Apps are an incredibly diverse and versatile way to teach yourself German. They range from a gamified language learning experience through to simple reference tools for vocabulary training, verb conjugation and noun declension and online dictionaries. Cost-wise, they are often free if you don’t mind ads. Otherwise, they will only set you back the price of a coffee in most cases.
25 Ideas for the Best App to Learn German
We’ve split these into distinct categories.
Depending on what it specifically is that you’re seeking to improve on or master, there are specialist apps for each of them!
Are they free? Who are they aimed at?
Most of these apps tend to operate on the “freemium” model – with ads served in the free version and ad-free paid options.
The others only cost a few euro. It’s definitely worth making the investment. At the end of the day, it’s your career and your future on the line.
In our contenders for the best app to learn German, we’ve chosen a selection which should appeal to both beginners and more intermediate learners alike.
We’ve got apps that are pure German vocabulary and German grammar reference tools, as well as those which offer a more interactive learning experience.
We give you plenty of options to mix and match.
The links at the end of each review will take you to the App Store or Google Play store.
So, let’s dive into these 25 apps, all of which could end up being the best app to learn German for your particular needs.
Generic Language Learning Apps Featuring German
Duolingo is perhaps the most famous language learning app and claims to be the most downloaded educational app.
The format and layout are very innovative and everything about it is there to incentivise you to focusing on spend 5-10 minutes per day learning.
It’s set out in a fun format and is probably the single most useful resource if you just want to learn German by app using one single resource.
Yes, there are in-app purchases and unfortunately, not everything is free like it used to be.
Busuu has a social feature which allows you to get your exercises corrected by a native speaker.
Great for both having your own work corrected and finding buddies and accountability partners learning English whose work you can also correct.
If you’re happy to take the time to reciprocate, this is a fantastic tool.
Other than the limited free content, it is a worthy competitor to Duolingo with an interactive, user-friendly interface.
Personally, I prefer Mondly’s interface but I guess that’s just personal preference.
Price-wise, it’s also similar to Mondly at €4.99 per month for a 12 month subscription.
MosaLingua encourages you to study each day and set your objectives when you sign up.
The focus is mainly on vocabulary and set dialogues. Focus is heavily on habit-forming to ensure that you learn little by little each day through bite-sized learning.
While it’s easy to use, you may find it a bit restrictive if you’re looking to learn more complex grammatical rules and language structure.
The app is great value at just €4.99 for full access. No recurring subscription needed.
However, you will likely need to use other German learning apps in tandem to fulfil your learning requirements..
Download from App Store
Probably the closest competitor to Busuu in terms of features and learning style, Mondly has a great user interface and some neat features.
One of the selling points to keep you interested and form a habit to learn each day is the feature where you can track your progress against other users.
Monthly subscription costs are good value if you buy a full year package at €47.99, but are steep for just one month’s access at €9.99.
You can purchase packages to learn more than one language, if you’re keen to learn some phrases in languages other than German.
Great for example if you’re going on holiday to another country or travel frequently and want to learn phrases and words in multiple languages.
5. German English Dictionary +
An innovative idea in a crowded space.
Of course, some of the Apps listed below do certain aspects of what this App does more comprehensively, but to have everything in one place is really powerful.
Not to mention that all of the In-App extras
As a fluent German speaker, I tested it to and can conclude that it is very solid. Unless you need a C1/C2 level dictionary (in which case, buy the Collins dictionary below), this will not let you down.
When you consider that a phrase book, dictionary and verb conjugator as separate books will cost you probably triple that, I really think this is a great value product.
6. Phrase Mates
This one’s particularly useful to those of you who will be travelling beyond Germany and want to have useful phrases at their fingertips in more than one language.
A lot of these features are only available online, but with roaming charges now a thing of the past within the EU, this is less of an impediment with data usage.
A neat feature is that it allows you to request a phrase from the community of online users if it’s not already in the database.
7. dict cc
A great free dictionary, with both online and offline options.
The premium version only costs €1.99 for a year and grants some cool extra featuers such as no ads, vocabulary trainer, quizzes, list of recent searches and audio output.
Clearly this is not the academic reference manual that a more expensive product is. However, this is a very solid product considering the basic version is free and the paid version is less than the price of a coffee.
8. Collins German English
If you’re really serious and not just learning for a hobby, then you will eventually need something like this if you want to have the equivalent of a thick, hardback dictionary at the touch of your fingertips.
Cheap it ain’t, but if you want an all-singing, all-dancing resource that you will definitely use interactively, then this is the one to go for.
9. 6000 Words – Learn German (Apple only)
No frills or fancy stuff, this one is a pure vocabulary builder.
Take it with you on your commute to work or and try to learn 20 words a day.
That’s 140 a week.
Do it for a year, giving yourself a few skipped days here and there and hey presto! You will have learnt them all.
It sounds achievable when you break it down…
This is a very simple concept but Memrise helps to gamify the task of learning and memorising vocabulary through flashcards.
For anyone seeking to learn basic German vocabulary and actually remember it, their system is one of the smoothest apps out there to do it.
Price-wise it’s not particularly cheap for what essentially is just a vocabulary trainer.
Listening And Speaking Practice
12. German By Nemo – Free Language Learning
This offers native audio of native speakers, which enables you to perfect your pronunciation.
Something which is more important than you think in Germany, where often people will stare at you blankly if you cannot pronounce something at least semi-comprehensible to them.
13. Readle – German with Stories
Readle is an innovative learn German app, enabling you to practice German through reading and listening to the news and short stories.
Grammar and keywords are attached to each article, to assist you with increasing your German listening skills.
If you’re looking for a fun way of improving your reading and listening skills, this could be it.
Covering skills from A1 through to C1, there’s something for all levels of German learners here.
14. Google Translate
As well as being used to translate important phrases, the ever-popular Google Translate can also be used for practicing pronunciation.
English to German translation through Google Translate has a playback function, as well as the opportunity to speak into the app rather than write it.
Grammar is a necessary evil when learning languages.
Yes, you can make a hash of your grammar and still be understood to a certain extent, but there are also instances where if you use incorrect grammar, your sentence or phrase will be nonsense.
So, dull as it may seem, there are Apps which can help you and even make the learning process more enjoyable…
15. Der Die Das
A great, simple and FREE tool for polishing up on your noun declensions.
German has 3 genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. Or der, die and das.
Declension of these can be a minefield for beginner German learners.
This app gives you the option to search a noun’s gender similar to a dictionary, it has a summary of the rules defining a noun’s gender, and there’s also a quiz.
The quiz comes with 3 different levels to test your knowledge and get some much needed practice!
16. Der Die Das (alternative – Apple only)
An alternative to the first app for iPhone / iPad users, this offers a beautifully designed app with quiz-like features. It doesn’t give you much background on the actual rules though.
17. Der Die Das (alternative – Android only)
An alternative to the first app for Android users. Not as pretty as the Apple alternative but more comprehensive in what is covered here.
18. Deutsche Grammatik
A useful course and reference in basic German grammar for beginners, covering the stuff typically required for A1/A2 level.
There are reference tables to refer to before you take the quizzes.
Because it is 100% offline (in the paid pro version), this is convenient if you want to learn somewhere without a wifi connection without using data.
Verbs are tough in German.
There are a lot of irregular verbs and many of them do not follow any logical structure.
Old-fashioned as it may sound, my teacher at school forced me to commit around 50 German verbs to memory. It worked and it is necessary.
If you’re going to live here, I would say you need a minimum of 100 in your “verb bank”, at least for the most common forms and tenses, if you are ever to achieve a degree of fluency.
The good news is that there are some fantastic tools to help you…
19. German Verbs Conjugator
This is a free App with ads and upgrading to get rid of them is the price of a chocolate bar.
It covers a whopping 1,500 German verbs in all of the most important tenses. You will not find much better value than this in the App Store for language learning.
It is a fantastic resource, especially as a quick reference guide.
20. Learn German Verb Conjugations (Apple Only)
Well designed app with colour-coded flash cards, goal setting features and the ability to track your learning metrics.
The downside is that only the present tense is available for the free version. To get full functionality you will need to upgrade.
21. German Verbs: Conjugation, Translation, Games (Android only)
This is a very comprehensive app with rave reviews, covering 23,000 German verbs with conjugation, translations and simple quizzes. With speech output of verb forms too.
The app is completely free and so contains ads.
22. Conjuu – German conjugation (Apple only)
Conjuu has made learning German verbs more of a game, by allowing you to fully personalise your study including tenses verb types, pronunciation and more.
There are smart tests and progress tracking features included in the app.
Only 500 verbs in total, so is aimed more at learning German for beginners.
Real Time Translation Apps
Since I published the first article showcasing examples of the best learn German app way back in early 2017, a huge number of new apps have come onto the market. Furthermore, advances in technology have helped apps do things they previously couldn’t.
One such example is the real time translation capabilities now on offer, where apps can scan a menu or listen to a conversation and translate it in real time.
23. iTranslate Translator
This app covers a wide range of features.
The most important ones are the translation function available through the use of the smartphone camera and the voice recorder.
What this enables is translations of things such as signs and restaurant menus, as well as someone speaking German in real time and the app providing a written and audio translation.
Additional features include a phrasebook, verb conjugations, offline translation
The downside is that the app has some fairly mixed reviews, and it’s pretty expensive for a language learning app (various packages as in-app purchases)
24. Voice Translator 2020 (Android only)
This is a more basic alternative to iTranslate, with nowhere near as many features.
It offers the voice translation facility as well as the translation of images provided through the smartphone camera function.
25. iTranslate Voice (Apple only)
iTranslate Voice is mainly to provide spoken translations of set phrases.
This app is particularly useful if you want to have ready-to-use spoken phrases in multiple different languages, rather than focusing solely on learn German phrases.
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