Home Education Language Learning Motivated to learn German
Last update on January 11, 2020
Written by Amanda Freerksen

Amanda of the blog Queso Suizo is determined to learn German by reading interesting books and magazines.

I am determined to learn German without taking formal lessons. Between conversational and informal lessons with our Swiss friend Berty (which we should be starting up soon) and fun reading material, I should be on my way to getting by in Hochdeutsch.

The problem is I am lazy. I lack motivation. Conventional language textbooks bore me. If I have to look at another children’s word book, I just might give up on this whole German thing.

There are, however, three types of texts that ever so slightly motivate me to keep on keeping on:

1. Fashion, popular culture, and gossip magazines

So many of the words are in English that I already feel successful when I glance at the cover and understand the headlines. One of the keys to learning a language is feeling successful, so this is why I am so drawn to these types of texts.

I am a huge fan of the 20 Minuten Friday edition. Not only does it have that glossy mag feel FREE of charge, it also offers snippets of celebrity news that I can actually read and understand!

2. Beginner level stories with mature themes 

I have read through a short story called Gebrochene Herzen and was able to understand the gist of it, despite not knowing 5-10 words per page (I’m sure the illustrations had a lot to do with that!). It read like an episode of a soap opera, so not only was it entertaining to read but totally relatable. Now I am going back and reading each chapter more carefully, studying the sentence structures and looking up unknown words. The book comes with an audio CD for building my listening skills and comprehension exercises to go along with each chapter.

3. Youth Speak

During a recent trip to the bookstore, I couldn’t pass up this little book featuring the language of young people. It’s chock full of slang terms and phrases in German, English, Spanish, French, and Italian! The main entry is the German word or phrase, plus its figurative meaning in German, and then you can consult the equivalent terms in the other four languages. I’m not sure how current these phrases are, but they sure are fun to read. Although this book isn’t very useful, it does make me giggle and thus in a better mood to study German.

Feeling successful, reading relatable texts, and having a positive attitude = foreign language acquisition. I hope.

Literal meaning: Rotten meat party
Figurative meaning: Party for people over 30 years old