In today's world, there are many different ways to learn a new language. You can take classes at a local language school, watch online tutorials, or even study abroad. But one of the best ways for language learners to boost their skills is by reading stories written in the language they want to acquire.
This is because when you read, you not only get exposure to the language itself, but you also learn about the culture and the people who speak it. Moreover, you can quickly learn new vocabulary by seeing it in different contexts and thus boost your speaking ability.
However, finding the right stories and books appropriate for your language skills and interests can be difficult, so we’ve decided to make this process easier for you. Below, you will find a list of seven short stories in German for beginners suitable both for young and adult learners who are starting their German journey.
Check them out, find some German stories that suit you – and read on!
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1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
The story follows the hijinx of Tom Sawyer and his friends as they explore their neighborhood and get into all sorts of mischief. Along the way, they learn about love, family life, and travel.
While the book was originally written in English, deutschalsfremdsprache.ch did a great job translating the chapters to German and adapting them to beginner readers. You can enjoy the original narrative and learn more about German grammar at the same time. Moreover, if you are already familiar with this story in English, it will be much easier to read the story again in German.
Here are some chapters of Tom Sawyer translated to German on the original website in a convenient PDF format:
2. Short Stories German by Olly Richards
Olly Richard, a known language teacher, created this book with beginning learners of the German language in mind. This small collection, Short Stories German, includes the translations of short stories perfect for even low-level beginners.
These German stories for beginners are easy to read and follow, the vocabulary is very common, and after each story, you can find quizzes and vocabulary lists for comprehension. There’s just one drawback, though – the plots of the stories are pretty predictable, so after reading them one time, you may be ready to move on to other stories.
You can find this book on Amazon or in online bookstores.
3. Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten (The Bremen Town Musicians) by The Grimm Brothers
The Grimm Brothers’ story, Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten (The Bremen Town Musicians), is a great short story for beginning German learners. The story follows four animals – a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster – as they go on a journey to find new homes. Along the way, they meet all sorts of characters and learn about the importance of teamwork.
This story is a classic for a reason – it’s entertaining, uses easy German, and filled with valuable life lessons. You can find a free online translation here:
4. Auf Der Flucht (On the Run) by Wolfdietrich Schnurre
Auf Der Flucht (On the Run) is one of the German short stories that might be more suitable for intermediate learners, or if you are a beginner tired of reading children’s books, we definitely recommend it. Equip yourself with a German-English dictionary to deal with unfamiliar words, and go on the exciting language learning adventure.
On the Run tells the story of a man and his family forced to leave their homeland and go on a trip to find safety. This German story is believed to be written somewhere around 1945, and offers an insight into the world of human feelings and emotions.
This book features short sentences and authentic spoken dialogue, and the whole story is written in the past tense, which illustrates important grammar points in your language learning journey.
5. Dino Lernt Deutsch by André Klein
Dino Lernt Deutsch is a German short story series that follows the story of Dino, a young man from Sicily who is traveling around Germany and beyond. Dino meets different people during his adventures and learns about the local cultures, transitions, and the German language along the way.
This book is perfect for those learning German who are at A1 and A2 levels (Common European Framework of Reference). The language is simple and easy to understand, there’s a custom dictionary after each story, and quick exercises can help you check your comprehension.
6. Dino Lernt Deutsch: Café in Berlin
If you’re looking for some great German books that will help you learn German, start with book one of the series Dino Lernt Deutsch: Café in Berlin. This book is filled with short stories written in a simplified language, all set in the city of Berlin.
These are some of the best short stories for developing reading skills in German: they can help you get familiar with some common vocabulary and learn conversational expressions used on a daily basis. As mentioned before, after each story, you can find quizzes with comprehension questions and vocabulary lists for comprehension (just like in the Langster app!)
Café in Berlin is not only a good book for learning German – it’s also a great way to learn about German culture at the same time. Plus, it’s a fun and easy read that you’re sure to enjoy.
7. German Fairy Tales
Reading fairy tales is a great way for beginning German learners to improve their language skills. Not only are the stories themselves charming and entertaining, but they also provide a rich cultural experience. While some of the short stories can be more suitable for intermediate learners, most of them will work for beginners.
And, if you find the vocabulary or grammar too challenging, you can also use the English translation of the books to get a clear understanding of what is going on.
Some of the most popular German fairy tales include:
- Hansel and Gretel
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Frog Prince; or, Iron Henry
- Pied Piper of Hamelin
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
These German short stories are not just a source of enjoyable reading practice, but they also contain important lessons about family, friendship, and bravery.
Not only are the easy German short stories from our list charming and entertaining, they also provide a rich cultural experience. Thanks to this, you can not only boost your German vocabulary quickly and acquire grammatical structures naturally, but you can also learn more about the different cultures and traditions related to the language.
Reading is a great way to learn German – however, remember that in addition to reading comprehension, there are many other skills you need to obtain to become fluent in the language. Make sure that you not only practice reading, but also work on your speaking and listening skills, as well as learn to write in German and deal with grammar.
To do that, mix different learning methods or try Langster, where you can read the story, listen to it, get grammar commentaries, and check your reading skills. And whatever you do, remember to enjoy your language learning experience.