The Best Online Language Courses On The Internet

The Best Online Language Courses On The Internet

The demand for online language course has surged significantly in the last years. And learning German online isn’t the only thing users search for. I often get asked “Is there a platform like for other languages?”
And in this post I’d like to present to you a tool that highlights the best available options in your quest for the perfect language-learning journey no matter what language.

Online Language Learning Beats Offline Language Courses

The digital revolution has transformed language learning. Today, eager learners across the globe are turning to online language courses, drawn by their flexibility, diversity, and accessibility. From Spanish and French to Mandarin and Arabic, the online landscape brims with courses for virtually every language. These platforms claim to serve various learning styles – I debunked this die-hard myth already early on in my career – or to offer interactive lessons, video tutorials, and real-time conversation practice nowadays with “AI”. But how much of this is true and which one is the best to work with? Or should I actually work with more than one course at a time? Let’s explore that a bit.

Most Common Online Language Learning Platforms

Almost everyone wanting to learn a language online will stumble upon some of the following online language learning platforms. That’s mostly due to their immense investment into marketing.
Unfortunately, I can’t recommend any of these “top online language apps” not even a bit, unless you are in an emergency situation and nothing else is avaialble.
But lucky for you you don’t just have to take my word for it – after all I only look back on 30 years of experience with learning languages and learning how to learn 😉 – there’s also a wonderful site run by wonderful people called All Language Resources who went into more detail analyzing these courses from a learner’s point of view. Here are the usual suspects you get when looking for “online language courses” of any language:

  1. Duolingo: A household name in language learning, Duolingo offers game-like lessons in over 30 languages. Its user-friendly interface and personalized learning paths make it a popular choice for beginners.
  2. Rosetta Stone: Known for its immersive method, Rosetta Stone focuses on learning through context, making it ideal for those seeking a natural language acquisition process.
  3. Babbel: Babbel excels in offering conversational language learning, with a focus on real-life scenarios. It’s perfect for learners aiming to quickly build practical language skills.
  4. Memrise: With its emphasis on vocabulary and grammar through spaced repetition, Memrise is great for learners who enjoy a structured approach.
  5. Busuu: Offering interactive language courses with a community of native speakers, Busuu facilitates practical, conversational language learning.

Amidst the vast amount of online language learning tools, finding the right course can be overwhelming. On top of the sheer amount of online language courses, only very few learners actually know what to look out for and so they try the one that seems the most trustworthy often only to find out that it wasn’t really what they needed. And after the third tool their motivation starts to dwindle and they might even start doubting themselves.

And that’s why I love (ALR), which offers a comprehensive guide to the world of language learning resources. This platform stands out by providing detailed reviews and comparisons of various language courses and tools. Regular updates ensure learners stay informed about the latest and best resources. ALR simplifies the search for the perfect language course, catering to individual needs and preferences. Of course they also recommend SmarterGerman and their review of my work is thorough and honest though it’s not written by someone that has actually worked with any of my courses over a longer period of time. Such reviews you can find on my Google review page (if you don’t see any, open this link in a private/incognito window) or check my own Community’s motivation channel. ALR’s review is nevertheless the best extensive and comprehensive review of my work out there.

The Search for Alternatives to

Many learners seeking high-quality, language-specific resources often ask me about alternatives to for languages other than German. While there is nothing out there that reaches the quality and expertise of SmarterGerman’s approach to learning a language, there’s certainly quite a few reliable language learning resources that will make your language learning experience a lot more enjoyable. And again, comes to the rescue. Its extensive database and insightful reviews make it easier to discover courses tailored to specific languages and learning goals.

Language Learning Apps versus Online Language Courses

More and more learners are trying to do their language learning on the go which is why language learning apps are becoming more and more popular. Unfortunately those apps often leave the impression that they are all one needs to learn a language properly. Nothing could be further from the truth. In my experience and to my best knowledge, none of the beforementioned big players will teach you a language to a satisfying degree when used as the only resource. They are at best entertaining extensions to your main offline or online language course. If you want to get an overview over all available language learning apps out there, I again, can only recommend to check out AllLanguageResources’ app overview. There you’ll also be able to dive deeper into each language learning app they reviewed if you feel the need to do so.

Trying to learn a language literally on the go will fail in most cases simply because proper and sustainable learning can only happen in a focussed and suitable environment. And mobile devices are mostly used outside such an environment.

Online language courses differ from apps (duolingo, babble, rosetta, busuu etc. are rather to be considered apps even though they of course also have a website where you can study) in that language learning apps are great for casual, flexible learning and are particularly effective for beginners. In contrast, proper online language courses offer a more in-depth, structured, and comprehensive approach to language learning, suitable for those looking to achieve higher proficiency or academic goals.

Making the Right Choice

Choosing the right online language course requires considering several factors:

  1. Your Language Learning Goals: Do you just want to be able to order a coffee on your next holiday or would you prefer to read Schoppenhauer in German?
  2. Your Resources: Do you have 20mins available here and there during the week or rather 1-3 hours daily? Either way is fine but it’s good to be in the clear about one’s availability. I’ve met many learners that overestimate their ability to spend time on their German online course and after a few months of struggle gave up.
  3. Your Budget: Apps seem (!) to be more affordable at first glance but paying even as little as 10 USD a month for many months to come can eventually surpass the cost of a proper, more satisfying online language course. Especially when one considers the possible lower quality results from such apps.

How To Pick The Best Online Language Platform

The journey of language learning is as diverse as the languages themselves. With the myriad of online options available, platforms like become invaluable in navigating this vast landscape. Whether you’re seeking a comprehensive course, interactive learning, or a platform similar to for other languages, the digital world has you covered and at the same time overwhelms you with their sheer amount of choices and lures you in all directions with often empty or at least overblown promises.
Make sure you are making best use of your time and money by investing a couple of hours in your research and use to save you hundreds of hours of lifetime and to guide you to the perfect course. If you are looking for a German online course, well, you could save even that bit of time and just work with SmarterGerman 😉 but even if you already trust me 80%, reading the SmarterGerman review on ALR will help you trust me 100% and therefore make your experience with SmarterGerman even more enjoyable. By the way: I don’t agree with everything they wrote about SG but it’s the most up to date, most balanced and most honest review of my work I’ve come across so far when it comes to commercial websites. The reviews of my students are of course as honest as it gets, but they are never as thorough as the one on ALR.

If you are ever in doubt whether or not a specific language course is the right one for your needs, feel free to reach out to me with a description of your goals and resources and I’ll share my view on the course in question. But you need to have done your research first and ALR is a good place to start with that.

I wish you success with your online language learning.