Long German words to test H&J:

dezcom's picture

Here are a couple of words that push the envelope of hyphenation :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Here they are as text:
Eierschalensollbruchstellenverursacher
Staatsangehörigkeitsangelegenheiten

I am sure many of you can come up with other H&J teasers.

ChrisL

mili's picture

A nice Finnish word to keep you going:
lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas
unfortunately it doesn't have any of our umlauts, like this charming word: töölöläinen

dezcom's picture

Those are great! and they have just a few vowels--unlike the Czech words which could borrow some of your for sure :-)

ChrisL

Dav's picture

I even had a project / platform named 'Eierschalensollbruchstellenverursacher', together with a few friends, several years ago. :)

( It mainly was a 'Designers Playground'. Sadly enough, the site itself is no longer alive. I think we even had the domain eierschalensollbruchstellenverursacher.com, for a year or so, back then. Aaargh, My memory. Its available again, by the way. :)

Dav

dezcom's picture

Dave,
I guess you could have made a font with now word spaces forthat site since none were needed :-)

ChrisL

Grot Esqué's picture

Why yes, that is Action Jackson!

Forza Italia!

If I remember correctly, there was a word in a Finnish – German dictionary that went something like this: phonecallselectioncancellationpreventionbutton. A word.

And if I’m not totally mistaken the long word posted by Mili is in fact in use in the military.

dezcom's picture

The Finns win by a long shot!

ChrisL

Grot Esqué's picture

To clear things out, it was a German word. ; )

dezcom's picture

Good for spelling contests!

ChrisL

tina's picture

phonecallselectioncancellationpreventionbutton would be translated as Anrufauswahlabbruchsvermeidungsknopf. Or what about the old classic Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft? ;o)

dezcom's picture

It sounds like the addawordadinfinitum syndrome :-)

ChrisL

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Mili, is that the Finnish title for Tom Cruise's movie "Top Gun" ?

mili's picture

Nearly, it's a rank in the Finnish air force, as Grot Esqué already mentioned ;-).

In both German and Finnish one can make long words by just adding them together. Of course, ther should be some sense and logic in it.

One famous palindrom in Finnish is the soap salesman: saippuakauppias, but that's a shorty.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Or "pannomattosuora" which means something like "the crazy woollen cloth of the nun" in Italian.

Goran Soderstrom's picture

And here‘s four (not as long, but anyway) in swedish =)

acklimatiseringssvårigheter
förtjänstutvecklingsgaranti
kontrollstationsförhandling
realisationsvinstbeskattning

mili's picture

Sorry, Goran, I forgot about the Swedish word combining systems! Any other languages like that? Danish and Norwegian surely, perhaps Dutch?

Alessandro, the "pannomattosuora" sounds like a Finnish word, although panno doesn't mean anything in Finnish (change it to "pannu", and it means kettle), but "matto" is a rug and "suora" is straight.

Grot Esqué's picture

So “panna matto suoraan” would mean “to straighten the carpet”. “Pannomattosuora” sounds like some foreigner trying to speak Finnish.

dezcom's picture

“to straighten the carpet”

That is a fine kettle of fish :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

antidissestablishmentarianism I believe is the longest English word but it is just childs play compared to the Finn and German example above. They say "the Greeks had a word for it" but the Finns have a gigantic word for it :-) And they say size doesn't matter :-)

ChrisL

Toby Macklin's picture

Only one s in the disestablish part of that word ... so the English winner by one letter is ...

floccinaucinihilipilification - setting little or no value on something

Any advance?

Toby

mili's picture

Don't forget the Welsh classic:
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

http://teachingtreasures.com.au/student-projects/Llanfair.htm

typofoto's picture

pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "a factitious word alleged to mean 'a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust' but occurring chiefly as an instance of a very long word."

Nick Shinn's picture

Sorry Toby, this is longer: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (and you can also sing it).

dezcom's picture

Chimney sweeps unite in song :-)

ChrisL

Da Kine's picture

Not as long, but looks good in print--- The offical state fish of Hawaii:

humuhumunukunukuapuaa

DK~

dezcom's picture

Another very vowel-friendly language :-)

ChrisL

alexfjelldal's picture

the only norwegian word with 9 vowels in a row:
"SAUEØYEEIENDOMMELIGHETER"

means "sheep's eye oddities'.

fmiles's picture

Tõõõõõõbik.

It's Estonian and means "Work-night nightingale".

Tim Ahrens's picture

Another possibility to find words is to search large texts for long words. http://www.gutenberg.org/ is a good source with texts in many languages. I thought Kant in German would be a good candidate for long words and came up with the following:

Annehmungswürdigkeit Anschauungsvermögens anthropomorphistisch aufeinanderfolgenden bewunderungswürdigen Bewunderungswürdiges Dynamischunbedingten Elementarwissenschaft empirischunbedingten empirischunbedingten Erfahrungserkenntnis Erfahrungserkenntnisse Erkenntnisprinzipien Erklärungsbedingungen Fundamentalerscheinung Gelegenheitsursachen Gravitationsgesetzen Grundbeschaffenheiten Intellektualphilosoph Intellektualphilosophen mathematischunbedingte Naturmannigfaltigkeit Paragraphenabteilung Parlamentsadvokaten: physikotheologischen physischtheologische physischtheologischen schlechthinnotwendig schlechthinnotwendigen schlechthinnotwendiges Schlechthinunbedingte Schlechthinunbedingten Unbedingtnotwendigen unbedingtnotwendiges Undurchdringlichkeit Unterscheidungskraft Unterscheidungsmerkmal verabscheuungswürdig Verbindungsvermögens Vergleichungsbegriffe Verhältnisvorstellungen Vernunftbearbeitungen Vernunftbehauptungen Vernunfterkenntnisse Vernunfterkenntnisses Vernunftuntersuchung Vernunftwissenschaft Vernunftwissenschaften Verstandeserkenntnis Verstandeserkenntnisse Verstandeserkenntnisses Verstandesgrundsatze Verstandesgrundsätzen Verstandeshandlungen Verstandesverbindung Vorstellungsfähigkeit Vorstellungsvermögen Zwischenempfindungen

T

dezcom's picture

I would like to see Tim's text above set justified with hyphenation turned off :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

What was the contest held many, many years ago which involved Vana White with Hawaiians, Estonians, and Norwegians, vs Czechs and Slovaks? Somehow I think the Czechs and Slovaks never wanted to buy a vowel from Vana so everyone else got them? [Maybe the game was later called "Whll of MzFrchtzn" by Central Europeans] :-)

ChrisL

stw's picture

I think this one is the longest:
Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz

And this one is long and also often used:
Betäubungsmittelverschreibungsverordnung

in english it would be called:
narcoticprescriptionlaw
or something like that!?!?

: )

William Berkson's picture

When I was working on the history of the theory of relativity, I had to read about the velocity of light in three languages. This phrase really give the feel of the three languages. French: velocité de la lumiere. German: lichtfortpflanzungsgeschwindigkeit.

English: shortest. French: prettiest. German: most exact, but a mouthful.

I wonder: are German speakers (and those in other languages with a similar device) slowed down by the aggregation of nouns like this, with no word spacing?

k.l.'s picture

I wonder: are German speakers (and those in other languages with a similar device) slowed down by the aggregation of nouns like this, with no word spacing?

You mean, they think slow?  ;-)

I don't think so. The long words you found are the exception rather than the rule. As to philosophical or scientific texts -- once you figure out what someone means by a longer word (which has more to do with the interpretation of the text than mere deciphering of a single word), these words become variables which you just recognize. Whether they are shorter or longer doesn't really matter then.
Today "lichtgeschwindigkeit" is used which is literally the same as the English and French terms. Not that long.

[Glaube ich nicht. Diese langen wörter sind eher die ausnahme. Und in texten, in denen sie auftauchen, muß man sie nicht ständig aufs neue entziffern, sondern erkennt sie einfach wieder -- bloß eine variable, deren länge sich nicht direkt auf deren wiedererkennbarkeit auswirkt.]

Just an example. Not many really long words ...

Karsten

Tim Ahrens's picture

Don't confuse the fact that in German composed words are written in one word and the tendency towards longer words (written in one or not).

The fact that we write composed words in one word is necessary because the word order is not fixed like in English. Unfortunately, this principle is not followed by everyone anymore.

Most words are longer because of our naive way of describing things rather than using new words. For example, glove is actually Handschuh (handshoe) in German. This makes texts longer but on the other hand, many technical terms are easier to understand for laymen.

William Berkson's picture

>Not many really long words …

Yeah but you occassionally get something like wiedererkennbarkeit = recognizable :)

The reason I ask is because of a question I have not related to this thread: whether the original absence of word spacing slowed down readers of Latin and Greek. It seems that semitic languages always had word spaces, but that the addition of vowels to the alphabet for Greek and Latin sufficiently reduced ambiguity that word spaces were not as needed.

There is a theory, of Noordzij and Saenger that the re-introduction of word spaces by Irish monks in the 8th century enabled silent reading and was a big breakthough. I am wondering whether native speakers of Latin and Greek could read just as quickly without word spaces. I know Latin is highly conjugated, and I've heard the same about Greek, so it may be that word endings are easy to recognize.

My guess is that the reintroduction of word spaces was because the Irish monks' Latin was not as good as their continental colleagues, so it was more difficult for them to read continuous texts; also they wanted to write Gaelic, which maybe has less end-of-word markers...

In English we also do aggretated nouns (eg. word spaces), but usually keep the words separate. Does the German practice reduce ambiguity and help readability? Or does the length of words reduce readability? Or is there no difference?

I also note that German is much more conjugated than English. Is this a factor?

Nick Shinn's picture

the re-introduction of word spaces by Irish monks in the 8th century enabled silent reading

Prior to this, it would have been difficult to follow a vow of silence and work in the scriptorium.

poms's picture

@William
As a drastic example,
the term "Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft" - (very badly) translated in "Danubian steamboat-shipping corporation" - has several combined words (and stems) in it.

Donau (danube), Dampf (steam), Schiff (ship), Fahrt (ride), Gesellschaft (corporation) and "combined words", terms like Dampfschiff ("steamship", steamboat), Schifffahrt (shipping).

This example is hard to read for native german-speaking people too, but a "normal term" like "The declaration of independence" - "Die Unabhängigkeitserklärung" is easy to read for native germans. It depends how many words and stems are combined in one term... you got to be used to... that's all :)

Dan Weaver's picture

Chris you might remember an issue of U&LC where the name of a Scottish train station was the longest word in the world. It means something like "The place over the hill by the church near the oak tree…"

dezcom's picture

Thomas,
Your example makes perfect sense to me. As an English speaker, I can read antidisestablishmentarianism or dichlorodifluromethane with no problem because I am familiar with those words. There are many other long (for English) technical and scientific terms which I do not know. I slow down reading those a great deal because I have to sound them out and ponder as to their meaning. Familiarity, as you said, is the key.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

“The place over the hill by the church near the oak tree…”

I know that place laddie! :-)

ChrisL

timd's picture

I think that is the Welsh village already mentioned above by Mili, boyo.

I think the Maori have that beaten though Tetaumatawhakatangihangakoauaotamateaurehaeaturipukapihimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuaakitanarahu and you shouldn’t hyphenate proper nouns so maybe it isn’t the best test, wide measure too.

Tim

dezcom's picture

Tim,
Try that on a 12 pica measure :-)

ChrisL

timd's picture

I'm too annoyed by that widow:)
Does your search have a motive or is it curiosity?
Tim

dezcom's picture

It started when I was looking for text from foreign languages to test my typeface designs. I was looking for letter combinations which were not very typical in English. I started seeing these enormous words in some languages as well as concentrations of either vowels or consonants in other languages. This all made me quite curious why words got to be so big in some languages. From this thread, I've learned that it is normal in some languages to just combine words without spaces and that everyone is quite comfortable with it.
I am always on the lookout for intriguing texts to test type with in any language using Latin, Greek, or Cyrillic scripts. I look for subject areas which might match the face I am drawing--music, science, art periods, humor or abstract things like darkness and lightness.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Another good thing about testing type in foreign languages is that you look more at the letter combinations than you would in your native tongue since you don't get caught up reading the text.

ChrisL

johnbutler's picture

Rauchgasentschwefelungsanlage
(Sulfur Dioxide Detoxification Facility)

dezcom's picture

Thanks John, doesn't sound like a healthy place to visit :-)

I wish there were a word that said:
Darkchocolateandhazelnutswithespressoeatingplace instead;-D

ChrisL

Grot Esqué's picture

Thanks a lot Chris, now I got to go back to the store to get some ice cream.

dezcom's picture

Get some for me too Lari!

ChrisL

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