A Thorough Guide on Learning German Online
For a while now, the world has been living in fear of the German language. This is why when many people think about learning a new language, they strike German off the list. In reality, it isn’t hard at all! Yes, you heard us: German being impossible to master is a myth.
Learning any language requires commitment and time, and that’s the same with the German language. All you need is motivation and hard work and you can be proficient in any language of the world, not just one or two. Once you know how to approach the language properly, you can learn German easily.
If you don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered some helpful tips to help you learn the ropes of the German language fast. But, keep in mind that different people learn at different rates. A native Chinese speaker will find mastering German harder than a native English speaker. Why do we say that? Because the German language is one of the many Germanic languages that share many similarities. These Indo-European languages like English, Dutch, or German are closer to each other than you think.
Are you ready to learn German online?
Reasons to Learn German
Learning any new language brings its own set of perks. In the case of this particular language, the list of benefits is quite long. Here are some major reasons you should learn German online:
- Germany is the second-largest exporter in the world.
- The nation’s economy takes first place in Europe while it bags the number four spot worldwide.
- Combine the economies of every Spanish-speaking country in the world and you would get Germany’s economy.
- Many renowned international corporations are housed in Germany.
- Within the European Union, German has the biggest number of native speakers.
- It’s among the 10 most commonly spoken global languages.
- English and German are similar. Many words in the German dictionary look and/or sound similar to English words as the two languages have the same “ancestors.” For instance, take a look at these:
Buch = book, Haus = house, Hand = hand, Finger = finger, Mutter = mother, singen = to sing, name = name, blaue = blue, kommen = to come, alt = old.
- German is the mother tongue of Kafka, Goethe, Nietzsche, and Marx, of Grass, Brecht, and Mann. Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and many more spoke and wrote in German, as did Einstein, Freud, Heisenberg, Weber, Hegel, and Kant.
- It is the 2nd most commonly used language for scientific purposes.
- A shocking 18% of the global books are published in the German language and not all of them get English translations.
- This language can be your gateway to the most sophisticated learning cycles.
How Long it Takes to Learn German
Although learning German in itself isn’t that difficult, it gets trickier for natives who speak languages that fall within the Indo-European language family. Regardless of your first language, no matter how hard German might seem at first, don’t get demotivated. We have mentioned several helpful techniques to make you progress faster.
There is no fixed timestamp within which you will be a proficient German speaker, but consistency is definitely key. Many factors will decide how quickly you pick up a new language, such as former experience and frequency of exposure to the chosen language, how much time and work you are willing to dedicate to the cause, your resilience, and so on. But it can be assumed that if you practice on a daily basis, you should be decent in German within three or six months.
You will be able to hold a conversation or place an order at your local café without breaking a sweat. Some struggle more than others and that’s fine. You aren’t competing with anybody to learn better faster. However, if you wish to be fluent in German, that’s going to take a few years of dedicated practice.
Why Should You Learn German Online?
The biggest benefit to learning online is convenience. The internet has widened our horizons like never before, potentially removing barriers from learning German. The majority of these barriers would be either access or budget. Not everyone has access to a class or community where German is taught. And many don’t have the budget nor the time to attend physical classes even if they are available.
If you learn German online, you will be able to understand the language and culture in a way you would during in-person classes. Another great reason to try the online method is that it lets you practice with native speakers, sharing a situation similar to that of exchanges. Students learn more about the history, politics, literature, and art of Germany.
In short, you get the benefits of a foreign exchange trip without actually doing it. This has been made possible by the internet and how effortlessly it transcends boundaries. Technology has become the bridge we need between a student and a native speaker. So many prospects and reasons make this an exciting time to learn German online.
Courses and Services to Learn German Online
If you have already started the process of looking to learn German online, you will find that there are a number of German courses for you to compare. Whilst a lot of the content will be similar, there are still some differences on each site and each course. Here is a list of just some of the trusted online German courses that we think you should consider:
Sign up for GermanPod101.com and get access to a wide range of learning tools. Their premium plan is only $10 per month which is quite cheaper than the average online course. The site offers video and audio lessons covering a large area, such as German writing and grammar, reading, and culture. Students get lessons based on their learning motives and needs. Other tools you will get include lists, slideshows, and flashcards.
One thing we really love about this platform is the slowed-down audio option. They also break down the dialogue line-by-line so the students can clearly hear each word being spoken. The lessons on GermanPod101.com are divided into 4 levels: absolute beginner, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. You have to take up about 100 lessons on each level. Furthermore, each lesson includes 5 to 50 audio and video lessons as well as lesson notes in the form of PDFs. Finally, if you need more help than others, you can sign up for a one-on-one lesson with a German teacher for a premium price of $23 a month.
If you’ve been associated with online learning for some time now, you surely know about Udemy. This online learning platform is a treasure trove of knowledge diversity. So it’s obvious that you would find quality language courses here. Learn German on Udemy by buying short and long courses they have. The cheapest courses range from $11 while the most expensive ones can cross the $50 margin. Check out their “German Made Simple: A Complete Course for Serious Learners” course which is said to include everything you would need to call yourself a fair German speaker.
For people who are learning German for business purposes, Deutsch-Uni Online is the place to be. It is noteworthy that the site teaches everything about the German language, but the business version of the course is extra special. You can expect to pay anywhere around $170 for it. Not only does this course teach you the right vocabulary in business contexts, but it also teaches you how to create and format documents like newsletters, emails, and other forms of communication.
iTalki is a great place to find German tutors online. Classes are done over Skype, giving you ample opportunity to speak in German during interactions. Learners can also post their writing on iTalki’s community forum and get feedback from others. Depending on the tutor, pricing on this platform varies. Tutors generally charge their own rates. Having said that, a German tutor can be found for $15 to $25 per hour. Once you are on the site, you can search for tutors and research about them from their online profiles. Tutors will also post videos to assist students in knowing about them. In case you need help on something suddenly, the site also offers a convenient instant tutoring feature. Basics of iTalki include using a filter to find the ideal tutor and then discussing the rates before moving on to sessions.
Tutor.com presents an interesting dimension to the table. With programs designed for every possible age group, starting from K-12 students to corporate professionals, tutor.com pledges to find you a tutor that meets your needs. They offer direction tutoring in a wide variety of subjects. You can meet your teacher one-on-one and go over the lesson plans. The better part is the pricing. A student would have to pay $40 per hour on this platform. Tutors can be hired for 1 to 3 hours a month. If you sign up for the three hours mode, you get a little discount on the hourly rate.
The free language-learning app has become super popular within the average population for being a good platform that doesn’t cost anything. That’s right! Duolingo is free, so you can learn German without spending any money at all. The bite-sized lessons are easy to pick up and study on the go. You can pay to get Duolingo plus to unlock several benefits but their primary user base sticks to the free plan. Every day, you are encouraged to participate in a 5-minute session where they will introduce a new word or phrase as well as ask you to recall what’s already been taught.
The lessons are tailored to help you grow and learn in the German language without confusing you. Moreover, you get instant feedback on interactive exercises which makes it easier to track progress. On the negative side, everything on Duolingo is user-generated, so there’s no guarantee that you will be learning from a native German speaker.
At Verbling, you can get a native German-speaking teacher for less than $30 an hour! A few of these tutors will also provide free trials. If you are somewhat sceptical about them, feel free to check out the “Feedback” section so you can know about them from the mouths of the tutors working on the site as well as the students subscribed.
Ideal for newbie and advanced students alike, DeutschAkademie houses more than 20,000 grammar and vocabulary exercises. Students can review the sentence structure in German. This particular service goes a bit in-depth and teaches gendered nouns, irregular verbs, and participles out of the many key lessons. Sounds too difficult? The online message forum is there to help! Students who feel overwhelmed with the lessons can post questions in there and other learners will help them out.
Tried and tested, Rosetta Stone has been a front-runner in the language-learning apps for the longest time. Most of their courses are designed deliberately to promote thinking and retention. This also means that they come at a hefty price to cover that. Before you buy the course, they will offer you to take a free trial. Sessions contain vocabulary, grammar, important phrases, words, and more. They have quite a reputation in sites like Trust pilot so we think you would benefit from their programs.
Our Final Thoughts
Learn German – not only for your academic or business purposes – but to give yourself a new perspective. They say that learning a new language is like gaining another soul, and we totally agree with this. You can learn German online via a variety of sources – some paid, some free. But at the root of everything is willingness and passion to master the language. It’s only as tough as you want it to be. So why wait? Learn a new language today!