Do you want to learn German from zero to fluent? What if we told you that you could master German free of charge? There are plenty of resources online for German learners, from German A1 to advanced C1 learners. Discovering these resources isn’t always easy. That’s why we have compiled a comprehensive list of free German language courses for you.
How to best learn German with free online courses
Self-study can be an effective way of learning German. However, you should follow a few rules to get the most out of learning German with free courses. It takes a bit more discipline as you’re in charge of the process: frequency of sessions, the intensity of learning, and the choice of tools and resources.
Tip #1. Start slow and go steady
One mistake learners make is getting excited about their new goal or project and channeling too much energy too early. That goes well in the first days or even weeks, but as the excitement dissipates, you quickly realize that the speed and intensity you picked are not sustainable. Seeing that you’re failing to stick to your goals makes you feel bad, and you start skipping learning altogether. Many lose complete interest.
Instead, ask yourself:
- What could be the minimum number of hours per week that could result in a noticeable change?
- What would be the easiest way to get started?
- What cadence and intensity could I follow for a long time without feeling overwhelmed?
Tip #2. Build confidence by learning relevant vocabulary
It’s crucial to figure out grammar rules, but something that many independent learners fail to do is to build their speaking confidence with the relevant vocabulary. Many apps or word lists put together top 1K or 2K vocabulary words for learning, but not all of these words are relevant or interesting for each learner.
Of course, you need to know the essential 100-200 words, but there is no rule that you need to know word A vs. word B beyond that threshold. So don’t memorize random words blindly and approach vocabulary building more mindfully.
- Use a vocabulary app that maximizes long-term vocabulary memorization, such as Heylama. Heylama’s learning algorithm and user experience drive all vocabulary words into your long-term active memory. This way, you’ll never search for that word again; it’ll just come to you when you need it!
- When taking your free German courses, discover 3-6 vocabulary words that you intuitively feel useful or interesting and add them to your vocabulary app
- Don’t add too many vocabulary words at once and every day. Pace yourself and only learn words that are truly relevant to you.
Tip #3. Know the limits of self-study
You can get quite far by learning independently, but there are some limitations. Learning languages is more than just learning grammar rules or memorizing words. Languages are our tools for communicating, and building speaking confidence is hard to achieve with self-study alone. There is a simple truth - you need to speak to learn to speak.
To compensate for that, we recommend finding a tandem partner or an online conversation tutor (much more affordable than a professional teacher).
Following these tips should ensure a pleasant learning experience leading to tangible results within weeks. With that covered, let’s dive right into the German language courses.
A list of free online German courses
German courses A1
- 30-day A1 German language course from kwiko
- German A1 course from deutsch.info
- A1 Grammar course from Learn German Online
- YouTube A1 course from Learn German
- YouTube A1 course from Lingoni German
- Resources for A1 learners from Deutsche Welle
- YouTube A1-A2 course from Learn German with Herr Antrim
German courses A2
- 30-day German A2 course from Heylama
- German A2 course from deutsch.info
- Resources for A2 learners from Deutsche Welle
- YouTube playlist - A1-A2 course from Easy German
- YouTube A2 course from Lingoni German
- YouTube A2 course from Learn German
German courses B1
- German B1 course from deutsch.info
- Resources for B1 learners from Deutsche Welle
- YouTube German for intermediate B1-B2 learners from Easy German
- YouTube German B1-B2 playlist from Learn German
- YouTube German B1 course from Lingoni German
German courses B2
- Free Resources for B2 learners from Deutsche Welle
- German B2 course from deutsch.info
- YouTube B2 German course from Lingoni German
German courses C1
- Free resources for C1 and C2 learners from Deutsche Welle
- German for advanced learners YouTube playlist - C1 and C2 from Easy German
Parting words - you can learn German on your own
These fantastic free resources weren’t available to German learners 10 years ago. Today you can learn everything about German grammar, history, culture, and vocabulary online without paying a penny.
Although most resources target absolute beginners, advanced learners have access to news websites, YouTube channels, Netflix movies, and more to keep making tangible progress.
All you need to do is to show up and put in the effort. Viel Glück!