Best Apps for Learning German: A Comprehensive Guide

There are tons of available apps to learn the German language, but how do you know which you should go with? In this article, we’ll discuss what makes each of these apps unique and how they’ll fit into your language learning strategy.

German is a complex language with over 95 million native speakers, and as technology progresses, it’s easier than ever to learn it.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of web and mobile apps that make learning German easy, whether you’re looking for a full-fledged course or something aimed more at the written side of things

Learning a language is hard. But it’s not impossible – with the right tools, you can learn German in no time.

Best Apps for Learning German: A Comprehensive Guide

Overall Best App to Learn German: Babbel
Best Free App to Learn German: Duolingo
Best Beginner German App: Mondly
Best German App with Audio Lessons: Pimsleur
Best App to Learn German Grammar: Rocket German
Other German Language Apps We Reviewed
Choosing the Best App For Learning German


Here are the top 10 apps to help you learn German.


Overall Best App to Learn German: Babbel


Summary

The approach of Babbel’s software focuses on having the users practice all four core language skills at once. They have completely re-thought how courses are presented, making their course content interactive and engaging. By implementing voice recognition technology and interactive dialogues, they are able to promote the quick acquisition of conversational skills.

Reasons why you’ll love this

  • For people who like to integrate games with learning, this app offers no gamification for their courses.
  • Learning approach is individual only, and there is no means for you to interact with mentors or other language learners. If you’re into socialization while learning German, this app may not be for you.

Babbel offers a variety of interactive language learning courses for German and other languages like Spanish, French, and English. Each language course includes voice recognition technology and engaging exercises to help you learn the basics quickly.

Image Source: How to Maximize Your Language Learning Experience on Babbel, Danny Maiorca

Babbel helps you master German fluency through a comprehensive and completely personalized learning experience by offering over 600 short and entertaining modules. The lessons are highly effective and easy to follow – Babbel will ask you a few questions about your level after you complete the playlists that are based on your individual needs.

Their content is built with the needs of busy students and business professionals in mind, allowing you to learn when it’s convenient for you. The app breaks words and grammar down into bite-size pieces that are easy to chew on. You can work on your listening skills, speaking, writing, and reading with a variety of exercises – each designed to hone a different skill.

Image Source: Babbel Makes Learning a New Language Easier, Entrepreneur.com

Babbel has a straightforward approach, and there is no fun or gamification in the app. For the ambitious learner who doesn’t fancy colors and gimmicks, Babbel’s approach offers a rewarding challenge to improve German language skills.

While there are no opportunities for conversation practice, reminders about speaking German with natives do appear in the app occasionally.

Although Babbel is not perfect, it has an excellent design and offers a comprehensive strategy for learning the German language. As the most professional language-learning app available, Babbel is meant for students who want to approach German in a more serious manner.


Best Free App to Learn German: Duolingo


Summary

Duolingo is the most fun, efficient way to learn German. The app employs the latest learning science to make sure that you learn both German and actual language skills quickly – even if you’re busy or an absolute beginner.

Reasons why you’ll love this

  • Free to use. Duolingo’s main goal is to make its language learning app zero-cost and accessible to everyone.
  • Gamified lesson to integrate fun and learning. Games that offer rewards once a user passes certain learning milestones in the app make language learning more fun.
  • The learning progression adapts to your skills over time.
  • Offers various methods for learning, such as podcasts, interactive stories, and in-person events. Course contributors know that there are students who have their preferred ways of learning a language.
  • Free from ads.

Reasons why you won’t love this

  • It won’t make an absolute beginner become fluent in German by itself. The app can only supplement basic German for learners.
  • Duolingo is not certified by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
  • As students progress with the app, some of its lessons become quite repetitive.
  • The app is enough to earn you an A1 or A2 German level of language proficiency, but there are better apps available to teach you how to construct full sentences or understand German grammar.

What sets Duolingo apart from its competitors?

Duolingo focuses on quality education with an intuitive design that helps you learn the language faster. However, Duolingo’s German course isn’t the only thing that sets it apart from the crowd – it also provides a completely free alternative to in-person language courses.

Duolingo uses gamification and artificial intelligence to make language learning fun, personalized, and effective. Its mobile app helps users learn German through bite-sized tutorials that get more difficult as you gain mastery. Additionally, the app automatically detects how you’re doing so that it can always challenge you at the right level.

Duolingo’s gamified learning courses.
Image Source: Let There Be Fun! – 5 Solid Steps to Gamification in UX, Suay Çakırca

When you open this app and start a course, Duolingo will ask you a series of pre-set questions about your reasons for learning the language, your time commitment, and your experience level with German. After the initial questionnaire, it will then tailor your learning experience to fit those needs.

Using the app’s “streak” system, students are rewarded for their daily participation – encouraging them to keep going even if they make mistakes. Unlike expensive in-person courses, Duolingo strives to make learning languages fun and makes heavy use of gamification and personalization features to encourage student engagement.

Duolingo’s Streak System
Image Source: Duolingo Twitter Account

Duolingo is designed to make learning a new language completely free and available on every platform. Through its app, Duolingo provides personalized language courses for German students covering all aspects of the language – from basic conversation skills to complex grammar rules – in short, engaging lessons that retain students’ attention through gamification.

While Duolingo app users praise the tool, they admit it won’t make a beginner fluent in German on its own. The Duolingo app course doesn’t follow the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages and doesn’t issue proficiency certificates. Over time, some of the Duolingo lessons and exercises become quite repetitive.

Lastly, Duolingo doesn’t have any ads – so you can feel comfortable learning a new language without being interrupted by commercials!


Best Beginner German App: Mondly


Summary

If you want to start learning German from scratch or brush up on what you’ve already learned, Mondly is an excellent full-course language program. With dozens of lessons ranging across reading, writing, listening, and speaking, this language app makes learning easy by breaking down the four key areas of the German language into individual skills.

Reasons why you’ll love this

  • The app offers flexibility in its courses, and you can choose which lessons you would like to take.
  • It has a learning statistics feature that you can track to see your progress.
  • Includes grammar notes to easily understand important lessons.
  • Uses augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to help you learn. Utilizes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to facilitate learning. By leveraging these types of technology, students can easily understand the concepts and lessons.

Reasons why you won’t love this

  • Some features can be considered unnecessary. An example would be its chatbot.
  • Most lesson on the app focuses mainly on basic language learning
  • Your design of preference may be classic, and you may find augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) hassle to use.

Mondly is one of the few apps that use VR, AR, and a chatbot to help you learn new German vocabulary and sentence structure.

Mondly VR
Image Source: Mondly.com

The app offers a flexible course so that you can learn portions of a language and study each piece individually. This allows you to be more flexible in your studies, reviewing only those aspects of the language that you want to focus on – and when you want to do so.

It also tracks your learning statistics so you can see how you’re doing and shows grammar notes for quick learning.

Mondly uses a variety of fun exercises and entertaining interactions to help you learn both basic and more complex German. When you sign up, you’ll have access to the free version of the app with tools that let you speak German, write sentences in German, have conversations with chatbots, and play games.

Gamified feature of Mondly with its chatbot
Image Source: Mondly.com

As a pro tip, the app also lets you create your own courses as well as choose from a catalog of pre-made courses.

While the app is great for a low-level German language learner (especially those just starting out with the language), it’s not ideal for advanced users. However, the chatbot and AR/VR features could be useful for some learners – these unique features help you learn German in a fun and unique way.


Best German App with Audio Lessons: Pimsleur

Summary

It takes a lot to learn a new language, and there are many tools available for German studying. However, Pimsleur is one of the most popular resources for learning German as it is based on the way that children learn their native languages. It is well received because of its 30-minute lessons, auditory format, and portable features.

Reasons why you’ll love this

  • Each audio lesson will guide you to learn to speak German fast.
  • The pacing of the course is enough to keep you engaged and easy to follow.
  • Bring the lessons wherever you go.
  • It has a speaking engagement feature by making you repeat the words from the listening exercise. This is a good way to further retain learning.
  • Has recently added gamified quizzes and more visual content to support other methods of learning.

Reasons why you won’t love this

  • Course materials seem outmoded versus other competitors.
Image Source: Ste Primo App Store

Because the lessons are in audio format, you can listen and learn anywhere – in your car, at home, or even while exercising. By repeating the words used in the listening exercise, you’ll be able to engage with the speaking material and get more out of your practice time.

The app has been developed by the Pimsleur Language Programs and has gained a lot of popularity over the years – with its lessons being accredited by users around the world.

Best App to Learn German Grammar: Rocket German

Summary

Rocket German might be the best app to learn German if you want to be carefully guided through the learning process. With a well-guided learning process and various practice activities, it’s ideal for those who prefer to learn at a slower pace.

Reasons why you’ll love this

  • Set your own pace while completing the course.
  • There are tons of practice activities to test everything that you have learned.
  • It incorporates German culture into its lessons, helping you speak like a native.
  • Lessons are easy to understand and follow.
  • It has gamified features with a leaderboard system to challenge competitive learners to do their best while learning.

Reasons why you won’t love this

  • Relatively more expensive compared to its competitors.
  • The course content can be further improved visually by adding more videos.

While not as well-known as other language apps, Rocket German provides many advantages that make it an attractive option for German learners. The course is engaging and interactive, with gamification and leaderboard features to help you stay motivated.

Although it might be pricier than its competitors, it offers a lot more. It’s a useful tool in your language learning arsenal that you can use to practice German with a variety of different media and exercises and work at your own pace. If you want to learn German but you don’t want to be overwhelmed by complex grammar rules, Rocket Languages’ intuitive approach is for you.

Image source: Rocket Languages Website

But unlike other programs, the strength of this app lies in its ability to test users on the spot and provide feedback through instantaneous audio playback. You can also compare your progress with others via social media updates and a user forum.

Finding your way through certain features of the app can take a little time if you’re a beginner, but once you get started, you’ll be learning German in no time!

Other German Language Apps We Reviewed

GermanPod101

GermanPod101 teaches you how to speak German through thousands of lessons. This German course is more than just listening to native speakers; it’s a system that lets you customize your study plan and learn at your own pace. With different learning tools, like text, audio, and video lessons, as well as practice exercises, the app will give you the tools to become fluent in German in no time.

Image Source: German Pod 101 Website

The courses are built around what learners need to know in business, at home, or on vacation – this is why the podcast course is such a big hit with German learners. Lessons are longer so they can be more in-depth and cover important information that’ll be useful in everyday situations, making sure you get to where you want to go.

With over 5 million downloads, the app has received great reviews from students, many of whom have credited it with dramatically improving their speaking skills. In addition to the podcast lessons, students can get language help from a German tutor.

Busuu

Busuu is a free app for any German language learner looking for the best way to learn the language. With an easy-to-use interface and a vast library of lessons, Busuu is suited for beginners and advanced learners alike.

It is the best language-learning app that helps you master German and find your voice in any conversation. Its extensive courses, which cover CEFR levels A1 to C2, provide you with opportunities to learn German vocabulary and improve grammar through speaking, writing, and listening exercises. You can choose from its vast library of audio files and videos, practice your newly acquired skills with native German speaker tutors, or simply chat with other learners on the app.

Learn at your own pace with Busuu
Image Source: Busuu Website

Students can use Busuu to learn at their own pace and set their own goals, tracking progress through the app’s intelligent analytics and encouragements. Busuu’s courses use real-life conversations; the accompanying dictionary provides you with unlimited access to over 900 commonly-used words and phrases.

Busuu is an effective, interactive app for learning all aspects of German that comes with a generous community of learners. If you spend just five minutes per day spinning through the app’s materials, you’ll be well on your way to fluency.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is the most successful language app with a huge history going back to 1992. The idea behind it is to mimic the way children acquire languages naturally and it’s earned Rosetta Stone a lot of praise.

In the mobile app, you’ll learn new words and phrases through images and hear them pronounced by native speakers, meaning is often deduced from context and new words are acquired with the help of existing knowledge.

Rosetta Stone Audio Companion Feature
Image Source: Rosetta Stone Website

Rosetta Stone is an app that offers immersive lessons to help you acquire new languages. It takes a unique approach: it bypasses translation, instead of relying on images, text, sound, and video to teach you German without any prior knowledge of the language. The app takes this concept to a whole new level – speech recognition helps with pronunciation while each standalone German lesson can be taken live with a teacher.

With access to both digital material and live tutors, Rosetta Stone provides a complete language-learning package.

Memrise

Memrise is a fun and engaging way to learn German through videos that show how people actually speak. This helps you improve your fluency more quickly since you can hear the words being said in real life instead of by a computer-generated voice.

In addition, as you progress from lesson to lesson, you’re asked to interact with what you just learned in several ways.

Image Source: The Best Apps For Learning German, Authored by M.C. (Tandem.net)

With a combination of visual and sound elements, this tool makes any language learning easy and convenient. The course covers every aspect of the language – from introducing yourself to basic grammar rules.

On top of this, Memrise also has social elements that make learning even more fun.

Learning a new language can be a difficult and time-consuming task. However, Memrise is creating an interactive platform where users can learn various languages through the use of fun and interesting lessons that are easy to understand and learn.

Preply

Preply is unlike any other language learning platform: with 1-on-1 lessons, it allows you to choose your own tutor and best of all, pay for the time that you need. You can choose from a teacher based on certain criteria, such as their origin, price, and skill level. Each German lesson is paid for by the minute so you can change tutors if needed, or have an experience with them for a longer period of time.

Image Source: Screenshot from Preply Website

Preply believes that languages are more than just formulas and grammar. That’s why it connects people that want to learn a new language with experts who can teach them in real-time through one-on-one video calls. Think of it as the Uber for languages.

Choosing the Best App For Learning German

Whether you’re looking to level up your German casually or intensively, there are many apps that can assist you. But first, it’s important to understand your motivations and desired outcomes.

Apps vary in how well they teach you a language, and no one app can make you an expert overnight. For beginners, downloading a free app will give you an overview and a good foundation of the German language.

While many apps help you learn German quickly and easily, the best app is still the one that you’ll enjoy using. A consistent study habit is still the best approach to learning a new language, and this can only be achieved when you enjoy learning it every step of the way.

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