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You’ve started learning German. What now?

So, you decided to make that huge step. You’ve found a good language school or a good teacher, and enrolled in a course. The exciting journey called learning German has started and the first lessons begin. What now?

Is there a way to make the start more comfortable, meaningful, and organized?

Well, actually, there is a way. In this blog post, I am sharing with you a list of resources that you could use parallel to the start of your A1 course of learning German. Take a look and enjoy! I wish you good luck on your journey while I am waving at you from the shore.

Prepare your brain

Even before you start learning a new language, you should listen to the sound of that language.

I’m giving you a list of music videos that you could listen to and a link to the whole film Nico’s Weg which covers everything that you should master during the A1 course.

There is also another series for learning German at the A1 level, provided by Goethe Institute, with the title Mein Weg nach Deutschland. Just watch the episodes as they appear one by one, practice listening to the sound of the language and as you advance during your A1 course you will be able to understand more and enjoy the content as if you would be watching Netflix. That would be nice, right? 🙂

You don’t have to understand the words, just concentrate on the sound of the language.

Pronunciation rules

Pronunciation is very important for any foreign language. German pronunciation rules are not that difficult but you will still need some time to master them.

I’m giving you a list of basic German pronunciation rules that you can refer to parallel to what your teacher is teaching you.

Give yourself time, don’t rush it, and be patient with yourself. Ask yourself: which rules stand out for me? Which rule is interesting (for me, now/at this moment)? What are the differences to English or to my mother tongue?

Thus, don’t torture yourself and think that you have to learn all German pronunciation rules at once. Be curious, open-minded, and enjoy the process. Learn little by little.

Free (online) dictionaries

You don’t have to buy paper dictionaries because there are so many good online dictionaries with pronunciation and example sentences.

I would recommend you start with the PONS online dictionary.

You can use it to check the pronunciation of any new word that you’d like to learn and to find simple example sentences.

There is also a list of all words at the A1 level, provided by the Goethe Institute, that you could also use as a dictionary! It’s good because it enables you to have an overview of the words that you should master at the A1 level but also to find very simple example sentences for any new word.

Same words in German and English

Did you know that you already know many German words?

How is this possible, you might be asking yourself.

Well, if you’re good at English, I can prove it to you.

Just take a look at my blog post Same words in English and German – it’s the most popular blog post on my blog. Obviously, many learners are very curious about this topic and you will most probably be amazed as well.

Free apps for learning German

As soon as you start

Free online picture dictionaries

We learn much better if we associate words with pictures. Our brain remembers better that way. That is why it is recommended that we use picture dictionaries (Bildwörterbücher) while learning some foreign language. Take a look at the below list of picture dictionaries and  use them online. They are all free! Attention teachers! There is also something which might be interesting for you: a tutorial about how you could work with picture dictionaries in your classes.

“We learn much better if we associate words with pictures”

Mini-Bildwörterbuch Deutsch This is something good for a start. Learn your first German words with this mini picture dictionary. It’s actually a PDF file.

The Internet picture dictionary  actually provides picture dictionaries for many different languages: English, French, German, Italian Spanish. You can choose between these categories:  Animals, Appliances, Body Parts, Clothing and Apparel, Colors, Fruits, Garden and Yard, Kitchen, Musical Instruments, Numbers, School, Sports, Tools, Transportation and Vegetables. You can intensify the learning process by playing these games: Flashcards (try to guess the word, and move your mouse pointer over a picture to see if you are correct), Fill-in-the-blanks (fill in the missing letters), Word Scramble (rearrange letters so they spell the correct words), Stinky Spelling (correct incorrectly spelled words) and Straight Recall (click on the box corresponding to the term pronounced). The greatest weakness of this dictionary is that it doesn’t provide sound/pronunciation.

Online-Bildwörterbuch – learn English and German in pictures! There are more than 6000 words in 17 different categories: Astronomy, Earth, Vegetable Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Human Being, Food And Kitchen, House, Do-It-Yourself And Gardening, Clothing, Personal Adornment and Articles, Arts and Architecture, Communications and Office Automation, Transport and Machinery, Energy, Science, Society, Sports and Games. There are also some games that can help you master the vocabulary: Put It In Its Place (Slide the term appearing at the bottom of the page to its correct position) and Listen Up (associate sound with images). The greatest weakness of this dictionary is also that it doesn’t provide sound/pronunciation. At least not during the learning process, but only during the test phase.

Lingudora – learn English, German and Korean through interactive exercises. You can learn and practice vocabulary and pronunciation at the same time. There are several different categories: Colours, Refrigerator, Lunch, Kitchen, Dinner, Breakfast, Kitchen Table, Face, Body, Bedroom., Clothes, Island, Beach, Campfire, Map, Hallway, Living Room, Bathroom, Office, Landscape, Traffic, Classroom, Santa Claus, Christmas. When learning you go through three phases: 1. Explore. Here you will be able to explore the spelling and pronunciation of words. 2. Practise. Now you can try to remember the meanings of the words. Listen and read the word and click on the appropriate bubble. 3. Test. At the end you can test whether you actively master the vocabulary. A question mark appears in one of the speech bubbles. First click on the determiner and then click on the letters in the correct order to form the word. In addition, you can also train your listening comprehension, then learn or review the most important verb forms in the present tense. There is also a list which provides an overview where you can find mp3 sound files and translations of over 700 words.

Days of Deutsch – learn German with modern photos, word by word, image by image. “Some of it is useful, some of it is utterly useless”, however they are sorted by their genus. You can follow this page on Instagram and Twitter. This dictionary also does not provide sound/pronunciation.

ARD-Bildwörterbuch – learn everyday German with this visual and audio dictionary. It is intended for refugees, however it can help you master the everyday life in Germany also if you are not a refugee. New words are being added regularly. The categories: First Aid, Food, Leisure time, Cosmetics, Clothes, Calendar, Children, Weather, Colours, Numbers, Animals, Money, Housekeeping, Communication, Education,  Law.

Lexi24 – this dictionary is different because you can learn German with “subtitles” in your mother tongue! This means that you could also learn some 30 other languages! Apart from that,  there are 15 different vocabulary categories including even Medicine: Food, Clothing and accessories, Nature, Health and medicine, Transportation, Human being, Office, Sports, Housing, Leisure and entertainment, Society, Arts and architecture, Science, Energy and industry.  This dictionary contains also a “training” section for about 30 different languages – you have to log in in order to use this feature. There is also a crossword puzzle for English – for every day a new one.  This dictionary also doesn’t provide any sound/pronunciation.

BABADADA – learn numerous foreign languages in about 40 categories. This dictionary is also special because it offers the “Hospital” category. This dictionary also does not provide sound/pronunciation which is its greatest weakness.

Learn German for free

Author: Jadranka Bokan

There are many ways to learn German (or any other foreign language) for free. Here are some of them:

Websites with free German lessons

Free applications for learning German – learn German on the go

Free online games for learning German

YouTube Channels for Learning German

Free online dictionaries with pronunciation

Free online picture dictionaries

Find a learning partner online

Would you like to learn German with a well educated and trained tutor?

More of German grammar ONLINE

Internet is more than valuable source of learning and practicing opportunities. The same applies to German Grammar too. Check out the below possibilities to LEARN (theory) and PRACTICE (exercises) German Grammar online.

Grammar – LEARN the THEORY:

Detailed explanations in English to various Grammar-topics can be found here: German Language Workshop.

We all know that Deutsche Welle is an extraordinary source of Information for learners and teachers. The only problem is that the descriptions are in German.

mein-deutschbuch.de is also a valuable source of grammar theory. Just look under the tab ‘Grammatik’, ‘Verblisten’ (irregular verbs, Rektion  etc.) or ‘Zusatmaterialien’ (additional exercises with given solutions). Explanations and grammar  rules are written in German.

Lingolia enables you also to learn grammar. Their topics are suitable for both native speakers and foreigners. Every topic is associated with interactive online exercises.

Deutschlernerblog – offers many materials, explanations, examples and exercises with regards to various grammar topics.


learngrammatik is one interesting site where you can practice your grammar through interactive online exercises. This site is in German, but it is pretty intuitive so it shouldn’t be a problem for you to orient yourself. 

DeutschAkademie is a perfect application for you to practice German grammar. Especially if you are at an advanced level. You can also practice by different grammar topics here. You can also choose your level and then practice:  here.

Mein-deutschbuch.de is a great source of interactive online exercises too. Just look for what you need under the ‘Online-Uebungen’ tab.

Deutschlernerblog – you can find here numerous exercises from the A1 to C2 level.

All publishers offer online exercises that follow their textbooks. Levels vary – from A1 to C2, depending on which courses they offer:

Schritte International (A1-B1)
Deutsch.com (A1-A2)
Motive (A1-A2)
Planet (A1-B1)
Ideen (A1-A2)
Mittelpunkt neu (B1+,B2,C1)
Schubert Verlag (A1-C2)
Langenscheidt Verlag (A1-C2)


Free online dictionaries (with pronunciation)

Author: Jadranka Bokan

For you or a friend – everything that you’d need
for a good start!

If you are uncertain about which good online dictionary you could use for free, here are some good solutions for you:


This is a  good solution for beginners because this dictionary enables native speakers to find translations from their languages into German. Here are the combinations that are available for you:

English-German, Polish-German and Spanish-German (and vice versa)


This is a German-German solution which is great for advanced learners. A great bonus: there is a table at the bottom of every page with possible word combinations. For example, if you are searching for a verb “hinterlassen”, in that table at the bottom of the page you’ll be able to find all the combinations of the verb “hinterlassen” with most frequent adjectives or nouns. Great tool, isn’t it? 🙂  

Important note for beginners: every word in the above dictionaries has its own audio version which you can listen and hear how you should pronounce the word in question.


This online dictionary will help you to translate any word in many different languages. It also offers an online vocabulary trainer which is completely free for use and it stores all the words that you looked up in the PONS dictionary. You can play and learn in 5 phases.

4. dict.cc

This dictionary stands out with the huge number of language combinations that it offers. Among other usual combinations (like German – Englisch, German – Spanish etc.), you can find the following “exotic” combinations: German – Latin, German – Esperanto,  German – Serbian etc. That’s just great!

5. Redensarten-Index

This dictionary is intended for advanced learners. it contains only idioms with lots of examples.

6. Official word lists provided by the Goethe Institute (A1, A2, B1)

There are complete word lists for the basic levels (A1, A2. B1) provided by the Goethe Institute. These lists don’t offer the pronunciation of words, but you can use them INSTEAD of regular dictionaries. They are very useful because:

  • You can be sure that you have a list of all words at a particular level
  • You can find all the forms of the words in them (Singular/Plural forms of nouns, all basic tenses of the verbs etc.)
  • You can find example sentences.

Here they are:

Wordlist A1

Wordlist A2

Wordlist B1

And one extra tip for the usage of the word lists of the Goethe Institute: you can read them as newspapers when the time comes (before the exam or whenever you decide to repeat the vocabulary at any given level).