Keen to practise your language skills? Reading is one of the best ways to pick up vocabulary and consolidate your knowledge. Online foreign language magazines provide exactly that, and much more; they are the perfect means of gaining an insight into the culture, politics and latest news in countries that matter to you. Here are my ten favourites, ranging from feminism à la française, to hot topics in Latin America, to satire about Deutschland and beyond. Happy reading :-)
1. Les Inrockuptibles
This weekly French cultural magazine provides a low-down on the latest developments in the worlds of music, film and art. Created in 1986, the magazine initially focused on rock music (hence the name), but it now covers a variety of disciplines including the realm of politics.
There is even an Argentinian version of the magazine, Los Inrockuptibles, if you wish to brush up your Spanish instead.
2. Le Monde diplomatique
French monthly newspaper Le Monde diplomatique provides in-depth analyses of the latest news stories from a progressive left-wing viewpoint.
Worldwide, there are 71 editions of the paper in 26 different languages – impressive! Check out this link to explore the options.
3. Quoi de meuf
Playing on the phrase ‘Quoi de neuf?’ (what’s up?), Quoi de meuf is a newsletter with a twist. Sign up via email and you’ll receive it in your inbox every Sunday. The email directs you towards intriguing articles on the latest female-related issues and developments in politics and pop culture.
At the end of each issue the editors recommend an inspirational book to read or a series/film to watch. Sign up here for your fix of women-focused news.
4. Der Postillon
This satirical German website reports humourously on international, national and regional news. For those who think our Deutsch-speaking neighbours lack a sense of humour, Der Postillon will certainly make you think twice.
Tagesschau is the German equivalent of BBC News, bringing the German TV audience up to date at 8pm every day. There are various ways to keep up with the news on their website, including written articles, video reports, 100-second summaries and analytical podcasts.
Get started here.
If you’re looking for some light-hearted, female-orientated reading, Brigitte is the magazine for you. Germany’s most popular women’s magazine offers everything you need to know about fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle.
7. BBC Mundo
The Spanish-language version of the BBC News site provides news updates from a Latin-American perspective. The video section is particularly recommendable for those who wish to work on their listening and pronunciation skills.
8. El diario
For news related more to Spanish politics and culture, el diario is the place to go.
There are also articles on international affairs, some of which have been written in Spanish by The Guardian’s very own Owen Jones.
Admittedly, this magazine is in English, but it publishes articles on language learning, travel and cultural immersion which would impress any avid learner.
Babbel even offers an online app for learning a variety of languages, from Portuguese to Turkish.
Switching Buzzfeed from English to another language (see Menu section) will instantly transform your non-academic reading into a subtle language exercise – easy peasy! The articles cover everything from cultural in-jokes to political debates. The vocabulary and idioms you’ll acquire while reading will give your spoken and written language that extra, fluent-sounding finesse.
Check out the Spanish version here (N.B. there’s one for Mexico too!).