Eight Free Apps to Teach You German

With these eight apps you can take the language classroom with you and practice anywhere. And every single one is free.



This app is designed to help you master new vocabulary through flashcards that you can work with anytime on your smart phone.  You can create your own decks or choose from pre-made options sorted by subject.  Anki can also be used to study German cultural and historical facts—in fact the app website boasts that you can use their app to memorize just about anything.


Another memorization-based app, Memrise was created by Grand Master of Memory Ed Cooke.  The program has a strong social element—you earn points while you learn, can compete against friends, and rate other user-generated lists.   Memrise also includes thousands of programs, so once you’re finished learning German, you can move onto another subject of interest.


This simple app uses photos to train vocabularly, and includes an instagram mode that pulls photos from instagram instead of the app’s database to keep things fresh.  It can also be used to practice pronunciation.


This app offers vocab training through short multiple choice exercises.  All German phrases are read aloud by the app to help with pronunciation, but the exercises start with phrases rather than individual words and might be overwhelming for the absolute beginner.  Includes speech recognition and advanced vocabulary.


This app allows users to practice by level (A1-C2), textbook, and theme.  It tracks your learning statistics and includes 22,000 grammar and vocab exercises and over 800 hours of interactive online courses.  In the forum German teachers can answer questions and the entire course is based on the European Framework of Reference for Languages.  It is meant for practice, however, not as a main teaching tool.

MindSnacks’ Learn German

This game-based app helps users learn a language through nine games designed to teach vocab and conversation.  However, only the first lesson is free, and it is only available for Apple devices.


Busuu is a social network designed to suppose language learners, and it includes apps for mobile practice.  Features include practice with native speakers in the network; listening, reading, writing, and speaking exercises; and regular feedback.  It offers both free and premium (paid) learning models. 


No ads, no fees, and a fast and easy language course. Sound too good to be true? Nope. It is a program called Duolingo, a company whose innovative business concept keeps it relevant, fun, and free. But the question that inspired Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn to create the service might not be what you would expect.