The three best newspapers to help you learn German
Looking for some realia to help you with your German learning? Look no further than German newspapers! With constant up to date use of the language on every current topic of conversation, there is little better way to practice. And thanks to the internet and so many newspapers now available digitally, an incredible resource for learning is right there at your fingertips. So let's get you started; here are some of the best newspapers to help you learn German.
Die Zelt is a popular German newspaper that you'll find on most newsstands across the country - as well as here online! The site is very easy to navigate; headlines, or schwerpunkte are on the opening page with quick links to the other big stories of the day beside a main picture.
There are sections on all the usual things you would expect to find: culture, sport, society, economy, and so on. If you aren't sure what you feel like reading then head to the entdecken section. Here you will find interviews, opinion pieces, and lots of current affairs issues. Try this one on judging politicians by their appearance to see the style of writing.
Finally, if you like the style of writing but want something a little easier to read while you get used to Die Zelt, try ZeltMagazin. These articles a little more simply worded and cover a range of interesting, current topics. This interview with Linda Hamilton will interest any Terminator fans excited for the upcoming film! Overall, Die Zelt is a great newspaper to practice German with.
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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
If you prefer a more conservative newspaper then Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - or FAZ - might be a better choice. Like Die Zelt, FAZ is a long-established newspaper in Germany, available just about everywhere. The site opens on headlines as you would expect, and if you like the style of writing then an archive of back issues is available. So whether you're wanting current news or older pieces to practice with, you have a great range to choose from!
The travel (reise) section is great if you are just starting out with German newspapers. You get a flavour of FAZ's writing style but on simpler, perhaps more familiar topics. The same is true of the style (stil) section. All in all FAZ is a well-rounded newspaper albeit with a conservative leaning, that is a good resource for students of German. Our one criticism of the online version is the tiny font size on the front page; everything else is great!
If the first two newspapers look a little daunting, then here is a far easier one altogether! Bild is Germany's main 'red top' newspaper, or scandal sheet, where you'll find all the latest in sensational stories and celebrity slander. Headlines are simple, with a wide use of images to help tell the stories. For very quick reference the front page uses a ticker tape system to keep you up to date with the very latest news. Try this article on a problem with sausages produced by Wilke to get an, um, taste, of what Bild articles are like.
For the most up to date in entertainment, you want the unterhaltung section. These are lots of great quick reads that you can easily fit into your study schedule. One thing we would change if we could about Bild is that the headlines are written over images, meaning you can't translate them first. So if the image isn't clear you could be reading anything if you aren't sure what the headline says! Other than that, Bild is a great newspaper for those who haven't used realia material for practicing their reading German skills.
With all newspapers that have digital versions having videos, podcasts, and all kinds of other resources on their websites, you really can't find a better 'package' to study German with. Everything you need is in one place; the only problem is stopping yourself from trying to read all of it!
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