Follow the News in German: 5 German News Sites for Language Learners
Have you ever tried reading the news in German and found yourself hopelessly “lost in translation”? If you’re relatively new to the language, that’s no surprise. National German newspapers and magazines, such as the FAZ, Die Zeit, or Der Spiegel, can be intimidatingly difficult to understand as a beginner because – obviously – they haven’t been designed with language learners in mind.
But don’t give up just yet. Following the news in a language you’re learning is a great way to practise skills like reading, listening, and vocabulary. All you need is the right resource. In this post, we’ll therefore introduce you to five of the best German news sites for beginner and intermediate learners.
- News in Slow German
- Deutsche Welle
- NDR Nachrichten in Leichter Sprache
- AAZ Nachrichten in Leichter Sprache
Why should learners follow the news in German?
There are many reasons why this is a good idea. Reading German online news lets you practise your language skills in a conversational context. This will increase your confidence with common German expressions and give you the freedom to select topics that interest you, making the learning experience more enjoyable.
Not convinced yet? Here are three more benefits to think about:
You’ll stay up to date with current events happening in Germany
Reading German news sites will keep you informed about the latest events happening in Germany and provide valuable insights into its politics, culture, society, and place in the global arena. This will give you a better understanding of the language you’re learning and improve your cultural literacy. And, if you’re considering a trip to Germany, following the news will help you better prepare for it, e.g. by giving you more insight into the local customs and etiquette.
You’ll improve your German reading and listening skills
Studying news articles or podcasts created for German learners can quickly increase your overall comprehension since it exposes you to more “real-world” contexts. By reading news stories or listening to interviews, you’ll also be able to observe how native speakers use the language in everyday situations. Plus, committing to weekly news updates in the German language will encourage you to stay consistent with your learning.
You’ll have talking points for conversations with Germans
But there are also practical aspects to consider. Although Germans aren’t exactly small-talk champions, they’ll appreciate it if you make an effort to engage in everyday conversations with them where possible. Moreover, if you have friends or family members in Germany, keeping up with the news will give you numerous topics to discuss and strengthen your relationships. You’ll be able to ask and answer questions in German and debate opinions, which can help you build confidence and fluency in the target language.
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5 German news sites that are just right for learners
So, which German news sites are suitable for beginner and intermediate language learners? To give you a range of options, we’ve selected five websites that are either designed for German learners or include extra features to help you get the most out of your reading practice.
You can learn more about them here:
1. News in Slow German
News in Slow German is a great resource for intermediate German learners. With 30-minute weekly episodes, it offers an engaging way to expand your grammar and vocabulary knowledge while keeping up with current events. Not only that, but its fun approach to language learning makes it an excellent choice for becoming fluent in German. Additionally, News in Slow German provides listeners with episode transcripts in German and English – an excellent resource for reviewing vocabulary and grammar structures and practising reading comprehension skills.
Nachrichtenleicht is a website that publishes weekly news stories written in simple German. Offering news articles written in A1/A2 level German and accompanied by a slow, enunciated podcast provides an easy and digestible way to keep up with the news. On top of that, each article comes with a vocabulary list, so you can sharpen your language skills while keeping informed. And you can be sure the information is reliable: all content is sourced from the reputable Deutschlandfunk radio station.
3. Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle is a German international broadcaster that provides news, information, and analysis of current events in various languages, including German. It is a publicly funded media organization that aims to promote Germany’s political, cultural, and economic interests around the world. Although the news content isn’t specifically designed for language learners, the site’s Deutsch Lernen section offers valuable materials for reading and listening comprehension practice. Their Slowly Spoken News podcasts are particularly helpful for those just starting out in German.
4. NDR Nachrichten in Leichter Sprache
In contrast to other news sites, NDR Nachrichten in Leichter Sprache is a North German news service that simplifies news articles to make them more accessible to people with cognitive and learning disabilities. The service uses simple language and short sentences to convey important news and information to its audience. While this news site isn’t designed for language learners, either, its simplified content makes it a great resource for beginners looking for easy-to-read articles.
5. AAZ Nachrichten in Leichter Sprache
And finally, if you’re interested in Bavaria, you could also try AAZ Nachrichten in Leichter Sprache. Just like the NDR service, it simplifies news articles to make them easier to understand. To be accessible for people with different linguistic capacities, the AAZ website offers a range of support materials, including subtitles, transcripts, and audio-visual resources. So if you’re looking for a way to combine your language learning with keeping up with Bavarian news, this could be the perfect resource for you.
Wrap-up & News in German
Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced German learner, following the news in your target language will provide various benefits. Not only can it help to increase your confidence with useful words and phrases, but it can also give you insights into the country’s culture and politics, improve your reading and listening skills, and even provide conversation topics for chats with native speakers. With the help of our carefully selected news resources, you’ll be on your way to becoming a well-informed German speaker in no time.
Want to improve your German comprehension skills and start reading and listening to the news like a pro? Check out Cactus’s German courses for adults of all levels and backgrounds. Our experienced tutors will help you build your communication skills, while our flexible online courses enable you to learn wherever and whenever you choose. So, the next time you open a German newspaper, you’ll be ready to take on the challenge!
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About the Author
Dr. Anneke Schmidt is the founder of Skill & Care Content Solutions. She is an experienced content writer, editor, and educator with a demonstrated history of working in the research industry. Her main specialisms are Social Sciences and Education, with a particular focus on e-learning and professional development.