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Standard printed dictionaries, and some electronic ones also, allow one to search for words by their prefixes. This becomes useful when one is looking for a word whose ending one is not completely certain about, since all the available possibilities in the dictionary could be found near each other.

But what if it is the beginning of a word, not its ending, that one is fuzzy about? A standard printed dictionary, of course, would not be useful in this case, but it would not be too difficult to implement a suffix-based search capability in an electronic dictionary. Does anyone know of such a search tool for German (preferably free and/or online)?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Check WortSuche - it seems to do what you are looking for.

Depending on what you want to do, 2rhyme might help - a German rhyme dictionary.

Google doesn't do it at all, as far as I know.

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With egrep you may search local databases:

egrep "lauf/"  /var/cache/postgresql/dicts/de_de.dict 

Egrep (or grep -e) is capable to search regular expressions. Now you need an open dictionary to search for.

In the postgresql dicts, words are ending in a slash, so you would just append an slash to your word

Ablauf/STpmij
Anlauf/Spmij
Auflauf/Spm
Auslauf/STpmij
Durchlauf/STpmij
Einlauf/Spmij
...

Ein anderes, nutzbares Wörterbuch mit gleichem Merkmal für das Wortende ist auf meinem System (xUbuntu/Linux) /usr/share/hunspell/de_DE.dic.

Wenn das Wortende mit dem Zeilenende zusammenfällt markiert man dies für egrep mit einem Dollarsymbol:

egrep "lauf$"  /usr/share/dict/ngerman 
Ablauf
Alltagsablauf
Anlauf
Anteilumlauf
Arbeitsablauf
Auflauf
Auslauf
Automatikablauf
Banknotenumlauf

Grep/egrep ist auf unixoiden Systemen eigentlich immer installiert oder als freie Gnu-Software verfügbar. Auch für Windows gibt es native Portierungen der populären Unixtools unter der GPL, darunter auch grep.

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Mit einer Suche durch die sowieso auf fast jedem Rechner installierten Wörterbücher kann man sehr feine Suchalgorithmen generieren (wenn man kann). Netter Ansatz! –  Takkat Dec 24 '12 at 8:10
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