With so many ways to connect with people from all around the world, learning a second language isn't just important but also easier than ever. You can even do it for free with just an internet connection or trip to your local library!
Want to learn the secret of learning German for free? Read on!
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Learn German Free Online
Online language resources have seen a boom in recent years, with more people than ever interested in how they can learn a new language at their own pace and on their own time rather than committing to a traditional class. Let's take a look at some of the different ways to learn German free online!
Free German Language Courses and Apps
Many online language courses and apps offer a free, basic version. While they might come with restrictions or require you to watch ads, free language courses and apps are a great way for beginners to dip their toes into the German language without a cost commitment.
Each language learning app has its own unique approach and is suited for different types of learners, so if you're interested in finding one to fit your needs, check out what we think are the five best apps to learn German.
However, remember that freeware can sometimes compromise quality. A lot of content found on apps, including Duolingo and Memrise, is derived from user-generated translations and can sometimes be inconsistent or unrealistic.
German Language Learning on Youtube
There are tons of great educational channels on YouTube for learning German. Far beyond traditional online courses, on YouTube you can find channels with native speakers teaching in a variety of formats, from culture-focused lifestyle vlogs to tutorials on ordering food.
Learn With a Native Speaker
A teacher can make all the difference when you're trying to learn German easily. While there is plenty of free learning material online, studying by yourself isn't the same as actually conversing with someone else.
Have you ever checked to see if there are any local German classes in your area? In some cases, you might even find a free one! Learning online is convenient and offers a lot of variety, but there are still benefits to attending an in-person class that follows a traditional learning method.
For one, you'll be learning from an expert and can ask questions on anything you don't understand, which is rarely possible when learning online or studying from audiobooks and such -- unless you take the time to research the answer yourself.
Second, you'll be learning alongside others who are in the same position as you. Learning a new language can be tough, and having friends to keep you motivated is key.
Join a Language Exchange
If signing up for a class doesn't seem like the right fit for you, there are still ways to learn from -- or with -- a native speaker. Join a language exchange!
Rather than receiving formal instruction on grammar and vocabulary from a certified German teacher, language exchanges offer a natural way of peer learning. You'll practice your German writing and speaking skills, getting feedback from a native speaker; in exchange, you'll help them learn your native language.
Learning German for Free With Media Resources
In today's world, most tv shows, movies, and books are instantly available in whatever language you might want to enjoy them in.
This is especially helpful for language learners, since it gives you the power to experience media you're already familiar with in a completely new and exciting way.
Learning by Listening
German podcasts, playlists and audiobooks can be used to practice German in passive ways as you trudge along your daily commute. When doing this in a background activity, learning can be easily integrated into our hectic schedule.
You can also use free streaming sites like YouTube to watch German music videos, podcasts, and educational vlogs. The added bonus here is that you'll largely be able to see the people singing or speaking German, which can help you with your pronunciation passively by watching how they form the sounds with their mouths.
Learning by Reading
If you're more of a visual and practical learner who really wants to be able to study how German phrases are structured and see the spelling of new words, then try reading some German books! You can even start with comics or children's books, so the pictures can help you follow along with the context of the story.
So, next time you visit your local library, ask what German language resources they have! There's surely something more fun to read than a textbook.
And, as you might have already expected, listening and reading are most effective when done together. So, try watching tv in German with English subtitles to help you out, or read along to an audio book so you can hear the pronunciation of what you read.
Learning German Through Immersion
Immersion simply means surrounding yourself with your target language. It's effective because it forces you to adapt -- you'll constantly be practicing your listening and speaking skills.
In the best case, you'll be participating in real-life conversations as well as experiencing all the cultural aspects of the language.
Travel to a German-Speaking Country
If you have the opportunity, traveling to another country is an experience you'll never forget -- especially if you're able to communicate in the native language and participate fully in the local culture!
While a trip to Europe doesn't immediately sound "free," there are ways to make it happen. If you're in school, you may be eligible for study abroad programs and scholarships. On the other hand, it's easy to travel while working if you have a remote job. You can even get paid to travel by watching people's houses and pets while they're away.
Immerse Yourself in German at Home
When you think about immersion, you might only think about paying for an expensive trip to a German-speaking country. However, immersion doesn't always have to be so interactive. We talked before about how consuming German media can help you learn -- immersion just takes this to the extreme. Challenge yourself to watch German tv without subtitles, listen to only German music, and even write your diary in German!
What's The Best Way to Learn German for Free?
The best way to learn German is ultimately going to be based on your personal learning style and needs. However, we hope this guide helped you narrow down some of the great, free options available to get you started!
If you want to learn German for free, why not check out Langster? By downloading the app, you can read German stories completely free, along with getting access to audio from native speakers, simple grammar explanations, and instant translations.