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Best Apps German

The ever-growing number of German language apps these days is pretty awesome. There are a lot of options regardless if you’re a total newbie or a language pro, whatever goals, interests, study preferences, and learning styles you have, there’s an app for you.

Sometimes, the trouble comes from choosing between so many options. The fact is, a lot of language apps do one or more things exceptionally well, and some are simply bad at everything.

The real challenge here comes from choosing through all these choices. The thing is, a lot of language apps do really well in one or more areas, while others? Well, let’s just say they miss the mark across the board.

Just a heads-up, this isn’t an exhaustive list of every German language app out there, but it’s a list of our favorites, grouped by what they do best. We have dedicated hundreds of hours to testing out a bunch of them – hopefully, our insights can help you discover the ones that suit you best.

Table of Best Apps to Learn German

Links below will send you to the app websites, and the app details are down below.


OVERALL BEST

Most Thorough German Learning Program: SmarterGerman

Best Course for Developing Communication Skills: Pimsleur

Best Interactive Courses: Babbel

Best App To Help Sticking With Goals: Ouino

Best Immersion Approach App: Yabla


READING AND LISTENING

Best German Radio App: Radio Germany

Best for Reading Practice: LingQ


SPEAKING AND WRITING

Best for Speaking German from Day 1: Pimsleur

Best for Feedback on Pronunciation: Speechling

Best for Feeback on Writing: italki

Best for Answers to Quick Questions: HiNative


VOCABULARY ACQUISITION

Best for Learning Vocabulary from Context: Lingvist & Clozemaster

Best for Learning German Articles: German Article Buster (by Michael of SmarterGerman)

Best for Learning German Irregular Verbs: German Irregular Verbs Wizard


TUTORS AND LANGUAGE EXCHANGES

Best for Tutors: italki

Best for Language Exchange: Tandem


Overall Best German Learning Apps

Most Thorough German Learning Program

SmarterGerman

SmarterGerman is much different than every other language learning resource I’ve tried. Its Everyday German Course is made up of 12 parts that are five lessons a piece, each of which correspond with a chapter from a German crime story. Through these lessons, and lots of exercises, the course will help you reach the B1 level. Unlike most courses where there’s a lot of spoonfeeding of information, this course pushes you to use your critical thinking skills.

See our Super-Detailed SmarterGerman Review

Best Course for Developing Communication Skills

Pimsleur German

Pimsleur is one of the most popular and longest-standing resources out there for learning a foreign language. Its courses place a strong emphasis on aural and verbal communication skills, paying less attention to grammar explanations and reading or writing skills. There are over 50 language courses available with Pimsleur, and the bulk of the material is taught with audio lessons.

See our Super-Detailed Pimsleur German Review

Best Interactive Courses

Babbel German

Babbel German is an online language-learning platform with over 1 million active users. The app aims to get learners to a conversational level as quickly as possible through the use of a variety of exercises and spaced repetition for review. The courses are well put together and relatively inexpensive.

See our Super-Detailed Babbel German Review

Best App To Help Sticking With Goals

Ouino

Lingodeer may not be the most well-known resource in this list, but it’s got a lot going for it. It leverages gamification and snack-size topical lessons to make learning convenient and engaging. Especially for people just beginning with a language, this approach makes it easy to start studying without becoming overwhelmed.

The first languages available on Lingodeer were of the Asian variety (which it teaches really well), but the app has since expanded to offer others, including German. The course will be most useful to beginners and lower-intermediate learners, but it’s interactive, includes a variety of exercises, and uses quality audio. That’s not something every app can say. 

Limited time offer. Lifetime Access is only $95.76!! You can get an additional language for 50% off, OR you could get all 5 languages for life for $191.52. You should know that Ouino enjoys one of the lowest product return rates in the industry. 🙂

See our Super-Detailed Ouino Review

Best Immersion Approach App

Yabla

Yabla is a language-learning platform that uses videos with interactive subtitles and language games to help users learn a language. It’s currently available on the web and for iOS, with an Android app in development. Its videos are of varying difficulty levels and types, and are either sourced from the internet or originally produced, but all videos use native speakers.

See our Super-Detailed Yabla Review

Apps to Learn German Reading and Listening

Reading and listening to a lot of German materials is extremely handy when it comes to developing language intuition(what sounds good and what sounds ugly) and your overall language skills. These are the best apps that will help you practice reading and listening.

Best German Radio App

Radio Germany

Radio stations offer unique advantages to learners of any language. They’re often free, easy to access whenever you like, and full of interesting content.

Radio Germany is the go-to app for anyone that wants exposure to authentic German-language audio that they find interesting. With over 1,000 radio stations, you’ll be able to find music, sports, news, comedy, and even podcasts.

This is a great option for learners that are beyond the beginner level and are looking for ways to fill out their study plan with authentic material.

Best for Reading Practice

LingQ

This app is cool because it helps users get productive reading practice in their target language. It does this by making it quick and easy to look up words in the text that you don’t know. It also keeps track of the words you know by color-coating the text. You can upload your own material to the resource as well, which is a good way to ensure you’re interested in what you’re reading.

The downsides to using LingQ are that the vocabulary review isn’t particularly well done and the free version is limited. 

A web app with similar functionality is Readlang, which lets you translate words and phrases from any website.

See our Super-Detailed LingQ Review

Apps for German Speaking and Writing

Speaking and writing are essential for language fluency. However, it is hard to do on your own. Luckily, these apps provide feedback on speaking and writing to help you become aware of your mistakes and correct them.

Best for Speaking German from Day 1

Pimsleur German

Pimsleur is one of the most popular and longest-standing resources out there for learning a foreign language. Its courses place a strong emphasis on aural and verbal communication skills, paying less attention to grammar explanations and reading or writing skills. There are over 50 language courses available with Pimsleur, and the bulk of the material is taught with audio lessons.

See our Super-Detailed Pimsleur German Review

Best for Feedback on Pronunciation

Speechling

Learning how to pronounce words in a new language is often one of the most difficult and important aspects of learning the language, but good practice is hard to come by in most language apps.

Speechling tries to solve this problem by getting real humans involved. With a free membership, users can send a limited number of audio recordings of themselves to be evaluated by native speakers. Paying for the Unlimited Plan gives users the ability to send an unlimited number of recordings.

This app isn’t the best for absolute beginners or someone looking for comprehensive language study, but it’s great for getting accurate feedback on pronunciation. 

Save 10% on a subscription by using the coupon code ‘ALR123’

See our Super-Detailed Speechling Review

Best for Feedback on Writing

italki

italki is one of the best resources out there for several reasons. One of them is the Exercise portion of its community features. It’s a feature that allows users to get feedback on their writing from others.

Feedback from humans is extra valuable when it comes to writing. There are plenty of mistakes and unnatural phrases that computers still aren’t able to pick up well enough.

The Exercise feature is pretty straightforward and very easy to use. Simply write something (anything) and then “publish” it where the italki community can read it. Other users that are proficient in your target language can then offer corrections to your writing. This is free to use! You can pay it forward by volunteering to correct someone else’s writing. Right now get a $10 credit with your first purchase.

See our Super-Detailed italki Review

Best for Answers to Quick Questions

HiNative

There are resources out there for learning just about everything about German. Still, there will always be times where a book or website just doesn’t have the answer to your question.

Oftentimes, asking a human is the quickest and most trustworthy way to get the answer you’re looking for, and that’s something HiNative tries to facilitate. Posting a question about German on the app will expose it to a large community of native German speakers that will likely get you an answer very quickly.

This makes a great extra study tool for hard-to-look-up questions. The app is mostly free to use; extra features like audio recordings are available for a membership subscription.

See our Super-Detailed HiNative Review

Learn German Vocabulary with Apps

You need words to communicate. Putting yourself in a position to learn new German words is critical to learn the language. Here are the best apps to learn German vocabulary.

Best for Learning Vocabulary From Context

Lingvist

While it offers additional features for practicing just about every aspect of a language, vocabulary acquisition is what Lingvist does best. Like many others on this list, it uses spaced repetition and flashcards to get users to commit new words to long-term memory.

Instead of limiting practice to direct word-to-word translations, Lingvist presents new language items in the context of a sentence to get users used to seeing the language as it’s actually used. The design is unassuming and sleek, but it’s more fun to use than you might expect. It’s also pretty efficient.

See our Super-Detailed Lingvist Review

Clozemaster

Clozemaster and Lingvist probably couldn’t be any more different in terms of aesthetics, but they share some functionality. They both teach new vocabulary through exposure to pieces of language in context sentences via flashcards and spaced repetition.

The Clozemaster style will appeal to learners that like to feel like they’re playing a game. There are points to gain, levels to progress through, and an element of friendly competition. It’s mostly free to use, but this is probably because it isn’t the most comprehensive resource out there.

See our Super-Detailed Clozemaster Review

Best for Learning German Articles

German Article Buster

This app has the power to help you memorize 1700 different common German nouns and their articles. For each of the nouns, it will teach you the gender as well as provide a translation and the proper pronunciation. The app uses spaced repetition to help you remember what you learn in the long term.

There are also original images for a portion of the vocabulary words, as well as five bonus videos that provide extra instruction to help you on your mission to learn German articles.

This app, along with the next one on the list, was created by Michael Schmitz of smarterGerman. For those looking for an in-depth German course, smarterGerman (review) is as good as it gets. Alternatively, there are also free German Webinars available.

Best for Learning German Irregular Verbs

German Irregular Verbs Wizard

Irregular verbs are a nasty obstacle in any language learner’s path to fluency, and German’s got its fair share. The mission of this app is to help users master conjugation in different verb tenses. It’s done with illustrations and informational videos used in conjunction with a memory technique. They even offer their own certificate to users that have mastered the use of German verbs in the past tense with the app.

Tutors and German Language Exchange Apps

Best for Tutors

italki

This is one of the largest online directories for language tutors. There are hundreds of German tutors on the site, meaning you’ll almost certainly be able to find several that fit your budget and schedule. The site is easy to use and its free extra features cement it as one of the best available.

In addition to connecting users with language tutors, many learners use italki as a way to connect with language exchange partners. Users often write posts looking for language partners, and it’s easy to message someone you’d like to connect with. The community of learners here is pretty dedicated, and finding a serious language partner is certainly doable. Right now get a $10 credit with your first purchase.

See our Super-Detailed italki Review

Best for Language Exchange

Tandem

Tandem is a great app for language exchange. It’s super easy to use and functions like most other social messaging apps, so the learning curve is minimal. It’s also got an attractive design.

What makes Tandem good for language exchange are its built-in language tools and the community that uses the app. The language tools allow you to translate messages (you’ll have to pay for unlimited translations) and offer corrections to your language partner with ease.

The community on Tandem is also better than some of the alternatives. The user-base is generally very active and focused on productive language practice.

See our Super-Detailed Tandem Review

Maybe Try These German Learning Apps

Yabla

Yabla is a language-learning platform that uses videos with interactive subtitles and language games to help users learn a language. It’s currently available on the web and for iOS, with an Android app in development. Its videos are of varying difficulty levels and types, and are either sourced from the internet or originally produced, but all videos use native speakers.

See our Super-Detailed Yabla Review

Rocket German

Rocket German is a decent enough course, but it falls short of the high praise it often receives. The audio lessons aren’t bad, but they aren’t exceptional either, and the activities that are part of every lesson are too repetitive and boring. Nevertheless, it’s a fairly good course, with a nice structure, lots of clear grammar explanations, and opportunities for you to practice what you’ve learned. As such, this is a course that could potentially work for learners that are looking for a course with a very clear structure, lots of explanations, and a mix of audio and visual content. Learners that are after an engaging course, are on a budget, or want better cultural insights should probably look elsewhere.

See our Super-Detailed Rocket German Review

Drops App

Drops is a phone app for iPhone and Android that covers 33 languages. Daily games test the user on thousands of vocabulary words, and many of these words are ideal for everyday use. Drops has an entertaining, user-friendly interface, but it also lacks grammar lessons, and it works better for some languages than others. For anyone looking to supplement their vocab lessons, this app is worth considering; however, the free version might be more worthwhile than the paid version.

See our Super-Detailed Drops App Review

Busuu

Busuu is a digital language-learning app with over 90 million registered users. The resource offers vocabulary and grammar practice through short, self-paced study exercises. It also has a social aspect that allows users to get writing and pronunciation feedback from native speakers. It is available on the web, iOS, and Android.

See our Super-Detailed Busuu Review

FluentU

FluentU is a language-learning platform that uses real-world videos and interactive subtitles to create an immersive learning experience. The videos take on a variety of forms, including commercials, music videos, interviews, and more. Accompanying quizzes give users the chance to practice language used in videos.  FluentU offers videos in nine different languages and is available for iOS, Android, and on the web. Most of its content is beyond the beginner level, but it has videos for learners at all levels.

See our Super-Detailed FluentU Review

Mondly

Mondly is a language-learning app that teaches basic vocabulary and grammar structures. It seems most appropriate for learners with little to no exposure to their target language.

The activities mostly rely on passive recognition of vocabulary and phrases, and therefore are not very challenging. However, they are varied enough that you probably wouldn’t get bored with short, daily practice sessions.

Although I wouldn’t recommend Mondly to anyone looking to seriously learn a language, it may be appropriate for individuals studying languages with less available resources, or for individuals who are preparing to travel abroad.

See our Super-Detailed Mondly Review

Chatterbug

Chatterbug is a language learning platform designed with the aim of bringing together the convenience of digital learning apps and the value of one-on-one speaking practice. It was founded in 2016 and currently offers courses in German, Spanish, and French. Some of its features are available on iOS and Android; the full version is available for desktop.

See our Super-Detailed Chatterbug Review

Fluenz

Fluenz is a language learning software that is available on most devices and offers offline functionality. Its primary objective is to simulate the one-on-one tutor experience with the use of video tutorials that break down the language you’re learning. There are ample explanations of language concepts in English, and the instruction is very thorough. It’s designed for the user with a bigger budget that’s looking for an in-depth and serious learning experience.

See our Super-Detailed Fluenz Review

Mango Languages

Mango Languages is a pretty good resource with numerous languages available along with their regional variations.  It’ll work the best for beginners or for those interested in studying a few languages at the same time. Anybody past the intermediate level won’t find Mango Languages very useful.

See our Super-Detailed Mango Languages Review

Best Free(mium) Apps for Learning German

On a budget? Try these freemium or free apps to learn the German language.

Best for a Fun and Easy Way to Learn Vocabulary

Memrise

Is there an app with more user-created content out there? I’m not sure there is. Memrise blends flashcard-learning with engaging activities to keep the learning experience feeling fresh. The flashcards themselves aren’t your grandparents’ flashcards, either. They’ve often got pictures, sentences for context, native-speaker audio, and are interactive.

The mobile app is easy and fun to use, there are mountains of available content, and it uses spaced repetition to make the process even more efficient.

See our Super-Detailed Memrise Review

Best for a Customizable Review Experience

Anki

This flashcard app takes customization seriously. It’s so customizable, in fact, that there are rather lengthy manuals dedicated to describing how to use it. If you want total control over your study materials, it’s worth getting acquainted. You can make cloze deletion cards, add pictures, audio, notes, and tags to suit your needs.

Like the best memorization tools out there, Anki uses spaced repetition. This, along with its customizability, has made it a go-to resource for people in all sorts of industries, language learning being a popular one. There are also quite a few shared decks for learners of German that have been created by other users.

You’ll have to pay to use Anki on iOS, but it’s otherwise totally free.

Best for Grammar Exercises

Learn German DeutschAkademie

This app is an all-around grammar trainer for learners of German. It’s full of ways to practice with over 22,000 grammar exercises and compatibility with over 70 German language textbooks. You can also sort through learning material by CEFR level, which is a nice feature. The course was designed by German language teachers and provides you with statistics on your performance.

Best for Learning German Articles

Der Die Das App

Articles in German contain important information like the gender, number, and case of the noun they describe. Students of German will know that choosing the correct article is easier said than done. There are a bunch of rules and exceptions to remember, and that isn’t inherently very fun.

The goal of this app is to make German article and noun practice more convenient and fun. The app is easy to use whenever you like and will give you plenty of opportunities to practice.

Best Dictionary Apps

Pons

This dictionary/translation app is a handy tool for easily translating between German and English (and 36 other languages). The dictionaries are continually reviewed by lexicographers and frequently updated. There are also plenty of context sentences to boost understanding and audio recordings so you can be sure to say things correctly.

Linguee

Sometimes looking up the individual words in a phrase isn’t enough to give you the meaning of the phrase as a whole. In these cases, a phrase translator is much more helpful than just a dictionary. This is something that Linguee can help with. It takes advantage of the huge amount of bilingual texts that are available on the web by searching them for your phrase. Oftentimes, it’s been translated before.

Coursera

Coursera has several paid and free online language courses developed by accredited universities. The quality of the courses varies, but the following recommendations have been well received — these courses are primarily for beginners who want an introduction to a new language. You can choose from a series of individual courses, or take a beginner specialization in German.

If you are starting a language and enjoy structured courses with a (flexible) weekly schedule, Coursera is a great option — especially since Coursera offers financial aid for those who can’t afford to pay the course fees. Pair your studies with a tutor from italki or Verbling for speaking practice and you’ll be good to go!

edX

edX is a popular platform where you can find free online courses from universities around the world. The courses cover tons of topics, such as computer science, psychology, business, and most things you could think of, including German.

So, What is the Best App for YOU to Learn German?

Clearly, there are plenty of apps to learn German that could fit your learning style. We did not include every language app created, we picked the BEST apps for you. There are a lot of great resources that are not in app form, and this list does not cover all the different ways you can learn a language. So make sure to check our list of the best online German courses, the best podcasts for learning German, the best YouTube channels for studying German, and our German One-Stop Guide for more tips.

Do you have a favorite we missed?

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