When you're learning German, one of the most challenging aspects is memorizing all the new vocabulary.
Grammar is all about understanding a general idea and applying specific rules. However, learning new words requires hard work through repetition and memorization.
One way to solve this challenge is with the help of flashcards. They can be one of the most effective ways to learn a foreign language if you use them right.
Fortunately, there are many German flashcard apps available that can help you reach your vocabulary goals.
In this article, I'm sharing my five favourite German flashcard apps. You'll also find tips for integrating flashcard apps into your study strategy.
By the way, if you want to learn German fast and have fun while doing it, my top recommendation is German Uncovered which teaches you through StoryLearning®.
With German Uncovered you’ll use my unique StoryLearning® method to learn German vocabulary naturally through stories. It’s as fun as it is effective.
If you’re ready to get started, click here for a 7-day FREE trial.
How German Flashcards Can Help You Learn Vocabulary
Learning new vocabulary is never easy. It takes time to memorize words and phrases, particularly when the grammatical structure differs from your native language.
Flashcards offer an effective way to remember this information by building stronger neural pathways.
Flashcards work by combining images, audio, video, and other multimedia to help your brain recall a word or phrase. These associative clues act as mnemonic devices that help you remember information with minimal effort.
Below are the benefits of learning a language with flashcards over learning through memorisation alone.
- Get instant feedback – You know immediately if you're correct and which mistakes you've made.
- Natural repetition – Learning a language requires repetition. Flashcards aid the repetitive process necessary for new phrases to go into your long-term memory.
- Increase neural connections – Viewing flashcards in random order enables your brain to build more neural pathways with the help of image, audio, and video cues.
- Make learning fun – Flashcards make learning a game. Many flashcard apps include games and rewards that motivate you.
Additionally, flashcards engage your active recall abilities. When you actively go through a deck, you train your brain to quickly and accurately remember information. Flashcards also improve your ability to retain and comprehend vocabulary through visual learning.
Top 5 German Flashcard Apps
Flashcards can be one of the best ways for you to memorise new vocabulary.
If you've ever tried to read lists of words and remember them, you probably know that this method doesn't work well. In contrast, flashcards stimulate multiple areas of your brain, thereby improving the retention of information.
Flashcards are particularly efficient if you add multimedia that enhance your ability to recall word meanings. The following German flashcard apps offer pre-designed and customisable flashcards to help you learn German vocabulary quickly and painlessly.
Normally I'm not a big fan of language learning apps – the App Villain is one of the language learner's deadliest enemies – but the flashcard apps are genuine, helpful exception.
The Ankidroid Flashcard app helps you learn through media-enriched content. You can add images, video, audio, and notes to your flashcards.
This app lets you synchronise between devices. So you can add new flashcards on your desktop and view them later on the go via your smartphone.
German language learners can benefit from the following features:
- Design your own flashcards or choose from premade language decks
- AnkiDroid integrates with online dictionaries like Leo.org
- Spaced repetition algorithms show you the flashcards you're most likely to forget
Anki's simple layout and an array of customizable features make it one of the best flashcard apps for learning German vocabulary. By adding media to the cards, you can build stronger connections to words that make them easier to recall.
The Brainscape Flashcard app allows you to create, search for, and share flashcards. What's unique about this app is the ability to personalize your repetition timing. Users rate flashcards on a scale from one to five, depending on how familiar they are with a card.
This process is called confidence-based repetition. Then, Brainscape's algorithms determine the best time to test you again.
Other features include:
- Access to thousands of free pre-designed German flashcards
- Add images, audio, and animations to your flashcards
- Synchronize your content between different devices
- Set learning goals and track your progress
Most of these app's features are free. A subscription gives you access to additional foreign language and test preparation content.
However, subscribing isn't necessary to benefit from the abundance of free German flashcards available. This self-paced learning tool can significantly improve your ability to recognize vocabulary.
The image-based flashcards from Memrise were designed to help you learn vocabulary in a flash. You'll enjoy the conversational lessons that teach you to pronounce words like a native. Create your own decks or use the pre-designed lessons with level-appropriate vocabulary.
Other features Memrise has to offer include:
- Learn through video clips with native speakers in their home countries
- Practice games improve retention
- Personalize your learning experience
You can choose from thousands of German courses or create your own. You'll even find lessons that focus on distinct German dialects. Memrise uses spaced repetition, which has been proven to facilitate memorization.
The MosaLingua app will help you memorize the most frequently-used German vocabulary for everyday conversations. At the same time, the app will help you improve your pronunciation, grammar, and listening comprehension.
You'll find some of the app's highlights below.
- Over 3,000 flashcards with German vocabulary
- Audio clips from native speakers help you learn pronunciation
- Vocabulary sets based on ten difficulty levels
- Study reminders support long-term learning
MosaLingua will provide you will the vocabulary you need to start communicating immediately. You can also design your own flashcards to customize your lessons.
Additionally, the app contains over a dozen dialogues that help you learn essential vocabulary for specific situations.
This practical app contains a treasure trove of interactive flashcards that help you master the German language. You'll find thousands of different vocabulary sets created by other users. You can also create your own flashcards.
The best features about Quizlet include:
- Learn to pronounce words correctly from native speakers
- Fun games and tools assist with learning
- Import your notes and turn them into flashcards
Additionally, you can collaborate online with other students to practice what you've learned. If you're using iOS, you can integrate Quizlet with the iStudious app. This interconnectivity enables you to add handwritten notes and other customizable features.
7 Tips For Success With German Flashcards
The apps above were designed to enhance your ability to retain information. However, there are a few other tips you should follow to ensure you have the most success with German flashcards.
- Combine memory tactics – Combining visual, auditory, and other associative clues make new words easier to remember. The more hints you associate with a word, the better your chances of remembering it.
- Learn the articles – Every time you learn a new German word, you should learn the article as well (a, the). Should you use der, die, or das?
- Learn phrases – In addition to learning words, try learning common German phrases that use terms in context. Words that have multiple usages or meanings offer opportunities for you to make more associations. At the beginning of your language journey, choose the most memorable context.
- Speak out loud – Repeating words and phrases out loud aids in both pronunciation and understanding.
- Review regularly – Review is an essential part of securing vocabulary in your long-term memory. Repeat your decks of flashcards at regular intervals to increase your chance of retention. Many flashcard apps use a Spaced-Repetition-System. This method repeats learned information at gradually increasing intervals.
- Stay interested – You're more likely to remember the vocabulary about subjects that pique your interest. If you're just starting to learn German, stick to topics that you're passionate about.
- Finally, look for opportunities to immerse yourself in the German language. For example, watching German films, reading German books, and connecting with native speakers online are all ways to gain exposure to the language. This step will solidify what you've learned on the flashcards, and remind you how to use words in real-life conversations.
Final Thoughts On German Flashcards
Flashcards are an effective way to better learn German vocabulary. Every time you look at a flashcard, you're engaging your natural active recall abilities.
This memorization technique helps build stronger neural connections, as opposed to trying to remember the meaning of a word off the top of your head.
Confidence-based repetition is another memory-enhancing benefit of flashcards. When learning with flashcards, you have to determine how well you think you remember each word or phrase. This type of learning improves your memory performance.
Flashcard apps take advantage of these cognitive learning techniques to help you remember things.
So if you want to boost your German language skills, try one of the flashcard apps above. Adding flashcards to your study strategy will make learning fun, engaging, and einfach!
Getting Fluent In German Through Story
As I said in the beginning, there's more to German fluency than just using flashcards to learn vocabulary. Even if that's a hugely important piece of the language learning puzzle.
In German Uncovered, my story-based beginner course, all the learning happens in the context of a page-turning tale. You learn the key vocabulary and grammar of German as you read the story, with guidance from an expert German teacher.
Thanks to the compelling content, you learn and retain the language better than in traditional methods where you learn grammar or vocabulary in isolation, without a rich context to make the meaning clear.
So if you're a German beginner who'd like to reach intermediate level without wrestling with tricky German grammar points, make sure you check out German Uncovered.
With this course, you learn to speak German through a fun and natural method that makes learning a pleasure, and grammar a breeze! And who doesn't want that!?
Which flashcards apps have you tried and which do you like best? Do you have any other strategies for learning and remembering German vocabulary? Let me know in a comment below.