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Getting out of your comfort zone

Hello! I am looking for unusual books, magazines and curiosities in the languages I am studying. I am especially interested in things to read in German and Swedish. I need a dictionary when I read texts in German but I can survive without one when reading in Swedish. I have tried to get out of my comfort zone by reading things I would never read in my mother tongue. The only Swedish magazine found in my neighbourhood grocery shop is Svensk Damtidning, so I have been reading it for about a year now to practice my Swedish. It has definitely been a step into another world and a way of getting out of my comfort zone. This magazine focuses mainly on the royalty and I am a republican from a republic (Finland), so it really has been an intriguing insight into how differently superficially similar people can think. I am, however, getting a bit bored, since royalty do not really do that much.

So I need YOUR help. Please do not suggest classics or main stream novels. And no links to newspapers either. If you know a great German film magazine or a Swedish history magazine, please let me know. Arts, society, economics, science, history and pretty much everything else will do apart from computers, which I admit I do not understand in any language. :) As I wrote above, I am especially interested in things in German and Swedish but things in English, French, Italian and Norwegian will also be appreciated. So if your hobby includes reading something else than novels, please let me know. Now I think I will read the latest Svensk Damtidning. Let it be the last one.

Thank you for making Duolingo such a great place! :)

August 17, 2016



Nowadays nothing is more unusual as philosophy, so I advise you to visit this web, in italian.


Oh, that looks amazing. Thank you so much! :)


You're welcome:) Enjoy it!

PD: And you will probably like this site, it's available in spanish, english, german and french (personally I only know the spanish version). I have enjoyed some really good documentaries there.


I have an app called Omniverse TV, which has Arte and many other international channels. :)


A science magazine I really like is Spektrum der Wissenschaft. It offers quite a lot of free online articles but others are (understandably) reserved for their magazine subscribers.

Then there is the PM magazine (my personal favourite, to be honest), their articles are longer and more detailed than the free Spektrum ones, however they don't offer free articles, but there is the option to buy it as an e-magazine. It's mainly about all kinds of science-related stuff, though there are many different versions. The first one is the standard one with rather long articles, mainly about science but also Sociology, Technology (not really computers - e.g. this month's magazine explains the 'LiFi technology' like WiFi just with light) but also science connected with History (e.g. Stonehenge). Another version is 'PM Fragen und Antworten'. Readers can submit science-related questions, the editorial team chooses quite a few, researches and then answers them. Another one you could be interested in is 'PM History' (I don't know why it has an English name^^) which is about History (very surprising).

For economics there is die Deutsche Wirtschaftswoche. Most of their articles are pretty short but I don't know that much about it, as I don't use it that often, but most of their articles are free, so you could just try it. :)


Thank you! I will take a look at those. :)


Haha, I can't blame you wanting to move on from Svensk Damtidning... :-) (By the way, if you travel along the coast, you'll get a better variety of stuff available in Swedish and other languages than in your grocery store or possibly even the city center: I was fascinated to see the wide selection of magazines on tractors, fishing, mobile homes, and interior design in various languages, including Danish and German, in a supermarket in Karjaa this summer. Er, OK, so maybe not what you were looking for, but it was still fascinating.)

I think I've mentioned forskning.no for easy-to-read science news in Norwegian before, but I might not have mentioned forskning.se for similar stuff in Swedish.


Thank you, Annika! :)



Well, i don't know about magazines, but there's this very interesting Youtube channel that has a german version. They make videos on science and lots of other interesting stuff.

Check out this video: https://youtu.be/4hpR5-o_21w


There's this site i love called "Wait but Why". Seriously, if you want interesting, unusual things to read, this is the right place. The posts are quite long and may have some scientific vocabulary, but it's an amazing site.



Thank you! I am not certain if my German is good enough for that channel but I will give it a try. :)


You can always watch the videos first auf Deutsch and then watch the same video on their English/ International channel (that has subtitles in lots of languages!):



OK. Thank you. :)


In terms of novels, what do you enjoy reading? Crime, mystery, action, thriller, romance?


Fantasy and science fiction. :)


For fantasy i would suggest Jenny Mai Nuyen, a german writer. I especially recommend "Rabenmond" and " Nocturna - Die Nacht der gestohlenen Schatten" :)


Thank you so much! :)


Thank you, Alec! :)


So, checking my Goodreads profile for books written in relevant languages… do you mind if I recommend books I haven't read in the original languages, just as translations? Therefore I can't say how hard they are to read, but they are ones I enjoyed:

  • German. Patrick Süskind: Das Parfüm. Die Geschichte eines Mörders (Perfume. The Story of a Murderer.) That's a pretty weird story, but I liked it.

  • French. Does Robert Merle get ruled out as mainstream? A lot of his books can be described as science fiction. My favourite is Malevil, but I've read quite a few more.


I have read Das Parfüm, but I will look up Merle. Thank you! :)


I also read Die Möwe by Süskind and would highly recommend it.


Thank you with some lingots! :)


Fantasy and science fiction are my favorites, too. FWIW, here's a list of easier books I'd like to read in German when the time comes that I've learned it, listed from shortest to longest as far as I remember them, which has a couple very good fantasy selections. It's an odd list, most of the books are for kids, put up in this discussion, but maybe you'll find something to enjoy. A couple of the authors have already been mentioned.

Emil und die Detektive, Erich Kästner
Aufruhr in Vogelsang, Margot Benary-Isbert
Die Höhlen der großen Jäger, Hans Baumann
Caïus ist ein Dummkopf, Henry Winterfeld
Die vergessene Insel, Wolfgang Hohlbein
Herr de Diebe, Cornelia Funke
Ich zog mit Hannibal, Hans Baumann
Krabat, Otfried Preußler
Winnetou (several volumes), Karl May
Die unendliche Geschichte, Michael Ende
Großer-Tiger und Christian, Mühlenweg

If you like very junky SF (as I sometimes do), try the Perry Rhodan series by K. H. Scheer. And, there is plenty of good SF in French. So far my favorites have been Malevil, by Robert Merle and L'autoroute sauvage, by "Gilles Thomas," but there is much more, from really good to really trashy (but often enjoyable). And if you want a huge selection of SF and Fantasy books to read, learn Russian!

If you come across any good Swedish (especially) or German SF, please post the titles.


WOW! Thank you so much. I have read only Die unendliche Geschichte from your list. The only Swedish SF book I have read is Aniara by Harry Martinson, which is actually a poem not a novel. :)


You're welcome. If I were to add some more adult, non-kid, non-SF German books I'd add Die vierzig Tage des Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel (not emotionally light reading), and some WWII novels by Hans Hellmut Kirst, but be aware that I have no idea what the German is like, only having read them in English. Also, while looking around for a quotation I found this academic page about German SF that mentions some books that sound interesting.

Thanks for the Martinson ref. Poetry is not my thing, but maybe if it's SF . . .

Note that two people have mentioned Malevil to you, now. :)


Thank you again! :)


There are more of them then I can write. But thankfully there's Wikipedia! :) https://sv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kategori:Svenska_tidskrifter

Most of them are available online.


Thank you, Lars! :)


Ingen orsak! :)

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