Cardboard robot reading a book

4 Best German Chat Bots

The bots have invaded.

While your robot vacuum might not be able to respond if you encourage it with a hearty “Du kannst es tun!” (“You can do it!”) as it makes its way over a tough obstacle, that doesn’t mean there aren’t bots ready to talk back.

Thanks to chat bots, or programs that talk back when you type in (or say) a query, you can get basic conversation practice in German without talking to an actual person.


What Are Chat Bots?

Chat bots (usually spelled “chatbots”) are programs designed to respond to text or audio inputs. Their programmers train them on how to respond to queries delivered through human language, not code. Some of the newest bots learn and improve their conversation skills as more people talk to them.

Chat bots can be a fun addition to your language studies. For people who want to practice writing or speaking in real time without judgment, chat bots can act as good (if sometimes flawed) sounding boards.

As German-language chat bots require German input to formulate a response, you must consider grammatical structures when typing out a message. Will the bot understand your question if verbs are out of place? Does it care about capitalization?

The best part about chat bots is that conversing with them combines both language production, such as writing or speaking, with language understanding.

4 German Chat Bots for Casual Language Practice

At the moment, there are a number of German-language chat bots available online, either built into operating systems (such as Google Assistant) or accessed via chat tools like Facebook Messenger.

Some chat bots are only available on certain platforms (iOS, the Web, etc.), so not all bots on this list may be accessible to you. Even if you don’t have a smart device, however, you can still reach a number of bots directly through your browser.

1. Google Assistant

Google Assistant

Google Assistant has a German mode, although you can’t just speak to it in German and expect a response auf deutsch (in German) right off the bat. You’ll first need to change your mobile device’s language settings, which will go into effect systemwide. To change your language settings on Google Assistant, see this guide.

Google Assistant can recognize spoken German, and it’ll respond via text and speech in kind. Its responses are generally informal, using the more familiar du (you) when it’s talking to you.

It has a somewhat airy tone and a decent sense of humor. When asked “wie geht’s” (“how are you”) its response is, “Auf die Frage habe ich den ganzen Tag gewartet!” (“I’ve been waiting for that question all day!”). Likewise, you can ask it for a joke, for the weather and more.

Note that, if it doesn’t understand you, the Google Assistant will provide search results.

2. Cleverbot


Although Cleverbot is primarily an English-language bot (it was developed to speak English), if you write to it in German, it’ll respond in German. That said, its vocabulary is not nearly as rich as Google Assistant’s. You may get frustrated easily with its responses.

Cleverbot is kind of smart, though not perfect. It has a sarcastic sense of humor. For example, if you type “mein schatz” (“my treasure,” a term of endearment), it will reply, “Du bist so süß zu mir” (“You’re so sweet to me”).

If it doesn’t understand you, it will respond with non-sequiturs. For example, “sag mir ein Joke” (“Tell me a joke,” kind of), its response is “Andrenalinspritze” (“adrenaline shot”).

Further bots are available by the same company, Existor. They’re more English-focused, however.

3. Duobots

Duolingo logo

Duobots are a feature built into Duolingo, the language-learning app. Unfortunately, Android users won’t be able to chat with Duobots, as these chat bots are iOS-only at the moment. Duobots work on iPhones as well as iPads, and they’re accessible through the main toolbar on the German course from the Duolingo app.

Unlike other chat bots on this list, Duobots are specifically designed for language learners. For this reason, features such as word lookups and targeted conversations are built into the chat interface.

The “speakers” on the Duobot tab are also personable, with images to build up their personas. If you make a typo, it’s noted in the chat window. More grammatical queries will net you lingots, Duolingo’s in-app currency. Some chat sessions even feature mini-quizzes sprinkled throughout the conversation.

Duobots are definitely useful bots for unearthing some useful flashcard phrases.

4. Facebook Messenger Bots

Facebook messenger

As we mentioned, anyone can build a chat bot. Stores, in particular, like to use chat bots to help answer customer-service queries, as customers tend to ask the same questions over and over. For example, it’s easy for a bot to look up the answer to “wann öffnet Lidl” (“when does LIDL open”). These home-brew bots are often run through apps such as Facebook Messenger or Kik.

Toni is a chat bot who knows about soccer leagues, although he needs very specifically worded questions to pull up information.

Howie, on the other hand, is a commerce bot who helps answer questions for SATURN, a German electronics chain.

Facebook Messenger bots often are unable to understand poorly worded queries, so don’t be discouraged if they get confused.

How to Use Chat Bots to Study German

Bots are getting good enough to communicate in a natural way, but you’ll still want to supplement them with learning from native speakers and authentic media.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

FluentU Ad

All in all, chatting with bots works best when used to practice language use and understanding. Conversations won’t necessarily be good for creating flashcards.

Some chat bots may not notice mistakes, so don’t rely on them to correct you. Other chat bots aren’t smart enough to discern the meaning of a poorly worded message, and they’ll ask you to rephrase your question. While this can be frustrating, it’s also a useful exercise in trying to get your meaning across.

Chat bots can be helpful for learners who don’t have access to a local language group. While they in no way replicate the rambling flow of a typical conversation, having a conversation with a chat bot is like chatting in German on easy mode. For that reason, chat bots can also be good for people who suffer from foreign language anxiety—generally, the bots won’t judge you!


Given how much technology is advancing with AI and machine learning, the bots will only get smarter and smarter. So, why not give them a try and practice all the German you’ve learned so far?

Happy chatting!

And One More Thing...

Want to know the key to learning German effectively?

It's using the right content and tools, like FluentU has to offer! Browse hundreds of videos, take endless quizzes and master the German language faster than you've ever imagine!


Watching a fun video, but having trouble understanding it? FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive subtitles.


You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don't know, you can add it to a vocabulary list.


And FluentU isn't just for watching videos. It's a complete platform for learning. It's designed to effectively teach you all the vocabulary from any video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you're on.


The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you're learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe