One of the best ways to learn a foreign language is to choose one of the available online courses. Since German is considered as one of the most popular languages to learn there are many different courses that you can choose from. Also these online programs offer more levels for this particular language so after completing all of them you can achieve higher level in German. Online courses in this article were listed based on user reviews online and my personal experience with them.
#1. Recommended German Course – Rocket.
Rocket is one of the highest rated online courses for learning German language by both users and reviews online. What makes it an effective and enjoyable way to study a foreign language is the fact that it offers many different activities for its users. It is worthwhile to mention that recently Rocket got very a high rating as the top language learning software by PCMag. This is a good indication that it is a quality program that most people get good results with.
- New users can test Rocket German course for 6 days completely free, which is a great way to make sure that it is the right program for you;
- Rocket German course has a very positive feedback from most learners, which is a good indication that it is a quality course for learning this language;
- Rocket offers three levels for German language so it’s a suitable course for both beginners and more advanced learners;
- Different learning tools in this course make learning fun and not monotonic. Also by using different multimedia provided in Rocket program you will be able to learn German more efficiently when compared with courses that only offer audio lessons;
- Quizzes, self-rating system and badges in this program are great features for keeping your motivation high to study further;
- Rocket is an ideal course choice for travelers since it teaches the most essential German vocabulary from the beginning so you will be able to learn how to communicate in real life situations fast;
- This course has a separate section for German culture lessons, which is a great addition for learners who want to know more about native people and their culture;
- By listening to Rocket audio lessons you can learn how to speak in German with good accent since one of the speakers in the recordings is native. Also Rocket offers a very useful tool for practicing pronunciation – Rocket Record, which allows learners to compare their pronunciation with a native German speaker;
- Rocket course is very easy to follow, because audio lessons are divided into smaller parts and also a transcript is provided in both German and English;
- By choosing Rocket course you can improve all aspects of German including writing, grammar, listening and etc.
- One of the cheapest online courses available based on the features that it offers ($99.95 for the first level). You should also know that there is usually a huge discount available for purchasing all three parts of Rocket German ($259.90 for all three levels).
- All Rocket courses including German are backed up by money back guarantee (60 days), so if for any reason you are not happy with this program you can ask for refund;
- In case you are interested in getting Rocket German in CD format it is very expensive ($299.95 for each level). Due to this most users choose online version;
- In order to use most of Rocket tools it is necessary to have an internet connection; however it is worthwhile to mention that it is possible to transfer audio lessons to your preferred device and learn on the go.
#2. Fluenz Software.
Fluenz is one of the newest language learning software’s and it can be said that popularity of this course increased rapidly in the last few years. It offers its users a unique learning experience quite, which is quite similar to having a private tutor. This is because each lesson is video based and a tutor guides you through all material and explains every aspect of German language.
- In case you want to try Fluenz German program before buying it, you can try a demo lesson at the official website online;
- There a total of 5 levels of Fluenz available for German learners so you can achieve more advanced level with this language;
- Explanations provided by a tutor are very useful for understanding German language structure and grammar;
- Additional material like podcasts and audio CD’s, which are included in this software will allow you to learn this language while on go;
- Fluenz teaches useful vocabulary and phrases from the first lesson so you will be able to learn how to get around in a German speaking country quickly;
- An instructor of Fluenz course sometimes provides German culture notes, which is quite useful if you planning to travel to Germany;
- By using Fluenz software you can improve all aspects of German language (speaking, writing, grammar, listening and etc.);
- After each Fluenz lesson you will need to complete different workouts, which will greatly improve your learning efficiency. Also this makes Fluenz a more dynamic and interactive course so you will not get bored while learning;
- Fluenz software allows learners to turn on or off subtitles in English and German along with dialogues, which is a very useful feature;
- The list of vocabulary in each level is quite limited, so even after finishing all levels of this course you will need extra material to become more advanced speaker of this language;
- This program lacks social features that would allow learners to interact with other German learners or a teacher.
- The instructor of the course is not a native German speaker and also some users might find too much English and too little German in these lessons;
- Even though workouts after each lesson are useful for learning German, some of them are very basic or requires a lot of typing;
- Depending on current discount, Fluenz German might be too expensive for some users ($348-$677 for all 5 levels).
#3. Living Language.
Living Language offers quite a different course compared to others reviewed in this article since the main material in this course comes in a form of books. In addition to this there are also audio CD’s available, which includes exercises, dialogues and vocabulary. By purchasing one of Living Language courses you would also get an access to online features such as games, quizzes and flashcards. Since Living Language offers different multimedia for studying it can be a suitable German course for all types of learners. Even though Living Language courses (Essential and Complete) don’t offer advanced features for its learners it can be said that they compensate that with very reasonable prices (price range from $23 to $50) and a lot of material included for studying.
The Main Advantages:
- Based on the features needed and budget, German learners can choose from three different courses offered by Living Language (Platinum, Complete and Essential);
- Since Living Language Method uses different multimedia to teach German, it is a more efficient course to study from and it is suitable program for all type of learners;
- In case one of your aims is to learn German grammar properly you will find enough material and explanations provided in this course;
- If you need more advanced features while studying German you can choose Platinum course from Living Language, which offers access to online community, mobile apps and also e-tutoring;
- Learners who want to learn more about German people and their culture will find some material included in Living Language course too;
- Even though Living Language German course is not the most convenient course to study on the go it is possible to learn some material while being not at home using audio CD’s and mobile app (Platinum edition);
- Keeping in mind all the material and features offered by Living Language it can be said that it offers learners good value for money (price for courses range from $23 to $162);
The Main Disadvantages:
- Unlike Rocket and Rosetta Stone courses reviewed in this article, Living Language doesn’t offer any advanced features for practicing German pronunciation. This might be seen as a downside by learners who want to learn how to speak German confidently and with proper pronunciation;
- Even though all three Living Language courses offer free access to online features it can be said that they lack engagement when compared with similar courses. Also it is worthwhile to mention that these features don’t have good tracking, so you always need to remember your progress (the last time you were using them);
#4. Michel Thomas Audio Lessons.
Even though audio lessons is not my preferred way of studying foreign languages I found Michel Thomas course to be a very effective and not monotonic way to study German. What makes these lessons interesting to follow is the fact that there are two students in the recordings who are learning German like you, which makes these audios quite realistic to classroom situation. The other great benefit of this course is that it doesn’t require its students to memorize vocabulary too hard. Instead an instructor of this course introduces vocabulary in a way (provides associations with English words) that makes it easy to remember what you are learning. One more benefit of these audio lessons is that quite commonly instructor of the course stresses out separate sounds of words so you know exactly how to pronounce them correctly.
The Main Pros:
- It is not too difficult to follow Michel Thomas course since new material is introduced in very small steps and also its being repeated in further lessons;
- It can be said that these audio lessons are less repetitive when compared to Pimsleur so you will not get bored while listening to them;
- The instructor of Michel Thomas German course provides useful tips on how to remember some words and also does a great job at highlighting key points of this language;
- In addition to audio lessons there is also a computer program included in the course, which is a great bonus for visual learners and can help to improve learning efficiency greatly;
- Due to the fact that instructor of the course constantly prompts learners to say sentences and phrases in German, this greatly improves your learning efficiency and forces you to think in your target language;
- Michel Thomas lessons are a suitable course for busy learners who can’t dedicate much additional time for studying German since you can learn almost all material while on the go;
- It can be said that these lessons include essential vocabulary so you will find this course useful if you are planning to travel to German speaking country soon;
- Even though there are no native speakers in these audios, instructor of this course quite commonly stresses out separate sounds of more complicated words so that you know how to pronounce them correctly;
- Due to the fact that there are four different Michel Thomas German courses available (Start, Total, Perfect and Masterclass), it is a suitable course for both total beginners and more advanced users of this language;
The Main Cons:
- Since Michel Thomas German course comes in a form of audios and it doesn’t offer much additional learning tools, it is not suitable program for learners who want to learn all aspects of this language (reading, grammar and writing);
- Learners who want to learn how to speak German with a good accent should know that there are no native speakers of this language in the recordings, which might be seen as a huge downside;
- As it was mentioned previously there is a computer program included in Michel Thomas German course; however it can be said exercises in this program are less engaging and useful when compared with other courses reviewed in this article;
- In case you didn’t enjoy learning foreign languages in school you might find two students in the recordings a bit annoying. This is because they tend to slow down this course and also you need to listen to their mistakes at times;
- In case you want to learn more about German people and their culture, this might be not the right course for you; however it is worthwhile to mention that instructor of the course sometimes mentions a few interesting facts;
- It can be said that this course doesn’t offer best value for money (~$335 for three parts) considering material and learning tools included in it;
#5. Pimsleur Audio Lessons.
Pimsleur audio lessons were developed more than fifty years ago and currently it is possible to choose courses from more than 50 languages. Since this course comes in audio format it is a great option for audible learners who want to learn how to speak German with a good accent. Since Pimsleur focuses more on a speaking part you will not need to learn grammar rules or other more complicated parts of German language.
- New users of Pimsleur German can register at official website and get one free audio lesson, which will help to determine whether it is the right course for your learning style or not;
- Pimsleur lessons are arranged in a way that makes them easy to follow and understand all material. Also instructor of these audios constantly asks to say phrases and sentences in German, which makes you think in your target language and enhances learning efficiency;
- With Pimsleur you will be able to learn the most essential phrases to get around in Germany quickly so it’s a great course for travelers;
- Since most of material in Pimsleur German comes in form audio lessons it is a great choice course for busy people who can only study while on the go;
- The recordings are made by native German speakers so you will learn how to speak a new language with a good accent;
- Quite commonly Pimsleur lessons stresses out how to pronounce German words correctly by dividing them into separate sounds;
- It is not necessary to repeat these audios too many times since all vocabulary that you learn is also included in further lessons;
- Pimsleur includes some culture notes so it is a great benefit for learners who want to know more about German culture too;
- “Unlimited” version is available for this language so you can get not only audio lessons, but also extra material like flashcards and a game.
- Each lesson of this courses focuses only on a couple of phrases so you can learn only limited number of new vocabulary;
- In case you want to learn all aspects of German language such as writing and grammar you will need extra material;
- Since Pimsluer is basically an audio course and it is based on repetition it often becomes monotonic and boring to study;
- It would be quite useful if Pimsleur German lessons would also include transcript of dialogues;
- Due to the fact that Pimsleur offers audio lessons without much additional tools and material it can be said that it is quite expensive course for studying German language (~$350 for three levels of Unlimited).
#6. Rosetta Stone Software.
Rosetta Stone is one of the most popular language learning software’s, which offers to learn more than twenty languages including German. Since the software teaches new language through immersion by associating pictures with words and phrases you will not find any explanations in English. It is also worthwhile to mention that the newest version of Rosetta Stone is based online and it includes additional features like live sessions with a tutor, games and applications for mobile phones.
- With Rosetta Stone program you can learn more vocabulary when compared with other courses mentioned in this article;
- This software offers very interactive workouts so you will definitely not get bored while studying;
- Offers a unique speech recognition feature, which will help you determine whether you pronounce words in German correctly or not;
- The recordings in different workouts are made by native German speakers so you will be able to learn how to pronounce correctly;
- By using Rosetta Stone software you can improve all aspects of German (writing, grammar, reading, listening and etc.);
- Learners who choose online version of Rosetta Stone can get access to some advanced learning features (live sessions with a tutor, mobile app and interactive games);
- This software has advanced tracking features so it is easy to follow your progress with German language. Also you can choose what kind of workouts to do so you can concentrate on areas that need the most improvement for instance grammar, writing and etc.
- It is not necessary to be fluent in English in order to study via Rosetta Stone software, which can be seen as a huge benefit by some learners (not native English speakers);
- In case you will choose online version of this course, the subscription will only last for one year, which makes it an expensive option for learning a foreign language;
- It is difficult to learn grammar and other more complicated parts of German while using only this software due to lack of explanations, so you will definitely need some extra material;
- At times it is difficult to tell what exact German word a picture is trying to portray, so you need to look it up in the dictionary to be sure;
- This software doesn’t include German culture lessons, which can be seen as a downside by some learners;
- The vocabulary in this software is quite random so it is not the quickest way to learn German language for traveling purposes.