Accueil > German Studies > A 34,000-word German-English literary dictionary

A 34,000-word German-English literary dictionary

vendredi 17 avril 2015, par Ray

The core of this 34,000-word bilingual literary dictionary consists of all of the words looked up in various dictionaries while working through some 60-odd German-language novels and short-story anthologies, as well as all of the commonly-used nouns and adjectives and all of the prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, pronouns and articles.

For each separate meaning of an entry-word [1] we have included, in addition to its English translation, the original German-language definition and usage examples, taken from the main reference dictionaries : the Wahrig and the Duden.
We have taken particular care to ensure that there are separate entries in the dictionary for all of the German words in these definitions and examples.

An interesting aspect of the German lexicon is the extraordinary number of perfectly-valid words that are not defined in any standard dictionary – a consequence of the Lego-like structure of the language, whereby different verbal components can be intertwined to form compound words practically at will, providing an almost-unlimited number of correct and commonly-used words.
There are nevertheless entry-words here for the 3,065 words used in the German-language definitions and examples for which no definition could be found in any currently-available paper or digital German dictionary, with an English-language translation and a reference to the entry-word in which they are used.

This subset of the German vocabulary thus contains just about all of the words one needs to know to be able to read the vast majority of German-language literature in the original text [2].


[1there are on average 1.6 different meanings per entry-word.

[2apart from literary monuments hors concours such as Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain or Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities.