – Tatoeba is a large, crowdsourced database of sentences and translations. This free resource allows you to search for a word and get results showing that word in sentences with translations.
Talkify – This free, multilingual website is a very interesting and valuable resource that allows you to listen to text in foreign languages. Simply insert a URL into the search field on Talkify and it will automatically detect the language and read the text of that website aloud in a natural sounding voice.
Cambridge Online Dictionary – Here you can access the online version of the popular Cambridge Dictionary.
Deutsch im Blick – Deutsch im Blick is the web-based first-year German program from the University of Texas, and this is the free textbook which accompanies it.
A Foundation Course in Reading German – This open textbook (By Howard Martin, revised as an open online textbook by Alan Ng) is used at the University of Wisconsin and aimed at beginners with no prior German knowledge.
Basic German: A Grammar and Workbook – This introductory German textbook is helpful when studying independently, or to accompany a class.
Transparent.com – Free online language level testing is offered by this language learning software company.
Cactus Language – This UK based language study abroad organization offers free online language level testing.
Language Trainers – This language training company offers free online language level testing.
Sprachcaffe – One of Europe’s leading language school organizations, Sprachcaffe offers free online language level testing.
Syvum – Free German translation games, quizzes, printables, activities and more.
Speak7 – In addition to proficiency tests, this site features a variety of German learning resources.
Goethe Verlag – Free tests in 25 languages and 600 language combinations. You will find 200 German vocabulary tests and 20 German crossword puzzles.
What Are Your Favorite Free German Language Learning Resources?
We have done a lot of research to bring you the best, free resources that the internet has to offer and we want to make sure our list is always comprehensive. Please share your favorites in the comments below!