Putting it all together

The German language is (in) famous for only using one word, when English uses several, but it often achieves this by gluing several individual words together. Students of German, both in Germany and abroad are often taught the classic 48-letter Donau- Dampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänswitwe (Danube steamship company captain’s widow). This is, however, by no means the longest word in the German language.

It’s easily beaten by the 63-letter Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz (beef labelling monitoring assessment assignment law). This was affectionately known as RkReÜAÜG and although most German are unlikely to have heard of it, it is officially a word as it was used in public texts. Neither of these words, however, made it into the Duden dictionary as neither is commonly used. The longest word in the dictionary is the 36-letter Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung (vehicle liability insurance).

Although Australia’s national language is English, it has developed a vocabulary which is unique to the country and has absorbed many influences from around the world, in particularly from indigenous Australian languages and from its Asian and African neighbours. It’s earth and expressive, typical of the country as a whole. Germans interested in travelling to Australia are likely to find themselves well served by making use of the experience of a professional NAATI translator.

“Welcome” by zirconicusso