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The 6 best sites to study German (Deutsch) free online

Updated on July 10, 2012

Berlin, Germany


Have you ever wanted to learn German? Below I have listed several online learning sources that have helped me learn German and I hope will help you:

Radio D – Radio D is a cute audio drama that narrates the adventures of radio journalists traveling as they travel around Germany investigating news stories. From Bavaria’s famous Neuschwanstein Castle to Hamburg’s Harbor, they cover funny and bizarre stories, talk to interesting characters in their regional accents, and explore German cultural events. While the characters speak in German, it is narrated and explained in English. Each lesson is about 10 minutes long, and is put on by Deutsche Welle Radio and the Goethe Institute.

Mission Berlin – Mission Berlin, another audio drama, is a mystery story that includes time travel and strange occurrences. The main character, Anna, does not speak German, but has to interact with Berliners and it is the listener’s goal to put the clues together and figure out the mystery before it is too late. It is put on by Deutche Welle Radio.

BBC Languages – The British Broadcasting Corporation, offers great lessons on a range of languages including German including vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. The main focus of the BBC language for German is the German Steps course which is taken over 12 weeks and includes weekly emails to keep you on course.

LiveMocha – LiveMocha offers very interactive lessons the concentration on first learning the vocabulary, reviewing it, and then submitting your writing/ audio recording to peers. The lessons are quite methodical, albeit a little slow. Furthermore, unlike the other sites on this list, LiveMocha really focuses on getting you to write German.

Deutsch – warum nicht? – This is another audio drama that allows you to learn about a student named Andreas who works in a Hotel. Poor Andreas must deal with ‘ex’ an elf that causes all kinds of mischief. The story line is inventive and entertaining. It is produced by Deutche Welle Radio and the Goethe Institute.

Karambolage – I recently read about Karambolage at Slate and I was quite impressed with it. Its original intent is not to teach foreigners German, but to entertain German children. Between the simple story lines and adorable graphics it manages to entertain you enough to consider going back every week for the next episode. However, as it is not intended to teach German, you may learn some rather unusual words and miss important foundation words. It is produced by Arte.

So there you have a few options to begin learning German online and with a little dedication, you will soon know enough words to get around Germany (of course it also helps that they almost all speak English).

I will admit I did find it easier to passively listen to the audio dramas opposed to the more interactive LiveMocha or BBC Languages and found myself going back to the audio dramas time and again. However, the audio dramas do not teach you how to write German, only to understand it when you hear it. Thus, depending on what you will be using your German for you may want to consider the interactive lessons.

Have you ever tried one of these sites? What did you think of it?


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thank you very much for such a good info.

      I would like to propose other interesting website to learn german, i have used it and can tell that it is worthy:

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You can try this website :

    • profile image

      Joanna Rap 

      5 years ago

      I had tried Livemocha some years ago and it was quite good, but I would agree that it is focusing more on the writing part than on the speaking. However, I like the programs of Deutsch Welle. I used to watch a Deutsche Welle Soap Opera ‘Jojo sucht das Glück’, which was with subtitles and the actors on this program were speaking clearly and slowly.

      Another website that may be useful for some beginners is this Audio trainer: . It helps to build some vocabulary, understand the grammar structure and to be able to speak and listen in a certain level. I tried this in the beginning and it worked well. But, generally I believe once you have covered the basic level of a language, the best way to start speaking a language fast is to watch series or movies with German subtitles and write down all the unknown words in order to translate them afterwards and then watch again and try to memorize expressions.

    • Heather Jacobs profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Jacobs 

      6 years ago

      Hi internpete! Glad I could help. I too am trying to learn German and these resources I’ve listed have really helped me thus far. Thank you for reading!

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 

      6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      I've been just getting into learning German, so these look like great resources! Thanks for putting this together!

    • Heather Jacobs profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Jacobs 

      6 years ago

      Thelma - Thank you very much! I bet it was difficult to just dive right in! I've been spoiled that everyone in Hamburg seems to speak English so well that I seem to get by with my poor German.

      Global-Chica - I completely understand. I learned French in high school, but have never used it since and I cannot remember much at all! I went to France last year and had to rely on my travel mates to get around. I hope you enjoy the courses!

    • Global-Chica profile image


      6 years ago from New York, NY

      I haven't tried any of these sites but do want to brush up on my German. I took German for a semester in HS but forgot most things that I learned. I know another site that's great for learning languages - busuu and I've been learning Portuguese on it. I'll check out the sites you mentioned. Voted up!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany

      Welcome to Hubpages Heather! This is a very informative hub. I wish I have read this hub 30 years ago. I learned German language by going to school, VHS (Volkhochschule) and by communicating with my German relatives and the locals. Those were hard years (the first 2 yrs.) as most of the Germans at that time don´t speak english. Thanks for sharing. Guten Tag!

    • Heather Jacobs profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Jacobs 

      6 years ago

      That is fantastic! How funny my boyfriend is German and his parents only speak German, so sadly after knowing them for over 5 years I've never been able to speak to them.

    • Jennifer Madison profile image

      Jennifer Madison 

      6 years ago from Lohmar

      Actually, it is because I lived in the states when I was a child, so English came to be my 2nd language very early. Then at school I learned French and I spent a year in France. Now I live in Argentina where I learnt Spanish and I have also been learning Portuguese for a year as my fiancé is Brazilian. I just started with Russian and Latvian 2 weeks ago though. I think there is no trick, languages are just my passion and I love learning them and traveling to the countries where people speak them. I like change and I don't like monotony and that is why I can travel everywhere and feel a little at home everywhere :D I am looking forward to reading more of your articles soon! :)

    • Heather Jacobs profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Jacobs 

      6 years ago

      Hi Jennifer! I just read your article on the same topic ( for anyone interested) and I have to say it is excellent.

      Russian, Latvian, English, and German! Very impressive. Do you have an tricks for learning so many languages?

    • Jennifer Madison profile image

      Jennifer Madison 

      6 years ago from Lohmar

      Thanks for posting this article! As I teach German online I am always interested in finding new sources where I can find learning material. I have used LiveMocha to learn Russian and Latvian and I must say it is very useful! The good thing about it is that native speakers correct the exercises you submit and this is something I cannot find anywhere else. I will definitely take a look at the Karambolage Series, they look interesting!

    • Heather Jacobs profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Jacobs 

      6 years ago

      No problem! Let me know how it goes. I really adored the Radio D program.

    • Brandon Martin profile image

      Brandon Martin 

      6 years ago from Colorado, USA

      SWEEEEET! Thanks! I've been yearning to learn more German! All I know is basic house stuff and numbers. Thank you so much!


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