Have you discovered the Holy Grail of online German lessons?
Have you already scoured Google and found the perfect resource for learning German?
Has there ever been a point where you said, “Yup, this online German learning program really has it all—now I can just sit back and become fluent within a few weeks or months.”
I’m guessing there hasn’t, considering lessons and resources online are fairly scattered around, difficult to bring together and every resource has its own special elements that make it unique.
That’s why I’ve compiled the ultimate guide to intermediate German online essentials, from lessons to quizzes, podcasts to YouTube channels.
If there were ever an ultimate intermediate German resource, this is it. So, keep reading to start your journey from intermediate limbo to German fluency.
How to Choose an Intermediate German Resource Online
The best way to explore the seemingly unlimited intermediate online German resources is to separate them based on learning style. What do I mean by that? I mean that some people are better listeners than they are readers, while others find it easier to learn a new language by speaking to other people on a consistent basis.
Sure, we all need a taste of each learning style to get a well-rounded learning experience, but for the bulk of your German learning you should play directly to your strengths.
Therefore, I broke down these intermediate German online essentials into the following categories:
- Audio tools and lessons
- Visual tools and lessons
- Text lessons and quizzes
- Combination lessons and tools
- Immersive online tools
Each of these learning methods is explained below, so it shouldn’t take long to realize which of these help you learn the quickest. Also, don’t be afraid to use resources from each category. After all, in order to learn a language properly you must use all of your senses and truly surround yourself with German.
If you’re unsure of where to start, try the combination lessons and tools first, or take a couple resources from each category for a quick spin to see what you like best.
16 Intermediate German Resources Online That Cater to Your Personal Learning Style
Audio Tools for Intermediate Online German Learners
Audio tools bring out the listeners in all of us, and they work wonders because you’re forced to comprehend different dialects, speaking speeds and complexities with how different people tell stories. Audio tools and lessons have the power to make every native want to speak to you in German, because they know you’ll be listening and understanding every word.
To start, GermanPod101 features a comprehensive intermediate listening experience that follows a guy named Mike who just landed in Germany. The podcast isn’t just contained to this one lesson, so you can jump around and cover things like basic directions, talking about German supermarkets and more advanced topics. You’ll even get to listen in on funny debates like “How Far Will Klingon Get You in Germany?”
Don’t underestimate the power of Germanpod101 being a podcast. Download the episodes and take them with you everywhere! Hearing audio around the clock will work wonders for your conversational skills and overall fluency.
I particularly enjoy Leicht Deutsch Lernen, which is a strong collection of audio clips and lessons. Each of these audio clips features a recorded German speaker, English translations and a question and answer part for active participation.
The All Audio German CD pack isn’t exactly an online lesson, but it allows you to make the purchase online, stick the CDs into your computer and even bring your lessons along with you in a car or MP3 player. It comes with six compact discs, focusing on essentials like culture, vocabulary, grammar and dialogue.
If radio is your thing, the BBC offers free German learning courses, which place a hard focus on audio listening so that you can speak back and constantly listen to the radio, even while at work. Here you can test your German to start at the right level and then jump right into German news, TV and radio with subtitles or English voice overs.
About.com also has a huge list of audio resources for German things like pronunciation, tongue twisters and more. Start by learning how to pronounce certain letter combinations in German, then follow along as one of the audio clips explains some of the most commonly mispronounced German words and how to say them the right way.
Visual Tools for Intermediate German Learners
Do you enjoy kicking back after work and watching videos? Maybe you even sneak in funny YouTube videos while on the clock. We’re not here to judge, but why not integrate your German learning into your video watching and relaxation time?
As a starter, FluentU has a revolutionary video and audio learning platform for testing your intermediate skills with authentic materials and active learning.
FluentU is one of the best websites and apps for learning German the way native speakers really use it. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Watch authentic media to simultaneously immerse yourself in the German language and build an understanding of the German culture.
By using real-life videos, the content is kept fresh and current. Topics cover a lot of ground as you can see here:
Vocabulary and phrases are learned with the help of interactive subtitles and full transcripts.
Hovering over or tapping on any word in the subtitles will automatically pause the video and instantly display its meaning. Interesting words you don’t know yet can be added to a to-learn list for later.
For every lesson, a list of vocabulary is provided for easy reference and bolstered with plenty of examples of how each word is used in a sentence.
Your existing knowledge is tested with the help of adaptive quizzes in which words are learned in context.
FluentU keeps track of the words 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.
This way, you have a truly personalized learning experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or practice anytime, anywhere on the mobile app for iOS and Android.
The DeutschMitJulia YouTube channel is a classic choice for beginners, intermediates and advanced users, but the intermediate videos are especially helpful for learning how to conduct business in German. They outline the dos and don’ts when walking into a conference room, how to greet someone in German and even how your mannerisms should be while eating at a business dinner. Not to mention, the videos come with flashcards to help you study the words that have been covered.
Girls4Teaching is hosted by Eva, who provides both English and German videos, but I would recommend the completely German-spoken videos for intermediates. I find that pronunciation is one of the most important areas for intermediates to focus on, and Eva has various videos that walk you through the pronunciation of common phrases and words.
LinguaTV is a popular and effective YouTube channel, which provides fun German videos so you aren’t constantly bored with your learning. This channel has an entire series on skills for business in German, and it tends to hone in on specific topics like tourism, entertainment, shopping and more.
Text Lessons and Quizzes for Intermediate German Learners
Sometimes you crave that classroom environment—reading through lessons and taking quizzes afterwards. If you’re that type of learner, check out some of the best text lessons and quizzes for intermediate German learners here.
First off, the LangMaster website provides over 400 hours of intermediate exercises and tests, each of them leading you to a life of fluency. The courses are prepared by professional German instructors. You can skip over the beginner levels if you want or walk through them for a nice refresher. All of the recordings are completed by native speakers and the exercises are completely interactive with thousands of photos and tests.
The Deutsch Lernen resource works by walking you through ten questions. When you get 80% correct it advances you to the next lesson. It goes through basic to advanced learners, but it’s best for those in-between. Feel free to opt for longer or shorter tests, but the format is generally the same for all. The site suggests you take the quizzes without the help of a dictionary, so don’t cheat!
Try out the German Language Guide, and choose the intermediate test to get randomized quizzes with ten questions each. Each one is challenging and can last for quite some time. If you feel that the questions are getting a little easy, jump up to the advanced tests. Everything is broken down into categories, so if you have trouble with consonants, run a quiz on those. If you can’t stand verb conjugates, test your level and try to improve.
Intermediate Combination Lessons and Tools Online
The intermediate combination lessons are my favorites because they take videos, audio clips, tests and everything else we talked about above, compiling them together for the ultimate learning experience. They can be extremely immersive thanks to this diversity of input. Combination lessons are the next best thing to speaking with a German native while sitting in a restaurant in Berlin.
The B Level courses from DW Academy offer German exercises and quizzes online for managing your day-to-day German. Learn how to deal with most of the common situations you would stumble upon from when you wake up to when you fall asleep.
Rosetta Stone hits the sweet spot for beginners and intermediates, though it tends to fall short when you start becoming an advanced learner. However, the guides in this program focus on exploration, clarity and connection, with online lessons for tasks like making phone calls, discussing your well being and more. If you need extra structure, this might be worth your investment. We all know this sharp yellow box doesn’t come cheap, but these days you can start with the free trial and see how things go.
Immersive Online Tools for Intermediates
My idea of an immersive online tool is one that leads you to people who are going to speak with you and engage with you during your learning experience.
A great place to start is with Meetup.com, a website for finding local groups that share your interests and hobbies. Here you can find a place where you can speak German with other people in an easygoing atmosphere. The website is actually designed for just about any type of local group you could think of, but you can run a search for German learning groups. For example, I regularly visit a German meetup in Chicago where we chat in coffee shops, go to movies and learn about German culture in general.
Also, try out the Goethe Institute for simply reading the blog and resources they have or meeting with others in class. Class locations are all around the world, and the instructors are native German speakers. Sign up for a class to find friends and even communicate with the same people online later.
Joe Warnimont is a blogger and adventure-seeker. When not riding his bike around Chicago, you can find him sprucing up his German skills. He has watched “Run Lola Run” about ten too many times.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.