How to learn German with zero discipline

How to learn German with zero discipline

A list of tools to help you passively learn German, without setting time aside for language practice.

Language immersion is the best way to learn any language, but it's tough to immerse yourself in the German language if your family, friends and colleagues won't speak German to you.

These tricks will add include more German to your day and help you pick up the language without the boring study sessions.

Get the right tools

Native dictionaries

Add a German-English dictionary to your Mac, iPhone and iPad's dictionaries, and translate words with by hard-pressing them. No extra app needed!

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Dict.cc

Dict.cc is a kickass English-German dictionary. It covers far more technical terms, idioms and expressions than other dictionaries, and it's free. This should be the first app you install.

Switch everything to German

Start with setting your devices' language to German. Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS let you change the operating system language easily. Most of your apps will automatically switch to German.

You can also add German to the preferred languages in your browser. This tells websites that you speak German, and that you prefer to receive the German version if it's available. You will also receive more German language results in Google, although this can be disabled.

Steam can also be switched to German. The Steam interface will be in German, and most of your games will download a German language pack.

Add some German to your day

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the language is to sprinkle German content in your social media feeds. Here is a small list to get you started.

Facebook

Reddit

Apps

  • Google News (Web/Android/iOS) - Aggregates news based on your interests. Offers home screen widgets. This app did wonders for my German.
  • Babbel - My favourite language learning app. It's much closer to a real German lesson than Duolingo, and it's made in Berlin.