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Long German words

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Try this one on for size:

 

"Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterattentäterlattengitterwetterkotterbeutelra

tte"

 

I don't think it's a real word, but here's the story, from Mark Twain: Autobiography

 

Beauties of the German Language

 

Written in 1898, Vienna

 

February 3rd - Lectured for the benefit of a charity last night, in the Börsendorfer Saal. Just as I was going on the platform, a messenger delivered to me an envelope with my name on it, and this written under it: "Please read one of these tonight". Enclosed were a couple of newspaper clippings - two versions of an anecdote, one German, the other English. I was minded to try the German one on those people, just to see what would happen, but my courage weakened when I noticed the formidable look of the closing word, and I gave it up. A pity, too, for it ought to read well on the platform and get an encore. That or a brickbat. There is never any telling what a new audience will do; their tastes are capricious. The point of this anecdote is a justifiable gibe at the German longword, and is not as much of an exaggeration as one might think. The German longword is not a legitimate construction, but an ignoble artificiality, a sham. It has no recognition by the dictionary and is not found there. It is made by jumbling a lot of words into one, in a quite unnecessary way; it is a lazy device of the vulgar and a crime against the language. Nothing can be gained, no valuable amount of space saved, by jumbling the following words together on a business card: "Mrs. Smith, widow of the late commander-in-chef of the police department", yet a German widow can persuade herself to do it, without much trouble: "Mrs.-late-commander-in-chief-of-the-police-department's-widow Smith".

 

This is the English version of the anecdote:

 

A Dresden paper, the Weidmann, which thinks that there are kangaroos (Beutelratte) in South Africa, says the hottentots (Hottentotten) put them in cages (Kotter) provided with covers (Lattengitter) to protect them from the rain.

The cages are therefore called Lattengitterwetterkotter, and the imprisoned kangaroo Lattengitterwetterkotterbeutelratte.

One day, and assassin (Attentäter) was arrested who had killed a hottentot woman (Hottentottenmutter), the mother of two stupid and stuttering children (Stottertrottel). This woman, in the German language, is entitled Hottentottenstottertrottelmutter, and her assassin takes the name Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterattentäter. The murderer was confined to a cage - Beutelrattenlattengitterwetterkotter - whence a few days later he escaped, but fortunately was recaptured by a hottentot, who presented himself at the mayor's office with beaming face: "I have captured the Beutelratte", he said. "Which one?", asked the mayor, "we have several".

"The Attentäterlattengitterwetterkotterbeutelratte".

"Which Attentäter are you talking about?"

"About the Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterattentäter".

"Then why don't you say at once the Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterattentäterlattengitterwetterkotterbeutelratte"?

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I know I have come across some really Kilometer long words in this country...I suppose in German you can string a whole bunch of words together to make a new ICE train long word...

 

Guinness World Records Buch (2006 -- so outdated) claims the longest German word (and don't debate me as to why, because I do not know...) is:

 

Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften at 39 letters.

 

A word in Swedish is supposedly the longest in the word among languages: at 130 letters. Okay, I'll type it...

 

"nordöstersjökustartilleriflygspaningssimularoranläggningsmateriel-underhallsuppföljnings-systemdiskussionsinläggsförberedelse-arbeten"

 

Hope the Swedish can say it faster than it takes to type...

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Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetzesvorlagendisku

ssionspausenverpflegungsbeauftragtenstatistikassistent

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Learned a new one today:

 

Bundesanstaltfinanzdienstleistungsaufsicht. (German financial services supervisory authority.) 42 letters. And used in an "official document", so it's got authority! Heh

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Ten years later perhaps this thread needs a bit of a refresh?

 

Today I collected my Züverlässigkeitsüberprüfungbescheiningung from the Regierung Bayern luftfahrt Süd.

Apparently this is too much for most Germans and it's better known as a ZUP.

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2 minutes ago, Malt-Teaser said:

Today I collected my Züverlässigkeitsüberprüfungbescheiningung from the Regierung Bayern luftfahrt Süd.

If it really says that it is a fake, it has to be "Zuverlässigkeitsüberprüfungsbescheinigung"... :-)

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When I moved here I got a "Gleichwertigkeitsbescheinigung" for my university degree. It proves my degree is valid and the same as a Bachelor degree in Germany. I was amazed when I saw it on the document. It is a very long word indeed.

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These aren’t so long, but I actually used them. Had to ask my coworkers what you call a Zamboni. They couldn’t agree...  toss up between equally too-long Eisbearbeitungsmaschine or Eeisaufbereitungsmaschine.

 

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