Need to practice German online?
Well, how deeply have you explored the great, big internet?
I mean, it’s pretty great in the shallow waters alone—all those cat videos, viral memes, movies and social media platforms.
Sure, there’s a whole load of fun stuff out there, but the online ocean also has a vast array of materials and resources dedicated to helping you improve your German.
It’s pretty huge too.
Haven’t dived into this part of the internet yet? No sweat, I’ve gone there and found all the best stuff for you.
In this blog post, I’ve rounded up my eight favorite resources to practice German online—oh, and I did I mention they’re all free or have free versions? Since you’re a fan of the internet (and you probably like the word “free”), I’m pretty sure you’re going to love these German practice tools, too.
Why Should You Practice German Online?
The internet is absolutely packed full of information, facts and data on every single subject you can think of.
And, yes, this applies to the subjects of German speaking, listening, reading and writing at all levels. There’s a sea of material to practice German online.
If you’re not quite sure about the subjunctive, noun genders or compound nouns, all you have to do is have a quick online search and thousands of entries will come up in the results. There’ll be everything from in-depth explanations to simple quick tips.
There are also thousands of possibilities to practice your writing. Blogs and online newspapers often have comment sections after each article, giving you the chance to give your opinion in German.
If you don’t feel confident about writing long, flowing sentences, there are also plenty of sites that feature online crosswords. What better way to learn German spelling?
And let’s not forget all those online videos and programs which are just waiting to be streamed. So, you might not know any Germans to practice your listening skills out with—but the internet has got your back, as always!
Finally, one major advantage of practicing your language on the internet is having the chance to instantly look up any word that has you stumped. If you’re reading an engrossing article on Die Zeit but are flummoxed by some tricky vocabulary, just open a new tab and look for an online dictionary.
You’ll be able to continue reading completely problemlos (smoothly)!
Practice German Online: 8 Fresh, Versatile Resources
LEO is a fantastic online dictionary. It can translate from German into a handful of languages. But what makes LEO unique and helpful to practice German online?
Two words: discussion forums.
If a user has a tricky phrase that they’re not quite sure how to translate, they can start a post and other users will be more than happy to give their ideas.
So, not only will this website help you with any vocabulary issues, but it’s also a great opportunity to flex your German writing muscles. And you never know, you might have pearls of wisdom to pass on to your fellow language learners!
If you’re looking for a refreshing change of pace when it comes to your online German practice, then stay right here.
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.
Known by all U.K. students, the BBC’s Bitesize revision materials have gotten many a stressed student through their GCSE exams! Their German exercises and chunks of information can be utilized by absolutely anyone with an internet connection.
It’s primarily aimed at beginner and intermediate learners, so if you’re just starting out on your German adventure, this is an awesome place to begin. Most of the exercises are made up of fun games to keep you interested. Everything is broken down into difficulty levels so you know exactly where you stand.
Once you have swotted up on a specific topic there’s a final “mock exam” to test how much you really understood.
Duolingo is a popular smartphone online German course with mini-quizzes to test your German. The aim is to progress through the levels as they get harder and feature more complex German.
You can even get some realistic German conversation practice online with the chat-bot feature!
It’s a resource for beginners to use as a starting point, but advanced speakers should also give this app a look—it never hurts to refresh your grammar and stay sharp!
Now you don’t even need a smartphone to take advantage—all the tests and exercises are available on their website, so you can practice German online from your desk or laptop if you prefer.
It can be difficult finding native German speakers in the States. Even if you do know a couple, they might not be so keen on speaking German every single time you meet up—after all, chances are they’ll want to practice their English too!
And not everyone has the time or budget to fly off to Germany just for the benefits of the language exposure. But don’t despair, The Mixxer has the solution!
This totally free language exchange website will pair you up with a German buddy via Skype for German conversation practice online. You can chat for as long as you like about anything and everything in German!
The Mixxer was created by Dickinson College and designed to be an education-focused, friendly and pleasant online space for language practice.
The Foreign Language Library Online
Have you gotten through your German reading list already? Or maybe you never had one in the first place? Then this is going to be your next stop.
If you aren’t sure what to add to your bookshelf—or Kindle—next, The Foreign Language Library Online will inspire you.
The great thing about this online library is that it has all the English translations alongside each text. So if you get started on a riveting tale but end up getting confused because of the language barrier, you can always have a sneak-peek at the English to bring yourself up to speed. Even if you do understand what you’re reading, it can be a good idea to quickly skim over the translation just to be sure you didn’t miss anything important.
German Practice Channels on YouTube
This is probably a really obvious choice, but I just can’t leave out YouTube! It’s got such an excellent, diverse selection of videos.
You can check out the latest German music videos and see what German TV shows are up for streaming. And if you have an opinion on something you see, there’s always the comment section to let the Germans know what you think. So that ticks off listening and writing practice!
If you’re not sure which videos to check out, I have a couple of suggestions. This video about the use of Hochdeutsch (standard German) is very clear and easy to follow.
Or if you want something funny, there are also a lot of videos showing native German speakers trying to get a grip on tricky tongue twisters!
Crosswords are great for keeping your German spelling in check. All those cryptic clues and tricky hints are fab for keeping your brain and mind fit and healthy.
Lexisrex features daily German crosswords that you can use to leisurely test out and improve your vocabulary. If you’re not a fan of crosswords, they also have hangman games and other options. If you hate games for some reason, you could simply use their lists of useful German words to shape up your vocabulary.
Just go to the lefthand sidebar to view all their materials to learn German online.
Now that you’ve finished reading this blog post, there’s only one thing left to do… go forth and try out all these free resources to practice German online!
After studying German and Philosophy at The University of Nottingham, Laura Harker relocated to Berlin in 2012. She now works as a freelance writer and is also assistant editor at Slow Travel Berlin.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn German with real-world videos.