Did you know German is the most widely spoken native language in the European Union?
What’s more, there are over 15 million people learning German around the world.
If you want to count yourself among them, dann leg los (then go ahead) and… hop on YouTube.
Yes, you read that right.
YouTube makes it sehr einfach (very easy) to learn German on your own. You can practice at any time, from the comfort of your own home or on-the-go.
So hit pause on those influencers and keep reading for the best channels and lessons to learn German on YouTube.
Why Should You Learn German on YouTube?
This question is really a no-brainer. As pretty much everyone knows, YouTube is a great source for videos on all subjects, and there are literally billions of video views on the platform every day.
What this means for you is that you’ll have a great selection of videos to choose from when learning German on YouTube.
You can also choose anything from series of full German lessons to grammar spot-checks to vocabulary-building materials. Whether you want to spend every morning training your brain in German in your bathrobe, or learn a few nifty phrases while waiting for your grande mocha latte at Starbucks, you’ll find what you need to learn German at your own pace on YouTube, no matter your level.
Not in the mood for tenses, prepositions and co.? No problem! YouTube is also brimming with authentic German materials, like news reports or clips from German TV shows, as well as catchy German tunes to sing along to in the Dusche (shower).
We’ll cover all these types of German YouTube resources below, to give you a well-rounded learning experience.
Get Your German Video Fix! Where to Learn German on YouTube with the Best Channels and Lessons
The Best YouTube Channels for Comprehensive Lessons
A1, B2, C1… what?
If you’ve ever searched for German learning videos on YouTube or elsewhere, you no doubt came across these letter-number combinations. They all come from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages—quite a mouthful, which is why it’s usually shortened to CEFR levels.
Learning your CEFR level will be helpful for choosing YouTube German lessons that match your current learning needs. It’ll let you easily choose the lessons that’ll work best for you. However, here’s an easy tip: A1 refers to absolute beginners and C2 refers to advanced learners, comparable with native speakers. All of the other levels are sandwiched in between.
Still not sure what level you are? Take an online German level test to find out.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing YouTube German lessons is how much time you have to spend on learning the language right now.
Too busy at work or cramming for non-German language exams? Then a quick lesson series under 10 minutes per video may be just what you need. Do you have nothing to do over the summer or are you getting ready for that trip of a lifetime to Berlin? Maybe longer, more intensive lessons are the way to go.
Either way, it’s key to be consistent in your learning to ensure you make the progress you want and need.
With those tips in mind, here are the best German learning YouTube channels we recommend for comprehensive language learning. Several of these channels will make a reappearance later in the post when we recommend specific videos for targeted German learning. Viel Spass (have fun)!
Get Germanized: Learn German with a Cooler Typ (Cool Guy)
Get Germanized is a German language learning YouTube channel created by a regular German guy who calls himself Meister Lehnsherr. He’s got an energetic, outgoing personality and lots of great videos for German learners of all levels.
Meister Lehnsherr also has tons of entertaining German culture videos to watch, like his funny running commentary on German commercials from the 70s and 80s or his video “How to Piss Off Germans,” for great tips on what not to do if you want to make friends.
This is one of the most popular YouTube channels for learning German, and it has tons of great videos for German learning aimed at beginners up to advanced learners.
Still stumped on a grammar point he mentions? No problem. Meister Lehnsherr happily answers his viewer’s questions in English in the comment section of every video.
Nicos Weg: Let Nico Take You on His German Adventure
Nicos Weg: Einfach Deutsch lernen (Nico’s Way: Easy German Learning) is a German language learning series on YouTube created by Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public international broadcaster. Nicos Weg is a professional production, not just one teacher talking in his or her living room, like many other channels.
In these videos, you’ll follow Nico, a guy from Spain who’s come to Germany to learn German, while he has various adventures around town.
Another great thing about this series is that it covers three complete levels, from A1 to B1 (lower intermediate), so plan on getting to know Nico really well!
Deutsche Welle has been teaching the German language and culture to the world for many years, so you can’t go wrong here.
Learn German: Drill (and Retain!) German Language Concepts
Learn German is a practical, no-nonsense channel that offers lots of short animated videos where a teacher goes through phrases and grammar and drills pronunciation with you.
Each video is around six minutes long, so this resource is good for anyone who wants to learn or practice German on-the-go with their YouTube app.
Unlike similar videos, the teachers on Learn German explain the grammar and use of the vocabulary very clearly in English. You’ll expand your vocabulary and become aware of the difference between formal and informal verb forms, which is crucial for actually talking in German.
You can also get worksheets and transcripts for free on their website to study more on your own (just click “Show More” under the video for links to those materials).
Learn German with Anja: Let Your Friend Anja Be Your Guide
Anja is a bubbly, fun-loving German gal who has created a great beginner’s course for learning German on YouTube.
Each video is around three to seven minutes long and has built-in homework assignments to help you practice and use what you’ve learned.
The great thing about Anja’s YouTube channel is that she always talks in German first before translating into English, which will help you tune into the language. Her videos are also always friendly and lots of fun. She even gives you a tour of her house, as you’ll see below.
FluentU: Learn from Real German Videos (Even as a Beginner)
Love watching real German videos on YouTube, but sick of those awful auto-translated captions? Wish you could actually learn from what you’re hearing?
Well, you can make all that happen with FluentU.
FluentU supercharges German YouTube videos with tons of interactive, helpful learning tools for beginners through advanced learners.
For example, every video comes with interactive subtitles. Tap or click on any unfamiliar German word for an instant definition, grammar info and useful examples.
When you’re done watching, the video lessons kick into high gear. There are flashcards and fun quizzes to make sure you remember everything you learned. You’ll also get vocabulary lists and full transcripts with every video.
FluentU’s videos are organized by genre and level so it’s easy to find the ones that work for you. Plus, FluentU remembers what you’ve learned and reminds you when it’s time to review, keeping your German strong and keeping you moving towards fluency.
Just like the YouTube app, you can take FluentU anywhere with the mobile apps for iOS and Android. Why not get started today, with the free trial?
Beef Up Your Wortschatz (Vocabulary) with YouTube Vocab Lessons
Here are the best videos to learn German vocabulary on YouTube.
Get Germanized: “10 German Verbs You Need to Know”
First things first: you need some verbs to get you started. Meister Lehnsherr lets you know which 10 verbs are must-knows for German learners with this YouTube video. He gives lots of great tips for using them correctly.
Learn German with Anja: “My new house!”
When you’re learning German or any language, it’s always a great idea to learn vocabulary for concrete objects, like what you have lying around the house!
In this video, Anja takes you around her house and teaches you lots of great words about rooms and furniture.
Lina Vasquez: “Describe Your Personality in German”
Want to describe yourself and your friends to other people? Let the lovely Lina teach you lots of great new German words for characters traits in this quick YouTube video. Lots of useful vocabulary here.
linguamarina: “40 Common Phrases in German Language”
Wanna know how to greet everyone from your friend’s grandmother to a friend at a bar? This video teaches you lots of great basic phrases and idioms at different registers that’ll make your German sound really natural.
This includes the fabulous jein, which is the German word for “yes and no,” as well as tons of words for “awesome.”
DontTrustTheRabbit: “20 Funny German Slang Terms and Insider Facts”
Looking to get past textbook German and sound much cooler? This video takes you to the “native speaker slang level” by teaching you 20 great insider words and phrases to impress your German friends.
Learn German with Anja: “German freetime Vocabulary”
Chatting about hobbies is also a great small talk topic to get into at your first German meet-up with new friends. In this YouTube video, you’ll learn the German words as well as full sentences for talking about what you like to do in your spare time, besides learning German of course. Thanks Anja!
Get Germanized: “Learn Funny German Sayings/Proverbs”
Learning proverbs isn’t just useful for expanding vocabulary when learning German, it’s also lots of fun. Meister Lehnsherr takes you through a nice list here and gives you the English equivalents.
Learn German with Jenny: “How to Enrich Your German Vocabulary”
Looking for more ways to learn and remember new German vocabulary? In this YouTube video, the Blondine (blonde) Jenny gives you lots of great tips on how to build a killer Wortschatz (vocabulary).
Prepare for Real Conversations with Informal German Video Lessons
No doubt about it, one tough thing about visiting a German-speaking country is feeling overwhelmed when you’re trying to get around town. To get your German up to speed before your visit, it’s really useful to learn practical phrases to get you around town.
Deutsch für Euch: “Ordering Drinks at a Restaurant or Bar”
In this YouTube video, Katja teaches you phrases that help you learn how to order drinks in German at a busy Biergarten, including beer, of course!
Easy German: “Basic Conversation Phrases 1”
One of the best ways to learn German is to make German friends! Here’s a YouTube video with some basic phrases to use to get to know people in Deutschland, Österreich or die Schweiz (Germany, Austria or Switzerland).
The phrases are first stated slowly by a teacher and then repeated at a quicker pace by another German native speaker.
Easy German: “Flirting in Germany”
In the mood to flirt over your Bier und Brezel (beer and pretzel)? Here are some great phrases to help you get the number of that hottie at the other side of the bar.
Watch Antra and Yasemin try to flirt, and often strike out, on the streets of an overcast Münster in this YouTube video.
Learn German with Anja: “German Love Phrases”
If you have more success than the Mädels (girls) in the last video, you can learn the best German pet names for your new German bae, courtesy of Anja.
Have fun learning German and keep with it. Your language learning adventure has begun, one zany German YouTube video at a time!
Rebeccah Dean is a writer and educator who has lived in Berlin since 1999. You can read more about her adventures on her blog Rebeccah Travels.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.