7 Best Apps to Learn German in 2020 [For all learning styles]

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Thanks to the internet and technology progression, you can find over 30 language learning apps to learn German online. In this article, we have selected the 7 best apps to learn German, each with a different learning style.

The best and easiest way to learn German or any language for that matter is by living it and being in a country where it is spoken as a native language. Whether you will have the opportunity to move to Germany or just want to brush up your resume, starting to learn German through an app will give you a head start. Should you already be living in Germany, it still makes sense to use an app as daily support to gain more confidence.

Why is it a good idea to learn German with more than one app?

Every person learns differently. Some people learn by reading or writing, others by listening and speaking. When it comes to language learning, most people can read and understand a lot more than they can write or speak. That is the main difference for mastering a language passively or actively. 

To fully master a language, you need to be able to do all four. That can be very overwhelming. While some apps to learn German tackle all four language-learning areas, most language learning apps focus on one or two main areas.

In our selection below, we have specifically picked apps that tackle visual, aural, verbal, and social learning as a core area, for you to either build on your strength or work on your weaker area. 

Ideally, you combine two or three of the below apps to learn German to find out which learning style suits you best. Pay attention to how much fun you are having and how much progress you are making to determine which learning style is easiest and best for you to learn German. 

What Are The Best Apps to Learn German?

Here are our picks for the best apps to learn German this year for visual, aural, verbal, and social learners.

1. Drops

Pictures of Drops in App Language Learning Menus
Source: Drops

iOS | Android

Cost: Free Version or Premium version starting at 5 euros per month 

Drops is a visual language learning app, focusing on vocabulary training. You will have to match each word to its image, making it a fun and relaxed way to learn. Especially visual learners will be surprised how easy it is to remember vocabulary with Drops.

Each day, Drops will remind you to turn 5 minutes of study time into 5 minutes playtime with the free version. With the premium version, you get unlimited playtime, offline access, and pronunciation listening tests. Drops is a great app to build your German vocabulary regardless of whether you are a beginner or advanced.

2. Pimsleur

Pictures of Primsleur in App Language Learning Menus
Source: Pimsleur

iOS | Android

Cost: Free Lesson, then 21,99 euros monthly 

Pimsleur is an audio language learning app with 5 German Levels consisting of 80 hours of listening exercises. Pimsleur is built with 30-minute lessons to do on the go. You will not need to enter words or swipe on the screen; instead, you get to engage with speaking by repeating the words used for the listening exercise. 

Pimsleur is great for anyone wishing to understand the spoken word and improving their speaking skills while still focusing on grammar and vocabulary.

3. FluentU

Pictures of FluentU in App Language Learning Menus
Source: FluentU

iOS | Android

Cost: 14 days free trial then starting from US$20 per month

FluentU is an interactive video-based language learning app focusing on language immersion. The course is different from any other language learning app, as you learn through real-life German videos that provide context and culture. You can look up each word by tapping the video subtitles. As an add-on, you also have access to audios, flashcards, and personalized quizzes. 

FluentU prides itself on bringing real-life situations into language learning, whether you are learning with a music video or a newscast. 

4. Busuu

Pictures of Busuu in App Language Learning Menus
Source: Busuu

iOS | Android

Cost: Free Version or Premium Plus for 6,66 euros per month

Busuu is a comprehensive language learning app, focusing on vocabulary and grammar through speaking, writing, and listening exercises. Busuu is the best free language learning app to learn German thanks to its comprehensiveness. Before starting with the exercises, you get to assess your level with a 10-minute placement test. 

The Premium Plus version provides you with a personalized study plan for learning 5-20 minutes a day. 100 million worldwide learners use Busuu, through which you can get your written and spoken exercise instantly checked by a native speaker. 

You can download your German lessons for offline use and advance fast. A study done by the City University in New York has shown that 22 hours of studying with Busuu Premium equal one college semester of language study. The Complete German course could just be what you need.

5. Babbel 

Pictures of Babbel in App Language Learning Menus
Source: Babbel

iOS | Android

Cost: Free Lesson, then starting at 8,00 euros per month

Babbel is the most professional interactive language learning app with a clean design and no gamification. Before starting your course, Babbel quizzes your level and then places you in the correct course. You can practice all aspects of German with a dialogue trainer and speech recognition and set daily reminders to study 5-60 minutes. For more advanced learners, Babbel provides an entire Business German course, which makes it the best app for advanced German.

Babbel is for the ambitious and sincere learner who does not fancy other language learning apps’ colors and gimmicks.

6. Tandem

Pictures of Tandem in App Language Learning Menus
Source: Tandem

iOS | Android

Cost: Completely Free, Paid tutoring possible

Tandem does not provide courses or exercises but instead connects you to another Tandem user, native in German, and with similar interests. The concept is based on chatting, voice messaging, and video calling with native speakers to overcome the fear of speaking German. In exchange, you will teach your mother tongue to your new Tandem partner. 

You can build your profile with pictures and interests and search for a language partner by language, location, and interests. As an added feature, the app also offers a translation tool and spelling corrections. 

Since you are aiming to have conversations with real people on Tandem, this app might not be the best for absolute beginners, but rather for advanced German learners wishing to improve their fluency. 

7. Preply

Pictures of Preply in App Language Learning Menus
Source: Preply

iOS | Android

Cost: around 20-50 euros per lesson

Preply is the most individual language learning platform on our list, as it connects tutors with language learners for 1:1 video call lessons. After signing up, you can choose your tutor based on language, country of origin, specialty (e.g., for beginners or professionals), time availability, and price per hour. Each tutor sets their price. For a German lesson with a tutor from Germany, the price ranges between 20 and 50 euros. 

Final Thoughts

You now have a list of fun and goal-oriented language learning apps to improve your German skills. It is up to you to make it count. To boost your joy for the German language, even more, take a look at our list of 111 German idioms in English. You better start laughing and learning.

To complement your app language learning with the fundaments of German, it might be a good idea to get a traditional German grammar book.

Happy studying!

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If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We are happy to help.

Yvonne was born and raised in Germany and has lived in the United States, France, and Spain. She understands the struggle of settling in a new home and is happy to share simple services and tips on how things are done in her home country, to help expats get their German experience started.