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German easy books

  Tags: Intermediate | Book | German
 Language Learning Forum : Books, Literature & Reading Post Reply
9 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
Cavesa
Triglot
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Czech Republic
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 Message 1 of 9
26 September 2014 at 4:19pm | IP Logged 
Dear friends, it is time to move my German finally a huge step forward. And part of it is beginning to read in German in a month or two. I am looking for ideas for easy books, either translated or original, comic books and so on. I don't want children's books (or rather purely children's books) or graded readers. I'll take of the graded readers whatever I find in the library, I am not going to spend a single crown on those. I've got some German books (actually quite a lot of those) and I am willing to buy a few more. So, what would you begin with if you were a learner slowly climbing out of the beginner/low intermediate waters to the intermediate and further ones? I don't mind a challenge, I never start reading in a new language with 90% comprehension ao I don't expect an easy path for German.

Eragon-is the translation good, is it easy enough?

Harry Potter-are all the books accessible to intermediates? In general, the later books are more complicated both from the point of view of the story and linguistically. I don't want to read the stone again and again, which ones are still accessible?

I hope Charlaine Harris' novels were translated to German as well

Tintenherz: Is it a good choice of an original German book?

Are there many comic books in German? Any recommendations?

Good quality crime novels? I'd say those should be plentiful as it is one of the few genres German tv series are known for abroad.

Interesting fantasy authors writing in German? Easy high literature or classics?

Thanks a lot in advance for your advice
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
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 Message 2 of 9
26 September 2014 at 4:32pm | IP Logged 
You might want to check out my log for some ideas.

Pretty much anything you'll want is translated into German so you shouldn't have too much to worry about.

The Harry Potter books are good. I think there is a definite jump in complexity after (or at?) book four, but that's quite doable if you have read the others. I found the Percy Jackson books easier, you might want to consider them first. The books are definitely better than the movies (which suck!). I also read the Hunger Game trilogy which was good and a bit harder than HP.

If you want more adult books Murakami is actually pretty straightforward. Though as I only read him a year after starting reading it's hard for me to judge vis-a-vis HP. I have just finished Jurassic Park and that was also very easy - probably similar to Murakami.I think translations are often easier as they copy the shorter sentence structure in English, which helps as you learn.

I don't know of any specific German comic book authors, but most graphic novels seem to be translated.

The scifi area is woeful. Nothing to report here. The Percy Jordan books (which are a series with different anon authors!) is pure pulp. But lots of the more significant scifi authors have been translated; though I still find my favorite authors here a bit challenging.

Games of Thrones seem pretty straightforward when I checked it out in a bookstore, but since I've read it in English, I am not re-reading it again. :) I'm waiting for the last two books to come out in German.

There are a ton of crime novels. Sadly can't recommend any as I have only read Jo Nesbo in translation (quite good) and am currently reading the French Marseilles by Izzo, but it's probably a little bit advanced.

If you are reading via Ereader I can recommend The PONS Advanced German dictionary. It's a bit more complete than the Collins which I used previously and is about the same price.

Edited by patrickwilken on 26 September 2014 at 4:35pm

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Radioclare
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 Message 3 of 9
26 September 2014 at 4:48pm | IP Logged 
When I started reading in German I tried a few young adult novels. Some of them were dreadful but I really enjoyed 'Die Wolke' by Gudrun Pausewang. It's quite easy to read and the story (about a girl trying to survive in Germany after a nuclear disaster) is exciting enough to hold your interest. There is also a film by the same name, although from memory I don't think it follows the storyline of the books exactly.

I can't comment on comics, Harry Potter etc but for crime novels I recommend the Kluftinger series by Michael Kobr and Volker Klüpfel. It's about a middle-aged police officer from Bavaria called Kluftinger, a hilarious character who hates computers, loves eating spätzle and can't bear to look at corpses, despite the fact that he keeps getting mixed up in murder investigations :) The stories are normally exciting and well written, with lots of humour. From memory I think there might be the odd character who speaks in dialect but the majority is in standard German so it wouldn't hinder understanding.
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
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 Message 4 of 9
26 September 2014 at 5:33pm | IP Logged 
Radioclare wrote:
From memory I think there might be the odd character who speaks in dialect but the majority is in standard German so it wouldn't hinder understanding.


I think even Harry Potter has the odd word that isn't Hoch Deutsch - or at least words that my North German wife didn't know.
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Doitsujin
Diglot
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Germany
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 Message 5 of 9
26 September 2014 at 6:34pm | IP Logged 

Cavesa wrote:
Good quality crime novels? I'd say those should be plentiful as it is one of the few genres German tv series are known for abroad.

Once again, I'd recommend the easy-to-read German translations of crime novels by Edgar Wallace which you can get for free at Mobileread. (You'll need a free ePub reading app, for example ADE for Windows/OSX or Bluefire Reader for Android/iOS to read it. You could also convert it to the Kindle format with Calibre and take advantage of the free monolingual Duden pop-up dictionary that comes with all Kindle apps.)
Note that Wallace wrote lots of books and the quality of his novels varies. However, the Edgar Wallace omnibus edition contains so many books that you can simply skip one that you don't like and check out the next one.
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
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Studies: German

 
 Message 6 of 9
26 September 2014 at 6:37pm | IP Logged 
Doitsujin wrote:
   You could also convert it to the Kindle format with Calibre and take advantage of the free monolingual Duden pop-up dictionary that comes with all Kindle apps.)


Personally I think the monolingual Duden is too hard until you are B2.
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robarb
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languagenpluson
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 Message 7 of 9
26 September 2014 at 6:56pm | IP Logged 
I've also just started reading novels in German for the first time.

The first one I read was a decent crime novel in the original, Vergessen by Max Stiller. It's an engaging page-
turner, although it's not really that great of a book, all in all. But the language is really simple and direct, so perfect
for getting started with reading. A couple minor characters speak a few lines in Bavarian dialect, which didn't bother
me at all.

Stiller's other novel, Kardinäle Weinen Nicht, is similarly linguistically useful, but not as good of a story.
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Serpent
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 Message 8 of 9
27 September 2014 at 3:14am | IP Logged 
I loved Christiane F, even if I still haven't finished reading it. Reading just 60 pages last year has given me lots of improvement.
And yeah, it seems like most Nordic literature gets translated into German. If you don't want to read translations from Swedish you could try Finnish ;)


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