How to boost your German language skills while taking some time out!
Categories of German magazines:
It's always easy to learn more about something you’re interested in.
So why not try reading German magazines which cover your hobbies,
passions, or pastimes?
It's a good way of getting up to date with specialized
German vocabulary in a field of your choice, as well as a chance to say
“I’m working” while you put your feet up and settle down with a cup of
coffee in a quiet corner! ;-)
Here is a selection of some of the most
popular German magazines read by German speakers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Most are available both in hard copy or online:
News & General
- Der Spiegel, 675,000 copies sold weekly. Germany's leading news magazine, with a focus on politics and business. An English version is
also available online (not necessarily one-to-one translations
of the original German articles, but useful for learning how
to translate German terms).
- Stern, a weekly news magazine, 360,000 copies. Established in 1948, it is valued by journalist for its focus on photography and longer, in-depth reporting. A direct competitor to Focus and Der Spiegel.
- Focus, 250,000 copies, started in 1993 as a competitor to Der Spiegel. Less focus on politics and economics, and more on everyday themes - family, health, finance, careers, etc.
- Profil, around 90,000 copies, the Austrian version of German magazine Der Spiegel.
- Capital, motto "Wirtschaft ist Gesellschaft", a monthly finance and business magazine selling around 120,000 copies.
- WirtschaftsWoche (WIWO), a weekly business magazine, selling around 100,000 copies. Includes a WiWo Green, a portal dealing with green topics started in 2013, as well as annual German university rankings, an annual best office award, and start-up award.
- Gewinn, "Das Wirtschaftsmagazin Für Ihren Persönlichen Vorteil", an Austrian personal finance magazine, selling around 50,000 copies monthly.
- Handelszeitung, Switzerland's largest weekly business magazine, focusing on economics, investment, politics and lifestyle, selling around 35,000 copies to German-speakers in Switzerland.
Computers & IT
- c't, Magazin für Computer Technik, Germany's most influential computer magazine, set up in 1993, and aimed at expert readers.
- Computer Bild, the most popular German-language computer magazine after c't, appears fortnightly.
- PC-Welt (“PC World”), monthly, one of Germany's oldest computer magazines, for advanced and professional users.
- Auto Bild, a leading weekly automotive magazine, selling around 250,000 copies, and which has now developed a brand family of related magazines and digital platforms.
- Auto, Motor und Sport, appears fortnightly, with a primary focus on test reports. A circulation of around 330,000.
Celebs & Gossip
Commonly known as ”Tratsch und Klatsch”!
- BUNTE, Germany's best-selling gossip weekly, covering stars, royals, entertainment, etc., with a circulation of around 340,000. Frequently embroiled in court cases with the celebrities it covers!
the largest teen magazine which has now become a brand in itself, with
several spin-off magazines (e.g. Bravo TV - a youth TV magazine, Bravo
sport, and Bravo Hits (music) and www.bravo.de, the online portal).
Home & Garden
- Many homes and gardens magazines are still only available in hard copy, from your local newsagent or on a subscription basis, so I can't provide direct links to online versions. They include titles such as WohnIdee, Landhaus Living, Wohnen & Garten, Zuhause Wohnen – you can see a list here.
Many popular international magazines have a German version – e.g.
Cosmopolitan, Homes & Gardens, Country Living, National Geographic, etc. - try looking
them up online by simply swapping the ".com" for a ".de"
- Sport Bild, insight into the world of German sport. Although there's a strong focus on football, you can also finally discover the popular German sport of handball!.
- EMMA, Das politische Magazin für Menschen, the leading feminist magazine in Germany dealing with business and economics, published bi-monthly, and founded by Alice Schwarzer in 1977.
- Internationale Politik, Das Magazin für globales Denken, also has a global version in English, and is the Journal of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).
- Cicero, Magazin für politisches Kultur, monthly, with a conservative focus, intended as the German equivalent of “The New Yorker” or “The Atlantic Monthly”.
Fashion & Style
Commonly refered to as "Frauenzeitschriften"!
- Bild der Frau, Europe's most popular German weekly women’s magazine with a circulation of over 500,000 and readership of over 4 million.
- Brigitte, a fortnightly title which reaches more German women than any other magazine, circulation of around 800,000 and estimated readership of .
- Elle, Elle Deutschland, the German version of Elle magazine, with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle.
- Freundin, a fortnightly women's magazine, covering fashion & beauty, diets and cooking, with a circulation of around 360,000.
German magazines – in English!
those just looking to learn a little more about German life and culture
(and have a relaxing read in English!) I can recommend:
- German Life, a bi-monthly magazine published in New Jersey,
focusing on German culture, history and travel, and the influence of
groups of German-origin on North American life.
- Deutschland Online, bi-monthly, in English and German – the
articles do seem to be direct translations, so this is also a great way
of finding a free German translation for practicing your
So I hope I've inspired you to go pick up your chosen German magazine (or laptop), and I wish you happy reading!
German Translation Tips & Resources
Resources in this series:
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?