What do you need to learn German and how much does it cost?

Learning German is cheap, but not free, unfortunately. You will need to pay for a top quality textbook and dictionary. The same goes for German music and films, but that’s more or less the only expenses you will need.

It costs money to learn GermanIt costs a few pennies to learn German. Photo: Jarno Laitinen

I have made a list of what you need to learn the language including both what is free and what cost a little. The majority of my visitors are either based in Germany, UK or USA, and since I can’t have prices for all countries in the world, I’ve only included prices for these countries.

What you’ll need to buy:

1) Subscription for a streaming on demand or flat rate DVD by mail service. 

UK: £8/months (Lovefilm.co.uk) US:  $8/months (dvd.Netflix.com) GER: €8/months (Lovefilm.de).

Further reading: German Films

2) Some German favourite songs, which needs to be on your computer and MP3 player.

UK: £8 US:  $12 GER: €11 (Average price for an album on iTunes.)

Further Reading: German Music

3) A Top Quality Dictionary For Your Computer or Tablet

UK: £11-25 US:  $18-30 GER: €13-30 (Prices vary a lot depending on your operative system and your first language.)

Further Reading: German Dictionary

4) A Top Quality Textbook 

UK: £8-30 US:  $13-40 GER: €10-35 (Prices are from Amazon.com and are based on textbooks, which has at least  has a four out five star rating.)

Further Reading: German Textbooks

Total price for getting started:  UK: £35-71 US: $51-90 GER: €42-84

That’s not much for learning or improving your German or another language for that matter.

Free things you got to have:

1) A German Tutor

Instead of paying for lessons I would rather advise you to find a German tutor on an language exchange website. It’s such a giving way to learn a language and much more effective than sitting in a classroom.

Further Reading: How to Find a Free German Tutor 

2) Skype

It’s vital to be in touch with your tutor on a regular basis. The most popular software among language exchange enthusiasts for that purpose is Skype. You can download Skype by clicking here.

3) Spotify 

Great streaming service for listening and exploring (German) music. It can be downloaded here.

Further Reading: German Music

4) Save HowtolearnGerman.de and other useful websites as bookmarks

Website domains can be difficult to remember, so please do yourself a favour and save them as bookmarks.

What I expect or already think you have:

1) Time and motivation

To speak somehow fluent German, you need an around 3000 words vocabulary, which is around 10 words a day. On top of that, you also need to learn grammar and pronunciation.

Further Reading: How To Be More Productive

2) A Desk and a proper chair

It’s necessary to have a proper working posture for studying to ensure an unobstructed blood flow to the brain and prevent achy joints.

3) A Computer with internet connection

You don’t need to use it all the time, but you need one to be in contact with your German tutor, to watch German TV if you don’t live in Germany, and to look things up quickly.

Further Reading: Find a German Tutor and German TV

4) An MP3 Player and a Set of Speakers

The most effecient and funniest way to get a good pronunciation is to listen and sing along to German songs. With an MP3 player (or phone that can play MP3 files), you can always listen to your songs wherever you are and singing along simply works better with a set of speakers. Particularly if you feel embarrassed by your singing voice. 

Further Reading: German Music

A  check list:

German ChecklistPhoto: Michael C

To make sure you have everything necessary to learn German, and to give you the pleasure of having this, I have made a check list for you:

What you’ll need to buy:

Subscription for a streaming on demand or flat rate DVD by mail service [  ]
Some German favourite songs [  ]
A Top Quality Dictionary For Your Computer or Tablet [  ]
A Top Quality Textbook  [  ]

Free things you need:

A German Tutor [  ]
Skype [  ]
Spotify [  ]
Save HowtolearnGerman.de and other useful websites as bookmarks [  ]

What I expect or already think you have:

Time and motivation  [✓]
A Desk and a proper chair  [  ]
A Computer with internet connection  [  ]
An MP3 Player and a Set of Speakers  [  ]

And doesn’t it feel lovely to tick all these boxes and get started to get fluent in German?