The German Dictionary Guide for Learners

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The German Dictionary Guide for Learners


What is the Best German Dictionary?

A great German-English dictionary is essential for learning German.

No matter if you're just beginning to learn German, or are an expert in the language, you will eventually need a dictionary.

We will be discussing both apps and physical books in this article.


  • The best dictionary for learning vocabulary
  • Best German To English dictionary


  • Best online dictionary
  • Best automatic translators with dictionary function


Physical books

The best dictionary for learning German vocabulary

Learners have access to the MostUsedWords German frequency vocabulary. These words are only 90% of the roughly 300.000 words found in German.

As you will notice diminishing results, the top 10.000 words will enable you to understand 98% of all spoken languages and 97% of all German texts.

It is essential to master the most frequently used words in German if you want to learn it. Our frequency dictionaries will help you learn German vocabulary based on how often you'll encounter it, and will provide:

  • The general frequency list will allow you to learn the most common German words
  • Frequency tables for parts of speech: These lists include the most commonly used German adjectives or adverbs.
  • A back-of-the-book German dictionary makes it easy to find German words.


All German entries contain:

  • They are available in English translation
  • IPA phonetic pronunciation will help you pronounce German words correctly.
  • German to English example sentences so that you can see the vocabulary in context.
  • Information on the Parts of Speech


German frequency dictionaries are available on Amazon in Paperback as well as our PDF eBooks. The most popular 10,000 words can be found in four books:

  • German Frequency Dictionary Top 2500 Most Common German Words – Essential Vocabulary
  • German Frequency Dictionary Top 2501-2500 Most Common German Words – Intermediate Vocabulary
  • German Frequency Dictionary Top 5001-7500 Most Common German Words – Advanced Vocabulary
  • German Frequency Dictionary Top 7501-10000 Most Common German Words – Master Vocabulary


Frequency dictionaries are great for students of German, whether they're studying it in class or on their own. These are great tools for quickly building your practical vocabulary.

They do not include all German words but only the most commonly used ones. These books can still be used for 98% of your German language needs. Grammar is not covered in the books.


The Best Comprehensive German-English Dictionary for Learners

Both Collins as well as Oxford offer comprehensive dictionaries that can be used by learners. Both include grammar references which is great. Both are trusted brands. You can purchase them in paperback from Amazon, or use their websites for a free.

These traditional dictionaries have approximately 120.000 entries and list German vocabulary starting at A-Z. These dictionaries are great for finding uncommon words. Their strengths lie in their ability to understand grammar and thematic vocabulary lists.


Online German Dictionaries & Apps

If you need to look up a German term quickly, an online dictionary will be your best friend.

It is important to note that not all German dictionary websites will be the same for you if you need help online. Here are our recommendations for German dictionary sites that can meet your needs:


Best All-Round Dictionary (including Conjugations!): WordReference

Wordreference is likely to have been recommended to you by someone who has taken a German class. It's our favorite all-around German dictionary, and it works in many different situations.

Wordreference provides translations from English into German and English to German. This website also contains information on verb conjugations. You will also find information about the context in which German words are used.

It also allows you to use a German only dictionary, which is a great bonus for language-nerds. This is a great way to get around English.

Yet, Wordreference's UI has a drawback. It's straight out of the 1990s and would benefit from a major reformation.


Best Dictionary For Assisted Learning: Linguee

Linguee provides a user-friendly interface that is up-to-date and easy to use. Linguee directs learners in the right direction.

This website will assist you in finding a word by searching it:

  • The English meaning
  • Phonetic pronunciation
  • Examples sentences where the word appears.

This website is more than just a dictionary. Linguee is an excellent resource for learners. Linguee has grammar tips, vocabulary lists and pronunciation guides.


Most Popular German Translator: Google Translate

Google Translate is something you probably already know. It doesn't always work exactly as it says. You might get an incoherent sentence and a nonsensical translation.

Here are some tips to get the most from Google Translate:

Google Translate works best for one word, several words, or a short phrase. If your German input is more complex, the site's AI may make more errors.

A shield icon next to a translation is a good indicator of its accuracy. A shield sign means that the translation has been certified by an actual person.

Do not look at the first Google Translate result. There may be more relevant information below. Some translations might make more sense in your specific context.


Best Neural AI Online German Translator

These AI-powered translators are a great alternative to Google Translate. At least, the paid versions.

  • Lingvanex

Although these translations are better than Google Translate, they still contain errors. The paid version is worth considering if you need them for school or work.


So, What Is The Best German Dictionary?

This depends on the situation. You will need to quickly learn the relevant vocabulary if you want to use it.

You will need a general-use dictionary with grammar and many terms. A traditional dictionary for learners is the best choice.

Linguee is a free tool that allows you to quickly search for terms and learn German.

Google Translate can help you translate sentences and get definitions. Lingvanex or DeepL can provide accurate translations for large amounts of text.

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