Author: Jadranka Bokan
Good way to improve your German is to read stories, books and newspapers in German, online or in print.
1) Nachrichten in leichter Sprache (A1-A2 )
The “Augsburger Allgemeine” journal was so kind to provide us with online news in easy language which is at the A2 and above level. Every Friday new texts are being published – for people with difficulties in learning and those who do not speak German well. The letters are large, every difficult word is explained, sentences are short and mages can help you understand the text better.
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2) Easy stories (A2)
This is a site with easy stories, so called “Schwänke” (amusing stories). Enjoy!
3) Picture books (at different levels, with sound)
This is a web page with stories in 3 different levels (easy, medium, hard) and in 8 different languages. It was created for kids who are starting to read. Also, it aims at kids who learn German as a foreign language (second language). All texts have been edited so that beginners do not have any comprehension problems.
If you prefer the “text + sound + video” combination – then this is the right thing for you. These videos with subtitles are showing easy stories and are interesting for children.
This story was writen by David Fermer – and it is not an ordinary story. It has multiple endings. It contains several short episodes (about 10 sentences long) and a question at the end of them – making you the one who will decide how the story goes on. And another advantage: you can read it online.
6) Quora in German (A2 and above)
You should learn and practice a foreign language with topics that interest you the most. Quora in German is a perfect place for that. Language is not that difficult and you can read through other people’s answers to questions that could be interesting for you.
7) Funky – die Jugendredaktion der Funke Mediengruppe (A2 and above)
You will find here articles that were written by young journalists (kids). They write for their peers so you can expect vivid topics and interesting texts! They are grouped by categories: how we live, how we feel, what we like etc.
8) Deutsch auf die Schnelle (A2 and B2)
This is a section on the Alumniportal Deutsch and contains texts that are given in two versions – at the A2 and B2 level (the same text is given at these two levels).
9) Children’s stories (A2 and above)
These stories have been translated into German, you can however read their English translation too and hear a slow audio from a native German speaker. They are great for kids but also for the adults!
There are two extra stories for you from this edition:
10) Einfach vorlesen – short stories for children
Every single week you can find a new story on this site. You can read or print them out and enjoy them later and you could even install ‘einfach vorlesen’ as an app on your phone! We are talking here about short and simple stories for children who are 3 / 5 / 7 years old. This is definitely a great opportunity for German language learners! Enjoy!
10) Easy German grammar stories (A2 and above)
Do you struggle with noun gender in German? You don’t have to! My friend Thomas Gerstmann has written easy stories consisting of basic masculine / feminine / neuter nouns! One book for each gender! Isn’t it ingenius? There is also one book that deals with Konjunktiv 2 and verbs that require prepositions. You can order your copy here:
11) All books from the edition Leo & Co. are at the level A1 (A1.2. – A 2.1.). They have been published by Langenscheidt. I recommend them very much. The stories are not too long, they contain many every day words, which is very important, and plenty of exercises at the end of each book. Here are three examples: Leo & Co. Die Prinzessin, Leo & Co. Ein Hundeleben, Leo & Co. Das schnelle Glück. You can order your copy in the window at the bottom of this page.
12) Easy books published by Cornelsen are generally not that good as the above edition (Leo & Co.), published by Langenscheidt. However, I could recommend Die Überraschung. It is at the A2/B1 level and it is interesting because of its rich plot which is similar to soup operas, however, surprisingly, not that hollow. You can order your copy in the window at the bottom of this page.
13) 11 Humorous Short Stories in German for Beginners & Intermediate Level. My colleagues teachers recommend these stories because they are short and funny. You can order your copy in the window below. For the Kindle version click here: German Short Stories for Beginners & Intermediate Level: 11 Humorous Short Stories to Grow Your German Language Skills, Vocabulary & Learn German the Easy Way (Lernen Sie Deutsch) (English Edition)
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14) Among books for children, my favourite is Die kleine Hexe. You definitely need to be at the A2 level in order to be able to read this book because it is full of Imperfekt. This is an “old-timer” among books for children and the best-seller of all times. It follows adventures of a little witch and it teaches kids what are the good values in life. You can order your copy in the window below.
15) einfachebuecher.de which is a publishing house specialized for “easy” books. Those books are good for native speakers who have some reading problems or for foreign learners. They offer best-seller novels, short stories, detective stories, classics etc. that have been adjusted to different language levels (A2 – B1). Just scroll to the bottom of their home page and browse through the assortment.