Advice Clinic

The BIMM Guide to Learning German in Berlin

9th August 2017


You don’t need to speak German to study with us at BIMM Berlin, all of our classes are delivered in English and our students and staff are all fluent English speakers. But it’s always useful to know the language of the city you’re living in (though most people living Berlin seem to speak fluent English), which is why we offer discounted German classes to all of our students. Here is our guide to giving German a go…

Start a tandem

Berlin is a melting pot of travellers from all corners of the world, so you’re bound to find a German speaker who’ll want to learn your language. Starting a tandem is one of the easiest ways to do this – you’ll spend half an hour speaking in your language, and half an hour speaking in the other person’s tongue. There are also plenty of groups around to help you find a study buddy.

Subtitles are your friends

One of the most effortless ways of learning is to watch your favourite films and TV shows in German, with English subtitles to accompany if you get stuck. You don’t even have to get out of bed to do this, so there’s no excuse!

Join classes

All students have access to discounted German lessons at Expath. Otherwise, there are dozens of language schools in Berlin where you’ll be able to join classes. We’d recommend the Volkhochschule for the cheaper end of the scale, or if money isn’t really a worry for you, Speakeasy and the Goethe-Institut have a number of intensive courses available.

Take advantage of free apps

If you prefer to learn alone (or are on a tight budget) there are plenty of free phone apps available on iOS and Android. Our favourites are Duolingo, Memrise and Tinycards, although if you’re willing to spend a little extra, Babbel and Mondly are hugely helpful.

Go outside and talk to people

The best way to practice is to chat with native speakers. With almost everyone here speaking a decent level of English, people tend to be pretty patient, as they understand the frustrations that come with learning a new language.

Remember, all of our students and staff speak fluent English and the classes are taught in English so German isn’t compulsory. If you want to come and study with us, take a look here for all the BIMM courses on offer in the German capital.


Elizabeth Jacyshyn-Owen

Elizabeth Jacyshyn-Owen is a Berlin based writer, translator, and BIMM Bristol graduate currently acting as music editor for indieBerlin. She has an MA in Musicology from Oxford Brookes University and is studying for a PgCert in Translation.