I am looking for language tools for advanced learners of German available online that would allow me to perform the following:

  1. For any given word I would like to get the usage examples taken from some German corpora with different styles, at least to be able to distinguish between spoken and written language.
  2. For any given word stem see the derived words and their meanings. For example I would like to enter binden and get automatically other verbs like anbinden, aufbinden, einbinden etc. with usage examples.
  3. See the top 2000/5000/10'000 words used in German with short explanation of their meaning or translation to any other language (English would be best). It would also be nice to have a possibility to automatically generate quizes for vocabulary testing.
  4. To look for most common collocations//synonyms//antonyms.

I often use canoo.net to look for derived words and for word gender, but this is the only webpage I know and it does not give you any usage examples.


7 Answers 7


I'd like to put forward collins dictionary, which includes:

  • Usage examples from the web, quotes, news and so on.
  • The derived words and their meanings
  • Synonyms
  • Examples of how to use them as for four different cases (dative, genitive, ...)

I think there is no site which provides all the options you're looking for, but I hope someone proves me wrong.

As you stated in your question Canoo.net has some of the features. You could use The Free Dictionary in combination with Canoo.net. It provides usage examples for given words.

Here's an example search for binden.



This is a nice site providing German literature and poem recitations read by professionals free for download as mp3 audio files including text files.


Duden online (http://www.duden.de/) will give you everything you want to know about particular word.

Try: http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/binden


There is also Wiktionary, but it is relatively small and only gives few examples, most of the time without much context.


I'm not sure if this tool will address all of your specific needs, however, there is a soon to be released website aimed at helping people to learn new languages.

Unfortunately, it's currently (as at the time of this writing) in private beta, but you can sign up to eventually receive an invite to join. It will, hopefully, launch completely and publically very soon.

That website is: Duolingo

The site is not just for learning the German languages, but also many others (it's starting out with German and Spanish at first, then expanding into French, Italian & Chinese later.

It's been conceived and designed by the same guy (Luis Von Ahn) who turned the web-standard CAPTCHA into something more useful by inventing Re-CAPTCHA which has helped to digitise lots of textbooks. von Ahn aims to do a similar thing with Duolingo in that the results of each user's efforts will help to translate the entire web into many different languages. As users, we get to learn a new language in the process.

There's a video available showing Luis von Ahn giving a talk and explaining all about his new Duolingo product. The pertinent part starts around 08m:30s, but it's well worth watching in it's entirety.

This should address your requirement for an advanced learning tool as, according to von Ahn himself in the video, the website will adapt to each user's level of knowledge about the target language in question. As users become more proficient, the website will offer more difficult translations for the users to perform. Also, and importantly, this whole process will work on real-world websites and language usage (so you may find yourself translating large parts of Die Welt or Der Spiegel for example). The initial feedback from the limited number of beta users so far has been very positive.

Disclaimer from me: I've not actually used this website as yet as it's still in private (closed) beta. All of this information here is taken from the website itself and the other video's linked to in this post. As someone who is learning German (but nowhere near the advanced level yet), I've signed up to use this website myself. I'm still awaiting my invite, and once I've had a chance to use the site, I'll come back here and edit this post to reflect what I find. Hopefully, this info will be of some use, though.

  • I can't really test your answer: I applied for the beta immediately after reading your answer but there is no feedback yet from the webpage. Dec 26, 2011 at 18:01
  • @AlexanderGalkin I totally appreciate that you can't (yet) test my answer, and I also appreciate that my answer isn't (as yet) anything near definitive, however, I did want to share it as it certainly sounds, from the initial feedback of the current private beta users, to be a valuable resource in language learning for both beginning and advanced learners. FWIW, I also do not yet have my invite. As stated, once I have received this and had an opportunity to use the website, I'll come back here and update my answer.
    – CraigTP
    Dec 28, 2011 at 17:06

To find native usage in context, I actually get decent results by just doing a Google Search. You can restrict your search to just blogs, news, or Groups to find different types of usage.

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