Two of the Longest Words in German Posted by Larissa on Jan 22, 2019 in Language, Literature
As an English speaker we are used to short, simple words, which means it can be quite intimidating when reading German words that are three times as long as what they are in English! Here’s a post with two of the longest German words, what they mean, and some tips on helping you decipher those long words that you may come across.
The longest German Word
Get ready for it, the longest Geman word is Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz which has 63 letters. Although the word is very, very long, no one actually uses such long words in everyday life! These words are German compound words, so really all they are are lots of little words put together. Let’s break this word up:
From cutting the word into 6 little words we now know it’s about a law on correctly labelling beef. Since 2013, Germany has actually dropped this word as we apparently don’t need it anymore (did we ever need such a long word?!), so it is technically no longer Germany’s longest word.
The longest German Word in the Dictionary
The longest German word that you can find in the dictionary is Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung with 36 letters. Not too long, and also something you might hear in everyday life if you own a car. Let’s cut the word up again:
Kraftfahrzeug motor vehicle
So the 36 letter word just means car insurance!
Also spelling out numbers can make very long words. Try deciphering this number: Siebentausendfünfhundertsechsundzwanzig. Write your answer in the comments below.
My advice is to first see if you recognise any words that could be hidden in the word and from there try cutting the word up into smaller words. Do you know any long words in German that can be used in everyday life?
Thanks for reading,
Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.