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Spanish word frequency lists

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 5 months ago


Spanish Word Frequency Lists


There are several word frequency lists for Spanish. Below, we've listed the main ones in chronological order.


Buchanan, MA 1927. A Graded Spanish Word Book. Toronto.

BAsed on a corpus of 1,200,000 words taken from a variety of genres, such as plays, novels, verse, folklore, miscellaneous prose, technical texts and periodicals. It includes Latin American texts as well as texts in Spanish regional dialects.


Eaton, H 1940. An English -French - German - Spanish Word Frequency Dictionary. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

This book provides a semantic frequency list that correlates the first 6,000 words in four single-language frequency lists. The source lists in the four languages are:

for English, Teacher's Word Book of 20,000 Words (compiled by Thorndlike);

for French, French Word Book (compiled by Vander Beke): it comprises 6,067 words;

for German, Häufigkeitswörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (by Kaeding): it comprises 79,716 words; and

for Spanish, A Graded Spanish Word Book (by Buchanan).

As the number of words and the range of material for the English and German lists is greater than for the other two source lists, the English and German words are accorded more weight, in a proportion of four to one.As well as the correlation lists, the dictionary includes four indexes to English, German, French and Spanish words on the list.


Rodriguez Bou, L. 1952 Recuento de Vocabulario Español. Puerto Rico.

Based on a corpus of 7,200,000 words extracted from texts belonging to three broad categories:

Expression vocabulary (oral vocabulary, vocabulary of free and controlled association and vocabulary of grade and high school composition);

Recognition vocabulary (from newspapers, radio programmes, religious literature and the Buchanan word count); and

Authors' vocabulary (from textbooks and supplementary readings).

This list relies heavily on Latin American texts, especially source from Puerto Rico.


García Hoz, V. 1953. Vocabulario Usual, Vocabulario Común y Vocabulario Fundamental. Madrid.

Based on a corpus of 400,000 words taken from private letters, periodicals, ecclesiastical documents, governmental bulletins and labour union publications, and best-selling novels.


Juilland, A. & Chang-Rodríguez, E. 1964. Frequency Dictionary of Spanish Words. The Hague: Mouton & Co.

Based on a 500,000 word corpus derived from original prose texts written in Peninsular Spanish and published between 1920 and 1940.


Alameda, J.R. & Cuetos, F. 1995. Diccionario de Frecuencias de las Unidades Lingüísticas del Castellano, Oviedo: Universidad de Oviedo

Based on a corpus of 2,000,000 words, comprising 606 written texts published between 1978-1993 and taken from different literary genres, such as novels (50%), press (25%) monographs (15%) and journal articles (10%). Latin American texts make up about 10% of the total corpus.


Sebastián, N., Martí, M.A., Carreiras, M.F. & Cuetos, F. 2000. LEXESP, Léxico Informatizado del Español. Barcelona: Ediciones de la Universitat de Barcelona.


Almela, R, P Cantos, A Sánchez, R Sarmiento and M Almela. 2005. Frecuencias del Español. Madrid: Editorial Universitas.

This list is available at www.spanishpronto.com/spanishpronto/spanishvocab.html


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