Best Ways to Learn German

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 8, 2019
German is one of the major languages in the world and the most widely spoken native language in the European Union. And if you'd like to find the best way to learn German, you're in the right place. Our selection will let you master this prominent language of European business and culture in the comfort of your own home. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Best for
Software
Features
Pricing
Trial
Warranty
 
PROS

Every audio example in Rocket German course has a built-in voice-recording tool so that you can record your pronunciation and see how good it is.

CONS

If you lack self-discipline, this course may be not the best option, since it allows you to skip lessons.

OUR VERDICT

With a flexible learning program, a wide array of useful tools, and a 60-day money-back guarantee, Rocket German is an excellent value. It will suit both those who would like to become fully proficient in the German language and those who need a quick grasp of the basics.

detailed parameters
Best for

From beginners to advanced

Software

Online-based program, 

iOS and Android app

Features

Grammar lessons, Language & Culture lessons, Audio lessons, Phrases with voice recognition, Survival kit

Pricing

Level 1 - $99.95

Levels 1 & 2 - $249.90

Levels 1, 2, & 3 - $259.90

Trial

6-day trial

Warranty

60-day money-back guarantee

PROS

The mobile app boasts the unique feature "Seek and Speak". You can simply point at any object with your camera and get a translation.

CONS

It may be tricky to advance in German grammar without in-depth explanations in your native language.

OUR VERDICT

Rosetta Stone is a wonderful product that can help you learn essential words and basic German grammar. Owing to the TruAccent® speech engine, you'll not only train your brain to recognize sounds but also train your tongue to reproduce them correctly.

detailed parameters
Best for

From beginners to advanced

Software

Online-based program,

iOS and Android app

Features

Grammar lessons, Language & Culture lessons, TruAccent® speech engine, Live tutoring (premium)

Pricing

3-month subscription -$11.99/month

6-month subscription - $10.99/month

12-month subscription - $9.99/month

24-month subscription - $6.99/month

Trial

3-day trial

Warranty

30-day money-back guarantee

PROS

The course includes a Business German section that teaches how to write formal e-mails, communicate with partners, or write professional CVs.

CONS

The course has limited studying material and is not suitable for advanced learners.

OUR VERDICT

Babbel is a very appealing option for beginners. It's not expensive and includes engaging exercises that reveal the cultural peculiarities and teach essential phrases and words. So, if you just want to get into the basics of the German language, Babbel is the stellar choice.

detailed parameters
Best for

From beginners to intermediate

Software

Online-based program,

iOS and Android app

Features

Grammar lessons, Language & Culture lessons, Audio lessons, Review manager, Daily challenge

Pricing

1-month subscription - $12.95/month

3-month subscription - $8.95/month

6-month subscription - $7.5/month

12-month subscription - $6.95/month.

Trial

Free trial lesson

Warranty

20-day money-back guarantee

PROS

Thanks to the instant feedback from the native recording, you'll get true German accent and correct pronunciation easier and faster compared to most other methods.

CONS

Pimsleur course is aimed at conversations with strangers mainly, so it uses a bit too formal language.

OUR VERDICT

Pimsleur intensive online course really shines in developing conversational skills. It can be a great choice for audible German learners. It’s also a good option for travelers and businessmen who would like to learn useful phrases to get around in Germany.

detailed parameters
Best for

From beginners to advanced

Software

Online-based program,

iOS and Android app

Features

Grammar lessons, Audio lessons, Graduated Interval Recall

Pricing

1 Level - $150.00

All 5 Levels - $575.00

Trial

Free trial lesson

Warranty

30-day money-back guarantee

PROS

Ligoda issues CEFR certificates stating that you've completed a level of the European framework (from A1 up to C2). It's an accepted proof of your proficiency level for employers.

CONS

You or your teacher can lose the Internet connection and will need a while to come back in. Quite annoying.

OUR VERDICT

If you’re really serious about learning the German language but can't fit live classes in your schedule, Lingoda is what you need. It's an online school with native speakers as teachers and flexible schedule. You'll be able to take lessons wherever you want 24/7. 

detailed parameters
Best for

From beginners to advanced

Software

Online learning via Skype or Adobe Connect

Features

Online Skype lessons with native speakers as tutors (private or group classes)

Pricing

Depends on the type and number of classes

Trial

$0.99 trial private class, 

$23.99 7-day trial package

Warranty

7-day money-back guarantee

Rocket Languages Online

Flexibility of Learning

Rocket German is a fantastic service that offers the best way to learn German. The basic idea behind this course is to give users enough freedom and flexibility to let them find the most preferable style of learning. With that, it provides plenty of motivation to keep going and quickly become fluent in German.

The folks in Rocket German believe that there's no need to overwhelm students with a bunch of grammar and vocabulary at the start. Instead, it's better to begin with the easiest essential words and rules that will help you get an idea of what German people are speaking about in the real world.

Going deeper into details, we would like to say that the course consists of the "Language and Culture" grammar lessons that touch the aspects of German culture, "Interactive Audio" section with podcast-style lessons, "Survival Kit" with core phrases and expressions, as well as "Flashcards" (a flashcard app where you can add vocabulary or expressions to be studied later).

The service gives you a rich set of tools at the end of lessons to make sure you've learned the material before moving onto the next level. To clarify, it can help you self-test your listening, writing, and pronunciation skills. Speaking of the latter, we would like to emphasize that every audio example has a built-in voice-recording function allowing you to record your pronunciation and check how good it is.

Rocket German is an online-based platform with a simple and clutter-free interface. No software to install. You just log in and it works. Also, you can download the Rocket German app to any iOS or Android mobile device so that you can access the course on-the-go.

Review of Rocket Languages Online German Course

The Structure

Throughout the whole Rocket German course, you’ll find a wide variety of dialogues on day-to-day topics including sport, literature, politics, culture, relationship, business and more. And almost all the scenarios are spoken in the same manner as you’d find on the streets in Germany. That's a rare feature not typically found in other services.

The first thing you start with your German course is the "Interactive Audio Course" that will give you the basics and build your confidence. The lessons last for around 20 minutes; not that long to start nodding off. Within a couple of interactive audio lessons, you'll already know how to order a coffee or tea. Actually, the audio part is very useful and it can quickly teach you the most essential German phrases you need to survive.

But when you're ready to become completely fluent, you should switch to a full grammar course called "Language and culture". It consists mostly of grammar and vocabulary, though some cultural insights included. The explanations are straightforward and it offers a bunch of tools for reinforcing your knowledge.

Take note that you can skip any lesson you wish. But each coin has two sides and those individuals that lack self-discipline may find this approach ineffective.

Rocket Languages Online German Course in the use

Pricing Options

The great news is that Rocket German has no hidden monthly fees. It's a one-time purchase that gives you access to free updates for life. The Level 1 costs $99.95 and can take you from beginner to intermediate user with a good conversational level.

If you choose Levels 1 & 2, you'll be able to improve your knowledge to an advanced level with a very good conversational level. This bundle will cost you $249.90.

And if you'd like to fully prepare for living in Germany, the service offers you a pack of Levels 1, 2, & 3. It costs just $10 more than the previous option, making $259.90 in total. It gives you an opportunity to reach an advanced conversational level.

No matter what option you choose, you'll be able to get a 60-day money-back guarantee. This way, you can buy it and try it with no costs lost.

With a flexible learning program, a wide array of useful tools, and a 60-day money-back guarantee, Rocket German is an excellent value. It will suit both those who would like to become fully proficient in the German language and those who need a quick grasp of the basics.

Detailed review of Rocket Languages Online German Course

 

Rosetta Stone Online

Immersive Approach

Rosetta Stone is one of the leading names in the language-learning industry. It's a trusted software that has been on the market for more than 25 years, developing language programs helping people worldwide build confidence and become fluent in foreign languages. And what we have here is the very engaging platform for learning German. It allows you to choose your own pace, helping you speak the language from day one.

First things first, the learning approach used by this course is usually referred to as immersion - you'll find no English explanations. Instead, you'll only see and hear German. This teaching method will allow you to immerse yourself into the language completely.

You'll be shown different pictures that you'll need to associate with German words or expressions. And within a short time, you'll not only develop your logical thinking but also notice German patterns and learn it naturally. This approach is particularly appreciated by visual learners and those individuals that don’t want to learn long lists of vocabulary and swat on grammar rules.

However, don’t expect to learn that much grammar with Rosetta. Even though it offers some grammar workouts, it's quite tricky to advance in German grammar without in-depth explanations in your native language. So, you may need to look for supplementary grammar resources.

To end on a positive side, the program boasts unique TruAccent® speech-recognition software. This software is extremely helpful at practicing speaking skills. The Speech Recognition technology detects your pronunciation and evaluates if it's right or wrong. That is to say, it won't improve your pronunciation only but will also encourage you to speak out loud more often.

Review of Rosetta Stone Online German Course

Surround Yourself with Rosetta

Unlike traditional language classes, this online course allows you to customize it to your personal goals by doing an accent on reading, writing, listening, or speaking. The program will automatically create the lessons tailored specifically for you. This flexibility allows you to work on those areas that are the most difficult or essential for you. Alternatively, you can let the Rosetta software guide you through the whole course with no skipped lessons. This default method of learning will suit better for beginners.

Rosetta is also flexible in connectivity options. The learners can choose either an online or smartphone-based version. That means the studying content can be accessed online wherever you want. You can simply download the award-winning Rosetta mobile app and knock it out on the bus or train. Or you can select a quick 5-10 minute lesson while waiting in line. And owing to the unique feature "Seek and Speak", you can simply point at any object with your camera and get a translation. Isn't that amazing?

You won't need to pay for the app additionally. Both app and online program come with your subscription and sync automatically. Hence, you'll be able to switch between devices with no problems.

Rosetta Stone Online German Course in the use

Pricing Options

The subscription options are quite diverse as well. You can get a 3-month subscription for $11.99/month, 6-month subscription for $10.99/month, 12-month subscription for $9.99/month, and the 24-month subscription for $6.99/month. Actually, you use more and pay less.

All in all, Rosetta Stone is a wonderful product that can help you learn essential words and basic grammar (less effective at complex grammar concepts). But what it lacks in grammar base it more than makes up in pronunciation. Owing to the TruAccent® speech engine, you'll not only train your brain to recognize sounds but also train your tongue to reproduce them correctly.

Detailed review of Rosetta Stone Online German Course

 

Babbel Online

Simple and Quick

If you're not going to fully master every single angle of the German language and need a simple tool that can get you accustomed you to the basics of this nice European language, Babbel may be right up your alley. It's a simple course that has won hurts of beginners. And the fact that more than 1 million people use it worldwide proves that.

Understanding that there are much more beginners than advanced students craving to learn German, the Babbel courses contain mainly beginner to intermediate content. The course is subdivided into mini-courses that have 10-15+ lessons. These lessons give students a better understanding of the fundamentals, explain grammar and sentence structures. The lessons are spoken by real native people and built with quiz-style exercises. You'll be shown new material and then asked questions during the lessons.

After completing the course, you'll learn essential vocabulary and be able to talk about simple things in the past, present, and future. In a word, you should be able to understand German at an intermediate level (B1). This course can be a great addition to your language learning routine.
Review of Babbel Online German Course

Babbel Peculiarities

After subscribing to the Babbel course, you'll find lessons grouped depending on their difficulty or topics. What we particularly liked is that there is a Business German section that teaches how to write formal e-mails, communicate with partners, or write professional CVs.

Since the lessons are grouped by different topics, you can choose what subject is the most interesting for you and expand your vocabulary in that specific area. Each topic is usually divided into three sections - two practical parts and a review lesson.

Another feature you may find useful for enhancing the material you've learned is the Review Manager. It catches words from the lessons you've already completed and offers you to review them one more time. And in order to motivate you to keep studying German, the course has a feature called Daily Challenge. It asks some questions from the learned material on a daily basis.

Babbel Online German Course in the use

Pricing Options

Since it's not a full course that can bring you to advanced level, the price is more than moderate when compared to other online services. 1-month subscription will cost you $12.95/month, the 3-month pack is available for $8.95/month, 6 months will cost you $7.5/month, and the best offering is 12 months for $6.95/month.

In summary, we would like to say that Babbel is a very appealing language learning tool for beginners. It's not expensive and includes engaging exercises for practicing German. It consists of interesting lessons that include culture information and teaches essential phrases and words. So, if you just want to get into the basics of the German language in the fastest way possible, Babbel is the stellar choice.

Detailed review of Babbel Online German Course

 

Pimsleur Online

Focuses on Pronounciation

The Pimsleur company is known for providing some of the best courses for learning foreign languages. Actually, it's one of the most well-established names on the market. Pimsleur courses feature real-world context and rich vocabulary enabling you to learn in a quick, natural way. German course is no exception.

Knowing that it's pretty hard to remember German words if you can’t correctly pronounce them, Pimsleur course heavily focuses on pronunciation. Here, words, expressions, and concepts are introduced in a conversation-based setting. To be more precise, the method involves a question/recall/response technique which helps students understand tricky German sentences.

With Pimsleur, you'll get true German accent and correct pronunciation as you'll break repeat new words syllable by syllable until you'll be able to say the entire word correctly. This is largely thanks to the fact that you get instant feedback from the native recording. As a result, it'll be much easier for you to remember and internalize new vocabulary.

However, the introduced vocabulary is not perfect. Since the Pimsleur course was originally created for traveling businessmen, it tends to use much formal language that might seem overly respectful for day-to-day situations.

Review of Pimsleur Online German Course

5-Level System

The course consists of a 5-tier system.

The 1st level assumes you know zero German and starts with the basics. You'll learn the language with essential vocabulary and grammar. Also, you'll try to reproduce correct pronunciation and accent.

The higher levels focus on pushing your conversational abilities. The 2nd level doubles your vocabulary, strengthens your grammar, and helps you practice your reading skills. The company promises that at this point you'll start communicating on-the-fly with a good accent.

The 3rd level will help you build on your pitch-perfect accent. You'll learn to speak naturally on many subjects. Reading practice will further expand your vocabulary.

The 4th level continues to increase your fluency. After completing this part, you'll be able to speak German at a dynamic pace with expanded vocabulary and more complex structures.

The last tier, the 5th level, allows you to master your speaking and reading skills. You'll speak and read almost like a native speaker.

Each level consists of 30-min lessons (16 learning hours in total). Most of them start with a brief dialogue in German and then are translated into English. The conversation is also divided into smaller parts to help learners absorb just everything they've heard.

The nice thing about Pimsleur is that it uses the Graduated Interval Recall method which shows certain German words or phrases consistently, not in a random manner. In the beginning, you're being asked to repeat the same phrases and only when you'll be able to recall them, new vocabulary will be introduced instead.

Pimsleur Online German Course in the use

Pricing Options

No matter what level you choose, each will cost you $150.00 (one-off purchase). But if you're going to learn German from A to Z, you can get all 5 levels for $575.00 and save quite a lot of money on purchasing separate tiers. If you're not sure whether the Pimsleur approach will suit you, you can try a free lesson at first.

To recap, Pimsleur really shines in developing conversational skills. It can be a great choice for audible German learners. It’s also a good option for travelers and businessmen who would like to learn useful phrases to get around in Germany.

Detailed review of Pimsleur Online German Course

 

Lingoda Online

Online School

Lingoda looks nothing like other online courses from this review. And the key difference is that it's not an automated system but essentially an online language school with teachers. It offers classes through Skype and Adobe Connect, so if you look for live tutoring, it's surely one of the best options you can find.

To begin with, you can get as many classes as you want. Actually, this online school allows you to master your skills all the way up from A1 level to the C2 level. You simply pay a fixed amount of money which is converted into lesson credits per month. With those credits, you can then book a given number of classes and structure their pace. The ability to schedule your lessons may be a huge benefit for busy people. When you have some free time, you can take more classes. And you can slow down a bit when things get busy.

Also, you can choose a group or individual lesson, or a mix of both. We have to admit that group classes are cheaper and the number of students doesn't exceed 5 people. Many intermediate students prefer group lessons as they have a chance to gather their thoughts and plan an answer before their turn comes up. Yet, beginners find private lessons more effective.

All the classes are based on your speaking, reading, and writing skills. The classes aren't organized in a linear fashion but by topic. That is to say, you can do them in order or first pick those lessons that interest you the most. Moreover, you can take the same module a few times.

In the course of learning, you will see many teachers. All Lingoda tutors are native speakers and their pronunciation is naturally perfect. And they are fully experienced with the system and the material. You can not hesitate to ask them questions if you don’t understand something.

Obviously, every course has its downsides and the main issue with this online platform is the stability of the Internet. You can lose the connection to the class and will need awhile to come back in. And during that time, the teacher won't stop the timer.

Review of Lingoda Online German Course

Nice Addition

If compared to a normal school, Lingoda online language school is much more flexible yet not less efficient. However, many people still attend "real" schools because they give some certificates that you can use to get work in Germany. With Ligoda, you won't need to sacrifice your comfort and time anymore.

The huge advantage of Lingoda is the fact that it issues CEFR certificates. That’s a certificate stating that you've completed a level of the European framework (from A1 up to C2). In other words, it's an accepted proof of your proficiency level and time spent on language learning.

Lingoda Online German Course in the use

Pricing Options

Compared to language schools, Lingoda online classes offer insane value for money. The small group classes start at $9 per lesson (1-month subscription), which is twice cheaper. The service provides a lot of different plans at various price points and a number of classes included. Also, you can run a test private class at $0.99. It will give you an idea about the teachers and the learning format.

Overall, if you’re really serious about learning the German language but can't fit live classes in your schedule, Lingoda is what you need. It's an online school with native speakers and a flexible schedule. You'll be able to take lessons wherever you want 24/7. Great for working people with wonky schedules.

Detailed review of Lingoda Online German Course

 

What Are Best Ways to Learn German?

With more than 229 million speakers, German is the language of business worldwide. Actually, German is an official language in numerous European countries including Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, and even some parts of Italy. That is to say, German is the most widely-spoken language in Europe except English.

With its compound, multi-syllable words, German has a reputation of being one of the most difficult languages as well. However, with our wide selection of online German courses, you'll quickly learn the nuts and bolts of grammar and take down vocabulary.

We have rounded up various courses that use different approaches to learning German so that anyone will be able to choose the most preferable method according to their needs and skills. So, no matter whether you need a fast grasp of grammar basics or want to become completely fluent, we'll get you covered.

Our selection includes online schools with native speakers, pronunciation-focused courses with accurate speech recognition tools, as well as culture lessons, grammar rules, quizzes, and many more exercises that can help you become proficient in this prominent language of business.

If you're a kind of polyglot and are interested in learning other European languages, we recommend you to look through our selection of French and Spanish online courses as well.

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Publish Date: 2019-10-08 13:03:30