Learn German: The complete guide to learning German as a foreign language online and for free

Deutsch-lernen-Leitfaden

With this complete A-Z guide you will learn everything you need to know to study German.

You will find a compilation of the best resources, videos, tasks, work sheets and much more in the whole internet.

No matter what your language level is, in this guide you will find the appropriate means for studying.

Each chapter is about a specific topic of learning German and offers the best resources for this topic. Each chapter starts with a video explaining the most important content of this chapter.

Note: Here is the full article in German.

As a special treat, Katja from „Deutsch für Euch“ is a guest for this post. Katja runs one of the biggest and most popular YouTube channels for students of the German language. She recorded her top 10 tips for learning German as a video (with German and English subtitles):

The following topics are covered (click on the headline to jump directly to the chapter):

If you need German shows and movies with or without subtitles and other ressources to practice your German, check out this site.

And if you are interested in german audios and audio books, then the website der Vorleser could be really interesting for you. On this page you find more than 750 german audio books and radio plays exclusively made for the site. And the best about it – they are all freely available for you. As well as to stream as to download. Obviously you already have to be somewhat advanced to make the best use out of the offer, but besides of that it really is a great ressource to learn german online.

Are you now finally ready to learn German?

Chapter 1: The introduction, learn German for Beginners

You have just started to study German? In this chapter you will find the best resources to gain a basic knowledge of the German language.

On the YouTube Channel of „Deutsch global“ you will find a variety of exercise videos for all kind of topics in the field of studying German. You will find everything here, from speaking and listening comprehension to grammar (in the example a video with words for A1):

  • Deutsch-lernen is a language school from Vienna offering you for free 10 chapters about the basic grammar topics of the German language including explanations, some short exercises as well as the corresponding vocabulary lists. If you are already more advanced you will find 24 more chapters for advanced students. The site also offers helpful tips for spelling and 2 free tests for the assessment of your German language skills. A shorter and a longer one. To take the longer one you have to register.
  • The Goethe-Institut offers an audio language course with 52 episodes especially for beginners with small or no prior knowledge. After listening to these 52 chapters you should have advanced quite a bit.
  • Lingohut with 100 short lessons that will give beginners an understanding of the most important basics of the German language. The lessons are in English and of course designed interactively.
  • Aussichten is the name of Klett’s online textbook for the levels from A1-B1. Here you will really find everything imaginable for your start to study German. There are online exercises, work sheets including exercise, an own App as well as learning guides, audio files and videos and even an assessment test. The only thing left is to wish you a lot of fun – just dive into it.
  • Deutschakademie – interactive exercises from A1 to C1. You can determine the amount of learning and exercises on your own.
  • Deutschlernerblog is a blog 100 % dedicated to learning German, as the name already reveals it. Amongst it`s broad offer of articles and ressources to learn German you can also find loads of materials for beginners (level A1 – B1). And many more like german videos, exercises to improve your german listening comprehension, german grammar or german vocabulary.

Chapter 2: The correct pronunciation and emphasis

How do you pronounce this German word again? Where do you put your emphasis in German words? Correct pronunciation and emphasis is important for you to be understood easily. In this chapter you will find the most important resources to help you with this.

The YouTube playlist of LanguageSheep and his videos will give you an understanding of German pronunciation:

  • Deutschfördern offers tests and exercises about spelling. At the same time you will learn the differences in emphasis and pronunciation of similar German phonemes and vowels through listening and writing.
  • The Klett Online Phonetics Trainer allows you the ideal training of the German pronunciation with 15 videos explaining all important phonemes as well as their formation and pronunciation. Including documents with explanations and further exercises for download. Focuses on levels A1-B1, but advanced students can also review their pronunciation.
  • Deutscheaussprache.com is completely dedicated to German pronunciation. You can not only check how well you understand German already, but also improve your speaking and listening comprehension in a playful way. You will hear German words with a similar sound and will have to assign them to the corresponding pictures.
  • The University of Iowa tries to teach their students German without an accent. That is why you will find here pronunciation guides for the most important German phonemes including different word examples and even animation to show you how to form these phonemes with your mouth.
  • Deutsched gives you an understanding of German pronunciation and emphasis of words. There are short audio examples for every letter and longer sections for the consonants. The special thing of this page is that it is written completely in English as well as in German.
  • The University of Bielefeld in the person of Julia Settinieri has assembled a series of documents which should help you to improve your german pronunciation. These are not only addressed to german language learners but also to german teachers so that they can implement the tips and tricks on their students.

Chapter 3: The most important German words

At the beginning it is helpful to learn the most important German words, so you can start with the first easy conversations and some small talk. You can find the first words with which you should start in this chapter.

In this YouTube playlist you will find 20 short videos with the most important words. The best about this is, that you do not only see and hear the words, but there is also always an image in the background to have an optical effect:

  • With Digital Dialects you study new German words in an interactive and fun way.
  • Memrise is an online offer for learning languages – not only, but also for German. The community-based offer, free registration and the possibility to study on the road with the provided app should be enough to convince you.
  • Nancy Thuleen offers a variety of diverse exercises to enrich your vocabulary and at the same time study small grammar topics. The provided solution sheets, which you should of course only look at after finishing the exercise, are very helpful.
  • Deutschwortschatz is a nicely designed and very informative website dedicated to the German language and its variety of words. Therefore it is not only suitable for people who are currently studying German, but also for native speakers wanting to get to know their own language more profoundly.
  • The 500 most common words of the German language should be a good starting point for your own first vocabulary lists.
  • The University of Leipzig has designed an extensive portal of german vocabulary, at which you can search for german vocabulary and german words in newspaper articles (with more than 26 million sentences of german newspaper texts). So that you see the seeked word directly in a natural context, and by that not only widen your vocabulary but at the same time your german reading comprehension.

Chapter 4: German conversations

You know the most important words and are ready for your first easy conversations? In this chapter you will find dialogs and text helping you to have your first conversations in German.

In this YouTube playlist you will find 50 minutes of german audio about different conversation topics:

  • Open-University has different chapters about German in its language department. These are not only dedicated to one topic, but also very comprehensive and help to train listening, speaking, reading and writing. This link leads you to the chapter about the topic eating and drinking (ordering in a restaurant).
  • The University of Cambridge offers text and audio examples for some basic conversation topics. Therefore this is especially helpful for you, if you are just beginning your adventure of studying German. Here is a second Link by the same university, but with different topics.
  • Expressions and small phrases for the German day to day life, including the English counterpart, can be found at Loecsen.
  • On the page of Hueber you will find 6 chapters, each with 10 comprehensive lectures and exercises to improve your knowledge of the German language considering job and work life. Conversation topics and words as well as phrases, helping you with a possible search for a job.
  • The Forum for commercial German has a similar idea and especially wants to train foreign employees for German job market.
  • Cafe Deutsch with a detailed list of reading exercises and furthermore audio files regarding german conversations and talking practice. With transcripts so that you can practice your german pronunciation as well as reading and listening comprehension at the same time.

Chapter 5: The most important German idiomatic expressions

Expressions make the difference between someone learning German and someone fluent in German. With the right idioms at the right moment you can impress every native speaker. In this chapter you will find the most important idiomatic expressions for this task.

In following Youtube-playlist compiled by the famous Deutschlernerblog 40 typical german idioms are presented to you with the help of lovingly designed graphics:

  • On Lingolia you will find a comprehensive list of important German sayings and the corresponding explanations, divided by subjects.
  • Wikipedia has an incredibly long and detailed list with German sayings and expressions including explanations on offer.
  • The German alumni portal also has an own category for sayings. The interesting thing is that you can or may always try to guess first what the meaning of a certain expression might be.
  • The Geo Magazine in his youth magazine Geolino dedicated an own chapter to German sayings, their origin and explanation. Because the target audience are actually children and adolescents, the texts are easy and fun to read.
  • The lexicon of expressions explains some German expressions and a variety of other particularities and originalities of the German language.
  • Deutsche Welle even has it`s own series named „Das sagt man so“ about german idioms and idiomatic expressions in German.

Chapter 6: Travelling to / staying in Germany

Ready for your first trip to Germany? If not, this chapter will help you. The following resources will perfectly prepare you for such a trip, so you will have no problems to find your way around.

In this video series by the Goethe Institut you accompany 23 year old Nevin throughout her first weeks in Germany:

  • Nancy Thuleen prepares you for travelling to or staying in a German speaking country with some chapters about German culture and history, including work and solution sheets.
  • Another portal for students of the German language wanting to give you an understanding about is “der Weg”. It has a religious background, but that has nothing to do with the undoubted high quality of the site.
  • Deutsch-Portal.com is especially aimed at improving your reading comprehension and your vocabulary by providing texts to all possible subjects including word lists, exercises and the respective solutions. This link leads you to the chapter about travelling and traffic.
  • The University of Cambridge also has a small but good online offering, including exercises with solutions, to prepare the English speaking German language student for his travels to a German speaking holiday destination.
  • Lingohut also has a section in his offer where you are taught the most important words and expressions for a journey to a German speaking country.

Chapter 7: German tenses

You have a basis of German knowledge and you can already have easy conversations? Than it is time now for you to speak about your plans for the future and stories from the past. In this chapter you will learn the German tenses.

As an introduction and to loosen things up a bit, the tenses rap from the Rapartschule:

  • Nancy Thuleen offers a variety of diverse exercises on her website, focusing on VERTIEFUNG UNF FESTIGUNG of your knowledge of the German grammar, as well as comprehensive material about the different German tenses. The solution sheets are very helpful, but of course you should only look at them after completing the exercises.
  • Lingolia has in his comprehensive offering also detailed explanations for all German tenses, including examples.
  • At Schlaukopf you will find a variety of user based exercises, including some for German tenses. In the drop-down menu you can choose between different school types, i.e. levels of difficulty, and subjects. So if you might want to practice grammar or other subjects of the German language you can also do that here.
  • Kiknet developed 14 exercise sheets including explanations and solutions together with Victorinox. As this is a Swiss enterprise, the tasks obviously refer to Switzerland.
  • And for you to really have enough to practice, you have this last link here of Grammatikdeutsch.de, where you will find explanations and interactive exercises including control for the German tenses.
  • Deutsch im Blick offers a broad variety of material to learn German online. For example german histories, information about the german spelling and last but not least a condensed compilation of the german tenses.

Chapter 8: German grammar

If you already have a good basic knowledge of the German language, you can now take your time to improve your German grammar. You already have some understanding of the German language now, which makes it a lot easier to understand the complex German grammar. In this chapter you’ll find the corresponding resources to do so.

Let’s start with a video or a playlist on YouTube. FreeGermanLessons gives you a detailed understanding of the German grammar with more than 100 short videos. The good thing is that most of the videos are recorded in German in a slow and easy to understand way, so you can practice other skills at the same time:

  • Lingolia is a clearly arranged and complete portal for free language learning. The grammar is divided in chapters and subdivided in subchapters. Every subchapter includes detailed explanations and some small exercises. It seems like the exercise part will be developed as Lingolia+, but we cannot yet say if these will than still be free.
  • Canoonet is a project of several universities and research groups focusing on the research about the German language. On the one hand they are creating a comprehensive online dictionary. On the other hand there are explanations including examples for other aspects of the language, such as the grammar.
  • Klett – so it doesn’t become too dull. Here you will only find grammar exercises which are immediately evaluated:
  • German-grammar with explanations, exercises and even audio files. The big difference to the other links: As the name suggests, the website is completely in English.
  • Grammatiktraining focuses especially on practicing, practicing and practicing again.
  • A topic that a lot of german language learners causes headaches or at least problems is the conjugation of german verbs. Especially throughout the different tenses and even more with irregular verbs. Some help with this issue you can find at Verbformen.de. At this site you can find more than 14.000 german verbs an all of their conjugations. In alphabetical order but as well with a convenient search function.
  • At Woxikon.de you find explanations and definitions to a wide variety of german vocabulary as well as their synonyms. Just in case the specific meaning of some german words may still may not be that clear for you.
  • Grammatikdeutsch offers a huge amount of exercises to all diferent topics of german grammar. At this page you find exercises for german substantives, german verbs, german adjectives, german pronouns, the german word order and many more.

Chapter 9: German spelling

German spelling isn’t easy at all. There are lots of rules and exceptions. It is not made easier by the fact that there is a lot of confusion between the old and new rules. No wonder that even native speakers sometimes have trouble spelling a word correctly.

In the following video you find a helpful explanation to one of the most important topics of german grammar. The difference between ss and ß with the help of the example of dass – das:

  • Neue Rechtschreibung.de seems to be something like the official platform for the new spelling rules. You will find everything you need to know about the subject here.
  • The DUDEN offers you the same in a much shorter way and in 25 steps.
  • Exercises, and not few of them, but 22 PDF pages, can be found on neue-deutsche-rechtschreibung.info.
  • A self-study course with review can be found in the offering of Akademie.de.
  • At Fehler-haft.de you will find a clear comparison of the most important differences between the old and new spelling rules.
  • Neue Rechtschreibung with the 20 most important rules regarding german spelling in a single and clearly structured list. So that the only thing that is left for you to do in this case is to say thank you.
  • Languagetool is a free online tool to check the grammatical correctness of texts written in German. So in case you are not sure about the correct spelling of a sentence or even a whole text you can verify it with Languagetool quickly and above all completely for free.

Chapter 10: Assessment tests German

How good is your German? At which level should you start? On the internet you can find several assessment tests. This chapter shows you the best German assessment tests.

3 YouTube videos with interactive assessment tests. To properly define your level here, you will have to be honest and able to criticize yourself above all:

  • Deutsch lernen – a language school from Vienna – offers 2 free tests to assess your knowledge of the German language. A shorter one and a longer one. You will have to register for the longer one.
  • Aussichten, the online teaching choice from the publisher Klett Languages also offers an assessment test of course. And not only online, but also for downloading.
  • The Goethe Institut tests you and your knowledge of German. Especially to assess you for their own courses.
  • On the website of Sprachtest.de you can also take a 15 minute language test and you will directly get the results via e-mail.
  • Alpha Austria also offers you the possibility to define your knowledge of German according to the European frame of reference (A1-C2) with the help of 40 questions.

Chapter 11:  Learn German for refugees and asylum seakers

This chapter is dedicated to refugees and asylum seekers.

The following YouTube playlist is made especially for refugees from current countries of crisis, because German expressions are presented with the Arabic translation:

  • Deutschtraining.org is interesting for you because of two aspects, if you have just arrived to Germany. Firstly because it is designed to be used on a smartphone and secondly because all the German words have an English and Arabic translation. Here you will find all sorts of short lections and longer courses for nearly all subjects and levels of difficulty, including grammar explanations and vocabulary training. Some of it, especially for beginners, is for free; especially some of the more comprehensive courses have to be paid for.
  • The Goethe Institute offers you reading, writing and speaking exercises as a preparation for its exams.
  • The online course of the publisher Klett is interesting for refugees and asylum seekers, because the glossary including the word lists for the beginner courses from level A1 to B1 are offered in several languages including Arabic.
  • Meet the Germans, also by the Goethe Institute, wants to give you an understanding of the German people and their habits and traditions. Several interactive exercises are available to help you with that, especially for level A1 to B2. You will need a lot of personal intiative and supporting material such as e.g. dictionaries though. And for some exercises there are no solutions.
  • The app Ankommen is supposed to help you through your first weeks in Germany. It offers help for important subjects such as learning German, living in Germany or also asylum, education and work. Matching in addition are the further apps and offers from the Goethe Institute especially for refugees.
  • The Germany Lab from Deutsche Welle is a podcast trying to get to the bottom of prejudices about Germans and their habits. It wants to give students of the German language an understanding about Germany, its inhabitants and its culture; also regarding a possible stay in Germany.
  • The project „Mehr Sprachen kein Thema!“ published a multilingual book with texts and poems written by asylum seekers in their respective native language. In the book you not only find this texts, but also the german translation for them.

Chapter 12:  Exercises for German, work sheets, tasks and learning games

Learning a language needs a lot of practice. You will find the best exercises, work sheets, tasks and learning games to learn German in this chapter.

Deutsche Welle Interaktiv gives you a descriptive understanding of the German language with its YouTube videos. Here is the first chapter:

  • Schubert Publishing offers a comprehensive selection of exercises, tasks and work sheets based on their textbook German as a foreign language (Deutsch als Fremdsprache, DAF). Beginning from level A1 up to C2. Here you should find a matching exercise for every need and every level. With the exercises you can always see immediately if your answer was right or not.
  • Deutschtraining.org publishes an interactive exercise optimized for mobile use every day. For free and related to a different subject every day. Listening comprehension, reading, grammar, and so on. The only problem is that a different level of difficulty is addressed every day as well. But as there is a huge archive already, you should be well catered for until the next article matching your level is published.
  • Deutschfördern offers you a variety of interactive tests and possibilities for practice on its page, especially for but not limited to grammar. If you want to work your way through the whole offer, you have interesting weeks if not months lying ahead of you.
  • Nancy Thuleen published a variety of diverse exercises to reinforce and solidify your knowledge about German grammar on her page. The provided solution sheets are very helpful, but of course you should only look at them after completing the exercises. On the same page you can find interesting games to loosen up the dull day-to-day studying with this link.
  • Exercises from level A1 to B2 including the correct solutions can be found on the page of German Course Vienna.
  • A funny and entertaining german online test, with which you can test the proficiency of your german vocabulary you find following this link. And how broad is your german vocabulary already?
  • Mein Deutschbuch has compiled a whole bunch of german online exercises especially for german beginners (level A1, A2, B1 and B2). These should help you to improve your german vocabulary, your german writing skills and your knowledge about the german punctuation as well as the difference between lower- and upper case forms.

Chapter 13:  Videos to learn German

The internet is interactive. You can find a variety of videos to learn German on the internet. In this way studying is a lot more fun as with simply reading all the time. This chapter shows you the best YouTube channels to study German with videos.

  • Katja from Deutsch für Euch is continuously publishing new and refreshing videos of and with her on the internet, giving especially English speaking students an understanding of the German language. She produced the introduction video for this article.
  • Deutsche Welle has an own channel with a variety of short and fun videos in which you accompany the animated presenter Harry through day-to-day situations. Of course in German.
  • Jojo sucht das Glück (Jojo is looking for happiness) is a telenovela with which you can improve your listening and language comprehension in a fun and especially in a really everyday kind of way.
  • Deutsch lernen with an 80 minute lecture about the subjects of basic vocabulary, common sentences and important verbs. The same provider offers a variety of similar lectures on his channel.
  • DeutschOnlineLernen offers you about 20 videos of 5 to 10 minutes in which you learn new vocabulary and are shown how they are used in matching expressions and phrases. Furthermore there are the English translations and matching images to visually support the presentation.
  • K Kasuko (and whoever might be behind this pseudonym) has produced Youtube-videos and Youtube-playlists for you to learn German, which are especially targeted at beginners (german level A1 and A2).

If you haven`t found nothing for you, maybe you will a German YouTube-channel that tempts you in our collection of the 60 best YouTube-channels to learn a language.

Chapter 14: Podcasts to learn German

Podcasts are perfect for studying a foreign language. You can take them with you wherever you go and listen to them occasionally. In this chapter you will find the best podcasts to study German.

  • Deutsche Welle offers a German news magazine daily from Monday to Saturday. You can choose between the versions with slow or normal speech according to your needs. Deutsche Welle also has an own Twitter channel where not only news but also several small tasks are posted every day.
  • Slow German is the title of this podcast in which journalist Annik Rubens – as the name suggests – explains a lot of interesting things worth knowing about the German day-to-day life in a slow and clear manner. Therefore it is also suitable for slightly advances students.
  • German Facts has produced 16 episodes until now. Not that many, but the offer is complemented with additional material including free exercises with solutions, a transcription of every episode and additional links about the subject of the offer. To understand the partly challenging audio files you should already be an advanced student.
  • Grüße aus Deutschland (greetings from Germany) is the name of the Goethe Institute’s own podcast focusing especially on the levels A1 to B2 regarding difficulty.
  • Deutsch perfekt (German perfectly) also sends you a free, short podcast of about 3 minutes every week after you have registered. At the end of the podcast you are supposed to answer a short question. The level of difficulty addresses slightly advanced students and don’t worry – the correct answer is always revealed of course.

Even more German Podcast to learn German with Audios you can find in our collection of the 60 best Podcasts to learn a language.

Chapter 15: The best German textbooks

You want to start learning German with a textbook or you need a reference guide for grammar rules and new vocabulary? If so, I can recommend the following 5 textbooks.

  • The Goethe Institute offers you a book with the name „Fit fürs Goethe-Zertifikat XY“ for every level, such as for example A1. These books match their exams and therefore make for the perfect preparation for the corresponding exam. Unfortunately they are not available anymore via the online offer of Goethe Publishing as of the 28th of July 2016. But your local bookseller or the internet will surely be able to help you get the right copy for you.
  • Hueber Publishing, one of the biggest publishers for the subject of „Deutsch als Fremdsprache” (German as a foreign language), is even offering an own webpage for its main textbook “Themen aktuell”. This is surely justified because this is one of the most distributed textbook series in the world. The same publisher also offers the series Delfin, which is especially aimed at levels A1-B1 and the following series EM, starting with level B2.
  • Klett Publishing has more than 500 textbooks on offer, with something for every target group and level, for adolescents and adults learning German to specific commercial German. In this comprehensive offer you should be able to find the right textbook for yourself.
  • Langenscheidt Publishing, which is known nearly the whole world for its canary yellow dictionaries, has an offer for target groups similar to Klett Publishing. It is not quite as comprehensive but can still be recommended.
  • Gilde Publishing has been offering textbooks especially for children and adolescents since 1985. In the beginning especially for German schools abroad, but over the last year more and more for immigrants within Germany.

Chapter 16: The best online German courses

Online courses offer an excellent possibility to study German at your own pace. You can study German comfortably with your computer. Here are the best free and fee-bases English online courses.

For free

  • Aussichten is the name of the online text book from Klett for levels A1-B1. Here you will find everything you might need for the start of your German language learning. Including everything from online exercises, work sheets and solutions, an own app, as well as learning guides, audio files and videos and even an assessment test. The only thing left is to wish you good luck and a lot of fun.
  • Mauswiesel – the official online platform of the county of Hessen, wanting to help you with your efforts to learn the German language with a great variety of documents, exercises, audio files and corresponding explanations.
  • The Deutsche Welle also offers a high-quality and at the same time free online German course. Unfortunately it is only offered for levels A1-B1; afterwards you will have to look for another way to continue studying German. But the practice units are very comprehensive and interactive. And the DW has so much more on offer, so that you might not have to switch pages after finishing the B1 course but maybe only the subitem.
  • Schubert Publishing offers a comprehensive selection of exercises, tasks and work sheets based on their textbook German as a foreign language (Deutsch als Fremdsprache, DAF). Beginning from level A1 up to C2. Here you should find a matching exercise for every need and every level. With the exercises you can always see immediately if your answer was right or not.
  • Deutsch-Info is an online platform not only teaching you German for free with the most modern didactic means after your free registration, but also teaching you a lot about living and working in Austria and Germany. Very important information can be found here. And all of it even in several languages.
  • The Austrian government also put together an online German course for levels A1-B2 in cooperation with the language service provider Cornelsen.
  • German is easy von yourdailygerman.com is a blog from Berlin dedicated at learning German online. The special thing about it is, that it is completely written in English. Although it´s not the typical kind of blog but rather a german online course in episodes. The topics range from german grammar to general topics about German as a language. But just have a look yourself – 200.000 visitors per month can`t be completely wrong. 2 episodes per week you can read completely free. If you should be interested in reading more you have to register.

Fee-based

If you are looking for professional help for your project of learning German and want to spend a bit of money for it, or if you simply need a certificate after completing your course, these fee-based offers are probably right for you:

  • Let’s start again with the Goethe Institute. Here you will have to pass an online assessment test first. After this you will receive a recommendation for your learning level. Of course you can start with a different level at your own risk also. In addition to the comprehensive and very advanced practicing material you will meet a couple of times online with your personal teacher during the course. A high-quality but also high-prices course including a certificate.
  • Lingoda with their seat in Berlin seems to be a very affordable provider, especially compared to a traditional language course, still offering you a very personal all-round service. Depending on the acquired package there are a certain number of group as well as particular lessons available to you, all of them taking place online at your preferred time. Furthermore you can get a language certificate as part of a Lingoda course.
  • Busuu is basically a free app for studying 12 different languages by now. The free program is a bit limited though and can be extended with a premium membership. Furthermore you can buy personal language courses on their portal.
  • The Deutsch-Uni.Online counts on a very service and customer oriented offer. This is not only available for all levels of difficulty but also especially for business German. Of course also state certified and with certificate.
  • Babbel surely offers one of the best relations price-performance ratios. It does not cost a lot and the exercises, explanations and the variety is comprehensive and of high quality. But of course personally attended studying is a different thing.

Chapter 17: German dictionaries

What does … mean in German again? A good dictionary is indispensable. In this chapter you will find the most popular German dictionaries.

  • At first we will have to name the time-honored Duden and its online offering here of course. But not only due to the tradition, but mainly because there is a lot on offer here. You will additionally find definitions and text examples for the wanted words, as well as helpful tools such as listening examples for pronunciation, images and typical word combinations in form of word clouds and a lot more. Under this link you will find a whole article treating only the online Duden and the variety of its functions.
  • Wissen.de does not only has a German dictionary to offer, but also a lexicon, a dictionary of foreign words and a dictionary of synonyms. It can hardly be more complete.
  • PONS might be one of the biggest providers concerning the language combinations. The app can especially be recommended because it always shows the translations for the wanted word in a context, so you can really choose the translation with the right meaning.
  • Linguee is based on a similar principle. Here the wanted word is presented in a textual context and therefore in all its possible connections. By now it exists for German in combination with 7 other languages. English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch and Polish.
  • dict.cc is probably even more comprehensive than PONS considering the languages offered, but in this case it is a project developed by a community. That means that the translations don’t always have to be 100% correct, as committed laymen and not paid specialists work to further extend the offering. In exchange you might find some expressions from colloquial language that might be missing in a classical dictionary.
  • Langenscheidt – the time-honoured publishing house with it`s online branch. Here you can obtain for free, but nevertheless with the usual Langenscheidt quality, translations from and to German in combination with 19 other languages in total. Amongst them you should find your mother tongue as well. And in case not the chances are high that it is added in the near future.

Kapitel 18: German Vocabulary Trainer and German Language Learning App

Learn your latest german vocabulary on a sunny bench instead of being locked up in your room with it!

Do you want to learn German or repeat your latest german vocabulary not only online but also on the way? Yes? Perfect – because in this chapter I´ve put together the best german vocabulary trainers and apps to learn German. So that you can easily learn on the bus or the train on the way to work or the university without loosing time.

  • Unterwegs Deutsch lernen – This is the own app of the Goethe Institut. With this app you can download vocabulary lists for specific levels of german on one hand. Or upload your vocabulary cards if you are participating in a Goethe course on the other hand. Furthermore it is also possible to upload your very own sets of vocabulary. Afterwards you can train and repeat these vocabulary with the help of the flash card system.
  • Languagecourse – The online vocabulary trainer from languagecourse is not only one of the most extensive ones and on top of that completely freely available, but also one of the best ones – (at least following our testing). This app already contains more than 10.000 words and phrases (for all levels of German from A1 to C1) to start right away. Furthermore you can add your own german vocabulary lists.
  • Fun Easy Learn – This german app is especially designed for beginners. With this programm you can learn your first 6000 german words. And as soon as you are through with that, you can carry on with the 5000 most important german phrases.
  • Memrise – Is not the classical vocabulary trainer but rather a platform on which language learners can exchange their sets of flash cards. So that you not only find flash cards for German and other languages, but for more or less all topics one could imagine. What I like most are the mnemonics. And you for sure will also find something that delights you.
  • Deutsche Welle – Learning German with Audios: Is the language learning app from DW. Which is not a classical vocabulary trainer but more a programm to teach you German with the help of audios. With this app you can listen to the audio files of DW meanwhile reading the according transcripts. Furthermore there are explanations for new vocabulary included. The target group of this app are german language learners that are already a little bit more advanced, as for bare beginners it could be somehow too demanding.

Conclusion: Learn German quickly with these extraordinary resources

This guide is very comprehensive and offers you everything you need to study German.

If you still should have any questions about German, then you can ask them trustfully in the German Stackexchange Forum. This is an English-speaking Forum, in which experts for German as well as language enthusiasts answer to all possible and impossible question about German and how to learn it.

Good luck with studying German!

A great thanks to Jeremy-James Peter, who found all these great resources. Also a great thanks to Katja for providing the introductory video.

Do you miss any good resources? Any chapters missing? Post them in a comment!

Über den Autor

Gabriel Gelman ist Gründer von Sprachheld, Sprachenthusiast und nutzt gerne seine 6 Sprachen für Reisen und Kennenlernen neuer Leute. Er hilft Sprachlernern dabei schnell ihre Fremdsprache zu lernen.

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