Skip to content

Best Online German Classes

Find the best course for your needs

We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.

Decided to learn German and struggling with der, die, and das? Learning a new language is a challenge, but ultimately it is incredibly rewarding, opening up opportunities to communicate with family, make friends from other countries, and explore new cultures. If you attain a high enough level in your chosen language, exciting new career prospects also open up, including work as a translator or as a language teacher yourself.

While the best way to learn German would probably be to live in a German-speaking country, not everyone can drop everything and move to Berlin or Vienna; often, the most accessible way to start is online. But it can be hard to find a course on the web to get started—or to continue—learning German.

We've found the best online German classes, taking into account factors like cost, platform, and quality of instruction. Find a class here to propel your German to the next level.

The 7 Best Online German Classes of 2022

Best Overall : Lingoda


Lingoda

Lingoda

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Learn with other students in small groups

  • Flexible class schedules

  • Uses real-life situations

Cons
  • Other students can direct class time

  • Lessons are somewhat similar

Why We Chose It

Lingoda is a well-respected online language-learning service that combines quality instruction and an affordable price tag. Its system is flexible, allowing you to choose between individual classes—with lessons scheduled at your convenience—and group classes that meet at predetermined times.

The group classes cost between $10 to $15 per class depending on how many you subscribe to each month. The more classes you buy the cheaper your per class price. Classes have three to five students total, including you. Private lessons are $20 to $35 per lesson (depending on frequency—the more often you meet, the less you'll pay), but they may be worth the extra cost for those who learn best one-to-one.

Lingoda also offers a Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) certificate, which can be useful for students studying abroad or professionals hoping to get a job in a German-speaking country with a required level of proficiency. Your certificate is available to you once you've completed 90% of your chosen proficiency level.

On its website, Lingoda claims that 92% of users are satisfied customers.

Lingoda offers a seven-day free trial, which can consist of three group classes or one private class. But you'll have to enter payment information and cancel before the trial ends if you don't wish to be a paid subscriber—otherwise, you'll be billed monthly after the seven days are up.

Best Budget : DeutschAkademie


Deutsch-Akademie

Deutsch-Akademie

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Plenty of grammar and vocab exercises

  • Good introductory content

Cons
  • Better for vocabulary and practice, not great for language structure

Why We Chose It

This free app offers roughly 50,000 grammar and vocabulary exercises, 800 hours of interactive online classes, and a free audio course. In comparison to other popular free apps like Duolingo or Babbel—which have quickly become overwhelming and impersonal—DeutschAkademie is tailor-made to learning German specifically and has an online forum where a native German teacher will personally answer your questions.

Structured according to the six levels of the CEFR framework (A1 to C2), DeutschAkademie allows you to easily jump back into learning German if you’ve already started and guides your continued progress. However, like many budget options, the free course is best used for practice and less for learning the structure of the language. If you like the free app, the company offers the opportunity to advance to one of its paid, online live courses—ranging from 50 to 480 Euros. Most of the course options include a free language assessment test and tutor with a small class size.

The cheapest paid option is a conversation club for 50 Euros. Other options include private lessons at 52 Euros per hour and corporate classes (language-learning with your coworkers). You can also take part in summer classes in German-speaking cities.

DeutschAkademie is a great introduction to learning German, with the option to keep it casual and inexpensive or to progress to more serious learning.

Best for Flexible Learning : Rocket German


RocketGerman

RocketGerman

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Interactive lessons with voice recognition

  • Coupon discounts

  • Free trial available

Cons
  • Relatively expensive

  • No personal feedback

  • Some classes can be boring or repetitive

Why We Chose It

Rocket German covers all the bases, no matter how you learn. The program has German material for all levels. It uses texts with audio samples to help you match the spelling to the sounds and learn through different mediums.

This approachable (and useful) beginner course hooks those of us who are less inclined toward nitty-gritty grammar exercises. You can then move on to the “language and culture” course, which addresses the grammar and vocabulary specificities that the other lessons gloss over.

There are flashcards for memorizing vocabulary, podcasts for listening comprehension, quizzes to test yourself, and even software for speaking that corrects your pronunciation. The only drawback is that there is no personal tutor with whom you can hone your speaking skills.

They also have a mobile app, which allows you to access over 60 hours of audio lessons and over 60 hours of language and culture lessons on the go. This is helpful for being realistic about how you learn: The activation energy of picking up your phone instead of sitting at a desk and opening your computer makes a big difference in self-directed language learning.

Courses are divided into three levels, each costing $149.95 with a sale price of $99.95. You can also purchase two levels for $299.90 with a sale price of $249.90. Lastly, there is the option of purchasing all three together for $449.85 with a sale price of $259.90. Getting all three for just $259.90 is obviously the option that offers the best value if you're serious about learning German. With each level, you'll have instant lifetime access to your purchase. Best of all, it comes with some financial flexibility: You can try the products for 60 days, and if you're not satisfied, refunds are available with no questions asked.

Best for Listening Comprehension : GermanPod101


GermanPod101

GermanPod101

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • New content every week

  • Free trial available

  • Extra educational resources

Cons
  • Poor lesson navigation

  • Not as much immersion as other sites

  • Not much advanced content

Why We Chose It

GermanPod101 is a library of thousands of podcasts and videos in German. All are sourced from native German speakers and revolve around real-life situations, so you will gain a good idea of what to expect from a real conversation with a German speaker. If you are more of an auditory learner or want to improve your listening comprehension for more practical conversations, GermanPod101 is the way to go.

When you create your free account, you're asked to identify yourself at one of five language levels: Introduction, Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. Each level has its own lessons, which will appear on your account dashboard. You can edit your chosen level at any time and, in doing so, change the lessons you're shown.

As a new member, you can either immediately get a paid subscription or start a seven-day free trial. You'll have access to the premium content library during your free trial period, however, the three levels of monthly subscriptions—Basic at $8, Premium at $25, and Premium Plus at $47—offer varying features. The strongest part of the service, though, lies mostly in its podcasts and videos, which are included in the affordable Basic subscription.

The Premium edition adds access to voice recording tools, interactive lesson quizzes, and a German audio dictionary, among other platform features. The key feature of the Premium Plus plan is a personalized learning program complete with assignments and assessments from a dedicated teacher.

It's recommended that you look elsewhere for drilling vocabulary, perfecting your writing and reading abilities, and improving pronunciation. Overall though, GermanPod101 is lauded for getting familiar with real-life German and is an excellent choice to include in your self-study.

Best for Casual Learning : FluentU


FluentU

FluentU

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Relatively affordable

  • Uses real-world materials

Cons
  • Few vocabulary exercises

  • No speech exercises

Why We Chose It

FluentU is a website and mobile app that gathers real-world German videos—such as news clips, movie trailers, and music videos—for use as educational materials.

This technique is important because it allows you to start engaging with the language more naturally from the get-go, rather than memorizing theoretical conversations as many competing apps do. It has a quiz feature and keeps track of your vocabulary words. However, it is less of a traditionally structured course and more of a tool to engage with the language. This aspect makes it excellent for more casual learning.

While the app is useful for more practical German, it does not have any features for speech and only has limited written vocabulary exercises. Learning through immersive listening is useful for most people, but other folks will miss out on speech improvement.

However, if you’re most interested in being able to casually understand the language and watch fun clips, FluentU is a great tool to inspire you to get familiar with German. Otherwise, FluentU could be combined with other services that have a more robust practice feature. And at about $20 per month for the yearly subscription and about $30 per month for the month-to-month option, it’s on the affordable side.

Best for Learning in a Traditional Setting : Goethe-Institut


Goethe-Institut

Goethe-Institut

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Instructor-led content, if you want it

  • Certificate of attendance after completion

Cons
  • Relatively expensive

Why We Chose It

The Goethe-Institut is a highly respected cultural institution dedicated to sharing and promoting German culture around the world. The institution has 158 locations in 98 countries, giving it a wide global reach. Its head office is in Munich.

With courses offered according to the CEFR (A1 to C2), it's easy to figure out which level you should be taking. For those who are comfortable taking a class without a teacher, there's an option you can start shortly after booking. If you'd prefer learning with a teacher, you can choose to do so in an online group course or independently with individual mentoring and support. There are also options for teenagers between 12 and 17 years old and younger children.

The lessons offered by the Goethe-Institut are the most traditional of the online German classes here—and also probably the most expensive. But while the price tag of 239–849 Euros might seem hefty, you'll receive a certificate of attendance from the respected Goethe-Institut, which could be useful for students looking to study abroad or professionals applying to jobs in Germany. To further bolster your credentials you could take Goethe's language certification exams, which carry even more weight than a course certificate.

Best for Conversational Practice : italki


iTalki

iTalki

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Variety of instructor options at various skill levels

  • Face-to-face communication with native speakers

Cons
  • Some instructors are expensive

  • Quality can vary by tutor

Why We Chose It

Italki is a language-learning software that connects you with a German tutor for a one-hour video chat. While a lot of programs out there might include a side feature that allows you to connect face-to-face with your tutor or a native speaker, italki’s affordability, flexibility, and ease of use earn it the crown for practicing speaking.

Your tutors will be freelancers with varying levels of teaching experience. The more expensive teachers—who sometimes charge as much as $80 an hour—have taught at language schools or have a teaching certificate and will be able to explain grammar to you. The inexpensive classes—for as low as $4 an hour—are for 60 minutes of casual conversation with a native speaker or someone with high proficiency. However, most teachers don't price themselves at the extremes and cost between $7 and $30 per hour.

The learning experience with italki will vary greatly depending on your tutor, and you could probably spend hours finding the right one. Luckily, many tutors offer a 30-minute trial lesson for a lower price, which is a great option for finding someone that you enjoy learning with.

Final Verdict

If you're serious about learning German, we recommend checking out Lingoda first. It's affordable, and allows you to learn in a group setting where you can practice your skills. The other picks on our list may be right for you if you're looking for something in particular; DeutschAkademie provides a great product at a good value, for example, while Goethe-Institut offers a comprehensive education in a traditional setting but costs more.

Compare Classes

Class Cost
Lingoda
Best Overall
$10–$15 per class, $20–$35 per private lesson
DeutschAkademie
Best Budget
50 to 480 Euros
Rocket German
Best for Flexible Learning
$149.95 per course, $259.90 bundled
GermanPod101
Best for Listening Comprehension
$8–$47
FluentU
Best for Casual Learning
≈$30/month or ≈$20/month when paid annually
Goethe-Institut
Best for Learning in a Traditional Setting
239–849 Euros
italki
Best for Conversational Practice
≈$4–$80

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Taught in an Online German Class?

German classes are taught in different formats and cater to varying levels of proficiency. If you’re a beginner, you should expect to learn some conversational skills, common words, and how to put sentences together. Eventually, you will learn how to read and write in German as well. 

Who Should Take an Online German Class?

Online German classes can be helpful for many reasons. You may benefit from taking an online German class if you want to travel to or live in Germany. They can improve your understanding of German culture and your ability to speak to friends and family who speak the language. They can also help you get a translator job or a job teaching English in Germany. 

What's The Best Way to Learn German at Home?

Typically, the best way to learn German at home is to set aside a certain amount of time each day to practice and study the language. Listen to native speakers and repeat what they say, focusing on your pronunciation. It’s also helpful to write down words and then sentences and practice reading in German as well. 

How Much Does an Online German Class Cost?

There are a variety of different types of online German classes available and they each have different price points. There are some free apps, and then others that charge between $4 and $80 per hour for a conversation with a native speaker. Other websites charge anywhere from $10 to $35 per lesson. Some charge several hundred dollars for more complete courses, and yet others charge a monthly subscription fee that is often between $8 and $50 dollars.

How We Chose the Best Online German Classes

We researched more than 20 online German classes before narrowing it down to the top seven. We chose the best online German classes based on a number of factors, including their pricing, flexibility, and whether they come with a certification. We also considered the availability of individualized help and user reviews.

Related Articles