A few months ago I decided to learn German. I used to think that speaking fluently any other language apart from the native one would facilitate the process of learning a third language.
Turns out I was wrong! I’m not saying it’s even more difficult but it all depends on how much time you invest in studying and practising. Getting back to the German learning issue, I noticed that there are many compound words that are apparently difficult and sometimes impossible to pronounce for someone who only knows basic words.
I had then the brilliant idea of looking for the longest word in Spanish; there are words like electroencefalográficamente and anticonstitucionalísimamente. Curiously, the longest one is hipopotomonstrosesquipedaliofobia and is defined as the fear or phobia to pronounce long and complicated words due to nervousness in most of the cases. It was the first time I read about this word and even for a native speaker its pronunciation could be hard.
On the other hand, German language allows the creation of extremely long compound words. One of the longest has 63 letters and it was created as a project’s title:
Rinderkennzeichnungs – und Rind¬fleisch¬etikettierungs¬über¬wachungs¬aufgaben¬übertragungs¬gesetz
Literally translated as: Cattle marking and beef labeling supervision duties delegation law.
However, there’s another word translated as “Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services” and in German is written like this:
We shouldn’t be surprised if longer words are created in the near future. Would you still be interested in learning German?
Curious word facts:
– Eunoia: Is one of the shortest English words and includes the 5 main vowels.
– Strengths: Is the longest English words that has only one vowel.
– Unprosperousness: Has 16 letters and they all appear at least twice.