Where can I take a pool of words from?

Dear Community members,

I am thinking about an interactive machine to teach a school child to write difficult words correctly. As a first step I need a collection of words. I will select a pool of words from this collection. Then I will use the pool to make the machine.

My question is: is there a way to get the words with Mathematica? A constraint is that I need German words.

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It might be overkill, but with:

DictionaryLookup[{"German", All}]

you get a list of every German word. To be a bit more precise, you could then narrow things with string searches, i.e. DictionaryLookup[{"German", "a" ~~ ___ ~~ "b"}] gets you a list of words that begin with a and end with b. Full documentation is here.

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I suggest you build your own kind of database using sources from the web and copy&past the content into a text file. Afterwards you can use the Import functionalities Mathematica offers.

A possible source I think is appropriate: (you may have to filter some words out by hand which you think could be to difficult for your student)

Extracting words from webpages is usually straightforward after examining the structure of the page a little bit. Here is a concrete example:

page = Import["http://www.duden.de/schwierige-woerter", "XMLObject"];

Cases[page,
XMLElement[
"span", {"class" -> "field-content"}, {XMLElement["a", _, {s_String}]}] :> s, Infinity]

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If you need a more comprehensive list of German words you could download a file such as this, unzip it and then load it with Import.
You could use the function DictionaryLookup. At least at my machine, it supports German but I'm not sure whether this depends on the installation or not. Just look it up in the documentation.