18+ Best Apps to Learn German

Searching for an app that will help you get your head around one of Europe’s most popular languages? Read on to discover the best apps to learn German.

In this article, we’ve put together a list of more than 18 apps to help you learn German. We've included a variety of platforms for all ability levels, but our favourites include Rocket Languages, Memrise and Tandem.

Best Apps to Learn German

1. Rocket German

Cost: Each level costs $149.95 for lifetime access

Rocket Languages is a desktop and app-based learning platform that uses a traditional teaching approach to take you from beginner level to advanced in your chosen language, in this case, German. Using a thorough curriculum and step-by-step lessons, Rocket Languages will help you to develop skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. It's well-rounded course structure and simple interface make it one of our top picks for the best apps to learn German.

What we like:

  • Simple interface that is easy to navigate from the offset.
  • The life-time trial allows you to try out all three lessons before committing to paying.
  • Very flexible with its learning to suit most students.
  • Endless content for hours of learning.
  • There are plenty of opportunities to practice speaking skills. 

What we don't like:

  • An expensive initial payment.
  • Possibly too much English used and a lack of language immersion.
  • Content and exercises can get repetitive. 
  • Emails and offers galore to try and hook you in can get tiring. 
  • Quality of the courses does vary by language. 

2. DW Learn German

Cost: Free

DW Learn German is a comprehensive online course and mobile app available at absolutely no cost to you. The course is made up of short two-minute videos and exercises followed by exercises to cement what you've just learnt. There are several topics to complete at each level. For instance, A1 German includes topics like meeting people worldwide, working life, appointments and more. There is also a special section for grammar where you can learn about verb conjugations, German pronouns, nouns and more, as well as a vocabulary section where you can brush up on the new words that you learn. The designers have put an enormous amount of effort into this course, and it is one of the most extensive free resources available.

What we like:

  • Comprehensive course. 
  • The videos are very high quality. 
  • The course is entirely free! 

What we don't like:

  • The videos for beginners are quite complicated.
  • They don’t use enough English to help beginner learners.

3. Busuu

Cost: Free or $5.83 a month for Premium

Busuu is a paid language learning app offering a range of different language courses, including German! Its main calling card is its interactive flashcards which cover 80 units and wide variety of topics. Each flashcard contains single words, phrases, a dialogue for listening and comprehension practise or a speaking exercise. What we love about Busuu is that it encourages you to practice speaking with its speech recognition tool. Busuu Premium is something worth considering too. It will give you access to offline content, advanced grammar lessons and a tailored learning plan. You will also have access to social tools to find German natives and exchange messages with them. They can even help you with your speaking or writing skills.

What we like:

  • Encourages you to speak from the very beginning: it helps grow your confidence! 
  • The premium subscription offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.
  • An extensive library of topics and lessons. 

What we don't like:

  • To get the most of the app, you will need to pay for the premium version. 
  • You probably won't reach fluency with this app alone. 

4. Babbel

Cost: $12.95/ month 

If you think that apps like Memrise or Duolingo are aimed at a younger audience, but you enjoy the gamification, Babbel will make you feel right at home. It offers a far more professional design, with a sleek interface, ideal for those who don’t want distractions while they’re studying. It is also one of the fastest running interfaces, so the more impatient students will enjoy this feature. Babbel is similar to Rosetta Stone. It encourages students to learn German through short, quick activities that focus on vocabulary, sentence structure, comprehension and pronunciation. Each lesson contains a dialogue that you have to fill out with words or phrases you just learned, and afterwards, you can use the speech recognition actives to help you with your speaking and pronunciation. 

What we like:

  • Sleek and well-designed app.
  • A similar approach to Rosetta Stone. 
  • You will learn the basics of German quite quickly. 

What we don't like:

  • Only the first lesson is free, afterwards, you have to start paying 
  • Limited resources are available. 

5. Brainscape German

Cost: Free or $9.99 a month 

The idea behind Brainscape is simple. This app is designed to help you learn and successfully comprehend grammar, especially German inflexions. In German, the verbs and nouns change depending on their position and function in the sentence, according to their case, number and gender. The app has a collection of flashcards divided into eight decks like present tense, future tense, past perfect tense and more. Each deck consists of 275 of the most-used German verbs. Brainscape also gives you feedback, statistics to track your progress and more. While Brainscape may not be a well-rounded course as some of the others on this list, it is an essential supplementary tool and one of the best apps to learn German.

What we like:

  • A clear focus on a difficult element of German
  • Flashcard learning makes learning quick and easy
  • The app provides you with stats and tools to help you track your progress

What we don't like:

  • Quite expensive for only grammar help 
  • Not a full course, only beneficial as a supplement to your studies

6. Duolingo

Cost: Free

Duolingo is an entirely free app offering game-like activities to help you learn the basics of grammar, vocabulary and some phrases. While Duolingo may not be comprehensive enough to help you learn German fluently, do not understatement the power of drilling. That is what Duolingo is great at. You will get daily notifications to remind you to practice, and the ‘daily streak' counter may feel a little childish, but it gives you more motivation to practice daily. Additionally, there is a Duolingo forum where you can discuss what you learned with fellow German learners or native speakers. Although Duolingo is often considered a supplementary tool, it does have a lot of great benefits.

What we like:

  • Completely free! 
  • The activities are fun and game-like to help you learn. 
  • User forum where you can chat with other Duolingo learners.

What we don't like:

  • It is only a supplement to your learning. 
  • There is a lot of email marketing from the Duolingo Owl.
  • It may feel a tad childish for more mature students. 

7. Wie Geht's German

Cost: Free

Wie Geht's (which means “how are you” in German) is a language learning app that focuses primarily on learning how to respond in all kinds of daily situations. The content is divided by topics, such as business, health and travel. To make learning even more interesting, the exercises are game-like. They include quizzes, click and drag activities and even hangman! You can also select your skill level between beginner, intermediate or advanced. You don’t have to be a complete beginner to enjoy this app! Wie Geht's German additionally offers a grammar section to help you with some basic grammar. A great aspect of this app is that the pronunciation is demonstrated by native speakers, making it even more valuable.

What we like:

  • Completely free! 
  • Fun game-like activities.
  • Native speakers record the pronunciation. 

What we don't like:

  • You are prompted to purchase extras within the app.
  • Not comprehensive enough to thoroughly learn German. 

8. Memrise

Cost: Free or $8.99 / month for the pro version 

Memrise is a fun app for learning languages, and one of the best apps to learn German. It's a flashcard app with game-like activities, and the best part about it is that it offers a lot of great content for free! The activities are really easy to follow, and they help you memorise as much new vocabulary as possible. The same words and phrases are repeated until you successfully retain them in your long-term memory. Memrise offers several courses in German. Firstly, the most advertised course is their official German course. However, it also includes courses made by the community, which offer lessons in Austrian German or Swiss German although not official. This is great if you're looking to learn about vocabulary from those regions. With their daily reminders and short lessons (that last no more than five to seven minutes), you shouldn’t have a problem squeezing these lessons in.

What we like:

  • Tons of courses available created by the Memrise team and individual users.
  • You can track your progress.
  • Completely free!

What we don't like:

  • The activities can get a little boring after some time…
  • A lot of the useful features (like dialogues) are only available in Pro. 
  • The ‘native speaker' voice sounds robotic 

9. Rosetta Stone

Cost: $11.99/month for a 3-month subscription 

Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous language learning programs on the market, with over 25-years of experience in teaching languages. It is quite an expensive course, however after so many years in the industry, and with such an innovative product, we are sure you will get your money’s worth. Rosetta Stone attempts to teach you, German the same way you would have learned a language as a kid: through immersion. The lessons are five to ten minutes long, and they include listening, speaking and comprehension exercises to help you master the words and phrases. The aim is to take in as much information as possible without having to learn grammar.

What we like:

  • Rosetta Stone has over two decades of experience in the language learning industry.
  • Excellent User experience. 
  • For one price, the course is yours forever.  

What we don't like:

  • Expensive compared to other courses on the market. 

The method may be considered a little outdated. 

10. Bravolol

Cost: Free

Bravolol focuses on helping you navigate German through different life situations. From the beginning, it is very clear that this app is beneficial for those travelling to a German-speaking country for business or pleasure. The app's content covers topics such as health, eating, shopping, and making friends. One of the most interesting features of this app is recording your voice and listening to it compared to a native speaker. Although the app is free (and even available to be downloaded for offline use), you will need to get used to advertisements popping up every now and again.

What we like:

  • Works offline.
  • Excellent for those travelling for pleasure or business. 
  • The online website contains a free comprehensive English-German

What we don't like:

  • The app is quite limited.
  • Not a lot of content available. 
  • This will not help you reach fluency.

11. Deutsch Akademie

Cost: Free

DeutschAkademie puts a lot of emphasis on learning grammar! However, we do recommend that you have a basic understanding of German before downloading this app. A large chunk of it is in German, making it difficult for those with little to no understanding of the language. There is a ton of content included. According to the DeutschAkademie website, there are over 20,000 grammar exercises. Each exercise is all multiple choice, which, unfortunately, can get quite boring and repetitive. However, it is ideal for remembering conjugations! Although this app is super comprehensive in terms of grammar, you will need to put in some extra work if you want to revise your vocabulary.

What we like:

  • Completely free!
  • You can select your level of learning. 
  • Over 20,000 exercises are available. 

What we don't like:

  • Only focuses on grammar.
  • This will not help you reach fluency. 
  • Occasional ads appear on the app.

12. Learn German by Mindsnacks

Cost: Free

MindSnacks may seem like an app that is only suitable for a younger audience, with its colourful graphics, and vibrant animal icons. However, with nine other games to help you solidify your German, we think you should give it a try even if you are a professional adult! Each game is centred around a topic like family, food, school, times and days of the wee. Each game has a small timer in the background, so you can try to do the exercise within the time limit. Additionally, before each game, you can view the list of words you are going to learn and practice your pronunciation with the sound recordings. It's simplified explanations and engaging graphics makes this one of the best apps to learn German.

What we like:

  • Over nine different games to help make German fun! 
  • This app is completely free. 
  • The graphics are very entertaining.

What we don't like:

  • Possibly only geared towards a younger audience. 

13. iStart German

Cost: Free

iStart German is an app for complete beginners. It is ideal for those who have zero knowledge of the language, who want to progress quickly with the initial content. Each lesson has a chat between two German native speakers that you listen to and read along with. Visuals are also included to help you understand the context better. At the end of each lesson, there is a multiple-choice quiz to test your knowledge. This is a very good app for beginner students who want to progress with the basics but are not ready to advance to more comprehensive courses or are not prepared to pay for an app. 

What we like:

  • Perfect for beginners. 
  • This app is completely free. 
  • Great for learning essential words and phrases. 

What we don't like:

  • Limited learning opportunities.
  • No way to practice speaking. 

14. Anki

Cost: Free

Anki is a flashcard app, similar to many others on the market. The only difference between Anki and, let’s say Memrise, is that on Anki you can learn anything: this includes foreign languages, other subjects, even guitar chords! However, it is great for vocabulary, learning phrases, and even learning facts about Germany. The app focuses on helping you retain these words into your long-term memory by constantly repeating them. The decks of cards have a German word or phrase on one side and an English translation on the back. This is a great way to increase your word bank quickly. Anki also allows you to create your flashcards, meaning you can learn customised content – ideal for you!

What we like:

  • You can create your flashcards. 
  • This app is completely free. 
  • You can also learn about Germany's culture and history (not only the language) 

What we don't like:

  • No way to practice speaking.
  • Not a well-rounded course, only a supplementary tool.

15. Mondly

Cost: $5.83 a month

Mondly is one of the mot affordable and best apps to learn German. It's relatively new compared to some of its competition, like Memrise or Babbel, but it claims you can learn a language with them faster than with anyone else. We don't know if that's true, however, we can't argue that it's a great supplement to your learning. With Mondly's German lessons, you will be able to pick up a lot of phrases and vocabulary quickly. The lessons are designed to follow the flashcard format, and they strongly focus on repetition using game-like activities to help you memorise as much content as possible. They also incorporate some AR and VR features into their app. You can use your phone camera on the app and interact with objects around the house. This is a very unique feature! 

What we like:

  • Great for learning basic words. 
  • The lessons are fun and engaging. 
  • Inexpensive for a beginner student. 

What we don't like:

  • The VR and AR features often don't work.
  • Lacks grammar lessons. 
  • The intermediate lessons don't seem too different from beginner.

16. WordPic

Cost: Free

WordPic is a straightforward and easy-to-understand app with one goal: to teach vocabulary using the flashcard method. You're right, in this article, we have seen a lot of these apps already. So what makes WordPic special? WordPic – like the name suggests – focuses on helping you associate words with pictures. Learning by association and learning intuitively is an effective way for you to learn. What makes this app special is that they use photos from Instagram (instead of the app’s database) to keep things current and interesting. It is a great way to keep students engaged in learning. Unfortunately, this app is only available on Android at the moment.

What we like:

  • Great for a beginner starting from scratch. 
  • The app is very simple and easy to follow. 
  • Completely free!
  • The app uses Instagram to remain up to date and engage the student.

What we don't like:

  • It has a limited amount of content. 
  • Lacks grammar lessons. 
  • Only available on Android. 

17. Der Die Das

Cost: Free

This app is a must if you are learning German. Earlier in the article, we mentioned an app perfect for learning those tricky conjugations, this time, we have an app for you that focuses on learning German articles. It is a very simple app, with a basic design and interaction system. All you have to do is enter a word through the search function, and you will find its gender. There is also a grammatical rules page that helps you navigate through the articles and the grammar rules that accompany them. There are also quizzes in the games tab to help you memorise the words. It also has a pronunciation feature, so you know how to pronounce all the words.

What we like:

  • An ideal app for learning German grammar. 
  • The app is entirely free. 
  • Includes quizzes to help you memorise the words.

What we don't like:

  • Not a well-rounded course, but a supplementary tool.
  • Not super user-friendly.

18. Tandem

Cost: Free

The team behind Tandem believe that the fastest way to fluency is speaking. With their app, you can create a profile based on yourself and your languages, and then you can connect with people from all over the world. You can practice your language using the text messaging function, audio or video calls, or if you're a little shy you can also send voice notes. Your language partners can correct your writing so you can see what mistakes you're making. Since you created your profile, with your hobbies and interest, like-minded people on the app can find you. That way, you will have conversations on topics you enjoy, and you are bound to make new friends! 

What we like:

  • You can meet strangers from around the world to help you with your German.
  • Tandem partners can correct your writing and your speaking. 
  • You can speak about topics that interest you, and learn about what interests you too! 
  • Great for immersion and practising your writing (and speaking!) skills.

What we don't like:

  • Does not offer any lessons. 
  • You need to have a basic understanding of German before you start.