Of course, learning a new language like German can be a challenge, but with the right language learning courses, and a teacher to help you it can be a very rewarding and life-enriching journey. These days it doesn’t matter where in the world you find yourself because with the availability of the internet and about 100 million German natives learning all over the world, finding the best program to learn German is very possible.

So if you are in South Africa and wondering where to take German classes for beginners, intermediate or even first language students, this article is for you!                                                                

In fact, for anyone living in South Africa and asking where can I take German classes, it should not be difficult. There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, the German connection with South Africa goes back hundreds of years when migrants settled all over the country during the time that the Dutch ruled the Cape and then later during the time of the Gold Rush. Today, this interest in South Africa continues unabated for Germans who love to travel and who have also chosen South Africa as their number one immigration destination.

So with so many Germans still pouring into South Africa today to make the most of the cultural diversity, climate and lifestyle, there is no doubt that finding the right German language programs will not be difficult at all.

If you are trying to decide where to take German classes in South Africa, there are a few questions you should ask yourself in order to make sure that you make the right decision.

  • What is my current level of ability?
  • Why do I want to learn German?
  • Am I a first language German native?
  • Do I want face-to-face language learning courses?
  • Where can I take German classes for first language students?
  • Am I happy to take German language learning programs that are online?

Where to Take German Classes for Native German Students

With so many native Germans living in South Africa, it makes sense that many parents want to educate their children in first language German. Fortunately, this is possible in several cities around the country.

In Cape Town, Deutsche Internationale Schule (Cape Town International German School) goes all the way up to Grade 12 and is conveniently located in Tamboerskloof a popular residential suburb for local Germans. Actually, Cape Town is host to a 60 000 strong German community who love the City Bowl area. In fact, it is not uncommon to hear a German accent in busy Kloof Street throughout the year.

There is also an international German school in Johannesburg (Deutsche Internationale Schule) which is also not surprising given the thriving community of Germans living in Randburg for instance. This is really evident when you consider the many places to hang out, shop, and eat that have a distinctly German flavour. Seamann’s Butchery for instance is famous for its meat selection and deli, while Schwabinger Stuben is a German restaurant that boasts fantastic reviews. And if you really want to integrate and meet other Germans consider St Bonifatius Catholic Church which has a large German congregation.

Similarly in Durban, if you are asking where can I take German classes as a German native, there is the Deutsche Schule Durban an independent school of only about 150 pupils which offers education in German up until Grade 7 as well as beginner language learning courses for adults. If you are looking for the best program to learn German in Durban, you could consider this school which caters to all levels of learners and even offers German as a second language for first language English students.

Learning German for Business

two businessmen
Learning German can boost your international job prospects. - Source: Unsplash

If you want to work internationally, it goes without saying that adding international languages to your list of skillsets is extremely beneficial. And when it comes to German which is one of the world’s top 10 most widely spoken languages, it is safe to say that it would serve you well especially if you want to work in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, or the UK which has well established economic ties with Germany.

Even without actually moving countries, you might be looking for the best program to learn German because you do business with German people via technology from South Africa.

So if you have been asking where can I take German classes for business, your answer is probably only a few mouse clicks away.

Closer to home, there over 600 German companies in South Africa employing thousands of South Africans. Not only that but the German Chamber of Commerce states that fluency in German is a much-needed skill in sectors like tourism and education. If you fit into one of these categories, it would make sense that you are wondering about where to take German classes so that you can further your career!

When it comes to the best program to learn German, every large city in South Africa has language school options that would cater for part-time learning in a group or class situation.

Of course, the other option would be to consider private German lessons near you and there are several advantages to this learning approach.

The Benefits of a Private German Tutor    

Regardless of your level of ability or your reasons for wanting to learn German, finding a private German tutor is by far one of the most effective ways to help master the language. Firstly, with a private tutor, you can learn at a time and place that is convenient for you. So if you are working all day and only have the evenings or Saturdays, for instance, free, you could use this time to study German.

Secondly, when you have a tutor, it is possible for the teacher to tailor-make the lessons according to your reasons for wanting to learn to the language. For instance, if you are looking for conversational German classes to help you with a backpacking trip through Europe, you could find a tutor who specialises in classes for beginners.

On the other hand, if you are working as an executive for one of the large German-based companies in South Africa like Volkswagen or Siemens, your needs could be very different. In addition to wanting to gain conversational skills, you may want to include business phrases and vocabulary in your lessons. With a private tutor, you could even concentrate on language acquisition that is specific to your particular industry.

Finding a private German tutor in South Africa is really easy if you use a platform like Superprof. Firstly, every tutor is vetted, and once they have offered their services via Superprof, their page will also display their reviews.

Secondly, Superprof tutors cater to every ability and price range. You could find tutors who are German natives teaching beginner classes and even first language German teachers who cater to more advanced language students. In terms of price, this is varied too. Depending on the background, experience, and location of the tutor, fees can range from R100 to R250 per hour. Furthermore, in most cases, Superprof tutors offer their first lesson for free. This is very important and helpful in finding just the right tutor for you.

Here are some of the ways you can make the most of your first free lesson:

  • Be prepared to share exactly why you want to learn German.
  • Ask your tutor about their background, experience, and qualifications in German.
  • Notice whether you have a good personality connection with the tutor, or not.

Another bonus about Superprof is that you can actually use the website’s location functionality to see if there is a tutor near to you. If not, you can always opt for online lessons with a German tutor from anywhere else in the country, or even the world. In fact, many people these days prefer to learn online anyway. If this is you, you are probably already set up with a good internet connection and meeting platforms like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet!

friends hiking in mountians
Find a German language buddy who has similar interests to you. - Source: Unsplash

Given that there are so many Germans living in South Africa it is quite possible that you simply want to learn how to converse with someone important in your life. If so, you could have a lot of fun practising what you learn in your German classes with your German friends or loved ones. This is important because, like any new language, practice is vital.

If you don’t actually have people with whom you can practise your new German skills, consider finding a language buddy!

Finding a German Language Buddy in South Africa  

So if practice makes perfect, where would you practise your German if you don’t know any German-speaking people and don’t have the opportunity to go and live in a German-speaking country? That answer could be in finding a language buddy!

One obvious place to find a language buddy could be social media.  One of the advantages of finding language buddies on social media is being able to choose someone who already shares similar interests to you. You could follow German Instagram accounts that are of interest. These could be accounts of chefs, sporting personalities, or even humanitarians. Next, you could find someone who is also active on those pages and reach out to them with an invitation to participate in a language exchange. You will probably find many German people who would love to improve their English while helping you improve and practise your German.

Viel Glük!

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Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.