10 Longest German Words: How many letters are in the longest German word? How to read and translate “mile” long words and not be mistaken? What words exist in reality, and what have the Germans jokingly invented?

One word instead of ten

German words are actually very long. If you look into the dictionary, you will see that one German word can be translated by more than 5-6 words of the English language. This feature of German word formation is very easy to find in everyday speech. Wherever we say “driver’s license” , the Germans will get by with one word – Führerschein. Some more examples: Tischlampe – table lamp; Briefkastenschlüssel – mailbox key; Sommerschlussverkauf – summer sale.

FYI: The gender of compound nouns is determined by the last “piece/word”.

There are also very nice long words that I would even like to borrow from the Germans, for example, das In-den-Tag-hinein-Leben , which can be roughly translated as “to live in the moment“. However, in this word there may be another context – that a person lives idly, without a purpose, so, from one day to another.

Also a very convenient word: Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung – sick leave .

Long words are very informative and, in a concise form, are whole little stories. Some of them are very funny, for example:

Donaudampfschifffahrtskapitänsmütze
Captain’s cap of the Danube Shipping Company

Frauenfussballeuropameisterschaftsschiedsrichterin
European women’s football championship referee

And there are also simply frightening words – these are mainly the names of German laws. However, in recent years, laws have begun to be named in a completely different way, so that their names are becoming more “human” . For example das KiTa-Gesetz – the law on kindergartens . KiTa is short for Kindertagesstätte – kindergarten. This is not surprising, because German word formation does not stand still just like everything around!

A few more examples of the “condensed words” so beloved by the Germans:

Braunkohlekraftwerkstandorts sicherheitsbestimmungen
Safety regulations for a coal-fired power plant branch

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The Germans themselves like to joke about such words that theoretically can exist, but practically are not used anywhere , for example:

Kugelschreiberzusammenbauanleitungshotmailservicenummer
technical support number for instructions for collecting a fountain pen

Toilettenbürsten benutzungsanweisung
Toilet brush instructions

Well, one more word as an appetizer (btw click here for Restaurant vocabulary), which, by the way, is considered one of the longest in the German:
Donaudampschiffahrtkapitänswitwenundwaisenversicherungsgesellschaft
Danube Shipping Company Captains Widows and Orphans Insurance Company

Now, after we got acquainted with the different compound words, I offer you the top 10 longest German words.

TOP 10 Longest German Words 

1. Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung (67 characters)
Regulation on the delegation of authority concerning land conveyance permissions

2. Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz (64 characters)
Beef labeling regulation & delegation of supervision law

3. Verkehrsinfrastrukturfinanzierungsgesellschaft (46 characters)
Transport infrastructure finance company

4. Gleichgewichtsdichtegradientenzentrifugation (44 characters)
Equilibrium density gradient centrifugation

5. Elektrizitätswirtschaftsorganizationsgesetz (43 characters)
Electricity Industry Organization Act

6. Verkehrswegeplanungsbeschleunigungsgesetz (42 characters)
Traffic Route Planning Acceleration Act

7. Hochleistungsflüssigkeitschromatographie (41 characters)
High performance liquid chromatography

8. Restriktionsfragmentlängenpolymorphismus (40 characters)
Restriction fragment length polymorphism

9. Telekommunikationsüberwachungsverordnung (40 characters)
Corporate Tax Development Act

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