Great Ways to Learn German Online for Free

Girl learning language on computer
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The German language is much easier to learn than you might have heard. With the right course structure, a little discipline, and some online tools or apps, you can master your first steps into the German language quickly. Here's how to get started.

Set Realistic Goals

Make sure to set a solid goal like e.g. "I want to reach German level B1 by the end of September with 90 minutes of daily work" and also consider booking an exam about six to eight weeks before your deadline (if you stay on track, of course).

For more about what to expect from German exams, take a look at our exam series:

If You Want to Focus on Writing

If you need help with your writing, Lang-8 offers a service where you can copy and paste a text for the community--usually native speakers--to edit. In return, you just need to correct another member's text, which will not take you long. And it's all free. For a small monthly fee your text will be featured more prominently and get corrected faster but if time doesn't matter to you, the free option is sufficient. 

If You Want to Focus on Pronunciation and Speaking

Looking for a conversational partner is the very best way to hone your speaking skills. While you can try to find a 'tandem partner', with whom you could arrange a free language exchange, it's often simpler to just pay someone for this job. Sites like Italki and Verbling are places where you might find someone suitable and affordable.

Those don't necessarily have to instruct you, although that might be helpful. Thirty minutes of practice a day is ideal, but any amount will improve your skills rapidly.

Basic German Concepts and Vocabulary

Below you'll find a number of resources on this site that are suitable for beginners.

How to Stay on Track and Get Motivated

Programs like Memrise and Duolingo can help you stay on track and make your vocabulary learning as efficient as possible. With Memrise, while you could use one of the ready-made courses, I strongly recommend that you create your own course. Keep the levels manageable with approximately 25 words each. Tip: If you are better at setting goals than you are at following through (and who isn't?), try the motivational platform stickk.com.