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 (A2 and above)
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.
This is a site with easy stories, fairy tails and legends which difficulty level has been adjusted to hearing impaired kids. After you navigate to this site you will be able choose whether you wish to read/click on “Märchen” (fairy-tails), “Sagen” (legends), “Fabeln” (stories about animals) or “Schwänke” (amusing stories).
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 is going to continue. And another advantage: you can read it online.
6) All books from the edition Leo & Co. which are at the level A1. 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.
7) 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.
8) 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)
9) 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.
10) 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. I would recommend Wolfgang Herrndorf’s Tschick (A2/B1).