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German Newspapers

Stay up-to-date and improve your German!

Regularly reading German newspapers is a great way to stay up to date on German and European affairs, and to practise your German language skills!

Whether you’re a German translator, learning German or already at home in the language, immersing yourself in German texts for just 5 minutes a day will help keep your language skills up to date!

Use some of the German newspapers I've listed here to check up on German terms – international stories in English newspapers will also be covered by their German counterparts. Examine the language they use, e.g. 'official' translations of titles, positions, international bodies, etc.

The German newspapers listed here all have links to their online editions, giving you free access to a variety of writing styles and subject matter.

Some also offer audio broadcasts of news items and stories, which is a great chance to hear German spoken in a variety of accents.

Below I’ve listed some of the most popular German language newspapers according to type and frequency of publication, as well as a few Austrian and Swiss-German language newspapers:

German newspapers

With a population of over 80 million, it's not surprising that Germany offers a wide variety of quality newspapers. Here the big names, in descending order of popularity (approximate circulation levels):

Quality dailies:

Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) Half a million copies.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) Just under half a million copies.
Die Welt 300,000 copies.
Frankfurter Rundschau (FR) 200,00 copies.
Der Tagesspiegel 180,000 copies.
Handelsblatt (financial newspaper) 180,000 copies.
Financial Times Deutschland 130,000 copies.
Die tageszeitung (taz) 80,000 copies.

Quality weekly:

Die Zeit Around 650,000 copies. Appears on Thursdays. Hard to praise highly enough. Thoughtful articles and indepth analysis. The only paper we subscribe to at home.

Tabloid dailies:

These are your populist and more sensationalist daily papers, but just as The Sun, England’s most popular daily, is said to be written by the best journalists that Oxford and Cambridge can produce, an occasional dip into the Bild-Zeitung will give you some examples of a more colloquial use of German, and an insight into local prejudices!

Bild Almost 4 million copies.
Express 200,000 copies.

TIP!  German translation students: I’ve noticed that many exam papers, especially for the Chartered Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation, take as their source text an extract from one of the German quality dailies such as Die Zeit, or the FAZ. So read your papers carefully and use them for practice translations!

Swiss newspapers

Quality dailies:

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) 330,000 copies, respected, liberal paper going back over 200 years.
Tages-Anzeiger (Tagi, or TA) 550,000 copies, largest Swiss daily, left of centre.

Tabloid dailies:

Blick Readership of around 750,000. Great if you're desperate to know what various European Royals are up to.

Austrian newspapers

With a population only 1/10th the size of Germany, Austrian newspapers are unsurprisingly somewhat provincial compared to their German counterparts, but give an in-depth view of what’s going on in Austria.

The weekly German newspaper Die Zeit also dedicates a few pages to Austrian news & articles commenting on the state of Austrian politics, often by Austrian journalists or popular figures. These analyses often seem more insightful than the local Austrian coverage!

Quality dailies:

Der Standard Liberal, online edition reportedly attracts over 1 million readers.
Die Presse 350,000 copies, liberal and free-market.
Wirtschaftsblatt 25,000 copies, Austria’s only financial daily.

Tabloid dailies:

Kronen Zeitung (Die Krone) Around 3 million, Austria’s largest populist daily.
Kurier 300,000 copies

Prefer your German news in English?

If you’re looking for news about Germany and German affairs in general,  then you might try the online news published by the German Missions in the United States, the official website of the German Embassy and 8 official German consulates in the USA.

Or try the webpage of Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (German Wave) whose goal is to provide information about Germany and Europe to an international audience in 30 languages.

Viel Spaß beim Lesen!

Also in this series: German TV & Radio, German Magazines

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Joanna Scudamore-Trezek

I'm a German to English translator living and working in Vienna,  Austria.  I turn German texts into clear and accessible English, allowing clients to present their stories, ideas and information to a completely new audience. My business and marketing clients rely on me to get their message across clearly and effectively.  How can I help you today?