I'm looking for a very high quality word frequency list in German. This is a list of how often words are used in the German language.

The best one I have found so far is here (archived): 10,000 words. Unfortunately no details are given on the data source.

Does anybody know of anything any better?

If I was to make my own list, can you suggest a good large source of German language text? Something like the The British National Corpus, but in German?

  • DeReWo seems great. Can somebody give a quick overview of how it works?
    – user4770
    Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 13:17
  • DeReWo does seem to take a little understanding so I'll write my discoveries here. The file that you are probably interested in is the frequency list Frequency list this is a 7zip file (a compressed format that isn't very widely used) on linux you can use 7z x to decompress this. The frequency list includes part-of-speech information from TreeTagger a tool to guess parts of speech.
    – Att Righ
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 11:47
  • Treetagger appears to return a confidence that a word is a part of speech, hence the non-integer frequencies. The parts-of-speech are language specific. A brief search failed to provide me with a canonical list of parts of speech, but this webpage seems to contain a complete list
    – Att Righ
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 11:53
  • To the moderators: usually we have here very quickly somebody voting for closing a question because it was "predominantly opinion based". Isn't a question like "What is the best..." predominantly opinion based by default? Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 16:46

8 Answers 8


According to this PDF its pretty much the best and biggest list you can get for free. The PDF looks quite interesting.

On the data source:

Neben Angaben zu absoluter Häufigkeit, Häufigkeitsklassen,Grammatik, Sachgebiet, Kollokationen (häufige Wortkombinationen) usw. findet man hier auch die „Wörter des Tages“, die aktuellsten Begriffe aus Online-Ausgaben von Tageszeitungen. Die Quellen des Wortschatzkorpus basieren vor allem auf (online verfügbaren) Archiven von Zeitungen, aber auch literarische Werke und Fachtexte wurden untersucht.

For german text sources:



Likely some Desktop Search Engines can index files and show word frequency.

  • 12
    The PDF link is broken. Anyone have an updated one?
    – Kev
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 15:13

Here's the best, biggest and free German frequency word list DeReWo and it contains only dictionary headwords without superfluous derivatives: DeReWo – Korpusbasierte Grund-/Wortformenlisten.

  • 3
    Derivatives aren't always superfluous. It depends on the application.
    – Kev
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 15:15

Try Google Ngrams. The German corpus is not as good at the English one, but starting with the 19th century, it's fine. You can not only use this to get diagrams comparing the usage of words (or up to five words in sequence), but also download the entire database.


I compiled a list of word frequencies myself from the German Wikipedia (~6 million words).

Find it here: https://github.com/gambolputty/dewiki-wordrank

  • Thanks for the list! Is there any way I can figure out how many documents have you used to generate this list?
    – hoang tran
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 8:50
  • 2
    @hoangtran The entire German Wikipedia xml-dump-file by the time of creating the list. Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 19:58

The book A Frequency Dictionary of German, by Randall L. Jones (Routledge editor) is excellent (it contains info about the balanced corpora used). But even better are the flash cards with the 4000 most frequent German words, and their English translation: https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/653061995 It includes the audio as well. Perfect for learning with the Anki flashcards program.


http://corpus.leeds.ac.uk/frqc/internet-de-forms.num is a good size, if you are seeking derivatives too.


For completeness, the list mentioned in the original question ("Wortschatz" at Uni Leipzig) still exists, but has been moved to a new URL:



For people who stumbled upon this question on Google: I generated lists for +100 languages (with Google Translate), using a list of the highest quality I could find (wordfrequency.info). You can find this multilingual list of 5000 most common words in this GitHub repository.

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