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German is a popular language that has many resources available to help you learn. There are so many that it can be overwhelming to choose the one that’s right for you. If you prefer a structured way to learn, an online German course is an effective study tool. This guide puts together the best options available to learn German with an online course.
German has more than 135 million speakers and is one of the most spoken languages in the world. In addition to being the official language of Germany, it’s also an official language of Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg.
If you’re an English speaker, you already use many common German words such as kindergarten, blitz, and doppelganger. And don’t tell me that you don’t know what Oktoberfest is about. The German and English languages are very similar, so speaking one will help you learn the other more easily.
How Long Will It Take You To Learn German?
What is your current level?
What level do you want to reach?
How many hours will you study each day?
To find the best online German courses, I first found options that other German learners liked as well as courses offered by popular language learning companies. Then, I took a look at each one to determine what the course did well and if there were any shortcomings. Finally, I narrowed down the options and found what each course excels at and who could benefit from taking it.
Here are the 7 best online courses to learn German. Scroll down to learn more about each one.
|Best Overall German Course||German Uncovered|
|Best for Beginners||Smarter German|
|Best for German Grammar||Wunderbla|
|Best for Live Classes||Lingoda|
|Best to Practice Conversation||Deutsch Gym|
|Best for Group Learning||Deutsch Akademie Trainer|
|Best for Self-Study||Goethe Institut|
|Best Free German Course||LingoHut|
German Uncovered is best overall course because it covers all necessary topics to learn the language. You begin each unit by listening to a part of a story that you follow through the entire course. The chapter of the story is completely in German, but then you take audio/video lessons that explain the important vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation topics you heard in the chapter.
Each unit also has detailed lesson notes with practice exercises to help you remember what you learned. It’s an excellent choice for learners that want everything laid out for them. If you follow the course, you’ll learn and improve on all necessary skills to speak German. You can try German Uncovered for free for 7 days.
- Story that connects all the concepts throughout the course
- Audio/video lessons
- Extensive lesson notes and practice exercises
You can access the entire German Uncovered course for $297.00. This provides lifetime access to the course. Try it for free for 7 days.
Smarter German is the best course for beginners because it provides a structured way to learn, and it can take you from beginner (A1) to advanced (C1). Each one has video explanations of grammar topics in English, interactive exercises, and speaking/writing practices.
The course is laid out in a very clear and logical way so you always know what to study next. It’s also very comprehensive. This course is best for serious learners that want to improve quickly. You can try a few lessons from each level for free to decide if you like the style. Langoly readers also get 10% off all courses! You can use the coupon code GET10-CE.
- Extensive and detailed lessons
- Courses for all levels
- Explanations of difficult concepts in English
- COUPON CODE: GET10-CE
Each level of Smarter German costs $301.29, but if you bundle courses, you receive a significant discount. You can try the first lesson of each course for free to see if you like it.
Wunderbla is a unique way to learn German because the lessons are delivered to your email every day. It’s a great reminder that it’s time to study! You watch a video and complete a series of grammar and vocabulary questions about what you watched.
It’s an excellent option for learning grammar because you get immediate feedback on why your answers are correct/incorrect. The feedback includes explanations about why something is said the way it is. The AI technology used adapts the lessons to your level based on your answers, and it’s quite accurate. You can read more about how it works in this overall Gymglish review.
- Convenient lessons sent to your email inbox
- Adaptive AI technology adjusts courses to your level
- Receive immediate feedback and explanations on your answers
The price of the Wunderbla course varies based on which tier you choose and the length of your subscription. You can pay monthly or pay for 6, 12, 24, or 36 months. The price decreases if you buy a longer subscription. The price ranges from $17.00 to $98.00 per month. Langoly readers can try Wunderbla for free for an entire month when you click our button below.
Lingoda is the best for live classes because it’s a German-based company, so you know their German teachers are excellent. They only hire teachers that are certified and have at least 2 years of teaching experience. Lingoda is different from other platforms because the teachers follow the same curriculum. This gives you more continuity between lessons, even if you have multiple teachers.
Even though there is a set curriculum, there’s still a lot of flexibility. You can decide if you want to take group classes or private lessons and take them at any time. The goal of each live class is to practice speaking and listening. There are independent study exercises after each lesson so you can make the most of your classes without wasting time reviewing. To learn more about the platform, check out this Lingoda review.
- Private or group classes
- Follows an established curriculum
- Take classes anytime
The price of Lingoda ranges from $12.00 to $20.00 per hour for group classes and $24.00 to $40.00 per hour for private lessons. You can sign up for a free Lingoda trial, which includes 3 group lessons or 1 private lesson.
Best to Practice Conversation
Deutsch Gym helps you practice conversation skills and discuss topics in German with other language students. You meet up online with other German students to talk about the daily topic while a teacher guides the session and offers corrections.
The sessions take place on Discord. Each day, the group discusses a different topic, and you can find related prompt questions posted in the information section. The topics cover everything from talking about the Wonders of the World, speed dating, hobbies, favorite movies, etc.
- Practice conversation in groups through voice call
- Receive immediate feedback from other language students and an instructor
- Discuss interesting topics
Deutsch Gym has different subscription plans depending on how many live classes you want to attend per month. A Basic subscription costs €20 per month and gives you access to 4 live classes, and a Committed subscription costs €40 per month and allows you to attend up to 8 live classes. Deutsch Gym also has an Unlimited subscription for €85 per month that you can use to attend 31 classes. You can try Deutsch Gym for free for 5 days and attend as many meetings as you want.
Deutsch Akademie is an in-person and online German language school. It offers live classes for 7-12 students taught by native teachers. They offer various options, such as intensive (classes 4x/week), semi-intensive (2x/week), or weekend classes so you can find something that fits your schedule.
Since the courses include live classes, you have to choose a start date/time that works for your schedule so you don’t miss class. They also offer 1-on-1 classes if you prefer to learn individually. You can also take specialized courses such as German phonetics, grammar, writing, and more.
- Live classes
- Small class size of 7-12 students
- Multiple start dates
Prices vary depending on if you want individual or group classes. The prices also differ for specialty courses like conversation, writing, and intensive courses. Consult the Deutsch Akademie website for more information.
The Goethe Institut offers self-study courses online with a component of teacher help to make sure you are getting the most out of your course. When you sign up for a course, it’s self-paced which means you log in and learn when it’s convenient for your schedule. The teacher provides feedback on your assignments and helps guide you in your German learning.
The Goethe Institut first gives you a placement test so you can see what level you are at. Once you know your correct level, you take a self-paced course that focuses on everyday situations that you might need to face in German. The price of the course also includes 2 in-person sessions with a qualified German teacher to practice speaking, ask questions, communicate doubts, etc.
- Self-paced learning
- Feedback from German tutors
- In-person sessions
Prices vary depending on what course you are taking, if it’s an individual or group class, and how much access you have to a German teacher. Click on the button below to see all the course and pricing options.
LingoHut is a self-taught course that focuses on learning German vocabulary. In the 125 lessons, you learn topics like months of the year, family members, office supplies, and much more. The lessons can be done in any order and you can study whatever topics interest you.
In each lesson, you learn new vocabulary words with flashcards that also have audio of the correct pronunciation. Then, there are a series of interactive games you can play to reinforce what you learned and help commit it to memory. The LingoHut German course won’t make you fluent, but it’s an excellent free resource that’s worth checking out.
- 125 lessons
- Learn lots of new vocabulary
- Completely free!
The entire LingoHut German course is free.
Online courses are one of the most comprehensive ways to learn German. Because they have video, audio, and text, you can practice every language skill with an online course. They also bring the language to you. In the past, you might have had to travel to Germany to find a decent teacher. But now, the teachers come to you via the internet. You get the benefits of learning from a native speaker without the jet lag of flying to a new country.
Online German courses are best used alongside other resources such as self-study books or language apps. For example, a language app can teach you a lot of vocabulary quickly so you can focus on conversation during your in-person classes. Books are excellent resources because they provide deep dives into complicated grammar and often have practice questions and answers.
Whichever way you decide to learn, it’s best to have a consistent study routine. Practicing for a few minutes a day is much more effective than sporadic practice. It will help you remember what you already learned and then build upon it to see continuous improvement.
An online German course is an effective way to study. Finding one that you enjoy using because it fits with your study habits and budget will help motivate you to study in the long run. Learning a language is all about practice, practice, practice. But with the right course and consistent routine, you’ll soon be speaking German like a pro!
The best online course for learning German is Smarter German because it provides a structured course that guides your learning. They have options for every level, from beginner to advanced. Each course has video lessons, along with interactive exercises and speaking & writing practice.
The best free online German course is LingoHut or Duolingo. LingoHut focuses has 125 lessons that focus on the most used vocabulary words in German. Duolingo has an interactive app that mostly focuses on the translation of sentences from one language to the other.
Realistically, you won’t reach a fluent level of German in 3 months. Becoming proficient can take at least a year. But in 3 months, you can become conversational in basic topics like introductions, likes/dislikes, and other simple topics. To see how long it will take you to learn German, check out our fluency calculator.
The best program to learn German depends on your language goals. If you can travel to Germany and study in live classes, Goethe Institut has locations in various cities throughout Germany as well as online courses. But not everyone can travel, so an established course like Smarter German is a comprehensive option that lets you learn from the comfort of your home.