Frequency Dictionaries.

Frequency Dictionaries

The Frequency Dictionaries are a range of dictionaries based on word frequency, designed for language learners

We currently offer:


What are Frequency Dictionaries?

 The idea of word frequency lists and dictionaries is to discover the most frequent words in a language. If you are a learner or teacher, this allows you to use your time more effectively, by focusing on learning the words that you or your students are most likely to encounter in the real world.

In day-to-day speech, 95% consists of the most common 1.000 words. In written text, the most common 2.000 words make up about 80% of what you encounter on a daily basis.

A "normal" dictionary will list words from A-Z, and sometimes it even highlights "frequent" words. But which ones are the most frequent ones? The only way to discover this by using real frequency lists, based on a reliable corpus. A corpus is a collection of texts.

So what can one do with with real frequency data? There are no end to the possibilities, but here are the two most important ones:

  • Language learners: If you're trying to learn a foreign language, you can go through the lists word by word in frequency order. You will discover words that you aren't familiar with. Not only is this a great way of acquiring useful vocabulary from scratch, but it also helps you fill in gaps in their vocabulary.
  • Teachers: Assign your students to learn a certain block of words each week. Follow up with a short quiz at the end of the week. This way you can be sure you're students are progressing in a rather fast and efficient manner, by learning the exact vocabulary they need for fluency.

With these points in mind, we created a series of frequency dictionaries, to help language learners worldwide achieve their goals. This is inside our books:

1. The Most Common & Most Used Words.

Listed by frequency and alphabet. We use subtitles to determine frequency rank. Subtitles are the best way of determining frequency rank, as they cover both spoken and written vocabulary, according to science. Our frequency dictionaries contain 2.500 entries per book, with books ranging from.

  1. Book  I Words 1 to 2500 - Essential Vocabulary
  2. Book II Words 2501 to 5000 - Intermediate Vocabulary
  3. Book III Words 5001 - 7500 - Advanced Vocabulary
  4. Book IV Words 7500 - 10000 -Master Vocabulary


2. Example Sentences.

In the target language, with their English translations. Example sentences are great, because they:

  • Show you word usage
  • Help you learn discover new vocabulary though context.
  • Get you used to sentence structure, grammar, and verb conjugation.
  • internalize vocabulary faster by increasing exposure to words, thus helping you remember words faster due to the principle of spaced repetition.
  • Get an overall better feel of the language
  • The example sentences consist over 90.000 words. You'll have read the equivalent of a novel in your language you\re studyinglanguage.
  • Over 20 hours worth of reading

3. International Phonetic Alphabet Transcriptions*.

You''ll always know how to pronounce a word the right way. Words are written phonetically, the way you pronounce words. *Except in languages where pronunciation is straightforward.


4. Tips & Tricks to Speed Up Language Learning

We give you some pointers on how to learn efficiently, some secret strategies for remember words faster, and how to immerse yourself without leaving the country.

The Science  Behind These Books

Helping you becoming fluent in the language of your choice, is our goal. We believe in science. We build our books with the following scientific principles in mind. These facts make our books so books so efficient and valuable.

1. You'll know actual useful words fast

"Every study out there starts with stating that subtitles are the best way to discover word frequencies you will use in day to day situations.:

"More importantly, different analyses showed that frequencies estimated from a subtitle corpus explained the obtained results significantly better than traditional frequencies derived from written corpora."

Subtitle-Based Word Frequencies as the Best Estimate of Reading Behavior: The Case of Greek - Front Psychol. 2010; 1: 218. 

"Previous evidence has shown that word frequencies calculated from corpora based on film and television subtitles can readily account for reading performance, since the language used in subtitles greatly approximates everyday language."

Subtlex-pl: subtitle-based word frequency estimates for Polish. *Behav Res Methods. 2015 Jun;47(2):471-83. doi: 10.3758/s13428-014-0489-4.

"As for the language register, we found that frequencies based on television and film subtitles are better than frequencies based on written sources, certainly for the monosyllabic and bisyllabic words used in psycholinguistic research."

"Moving beyond Kucera and Francis: a critical evaluation of current word frequency norms and the introduction of a new and improved word frequency measure for American English." Behav Res Methods. 2009 Nov;41(4):977-90. doi: 10.3758/BRM.41.4.977.

 "Our results confirm that word frequencies based on subtitles are a good estimate of daily language exposure and capture much of the variance in word processing efficiency. In addition, our database is the first to include information about the contextual diversity of the words and to provide good frequency estimates for multi-character words and the different syntactic roles in which the words are used"

SUBTLEX-CH: Chinese Word and Character Frequencies Based on Film Subtitles - Qing Cai, Marc Brysbaert. Published: June 2, 2010

2. We teach you written and spoken vocabulary.

Our dictionaries are made out analyzing millions of subtitles. Subtitles are the best choice when trying to determine frequency rankings. According to science, subtitles corrolate to both spoken and written texts. About 73% and 85%, according to science.*

Spoken and written vocabulary, we got you covered.

In other words, New et al. showed that word frequencies obtained from a subtitle-based corpus were as good as the traditional written word frequency estimations and better than oral frequency estimations at predicting reading behavior.

*Subtitle-Based Word Frequencies as the Best Estimate of Reading Behavior: The Case of Greek - Front Psychol. 2010; 1: 218. 

3. Spaced Repititon: Hack your brain's ability to store information faster.

IIf you want to remember something for the long term, such as vocabulary in a foreign language or facts you need for your profession, the most efficient way to learn that material is by following the principle of spaced repetition.

"Spaced repetition  is a learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material; this exploits the psychological spacing effect."

The Science of Faster Memorization with Spaced Repetition - SkillCookBook

 Alt- text
Alternative names include spaced rehearsal, expanding rehearsal, graduated intervals,repetition spacing ,repetition scheduling, spaced retrieval and expanded retrieval



4. Example Sentences work to with spaced repetition

 Our example sentences repeat more used words more often. By frequently encountering previously learned vocubalary you will learn faster through the principle of  spaced repetition.

"Using spaced repetition as a study technique is effective because you are deliberately hacking the way your brain works" - The Guardian

Spaced repition helps you remember vocabulary faster.

5. Example Sentences broaden your vocabulary naturally

You'll discover the meaning Spanish words through context with reading our translated example sentences. You learn 30% faster.

An Investigation of Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition in Relation to Learner Proficiency Level and Word Frequency

Learning vocabulary through meaning-focused input: Replication of Elley (1989) and Liu & Nation (1985)



How much vocabulary do you need to know?

While it’s important to note it’s impossible to pin down these numbers and statistics with 100% accuracy, these are a global average of multiple sources. According to research, this is the amount of vocabulary needed for varying levels of fluency.

  1. 250 words: the essential core of a language. Without these words, you cannot construct any sentence.
  2. 750 words: those that are used every single day by every person who speaks the language.
  3. 2500 words: those that should enable you to express everything you could possibly want to say, although some creativity might be required.
  4. 5000 words: the active vocabulary of native speakers without higher education. You will understand 95% of all written texts.
  5. 10,000 words: the active vocabulary of native speakers with higher education.
  6. 20,000 words: what you need to recognize passively in order to read, understand, and enjoy a work of literature such as a novel by a notable au

What level of fluency will I gain with these books?

To measure language proficiency, we use the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) ratings.

Basic User

  • A1: Beginner. You are able to to communicate and exchange information in a simple way. E.g: CAN ask simple questions about a menu and understand simple answers.
  • A2: You are able to handle simple, straightforward information and you can to express yourself in familiar contexts. E.g: You are able to take part in a routine conversation on simple predictable topics.

Independent User

  • B1: You can express yourself in a limited way in unfamiliar situations, and you can deal in a general way with non-routine information. E.g: You are able toask to open an account at a bank, if it is straightforward procedure.
  • B2: You are able to achieve most goals and express yourself on a range of topics. E.g: You are able to show visitors around and give a detailed description of a place.


  • C1: You'll be able to communicate with the emphasis on how well it is done, in terms of appropriacy, sensitivity and the capacity to deal with unfamiliar topics. E.g: You are able to handle hostile questioning with confidence. You can get and hold your turn to speak.
  • C2: The capacity to deal with academic or cognitively demanding material. You are able to use language to good effect at a level of performance which may in certain aspects be more advanced than that of an average native speaker.
    Example: You are able to scan texts for relevant information, and grasp the main topic of texts, reading almost as fast as a native speaker.

However, the Common European Languages Framework does not provide a clear vocabulary size for any of its levels, so we do not know how many knows words are expected at each level.


Research: How many words you need to know for fluency.

In 2009, a scientific study by linguistics Milton and Alexiou tried to measure vocabulary size needed for fluency. These are the results for English, French and Modern Greek.

CEFR levelVocabulary size: EnglishVocabulary size: FrenchVocabulary size: Modern Greek
A21500 – 250016502237
B12750 – 325024223288
B23250 – 375026303956
C13750 – 45003212 
C24500 – 50003525 

Vocabulary size and the CEFR (Milton and Alexiou 2009)

Frequency Dictionaries

The Frequency Dictionaries are a range of dictionaries based on word frequency, designed for language learners

Which language do you want to learn?