Can German learning videos really stand up to classroom learning?
Well, think about what makes a German course so great.
You get structured learning from a knowledgable instructor and tons of opportunities to practice.
Now think about what makes them… not so great.
It’s all about that set timetable. When you’re trying to squeeze German into your busy lifestyle, sometimes a set class schedule just doesn’t work.
What if you could get all the good and none of the bad—a high-quality German course that you can start and stop whenever you need, or even rewind?
That’s exactly what the German learning videos in this article will give you.
These aren’t just little tidbits of German. These are video lessons from experienced German teachers to effectively learn German grammar, vocabulary and conversation. You’ll learn how to speak German for beginners and up—and you definitely won’t miss sitting in a classroom.
What You’ll Get from These Videos to Learn German
Okay, still not totally convinced? Consider this:
- German video courses allow you to learn the language in context. The videos below will provide lots of examples and detailed explanations for the natural spoken German that you hear. The video format also makes it easy for instructors to post notes on a “whiteboard” or in-video slide.
Add in handy subtitles, and receiving a quality German lesson is as easy as opening your internet browser.
- Most video courses build sequentially. This means that you can start as a complete beginner with no knowledge of German, and you can practice previously-learned skills while learning new ones as the lessons advance.
Some video lessons even provide comprehension, grammar and vocabulary exercises. These are great for practicing new skills and solidifying your knowledge.
- These videos make a routine of learning German. Most video courses allow you to sign up and keep track of your progress, while courses on YouTube can stay at the top of your feed if you subscribe to the channel. Consistency really is key when learning a language!
The Complete Guide to Learn German with Video Lessons
Check out the seven best places to learn German with video courses!
Nicos Weg: Learn German from the Eyes of a New Immigrant
Nicos Weg (Nico’s Way) is an interactive video course from Deutsche Welle (German Wave), a German international broadcasting company. Nicos Weg is actually comprised of three courses.
The first is for complete beginners (A1, per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), the second is for upper-beginners or those with some experience with the German language (A2) and the third is for intermediate learners (B1).
These courses can also be followed in order for a complete German language learning experience.
The video lessons themselves follow a fictional character named Nico as he arrives in Germany from Spain and tries to learn German while starting a new life. Each course includes 50 to 75 individual lessons, and each lesson targets a specific German language topic or vocabulary theme.
The lessons start with a short two-minute video clip of Nico’s experience in Germany. The videos are completely in German and include German subtitles. The actors speak slowly and provide lots of context so you learn in an immersive environment—just as if you’d moved to Germany yourself.
Multiple choice comprehension questions follow each video as well as vocabulary and grammar explanations and exercises. Additionally, there are opportunities for listening and speaking practice.
German with Jenny: German Instruction Perfect for English Speakers
German with Jenny is hosted by Jenny, a dual American and German citizen who speaks both English and German natively. Because she speaks both languages and has lived in both the U.S. and Germany, she’s uniquely equipped to help native English speakers learn the German language.
Over multiple playlist courses on her YouTube channel, she’s created more than 500 video lessons for learning German. Jenny’s A1 and A2 courses are focused on German for beginners and include explanations in both English and German.
In particular, there are videos for German noun cases and German articles—since these are much more complicated than in English, having high-quality grammar lessons from the start will save you lots of headaches down the line.
For intermediate learners, Jenny’s B1 and B2 courses are completely in German and focus on complex sentence structure and more advanced vocabulary.
There are also separate courses for listening comprehension at two levels: A1/A2 for beginner learners and B1 for intermediate. These are fantastic for training your ear to the language and creating a faux German immersion environment. Just go to the channel’s Playlists tab to find them all.
You can even download Jenny’s app for additional practice exercises.
FluentU: Immersion Learning That Works from Anywhere
FluentU is the most unique resource on this list because it teaches you through YouTube’s best authentic German videos. You’ll get real-world content that native speakers actually watch, but transformed into a personalized language learning experience.
On FluentU, you’ll find everything from German movie trailers to music videos to inspiring speeches and more. Each video comes with interactive subtitles–click any unfamiliar word for an instant definition, grammar info and useful examples. There are also professionally translated English captions that you can toggle on or off as needed.
When you’re done watching a video, you’ll get flashcards and fun quizzes to make sure you retain everything you’ve learned. It’s the perfect blend of immersion and active practice to quickly learn how to speak German like the natives do.
There are six levels of video lessons from absolute beginner to upper-advanced. In addition to the authentic videos, FluentU also includes grammar and vocabulary video lessons specifically for beginners that can be followed sequentially.
Each video is easily organized by level and genre, but FluentU will also suggest new content based on what you’ve already learned.
Best of all, you can take these entertaining German videos anywhere with the FluentU mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Deutsch mit Marija: Beginner German with a Focus on Test Preparation
Deutsch mit Marija (German with Marija) is hosted by Marija, a native Estonian and Russian speaker who moved to Germany at a young age. She spent much of her youth learning German (among other languages) and she now teaches German in-person and online.
Marija’s videos are for beginner, intermediate and advanced German learners. In addition to general grammar and vocabulary videos for each level, Marija also focuses on test preparation for all CEFR levels (A1 to C2). Some of these videos are organized into playlists, such as her B2/C1 Onlinekurs (online course).
Other videos simply have the corresponding CEFR level in the video title.
Aside from her more straightforward grammar and vocabulary lessons, Marija also records vlogs about everyday life. These are perhaps the most unique and useful because they provide naturally spoken German that’s tailored to learners, so the content is accessible and not overwhelming.
Get Germanized’s Complete Beginner Course: Learn Basic German in an Hour and a Half
Get Germanized is a popular YouTube channel with a beginner course that can be completed in an hour and a half! You heard me correctly: you can learn beginner German in an hour and a half with a single YouTube video!
The video in presented in English, but obviously there are lots of vocabulary words and common expressions in German. Topics within the video course include greetings, numbers and basic German-language situations such as travel, food and shopping. The videos’ explanations are in-depth and the spoken German is slow and clear with an opportunity to repeat after each sentence.
Get Germanized also has videos about lighter topics related to German such as dialects, German jokes and travel videos, so once you have your basis in German, check out the rest of the channel as well!
Learn German Online: Learn German Through Dialogues
Learn German Online uses dialogues as a basis for the course to teach German. Dialogues are a great way to learn because they allow you to see and hear vocabulary and grammar constructions in context. You’ll get lots of useful examples for how to use common expressions in your own spoken German.
Learn German Online’s videos include built-in German transcriptions, and some include English translations. The dialogues are divided into levels for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners.
Some videos are up to an hour long, and these include multiple dialogues surrounding a particular proficiency level. Topics include travel, food and drink and shopping, and there are over 40 videos that focus specifically on learning German with stories for intermediate and advanced learners.
Deutsch mit Anna: Learn Basic German in 12 Lessons
Deutsch mit Anna (German with Anna) is a YouTube channel from a professional German teacher who uses the videos as a supplement to her own in-person and online German lessons. The videos on her channel are presented in both English and German.
The Beginner’s course from Deutsch mit Anna includes 12 lessons that are around 20 minutes long.
Each lesson starts off with a dialogue and is followed by vocabulary and grammar explanations. With a fee, learners can access the beginner’s course website for comprehension activities that correspond to the 12 video lessons.
Other videos on the channel include working with verbs with prefixes, an intermediate course and advanced listening comprehensions.
Who said taking a German course had to completely overhaul your busy schedule? Simply set aside some time to learn German with videos like these fantastic lessons! Viel Spaß (Have fun)!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.