One great way to learn German is by watching YouTube videos.
Whether you want to improve your grammar, learn to hold a conversation or even just familiarize yourself with the sounds, YouTube will have useful content for you.
However, there are so many to choose from, which is why we’ve put together this list of the best YouTube channels to learn German.
From the few dozen out there, I’ve picked a handful I really like.
I’m not placing them in order of preference, though - instead I’ll focus a little more on what they teach and how they do it.
First up are the ones that teach you how the language works, from the beginner level to advanced speakers.
After that, I’ll focus more on channels that excel at other language skills, or advanced topics.
I recommend you check all of them out and, depending on how you learn and which approach you like best, pick the ones that suit you best and use them to learn German.
After all, with the right tools, learning German isn’t hard.
Best YouTube channels for learning German
LearnGerman is one of the biggest and most popular German-learning YouTube channels. Many of its videos have millions of views and the presentation is professional.
What I really like about LearnGerman is how it takes a very step-by-step approach.
Each video is one part of a series and goes over one very specific issue, like greetings or introducing yourself.
The explanation is detailed and clear, and even just after a single video you’ll understand the mechanics of a particular subject well.
Also, the modular approach is great for people that like to track what they’re learning and how they’re going overall.
However, this also works a little against LearnGerman: in the urge to get as much information as possible across, you can feel some overload coming on even after watching just two or three videos.
Also, the videos themselves feel a little stilted and old-school. The videos aren’t very dynamic and it really is a lot like being in class and having a teacher talk at you rather than with you.
As much as I like LearnGerman for how thorough it is, I have the sneaking suspicion it’s a lot harder to stick with than many other channels.
Another channel that follows this more old-fashioned approach is Deutsch lernen mit der DW, where “DW” stands for Deutsche Welle.
This German spring (“spring” as in or source or origin of a river) is a well-regarded international news organization that presents global news in German, English and other languages.
Watching DW is a great way to practice listening to German to begin with, but its YouTube channel is a pretty solid collection of videos.
Like LearnGerman, it has courses you can follow from beginning to end.
The courses are good, with high production values and a little less stodgy than LearnGerman. It all feels a lot more modern and dynamic, for one.
Another thing that’s really good about DW is that, dDepending on your own native language, DW has tailor-made modules.
We saw ones for Turkish, Arabic and Chinese speakers, besides a few European languages.
On top of the courses, there are also tons of shorter explainer videos that go over sticky points, or even discuss German culture.
It’s a great channel and it’s updated regularly, so check it out.
For another channel that follows the same method as LearnGerman but in a much more lively way, check out GermanPod101.
It’s actually more than just a YouTube channel, something we explain in our GermanPod101 review, but you should be able to pick up a lot of the language from just the videos.
GermanPod101 focuses a lot more on conversational German rather than hard grammar, though it features some technical videos, as well.
Overall, the quality of the videos is high and the actors that voice all the different people in each dialogue seem professional.
Of course, not every actor is great, but that’s par for the course.
Another great thing about the channel is how it divides up the videos in different sections.
So you have videos going over grammar, but also ones going over separate sections of words, like cooking, family, etc.
There are also a lot of general language-learning tips, so there’s very little to stop you getting started with learning German (they also have a great podcast).
Another YouTube channel that goes heavy on explaining how German grammar works is smarterGerman.
When it comes to simply explaining how the extremely tricky German grammar works is no small task, and I feel the man behind the channel, Michael, does a stellar job.
Interspersed with these more hard-core videos — like the correct use of the dative and obscure future tenses — are more light-hearted ones, but overall the tone is more on the serious side.
That said, the lessons are generally a lot more personable than those of LearnGerman or GermanPod101.
smarterGerman offers some of the best online German courses available too (see our review of the courses here).
This creates an interesting mix where you’re getting schooled in some complicated material, but it’s made highly relatable thanks to the teacher’s input.
That said, if you’re looking for conversational German, this isn’t the best channel: you’re very much expected to learn the grammar and then figure things out on your own.
If you’re a grammar nerd, though, it may be the pick of the litter.
For another grammar-focused channel with a personal touch, you can check out German with Laura.
It’s a relatively new channel, but already there are some pretty interesting videos up, most of them focused on very specific issues that come up with German grammar.
I like how the videos divide up nouns by their endings: this makes it easy for you to focus on a specific set of words that is giving you problems and hopefully figure things out.
The downside to the channel is that Laura isn’t a German native speaker, so it’s not the best place to learn German pronunciation.
However, there is something to be said for a non-native speaker teaching you grammar as they’re usually better at explaining specific sticking points to students.
Some of these issues may never cross the mind of a native German teacher, and I like how Laura explains some nettly German rules using a drawing tool.
Overall, a very interesting channel with a good take for English speakers, in particular.
We’ll move away a little from grammar-based methods and look more closely at more conversational systems.
One of the best known is probably Easy Languages, which you may know from our best French YouTube channels. It also has a German channel, called Easy German.
The thinking behind all these channels is that the best way to learn a language is by interacting with people.
As a result, many videos are about the team asking questions of random passersby on the street in Germany and recording their opinion.
It makes for a good video and, thanks to the excellent subtitles, teaches you a lot of German, too.
There’s probably not a more entertaining way to learn German, but there are also more serious lessons like the most common German verbs and things like that.
If you like a very easy-going or casual approach to language learning, this channel is definitely worth checking out.
Another good example of a very laid-back channel is Deutsch für Euch (German for you).
It has a bit of everything going on, from in-depth videos about specific slang terms to more general lessons on grammar.
We really like the channel, but it relies heavily on the personality of the presenter, which is good if you like her, but not so good if you don’t.
The good news is that there are hundreds of videos, so if you like the approach you’ll definitely be able to find something on a subject you’re interested in, but you’ll need to look for it.
Other than that, though, I like how issues are dealt with, and especially the videos that go over German slang are very useful.
Like with Dutch idioms, German uses a lot of m metaphors when speaking. It makes the language poetical, but also a little hard to figure out sometimes.
Having a channel like Deutsch für Euch can help you get past little hurdles like this.
The last of the more informal channels we’ll talk about is Get Germanized, which is more of a cultural channel than a language learning one, but is interesting nonetheless.
Though when I say “cultural,” I mean everyday life in German-speaking countries.
Still, though, between the guides on how to celebrate Christmas in Germany and talks about cannabis legalization are some pretty handy guides.
Some are about how to do certain things, like ordering a beer or chatting somebody up.
There are also some pointers on pronunciation and the like.
It’s probably the most eclectic channel of the bunch, but the presenter does a good job, especially if you like a slightly zany style.
Where to next?
These are just a handful of the many, many German-language channels out there on YouTube.
Hopefully, though, this guide is enough to get you started.
If there’s a YouTube channel that you feel should be on this list, let us know in the comments.
Good luck learning German.