Hey all, I feel I’m well past the beginner stages of my German learning but am very far from understanding the intermediate stuff. I’ve found the Dino Lernt Deutsch series very useful but I’m finding it boring now and material of a similar level quite boring most of the time. It got me wondering why the story content of language learning material is written in such a meek way.
Why can’t there be stories where characters die, maybe there is a car accident or someone attempts suicide. Heavy topics indeed but just to inject some tension into the story. This would make it so much more fun and wouldn’t require it to be complicated because the sentence structure can still be simple and the vocab not too broad. Nothing happens beyond the ordinary in these tales.
Can anyone point me to some upper beginner/early intermediate material with some interesting stuff in it?
Maybe try reading the novels by Sebastian Fitzek. I am done reading three of his novels and have a plan of reading all of his novels. Ebooks of his novels are freely available online and you can grab an audiobook on Audible. Import here do listen-read. With all his novels you have to read the plot till the end to know the final answer of the mystery. And, with the translation tool available here, you can use it if you are stuck with a particular paragraph. Additionally, there are some works of Sherlock holmes available in the library. Search for it.
The Dino lernt Deutsch series does eventually get into some serious topics. Not sure how far you went and I can’t remember everything, but there was at least one or two books that relate to the refugee issue into Europe/Germany. It’s still relatively “light” so may not interest you much.
Also by the same author are a series of “intermediate” books. The Baumgartner and Momson series. These are “Krimis” - detective type stories. I’ve only read part of the first one. There are dead bodies =). But…maybe not has “heavy” as you’re looking for.
To be quite frank…these Andre Klein books (Dino lernt Deutsch, Baumbgartner…etc), for this level, are really the most interesting books out there. They are some of the only ones with an eye towards Adult language learners, and not just some kids books.
Ollie Richards has books with stories for beginner levels…There is a Short STories in German:
I think there are actually a couple of chapters on LingQ shared with permission from Ollie. You might check that out. I was already into the Dino lernt Deutsch and other material so I never got around to checking these stories out, so I can’t say how good they are.
I learned much of my beginning, early intermediate vocabulary through importing nachrichtenleicht.de news articles. It’s a great source of material. The articles are short. Current events. The language is “easy” and there is audio to each article, read slowly. Granted, a lot of the articles are related to German news, and you may learn more about German politics than you ever cared to, but many of the articles are interesting (to me anyway).
On LingQ, you can look up Vera’s and evgueny40’s material. Their material has the most likes in the German lingq area and they have content ranging from beginner to advanced. On a variety of topics which you may or may not find interesting, but I think a lot of it is great. evgueny40 is always adding new content and posts on the forums when he’s done so.
Maybe do searches for topics that interest you but do the search in German to get, hopefully, some results in German. Import anything you find. There is a german language version of wikipedia. Look up things that interest you in that and import them into LingQ. Or look at their article of the day.
You CAN also start reading full blown native content and import it into lingQ. If you can remove the DRM or find DRM free books you can import those into LingQ.
You can import youtube videos. Find ones with real subtitiles (not auto generated). There’s a number of channels like this,. SergeyFM has a post in the forums with a whole bunch:
Take a look at that and import things of interest. You can also create a separate “channel” off your account that you could set up for just German material. That way it tends to offer suggestions of German audio videos. Only look and watch German content on this channel and it will offer up mostly German audio suggestions.
Check out the Easy German youtube channel. They post videos of street interviews and they have a podcast. If you become a patron you can get the transcripts for these and import them.
Really, only you can determine what interests you. There’s a TON of interesting articles, podcasts, etc that people have already imported. You may just have to do some searching on your own both here and on the internet…Find content that you think will be interesting and import it. That’s the beauty of LingQ.
Hello! Thank you for you post. I never properly responded to you (big life events got in the way this week). There are lots of amazing suggestions in your very detailed post. I really appreciate the time you spent to write that.
Particularly the wikepedia idea! So good. One can actually learn about anything they want in German. Such a simple idea.
You’re welcome, and no worries about not responding! Real life always comes first.
I thought of the wikipedia idea because we used to have a full encyclopedia set when I was growing up and I would flip through every page of each book while listening to classic rock =D.
I didn’t read everything, but I did read a lot and kind of triggered a thirst to learn at least a little bit about anything I can think of. For language learning I figure it’s a good way to touch on a lot of topics, even if one were to only ready a few sentences. The “article of the day” is great for this as they are really short, so you get a decent amount of vocabulary in something short and sweet. If the topic really interests you, THEN you can delve into the full entry for a deeper dive.
BTW, here’s a link to all the archive of “Artikel des Tages” (note, unfortunately the archives point to the full article, but you can always just read the first part of the article and ignore the rest).
You can also find free kindle books from amazon.com itself. Search under “foreign languages”, “German”. I’ve sorted this from “cheapest” to most expensive, but you can find the free ones mixed in if you do the normal star-rating sorting too.
Here are a few of my recommendations. 1. HelloTalk. It’s a great language partner software that truly puts the entire globe in your hands! 2. GermanPod101. GermanPod101 exclusively shares the best German learning resources available on the internet. There are a range of culturally relevant, entertaining, and educational classes available.