I'd like to expand my German vocabulary also while relaxing and reading and not only studying. However, most of the novels I've seen use very basic vocabulary and rarely any idioms or phrases.

So, I was wondering if there are any authors known specifically for using more advanced contemporary vocabulary?

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    I'd recommend reading Wolf Haas, he's brilliant and really a good source for using colloquial vocabulary. Slighly austrian touch though. – πάντα ῥεῖ Oct 5 '19 at 12:55
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    The question makes more sense if you say what you did read (and didn't help). – c.p. Oct 5 '19 at 16:01
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    If you want to combine learning with fun (in a German idiom: das Angenehme mit dem Nützlichen verbinden), in addition to c.p.'s question it would also be good to tell us which genre(s) do you like to read. – Volker Landgraf Oct 5 '19 at 17:45
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    It totally depends on your level of German. You should give more information about yourself. You could start by asking this question in German. :-) Also it depends on what kind of literature you find relaxing. – Christian Geiselmann Oct 5 '19 at 19:24
  • Wenn du advanced vocabulary entspannt lesen willst, solltest du deine Frage auf Deutsch stellen können. Das würde uns möglicherweise auch bei der Einschätzung helfen, auf welchem sprachlichen Niveau du dich befindest. – Olafant Oct 5 '19 at 19:48

Without knowing more about you, your command of German, and your interests, it is practically impossible to give right advice, because every arrow will be sent into the dark. Anyway, here some arrows:

  • Have you tried Karl May? That's what (some decades ago) practically every German speaking child and adolescent read. It is not really contemporary, but it is a cornerstone of German culture. And fun to read, usually. I recommend "Das Buschgespenst" - a novel describing the harsh living conditions of the working class in a 1860s Saxonian village oppressed by corrupt industrialists, embedded in a detective story. - That's by the way a book very few people in Germany actually know because everybody was so in love with Winnetou and the "Wild West".

  • Wolf Haas (as first recommended by Everything Flows) is indeed a good idea. Language is easy-going casual (but grammatically correct). All novels are criminal stories in an Austrian environment. The best book, in my perception, is "Komm süßer Tod". (Of which there is by the way a congenial English translation in a double-language edition once issued by the Münchner Rück insurance company. Perhaps this can be found on second-hand bookselling sites. And if you happen to be Bulgarian: there is also a good Bulgarian translation available I had some contribution to.)

  • Why thinking only of German authors? Why not well-translated foreign ones? - If you like science fiction of the really intelligent type: read the books by Stanislav Lem. They are available in German in masterful translations. (No need to bother with the Polish originals). Good point to start: "Sterntagebücher" (easy short stories). "Pilot Pirx" (more short stories, of growing complexity, in a space travel setting). "Nacht und Schimmel" (more short stories, chiefly in the area of speculative science, not space travel. Or "Solaris", Lem's masterpiece dystopia of contacting an extraterrestrial... uh... entity. Much more on the lighter side: "Eden" - three astronauts explore a planet but don't understand too much of the civilisation they find there.

  • You could also give J.R.R. Tolkien a try in German translation. ("Der kleine Hobbit", "Der Herr der Ringe".) Thousands in German speaking countries have enjoyed these without noticing that the originals were written in English.


Friedrich Nietzsche: Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen.

... ist ein in sehr schöner und verständlicher Sprache geschriebenes Meisterwerk deutscher Literatur, das sich entspannt lesen lässt. Viele Sätze Nietzsches (auch aus anderen Werken) sind in den deutschen Sprachgebrauch eingegangen und tief verwurzelt. Einiges wird so häufig und alltäglich verwendet, dass viele Muttersprachler den Ursprung gar nicht mehr kennen.

Also sprach Zarathustra kommt trotz seines schwergewichtigen Inhaltes sehr leichtfüßig daher und lässt sich wie eine unterhaltsame Novelle lesen. Wie tief er in die Gedankenwelt Zarathustras und Nietzsches eintauchen will, bleibt weitgehend dem Leser überlassen. "Wer Ohren hat, der höre!"

  • Ich stimme dem zu, dass F N philosophisch aktuell ist (wohl immer es sein wird), aber ob die Sprache zeitgenössisch (wie gefragt) ist, ... :) Den OP scheint der Inhalt nicht die Bohne zu interessieren, die/der sucht halt herausfordernden Wortschatz. – c.p. Oct 5 '19 at 21:19
  • @c.p. Wofür stehen die drei Punkte? ...bezweifle ich, ...darüber lässt sich streiten ? Nietzsches Sprache ist m.E. insbesondere im Zarathustra nicht veraltet, wenn auch keine moderne Umgangssprache. Falls OP der Inhalt nicht interessieren sollte, heißt das ja nicht, dass es keinen geben darf. – Olafant Oct 5 '19 at 21:43

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