How to learn German when you only have 5 minutes

How to learn German when you only have 5 minutes

This post contains affiliate links to Yabla. It means I’ll get a few pence if you buy anything – at no extra cost to you.

Last week I challenged you to practise some German every day for a whole year for at least 5 minutes per day. Some people will argue that 5 minutes is not enough, but I believe it is a good time to get into a habit. Imagine if you commit yourself to practise German for one hour every day. For many people it will start well and then something gets in the way and you haven’t got an hour, and the next day the same thing happens….. Before you know it you have given up because you just don’t have the time.

That’s why I want you to commit to learning 5 minutes. Even at the end of the day, if you’re about to go to bed and realise that you haven’t done any German, you can sneak some in. And often you will find that you get so engrossed into your learning, you’ll do more than 5 minutes anyway (ok, maybe not at the end of the day).

So in this blog post I’ll give you 5 ideas to do if you only have 5 minutes to practise. For some of these you might need some preparation time beforehand so that you can grab one idea quickly. But once you’re prepared, you will always have something to help you practise your German.

Watch a video
The best way to do this is to make a playlist of videos you like, either short cartoons, films or educational videos. Have a look at my playlists or make your own with whatever YOU are interested:
Have fun learning German with stories from Janosch
Learn German with Sesamstraße
Augsburger Puppenkiste – practise your German with wonderful marionettes!
Practise your German with Peppa Wutz
You may not be interested in cartoons, so make up a playlist with German films, documentaries or educational videos about German grammar. Making the list will take some time, but once it’s done you have lots of videos to watch.
Alternatively you could watch videos on Yabla. Some are free, others you need to pay for (check my blog post Improve your German with videos from Yabla )

Sing a German song or listen to one
If you know any German songs then that’s easy, just sing them whenever you have a little time, in the shower, while cooking or driving …
If you want to learn some, YouTube is a good starting point again. Search for your favourite artist or just search ‘deutsche Lieder’ for lots of playlists with German artists.

Spotify is another good choice. I have written about some playlists on Spotify before: How to use Spotify to learn German.  Yabla also has songs and if you really have some time, use Lyrics training  to work with a song (read what I’ve said about it: Improve your German listening skills with lyrics training ).  if you’d rather sing or learn some children’s songs, check out Mama Lisa
And if you just want to listen to German radio stations, see my list here.

Do a lesson (or two) from Duolingo or another app/ site
Duolingo, Memrise, Lingohut, Learn with Oliver  Unsere Straße, Goethe Institut – to name just a few – all have lessons that don’t take long to complete. You may also know and use other sites already for a few minutes practice.
My online German grammar courses also have lessons lasting a few minutes at a time.

Find a website or app with quizzes
I already wrote about learn 600 German words,  or  Games for Languages where you find lots of games.
You might already have your own favourites.

Read a poem or short story or text
Any text is good, well, any German text is good. Find a website with a topic you are interested in and just read it for enjoyment. Especially enjoy all the words/ sentences you understand!
If you don’t know what to read, I have written some blog posts about various sites with free material. Have a look:
Improve your German with children’s books
Practise your German with Project Gutenberg

Or, if you want to use some text to practice a grammar topic, read How to use a German text to improve your comprehension for ideas how to do that.

There you have it, 5 ideas for practising some German when you only have 5 minutes. You can either watch, read, listen or sing purely for enjoyment or use the videos, songs, stories, apps and games to learn new things or reinforce what you have already learned. Before you know it you probably have spent more than 5 minutes!

PS.  This post has been written following a discussion in my Facebook group Ask Angelika where I will post more questions or pictures to stimulate your German (that’s one of my new Year’s resolutions ☺). You are welcome to join us!

8 thoughts on “How to learn German when you only have 5 minutes”

  1. Im sure the method of learning German from songs is a good one but I worry about the way il be speaking it in real life 😀 I dont want to end up signing to random Germans when im trying to get directions!


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