It’s difficult to get an overview with so many German Courses for Beginners being available. Our main recommendation is to pick a course that has a focus on speaking skills.
Using a language in conversation is the most important skill to connect with people. A course that gives you speaking practice and motivates you to use German either in a 1-on-1 or group setting will give you fastest progress.
Our recommendations here are for online courses: Next to our recommendations here make sure to consider researching courses by local providers in your city, your university or employer. If you have the option, going to a local language school can be more motivating than attending online lessons by yourself at home.
Table of Contents
- Top Recommended Courses
- Courses We Do Not Recommend for Beginners
The courses listed here are recommended since they are comprehensive, of high-quality and value for money.
TOP 3 Recommended Options
- Overall Recommended Course – Lingoda
- Best Budget Pick – Babbel
- For serious learners – Goethe Institut
1. Lingoda – Professional Language Classes on Your Schedule
Summary: Zoom Classes with a Professional (Native) Language Teacher
Price: Small Group Classes 10 EUR to 15 EUR per class; 1-on-1 Class 22.5 EUR to 35 EUR
Up to a few years ago it was difficult to find online language classes. Lingoda is a start-up out of Berlin Germany that is looking to make online language classes easily accessible. Both private and group classes are available.
- Native Professional Teachers & Structured Learning
- Small Groups (2-4 students)
- Motivating Language Sprints
- Classes might not always be available when you want to learn
- You need to read the Language Sprint Rules if you decide to follow a sprint
The classes you find on Lingoda are very small with only 2-4 students, teachers are described as engaging and learners are enjoying the lessons. This also shows in Trustpilot reviews for Lingoda with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 which is excellent.
You can try Lingoda free for 7 days ( 3 Group Classes or 1 Private class). There will be an email at the end of your trial period, so you can cancel if you do not want to continue.
2. Babbel – Budget Pick for Absolute Beginners
Summary: Self-Study App Resource and Live Classes
Price: 9.95 EUR per month for Self-Study; 79 EUR for unlimited Live Classes (including Self-Study)
Babbel started as a Self-Study app, but also does offer Live Classes where you get to practice your speaking skills. The classes each cover an individual topic, so you can learn vocabulary for topics that interest and motivate you.
- Professional Style and Courses for Adults
- Unique combination of App and Live Classes
- Does not emphasize speaking as much as Lingoda
- Not well suited for advanced learners
We recommend Babbel as you can start out with self-study and continue with live classes once you have learned your first words. You can try Babbel risk free for 20 days with a full refund.
3. Goethe Institut – Trusted On- and Offline Courses for serious learners
Goethe Institut is a non-profit cultural and language association that has been started by the German Goverment. They provide both On- and Offline courses worldwide in major cities globally. The Goethe Institut was founded in 1951.
Classes here are highly trusted and there are many different formats offered at different price points. Goethe is a great choice if you are serious about learning and potentially moving to Germany for studying or work.
2.1 Goethe Self-Guided Learning
The cheapest Self-Guided course “German Online Training” starts at EUR 239, you can pick additional packages to practice speaking with a native speaker – 10 sessions for the same price of EUR 239.
2.2 German Online group course
A full 5 week “German Online Group course” including 4 face-to-face session is offered for EUR 399. There is a part of self-learning (guided) and a part of live sessions with your study group. The group size is limited to a maximum of 16 participants.
Popular Courses not recommend for Beginners
Duolingo is one of the most popular language learning apps. If you are learning German for fun, you can consider using Duolingo. The app does it’s best to make you come back and stick to a consistent study schedule.
We do not recommend it as your only source of German learning or main course since it’s lack of focus on speaking and pronunciation. While Duolingo is great in what it does, it lacks on this core part of learning.
In our perspective FluentU is a great tool for intermediate to advanced learners. You can use it to extend your vocabulary and practice listening skills.
Since FluentU is not a full structured language course we do not recommend it for absolute Beginners.
Our overall recommendation for the Best German Course for Beginners is Lingoda. If you are looking for a German course for Beginners and want to make progress try their offering.
The clear benefit here are native professional teachers and being able to follow a group class from anywhere on your own schedule.
If you are on a budget and just want to get started studying you can try out Babbel. Many tools that seem great at the start like Duolingo or FluentU focus too little on speaking skills and conversations with others.