The Digital Dictionary of the German Language (Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, DWDS) combines lexicographical expertise and authentic quotations of text.
The DWDS is based on the six-volume Wörterbuch der deutschen Gegenwartssprache (‘Dictionary of Contemporary German’, Berlin 1961-1977) and other sources, e.g. parts of the Großes Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (‘Large Dictionary of the German Language’) of the Duden publishing house. It provides users with the most up-to-date spelling, pronunciation in the form of audio-files, and rich information on the form, usage and meaning of 210,000 headwords. The dictionary’s articles are currently being extended and updated.
The DWDS Corpus includes currently 12 billion words of text (as of November 2017) and consists of a core corpus and a supplementary corpus (mainly newspapers). The core corpus of the 20th century consists of around 100 million words of text, forming a balanced sample of different periods and types of text. Documents from five areas have been included: literary works (27%); journalistic prose (26%); specialist or technical prose (22%); practical texts (20%); transcribed texts of the spoken language (5%).
The DWDS has agreements with more than 20 publishing houses and with public and private donors of texts, which allow it to use texts that are under restricted copyright. As a result, works by writers such as Thomas Mann, Heinrich Böll, Jürgen Habermas and Victor Klemperer are available for online research. The core corpus provides scholars of German with a resource comparable to the British National Corpus. The DWDS can be consulted online and is one of the most visited German-language dictionary websites.
This long-term Academy Project is part of the Research Centre Language at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
The Academy research project “The Digital Dictionary of the German Language” is part of the Academies' Programme , a research funding programme co-financed by the German federal government and individual federal states. Coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities , the Programme intends to retrieve and explore our cultural heritage, to make it accessible and highlight its relevance to the present, as well as to preserve it for the future.