The 5 Best German Language Apps for Immigrants

german language apps

German language learning applications! The list is obviously endless, but we have our favourties (as always).  

A world where over 15 million adults are enthusiastically diving into the linguistic depths of Goethe’s mother tongue! The reasons for this global “Deutschmania” are as diverse as the language itself. A whopping 42% of these learners are chasing the dream of better job opportunities, while 38% aim to weave themselves into the rich tapestry of German society. And let’s not forget the 20% whose personal interest leads them to explore the language of thinkers and poets. 

But learning the German language isn’t just about mastering grammar; it’s about embracing a language with some of the most delightfully complex compound words. Picture trying to say “Rindfleischsalatverkäuferin” without tripping over your tongue, or expressing “Schadenfreude” with a mischievous glint in your eye. 

Whether you’re in it for career, culture, or sheer curiosity, our guide to the top 7 German language apps for immigrants will be your compass in this exciting linguistic journey.

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Criteria for Choosing the Best German Language Learning Apps

  1. User-Friendliness: The app should be intuitive, with a clear and easy-to-navigate interface. It must be compatible with various devices and operating systems.
  2. Pricing and Accessibility: A balance of free and premium features is ideal. The app should have transparent pricing and, ideally, offer trial periods or money-back guarantees.
  3. Content Quality and Variety: Comprehensive coverage of all language skills including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The app should include real-life language usage, cultural nuances, and regular content updates.
  4. Interactive Features: Engaging exercises like quizzes and interactive dialogues, along with gamification elements, are important for motivation and progress tracking. Live practice options with native speakers or AI simulations are a plus.
  5. Customization and Personalization: The app should allow users to tailor their learning paths according to their skill levels and goals, and use adaptive learning technology to evolve with the user’s progress.
german language apps

5 Best German Language Learning Apps for Expats to Rely On

When moving to Germany, it is absolutely necessary to have some basic degree of conversational skills in German. These apps are a starting point.

#1 Duolingo

Duolingo, a popular and widely used language learning platform, has made a significant impact on the way people learn German and other languages. Its unique approach to language learning is both user-friendly and effective, making it an attractive choice for many learners.

Unique Features:

  • Gamified Learning Experience: Duolingo uses game-like elements to make learning fun and engaging, encouraging regular practice.
  • Personalized Learning Paths: The app adapts to the user’s learning style and pace, providing tailored lessons that evolve as the user progresses.
  • Bite-Sized Lessons: The lessons are short and focused, designed to fit into busy schedules and make daily practice manageable.
  • Streaks and Rewards System: Duolingo motivates learners by tracking their daily progress with streaks and rewarding them with virtual currency for completing lessons.

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  • Accessibility and Ease of Use: The app is free and easy to use, making it accessible to a wide range of learners.
  • Regularly Updated Content: Duolingo frequently updates its courses, ensuring that the content remains fresh and relevant.


  • Limited Depth in Advanced Topics: More advanced learners might find the content too basic or not comprehensive enough.
  • Over-reliance on Translation Exercises: The focus on translation-based learning might not adequately prepare learners for real-life conversational skills.

#2 Babbel

Babbel stands out as a language learning app with a strong focus on practical conversation skills, making it highly suitable for immigrants who need to use German in their daily lives. This app combines traditional language teaching methods with modern technology to offer a comprehensive learning experience.

Unique Features:

  • Conversation-Driven Learning: Emphasizes real-life conversational skills, teaching phrases and sentences that are immediately useful.
  • Customized Review Manager: Reinforces learning by revisiting words and phrases at optimal intervals.
  • Culturally Relevant Content: Lessons include cultural insights, enhancing the understanding of the language in its cultural context.
  • Integrated Speech Recognition: Helps improve pronunciation by providing feedback on spoken German.
german language apps


  • Practical Language Use: Focuses on teaching practical language skills that are immediately applicable in everyday life.
  • Structured Learning Path: Provides a clear, step-by-step learning path which is ideal for beginners and intermediate learners.


  • Subscription-Based: Unlike some other apps, there’s no free version, which might be a barrier for some users.
  • Less Gamified: The experience is more traditional and less game-like, which might not appeal to users who prefer a gamified learning approach.

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#3 Memrise

Memrise distinguishes itself in the realm of language learning apps with its innovative approach that blends entertainment and education. It’s designed to make the process of learning German both enjoyable and effective, particularly for those who are just beginning their linguistic journey.

Unique Features:

  • Real-Life Language Use: Memrise uses videos of native speakers in real-life situations, offering a more natural way of learning conversational German.
  • Spaced Repetition System: This feature helps in memorizing new words and phrases by intelligently scheduling review sessions.
  • Immersive Learning: The app simulates a real environment to provide context to words and phrases, enhancing the learning experience.
  • Diverse Learning Material: A mix of audio, video, and written content keeps the learning process varied and engaging.


  • Culturally Immersive Approach: Provides a deep understanding of how German is used in everyday situations by native speakers.
  • Interactive Content: The variety of learning materials keeps users engaged and caters to different learning styles.


  • Focus on Vocabulary Over Grammar: More emphasis on vocabulary might leave learners wanting more in-depth grammar instruction.
  • Limited Advanced Content: While great for beginners, advanced learners may find the content less challenging.
german language apps

#4 Anki

Anki is a powerful and versatile flashcard app favored by language learners for its efficiency in memorization and vocabulary building. Its approach is based on spaced repetition, a scientifically proven method to enhance long-term retention of information. Anki is particularly suitable for learners who prefer a more self-directed and customizable learning experience.

Unique Features:

  • Spaced Repetition System (SRS): Automatically schedules review sessions at optimal intervals to maximize memory retention.
  • High Customizability: Users can create their own flashcards, adding text, images, and audio to suit their learning style.
  • Extensive User-Generated Content: Access to a vast library of shared decks created by other users, including decks for German language learners.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Syncs across devices, allowing learners to practice anytime, anywhere.

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  • Effective Memorization Tool: The SRS makes it highly effective for memorizing vocabulary and phrases.
  • Personalization: The ability to create and customize decks tailors the learning experience to individual needs.
german language apps


  • Steep Learning Curve: The interface and array of features can be overwhelming for new users.
  • Lacks Structured Curriculum: Anki is primarily a memorization tool and does not provide a structured language learning path, which might require supplementary materials for comprehensive learning.

#5 Busuu

Busuu is a language learning app that stands out for its community-centric approach, combining effective language learning tools with social interaction. It offers a comprehensive and interactive way to learn German, making it especially appealing for those who value a sense of connection in their learning journey.

Unique Features:

  • Interactive Community Feedback: Learners can have their exercises corrected by native speakers, providing valuable real-life interaction and feedback.
  • Structured Learning Path: Offers a well-organized course structure, from beginner to advanced levels, ensuring systematic progress.
  • Conversation Practice: Features conversational lessons to practice speaking and listening skills with AI-powered voice recognition.
  • Language Learning Certification: Partners with McGraw-Hill Education to offer certificates for completed levels.


  • Real-World Interaction: Direct feedback from native speakers offers practical insights and enhances language skills.
  • Comprehensive Course Material: Provides a complete learning experience, covering all aspects of the German language.
german language apps


  • Limited Access in Free Version: Some features are restricted to the premium subscription, limiting access for free users.
  • Requires Internet Connection: Most of the interactive features need a stable internet connection, which might be a constraint for some users.

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German Language Learning Apps Made Simple 

We want to leave you with two reminders:

One, age is merely a backstage pass in the grand concert of language learning. Adults can, contrary to popular myth, learn languages with the same zest as children, perhaps even with a bit more panache! It’s all about finding the right approach, sprinkling in some motivation, and, of course, a dash of discipline and focus.

And secondly, it is never too late to learn something new. And these are not the only ways for you to learn a language!

The world of German learners is as diverse as a carnival – a colorful mosaic of individuals from every corner of the globe, each bringing their unique story to the language learning table. Whether you’re a busy professional looking for bite-sized lessons, a curious soul diving into the depths of grammar, or someone seeking a connection with fellow language enthusiasts, there’s an app tailored just for you.

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