You may not be in school right now, but that shouldn’t mean you can’t continue to learn. In this post, we deal with free online resources for learning German to help you during this time. Click on the interactive links to be taken straight to the resources. We have included some of our favourite for you below!
The Goethe Institut is a worldwide cultural association promoting the study of the German language abroad. They have some fantastic free resources for German learners and we have chosen our favourite two.
- In co-operation with international German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Goethe Institut developed Deutschlandlabor. Through 20 videos, the German duo Nina and David discuss certain aspects of German lifestyle such as school, living, fashion, food and beer. What’s great about these videos is that they use simple German. What’s more the transcript for the video along with exercises are available to download from the website also.
- 24h Deutsch is a YouTube channel with 24 videos describing a typical day in Germany and was brought about by a competition launched by Goethe Institut in 2017. The young German teacher Ida give viewers an authentic insight into a young person’s Germany in each hour of the day. Every episode also includes a key learning theme from areas such as grammar and tongue twisters which makes for great learning.
Both of these resources are excellent ways of exposing yourself to German language and culture and are at the top of our list of free online German resources!
Deutsche Welle is an excellent platform for reading about news in Germany and the rest of the world through German. Follow the link above to go straight to their ‘Deutsch Lernen’ feature. Here you can browse a plethora of themes and search for resources by level (For Junior Certs choose A1/A2 and for Leaving Cert choose A2/B1 or B2 if you want a bigger challenge). Their ‘Top Thema’ is an excellent feature where you listen to and read a text on some current theme. You are provided with a vocabulary list and exercises based on the text. Another feature is their ‘langsam gesprochene Nachrichten’ which really helps improve listening skills. Here you get access to an mp3 file and transcript on a news feature, but neither vocabulary lists nor exercises are provided, as is the case with the ‘Top Thema’.
This website and app featured in our last blog post. Duolingo is the most popular language-learning platform and the most downloaded education app in the world. It is based on the method of repetition to learn a language. The study process combines various methods such as listening, reading, talking with language bots, voice recording, ordering words to form phrases and matching images to words. Duolingo can make learning a language quite fun, so check it out!
Nancy Thuleen German
The Nancy Thuleen site helps German learners with Grammar and Vocabulary, among other things. In terms of Grammar, there are notes, exercises and solutions available as PDFs on almost every topic needed for basic German. The Vocabulary section has various worksheets on multiple themes as well as some web-based quizzes and self-tests. This resource is great for independent learning or to reinforce what you have learned in class.
Mein-Deutschbuch is another great resource for learning and practicing German Grammar. They provide explanations on the most important Grammar topics in German which you can also download in PDF form. As well as this, they have lots of online exercises which help to reinforce learning. The downsides are that the Grammar is explained in German and the website’s layout isn’t great. However, their online Grammar exercises are very good and really help you practice your Grammar.
University of Michigan German Languages Department
The University of Michigan website provides lots of resources for all areas of German language. They have various notes and exercises on grammar, links to Quizlet vocabulary sets (based on the ‘Vorsprung’ book) and ideas and resources for speaking, listening, reading and writing practice. Work your way through their website to see what peaks your interest.
Paul Joyce University of Portsmouth Guide to German Pronunciation
This online guide to German pronunciation is aimed at beginners and intermediate learners of German rather than advanced students of phonetics. The sounds of German are explained with reference to the letters that students encounter in German words, which is suited to learning German at Secondary School Level. Your pronunciation will be assessed in the Oral Exam and you can really impress the examiner if you work on the different elements of German phonetics that this website covers.
It is important to have good reference materials when learning a language. Below are our favourite online dictionaries and what they can be used for.
- Dict.cc: This is our favourite online dictionary for looking up the meaning of German words. Lots of idiomatic phrases appear here too and you can listen to the words being pronounced.
- Linguee: This is our favourite online dictionary for looking up how to say something in German because it includes sample sentences on the context in which certain words are used. This aids accuracy in translation. Similar to dict.cc, audio is available for the words also.
- Reverse Konjugation: This website will conjugate a verb for you across the tenses in German (present tense, past tenses, future tenses, subjunctive and imperative moods and the rest). Simply search the verb in its infinitive form (-en ending). It is a really helpful tool, especially for checking the irregular verbs.
- korrekturen.de: On this website, you can search for how German words are declined in each case, important when you are dealing with weak masculine words (such as ‘der Kollege’ or ‘der Name’), plural nouns in the Dative case and masculine and neuter words the Genitive case.
We hope that you will find these free online resources useful over the coming term whilst you are learning from home. If you have any questions or suggestions, please get in touch as always.
Viel Spaß beim Lernen!
Ihr Deutsch Online Team