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Easily Learn German In Your Spare Time - The Top Ten (Free) Apps For Learning German

Updated on January 2, 2015

DUOLINGO

Duolingo offers extensive writing, listening, speaking and reading lessons all for free. The entire app itself is crowdsourced and it works really well! The whole learning process is made into a game - you lose lives if you answer too many questions wrong, you can create a "streak" from completing a German lesson every 24 hours, and you earn "Lingots" (the Duolingo currency) with which you can unlock extra levels or gain an extra life, etc. Duolingo also encourages users to go back and revise previous topics by having a "strength bar" which fades after so many days.

Germany, Switzerland and Austria all speak German.
Germany, Switzerland and Austria all speak German.

MEMRISE

The Memrise app is full of courses which are all entirely created by members of the Memrise community. It uses flashcards and memory aids / mnemonics (actions to remember something - rhymes, formulas, etc.) When you first learn a word or phrase it is a "seed planted" in your brain, and then as the levels continue, you "water the seed" (revise previous words) and grow a whole garden of German words! Through humour, other learner's tips and mnemonics, and constant repetition you'll pick up all the German you need in no time!

BUSUU

Busuu is the largest social networking site in the world for language learning. The lessons consist of multiple-choice question, speaking and writing assignments and multimedia content. Members can be both student and teacher, marking one another's work. They can also connect through a audio, chat-window or a webcam connection.

WIE GEHT'S

Wie Geht's claims to be more effective than Busuu and Rosetta Stone. The app contains over 60 realistic lessons, which include audio by native German speakers, a phrasebook, quizzes and games on nearly every topic you could think of.

DEUTSCHAKADEMIE

Deutsch Akadamie focuses more on the grammar aspect of learning than adding to your vocabulary, so this isn't ideal for complete beginners. The whole course was designed by German teachers, which can be quite helpful, especially if you have a question which needs a detailed answer in the forum. Also, the style of learning in this app is according to the European Framework of Reference for Languages. Very professional!

BABBEL

Only the first lesson of this is free, and you need to have be a member of Babbel beforehand, but it's worth a try. Babbel, like Duolingo, has speech recognition technology, so it's really good for practicing your pronunciation. It also has grammar exercises, listening, reading and writing exercises and promises to be forever entertaining.

GERMAN IN A MONTH (Learn Like Kids)

This app is a great chance to learn the basis of German fast and effectively. Learn Like Kids is unique as they don't go down the old translation-and-repetition road like so many apps do. They treat you as if you were a German child, linking what you see with what your hear and the meaning of each word and/or phrase. The free version is still very good, containing 3 lessons as a taster.

BRAVOLOL

Bravolol has phrasebooks for absolute beginners, casual travellers, and advanced learners. It is divided into themes (so greetings, shoppinh, food, romance, etc.) and, what I think is cool, is that you are able to record your own voice and see how you compare to a native speaker.

FLUENTU

FluentU collects real world multimedia materials and transforms them into language lessons. Learners can watch videos and when there are words that you don't understand you simply hover over them, the video will pause and the definition and examples of the word will come up and save to your learn list.

BRAINSCAPE

This app is for helping users understand German inflections. In German verbs and nouns are constantly changing depending on which tense they are in - and it's quite complicated! Brainscape has flashcards for each of the 8 tenses and has very good reviews.

I might even download this one myself.

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