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January 31, 2012 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find a German dictionary which I can use to run simple linguistic experiments?

Basically, I'm looking for some data structure which holds words, function (verb, noun, etc), and some extra information (zB, gender of nouns, whether a verb is separable or not (or both), some basic conjugation such as past participle, etc)

I want to do experiments, such as:

- is there a notable difference between verbs which keep the -en ending in the past participle (sehen -> gesehen) and those who do not (schauen --> geschaut)? Maybe some are more active, more abstract, etc. Or, there is no pattern.

- do the majority of nouns which can be formed by cutting off the -en ending of a verb masculine? (der Tanz, der Rat, but das Spiel). I have found no exception except Spiel for now.

and so on.

Basically, what I want is LEO, but in my computer, locally, and fully accessible.

posted by StoneSpace to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think maybe you could make friends with a linguistics enthusiast who speaks both English and German and ask them.
posted by Jon_Evil at 6:51 AM on January 31, 2012

Jon_Evil, it appears that the OP is a linguistics enthusiast who speaks both English and German. It's just that this sort of question requires a bit of research, and checking of noun genders, thus a dictionary is required.

OP, I don't know of any good offline German dictionaries, but if it's any help, I find dict.cc to be a better all-round online dictionary than LEO. It seems to have more examples and variety of expressions. I use LEO as a backup, if dict.cc doesn't have what I'm looking for.

For your second question, I think there aren't as many feminine nouns formed by cutting the '-en' off a verb because feminine nouns often add '-ung' after the '-en' is taken off.


die Bedeutung (bedeuten)
die Beginnung (beginnen)
die Wohnung (wohnen)

However, compare:

die Arbeit (arbeiten)
die Antwort (antworten)

And then there's also this construction:

die Frage (fragen)
die Liebe (lieben)
die Reise (reisen)

The abrupt endings formed by simply removing the '-en' just kind of seem more masculine to me, but German is my second language so maybe a native Deutsche/r can explain it better.

Viel Glück!
posted by lovedbymarylane at 7:21 AM on January 31, 2012

posted by Skeptic at 7:59 AM on January 31, 2012

Sweet! Turns out dict.cc has links to various offline solutions. Juhu!
posted by StoneSpace at 8:27 AM on January 31, 2012

If you want to script this access, maybe one of these files will help:

German-English dictionary file
A bunch of dictionaries

For an offline LEO, I use QuickDic on my mobile, and the database has most of what you're looking for.
posted by cmonkey at 8:28 AM on January 31, 2012

Wenn Fliegen hinter Fliegen fliegen, fliegen Fliegen Fliegen nach!
posted by yoyo_nyc at 12:46 PM on January 31, 2012

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