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