Any gamers out there?
Can you imagine sitting down for a game of “FIFA” or “Call of Duty” and playing as the announcers and characters spoke in German?
Well, that would certainly be a perfect world and you can actually purchase some foreign versions of video games, but the majority of the fun resides on the Internet.
When learning German, it helps to involve as many senses as possible.
Online games introduce interactive aspects for incorporating different senses like sight, sound and touch (kind of).
These games give you a big advantage when you combine them with tools like German e-books, videos and guides.
Even simpler games and quizzes intended for language learners are a heck of a lot more interactive than your textbook.
From beginners to advanced learners, everyone has a chance to engage themselves in the world of online gaming.
Playing games specifically designed for learners may bring you back to those times when you would sit in front of a computer to learn something (like typing) in class, only to find that the period ended much quicker than you wanted.
So what are some of the games you can expect to play?
Here are some styles of German learning games you can easily find online:
- Word Matching
- Logic Puzzles
- Image Memory Games
- Much More!
Although you can’t smell the Bavarian Alps or taste a side of sauerkraut with an online game, these fun-filled activities boost your awareness of German culture and turn the learning experience into something more fresh and interesting.
Why Are German Online Games So Awesome for Learning?
Remember the last time you played a game? Whether you sat down for a game of Monopoly with your friends or tried to beat a complete stranger in chess online, some part of the experience took you away from the real world.
Games have that magical ability to encourage problem solving and creativity with an enticing adventure.
And that’s what’s so great about German games online. You often don’t realize you’re playing the game! In addition, most of the games force you to utilize many of your German skills, from speaking, to reading, to typing, to listening.
All of this gives you a huge advantage when it comes to gaining fluency in the German language.
Not to mention, a few of the games we’ll mention are multiplayer, increasing the enjoyment factor and connecting you with people who may want to learn along with you.
Game-ify Your German: 8 Sweet Sites for Online German Games
A great place to stop for your German gaming fix is the Digital Dialects website.
The homepage has a list of links that lead you to various fun gaming topics such as:
- Phrases and Greetings
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Verb Conjugation
These highly visual games are organized for you to move through rather quickly, and they even provide pages for advanced learners. As an example, one of the games covers animals, revealing images of the animals and presenting vocab words for you to click on and match with the right photos.
Another game has a list of verbs in German that you drag to the right translations. Although I’d say that the advanced games are still somewhat rudimentary, this is a wonderful site for beginners and intermediates.
The Pimsleur Approach company is already well-known and respected for their language learning products, and that’s all fine and dandy, but right now what we’re interested in is the free games they have on their website.
If you go to the page linked above, you’ll stumble upon a list of four intriguing games:
- German Colors Game
- German Weather Game
- German Memory Game
- German Food Match-up Game
As an example of what one of the games is like, the German colors game provides visual drag-and-drop sentences where you try to spell the color that fits into a particular German sentence. That’s going to be fairly easy for advanced learners, but this is still a great resource for trying to figure out some less common vocabulary words you may have never heard of before.
Loving the Pimsleur approach? There’s more to it than just games—there are complete courses available. Much of learning German with Pimsleur means listening to a conversation and then repeating parts of it, gradually building up knowledge until you can recall the phrases that have been said when prompted. Conversational fluency always comes first. Just let the teachers guide you from basic phrases to complete sentences. It always prompts you to listen, repeat and respond, making it highly interactive. Check out all the German materials they have available here!
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. While letting you escape into an addictive, game-ified format, FluentU also brings you within reach of the rich and vivid world of authentic German culture.
Here’s a quick look at the topics you can explore on FluentU:
- Arts and Entertainment
- Everyday Life
- Health and Lifestyle
- Politics and Society
- Science and Technology
Since this is the content that native German speakers actually watch, you get the chance to experience how modern German is spoken in real life.
Here’s just a brief example of the variety of content you’ll find on FluentU:
Watching a fun video, but having trouble understanding it? FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday German by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles.
This way, you get German immersion online without ever worrying about missing a word.
Just tap on any subtitled word to instantly see an in-context definition, usage examples and a memorable illustration to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to your vocabulary list for later review.
Once you’ve watched a video, you can use FluentU’s quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.
FluentU will even keep track of all the German words you’ve learned, then recommend videos and ask you questions based on what you already know. Plus, it’ll tell you exactly when it’s time for review. Now that’s a 100% personalized experience!
Focused mainly on beginners, the German Games website has some of the more creative games on this list. It asks you to select the activity and topic you’d like to cover (from means of transportation to hair color and styles). Then you choose whether you’d like a game, tutorial or test. The site even provides classic games like The Frog Flies and Hangman.
If you’re past the beginner level, a button is provided to show intermediate topics. No advanced-level games are available through the German Games website, but it can definitely help you get there.
The Hello World resource boasts over 600 free German games, and it offers options for beginners to advanced users. Games you’ll find include songs, logic puzzles, matching games, bingo and more.
As an example, the Girls and Hats game allows you to pair clothing and toys with animated girls and hear what various words sound like.
The Polly Lingual site provides some of the more fun games on the list within their online courses, including Hangman, Whack-a-Word, Alphabet Soup and something called a Verb Conjugation Trainer.
The games run smoothly in your browser, and they tally up points to add some incentive to your training. Beginner, intermediate and advanced games and courses are included, and it’s easy to sit at a computer with a friend to challenge each other throughout your learning.
Three categories round out the Soft Schools gaming page, with matching, vocab and scatter games. The scatter games are the most interesting, allowing you to look through a jumbled-up group of words and match the English and German versions together. Although audio pronunciations are not available, the scoring system boosts your confidence, and the varying levels help you see how much you’ve improved.
Although the types of games are limited to three, your options for categories are quite plentiful. For example, some of the following categories are offered for you to play around with:
I would argue that the hardest games you’re going to find here are at the intermediate level, but they come in handy for those trying to improve their vocabulary range, since it’s not that often you get to practice areas like medicine and sports.
Here’s a resource that’s made to offer free language tools to students and teachers in Australia. Lucky for us, it’s available to everyone in the world. The initial page showcases 35 topics for games, and it covers everything from visiting your family to school items.
For example, if you were to click on the “Visiting family” link, it would reveal worksheets and interactive tasks. Feel free to download the PDF worksheets for your own studying, and click on one of the interactive tasks, which are types of games.
You could choose the Ich besuche… (I visit) lesson, which shows a few characters talking to each other with varying versions of the besuchen (visit) verb. Simply punch in the correct variations of the verb to complete the conversations. These games are perfect for beginner and intermediate pronunciation, sentence building and vocabulary.
So there you have it! The above sites have what you need to indulge yourself in a pleasurable world of German learning for hours.
Have fun, and feel free to bring in some of your German-learning buddies to see if you can beat each other.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.