compound German words

beigatti

Senior Member
English - American
This might be a fun thread. German is known for its very long "Zusammensetzung" of words. I thought perhaps the native German speakers on this list could share some of the longest German compound words. Two that I learned, and which have been fun for me to show my kids, are

Fernsprecherteilnehmerverzeichnis

and

Donaudamfschifffahrtskapitaen

Es gibt doch andere, oder?


Jo-Ann
 
  • Ralf

    Senior Member
    German
    beigatti said:
    ....
    Fernsprecherteilnehmerverzeichnis

    and

    Donaudamfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitaen

    Es gibt doch andere, oder?
    Sure there are. What about "Erlaubnistatbestandsirrtum"? (it is a legal term to refer to the fact that somebody mistakenly violated his/her (authorized) competence)

    Something less confusing:

    Parkzeitüberschreitung
    Straßenreinigungsgebühr
    Berufungsgerichtsverfahren
    Müllentsorgungsunternehmen
    Niederschlagswahrscheinlichkeit
    Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (BAFöG)
    Haftzugsfestigkeitsprüfungsprotokoll
    Einhandmotorkettensägenführerlehrgangsteilnahmebestätigung (it actually exists!! The space in ....bes tätigung was inserted automatically--it is really one word)

    I guess you are right, this might be a funny and endless thread.

    Ralf
     

    JLanguage

    Senior Member
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    Ralf said:
    Sure there are. What about "Erlaubnistatbestandsirrtum"? (it is a legal term to refer to the fact that somebody mistakenly violated his/her (authorized) competence)

    Something less confusing:

    Parkzeitüberschreitung
    Straßenreinigungsgebühr
    Berufungsgerichtsverfahren
    Müllentsorgungsunternehmen
    Niederschlagswahrscheinlichkeit
    Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz (BAFöG)
    Haftzugsfestigkeitsprüfungsprotokoll
    Einhandmotorkettensägenführerlehrgangsteilnahmebestätigung (it actually exists!! The space in ....bes tätigung was inserted automatically--it is really one word)

    I guess you are right, this might be a funny and endless thread.

    Ralf

    Wow! Those are really words?! Are they ever used though?
     

    Ralf

    Senior Member
    German
    beigatti said:
    Ach toll! Sag mir, was es bedeutet?

    Lehrgangsteilnahmebestaetigung verstehe ich.

    Jo-Ann
    On secod thought I'm not that sure, because it could also go "Einmannmotorkettensägen....", but I think that really doesn't matter for this thread. It is taken from an official instruction manual for training of firefighters. Any firefighter has to go through several stages of qualifications. One of these qualifications is referred to by the acronym EMKSF which stands for "Einmannmotorkettensägenführer", with "Einmannmotorkettensäge" is a motorized chain saw that can be operated by a single person and "...führer" is the one who operates or is trained and permitted to operate that device. To get the official permission to work with that chain saw the firefighter has to take part in a training course. After successfully passing this course he will be given a certificate confirming his ability to operate a chain saw. Thus, this certificate is called literally translated: One-man-motor-chain-saw-operator's-instruction-course-participating-certificate (or something like that).

    What is really funny about the whole thing is that anyone who thinks he would need a chain saw can buy it and work with it without any instruction course at all. But in fire department services is it necessary and therefore regulated this way for insurance reasons.

    Ralf
     

    beigatti

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Thanks for the explanation. I understood the motorized chain saw, and the certificate showing that training had been completed. I couldn't put it all together!

    I always thought these were fun!

    Jo-Ann
     

    JLanguage

    Senior Member
    USA: American English, Learning Hebrew and Spanish
    gaer said:
    Everything in Japanese is like this. There are no spaces between words. :)

    Gaer

    Same with Chinese. And while this is true, each word still has a certain length if you were to only write that word. These words are so crazy, because german usually has spaces between the words.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Do you want to know what's my father's job?

    Informations- und Telekommunikationssytemelektroniker.

    ... and what's the job of the woman who works next to him?

    Informations- und Telekommunikationssytemelektronikerin.

    ... and what do I talk about?

    Informations- und Telekommunikationssytemelektronikerberuf.

    Haustürschlüsselloch
    Reiseveranstalterplan
    Planetenumlaufsystem
    Wirtschaftskundelehrer
    Privatsatellitenvorrichtung
    Supermarkteinkaufstütenbeschriftung

    Dies ist ein ...

    Deutschinteressentenforumsbeitrag

    A while ago I found following Germanized:

    Aftershavelotiontube
    Airconditioninganlage

    Good luck in reading.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    JLanguage said:
    Same with Chinese. And while this is true, each word still has a certain length if you were to only write that word. These words are so crazy, because german usually has spaces between the words.
    Right. Chinese works like the "kanji" part of Japanese. When Japanese uses kanji, there are no spaces. But it is WORSE when you see only hiragana or katakana, with no kanji. This gives headaches even to the Japanese.

    This is why books for children, written only in kana, have spaces added. :)

    Gaer
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    whodunit said:
    What is 'kana'? Is it the abbreviation to 'katakana'? But isn't katakana the style for foreign words? Or do I mix them all up?
    Kana is used for both hiragana and katakana. This word is used to contrast kanji ("Chinese characters") with phonetic symbols (kana).

    In general, katakana is used for foreign words, but it is also used for certain unusual Japanese words, for instance certain words having to do with sounds. I believe it is also used in advertizing sometimes, on big signs. I don't like katakana. I find it very difficult to read.

    I don't know if you can read these symbols, but I'll try:

    下痢、げり、two kanji shown below and bowels. It means "diarrhea", which is unfortunate, because the word is "geri". Not good when your name is "Gary". :(

    げいりー、almost the same, now geirî, meaning that there is a slight difference in vowel sound, and the final "i" is lengthened. Still using hiragana (kana), which are rounded.

    ゲイリー、now using katakana (also kana), but this time it means: "Gary" in Japanese. :)

    ゲイリー (Gary/Gaer)
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    gaer said:
    Kana is used for both hiragana and katakana. This word is used to contrast kanji ("Chinese characters") with phonetic symbols (kana).

    In general, katakana is used for foreign words, but it is also used for certain unusual Japanese words, for instance certain words having to do with sounds. I believe it is also used in advertizing sometimes, on big signs. I don't like katakana. I find it very difficult to read.

    I don't know if you can read these symbols, but I'll try:

    下痢、げり、two kanji shown below and bowels. It means "diarrhea", which is unfortunate, because the word is "geri". Not good when your name is "Gary". :(

    げいりー、almost the same, now geirî, meaning that there is a slight difference in vowel sound, and the final "i" is lengthened. Still using hiragana (kana), which are rounded.

    ゲイリー、now using katakana (also kana), but this time it means: "Gary" in Japanese. :)

    ゲイリー (Gary/Gaer)

    Oh, that's already enough to me. My knowledge of Japanese is very, very poor.

    Well, let me say that I'll call you "Gaer", hence. I hope you won't feel embarrassed any more, if I'm going to call you like this.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    whodunit said:
    Oh, that's already enough for me. My knowledge of Japanese is very, very poor.

    Well, let me say that I'll call you "Gaer", hence. I hope you won't feel embarrassed any more, if I'm going to call you like this.
    I just made one small suggestion. :)

    My post was probably very off-topic, although we did drift a bit into how everything is compound in Asian languages, sort of "super-German-type-words".

    As you know, I'm okay with either form of my name. I have not contributed to this discussion, because compound words in German have never been a problem for me, merely an interesting curiosity. I have thought, on more than one occasion, that many Native American names remind my of German, and there is something very compact and unique about putting nouns (or words) straight together.

    I'm thinking of very simple German words that have no English equivalent:

    Schadenfreude, Leitmotiv, so many others, and the two I picked are not even good examples. This compactness makes German very straightforward, very direct, and I like it.

    Gaer
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    gaer said:
    I just made one small suggestion. :)

    My post was probably very off-topic, although we did drift a bit into how everything is compound in Asian languages, sort of "super-German-type-words".

    As you know, I'm okay with either form of my name. I have not contributed to this discussion, because compound words in German have never been a problem for me, merely an interesting curiosity. I have thought, on more than one occasion, that many Native American names remind my of German, and there is something very compact and unique about putting nouns (or words) straight together.

    I'm thinking of very simple German words that have no English equivalent:

    Schadenfreude, Leitmotiv, so many others, and the two I picked are not even good examples. This compactness makes German very straightforward, very direct, and I like it.

    Gaer

    Yes, it's obviously off-topic. But let me say "Schadenfreunde" has two English equivalents:

    - malicious glee
    - gloating
    (- schadenfreude)

    And here you have "Leitmotiv" equivalents:

    http://dict.leo.org/?lp=ende&lang=de&searchLoc=0&cmpType=relaxed&relink=on&sectHdr=on&spellToler=std&search=leitmotiv
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    whodunit said:
    Yes, it's obviously off-topic. But let me say "Schadenfreunde" has two English equivalents:

    - malicious glee
    - gloating
    (- schadenfreude)
    I don't agree with "gloating". I think it's a very innacurate translation.

    I agree with this:

    die Vergnügen an dem Mißgeschick, Unglück eines anderen:

    Gloating CAN be malicious, but it can also be no more than a kind of arrogant triumph. :)

    G
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    whodunit said:
    There are many wrong things in LEO, as we both know. :)

    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=gloating&x=21&y=18

    You will see that malicious CAN be part of gloat, but it is not necessarily so. It is a gentler word than Schadenfreude.

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=33171&dict=CALD

    Again, it CAN be due to someone else's failure or bad luck, but it can also be about your own good luck and success.

    Gloat is not as strong, in my opinion. Malicious glee is a much better translation, I think. :)

    Gaer
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    gaer said:
    There are many wrong things in LEO, as we both know. :)

    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=gloating&x=21&y=18

    You will see that malicious CAN be part of gloat, but it is not necessarily so. It is a gentler word than Schadenfreude.

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=33171&dict=CALD

    Again, it CAN be due to someone else's failure or bad luck, but it can also be about your own good luck and success.

    Gloat is not as strong, in my opinion. Malicious glee is a much better translation, I think. :)

    Gaer

    Thank you for the links. But I still think "gloat" means the same as "schadenfreude" and "malicious glee". But you're the native and I believe you.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    whodunit said:
    Thank you for the links. But I still think "gloat" means the same as "schadenfreude" and "malicious glee". But you're the native and I believe you.
    It's a delicate point. I can tell you for a fact that gloat is not the same as malicious glee unless you are using the second expression in a humorous way.

    If you are a soccer fan (football in all countries except the US), and your team "kills" the other (wins by a huge margin), you might gloat.

    If you hated someone fiercely and felt nothing but joy if that person suffered horribly and then died painfully, that would be malicious glee. They are not the same, Who. :)

    If you look up "gloat" on LEO, you will see meanings that will illustrate the point I just made.

    Gaer
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    gaer said:
    It's a delicate point. I can tell you for a fact that gloat is not the same as malicious glee unless you are using the second expression in a humorous way.

    If you are a soccer fan (football in all countries except the US), and your team "kills" the other (wins by a huge margin), you might gloat.

    If you hated someone fiercely and felt nothing but joy if that person suffered horribly and then died painfully, that would be malicious glee. They are not the same, Who. :)

    If you look up "gloat" on LEO, you will see meanings that will illustrate the point I just made.

    Gaer

    Okay, I think now I understood it perfectly. Your examples are very clear. Thanks again.
     

    alc112

    Senior Member
    Argentina Spanish
    whodunit said:
    BTW, what does it mean?

    It's very difficult
    Let me think
    first of al that word could be separated: the main word is electroencefalograma which is:
    It's a study that a doctor does you to know about the working of your brain. HE/she puts on your head (in the zone of your hair) little cables which have in the one end a little circule (that is "sticked" in your hair" but they don't have an adhesive but they can stick and be taken out later) and in the other end, they go to a machine which says with a graph how your brain is working.
    I did that study once because i had a paralysis in my face when I was 8.
    And -mente is used to form the adverb
    so, I can say
    Electroencefalográfcamente hablando, mi cerebro está sano.

    And more
    Electro: about electricity
    encefalo: about the brain
    grama: about an image, picture, graph....

    It was very difficult
    I'll ask LN if I was right.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    whodunit said:
    Of course, it is.
    It would be nice to start a future topic about words that mean the same things SOMETIMES, but don't at all other times.

    It would be incredibly complicated though, and I think it would have to be done one by one. For instance, we just talked about gloat vs. malicious glee.

    Well, here's another one:

    comfortable/komfortable

    I won't discuss it here, since it's totally off-topic, but this falls into what I call SOMETIMES a false-friend, because again there are overlapping meanings.

    Gaer
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    gaer said:
    It would be nice to start a future topic about words that mean the same things SOMETIMES, but don't at all other times.

    It would be incredibly complicated though, and I think it would have to be done one by one. For instance, we just talked about gloat vs. malicious glee.

    Well, here's another one:

    comfortable/komfortable

    I won't discuss it here, since it's totally off-topic, but this falls into what I call SOMETIMES a false-friend, because again there are overlapping meanings.

    Gaer

    PS: PLEASE, if anyone here would do this, simply continue a conversation that has drifted by starting a new thread, I think it would greatly help us all. Topic drift is unavoidable, but if we can then move to a new topic, it keeps things from getting lost and crazy…
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    alc112 said:
    It's very difficult
    Let me think
    first of al that word could be separated: the main word is electroencefalograma which is:
    It's a study that a doctor does you to know about the working of your brain. HE/she puts on your head (in the zone of your hair) little cables which have in the one end a little circule (that is "sticked" in your hair" but they don't have an adhesive but they can stick and be taken out later) and in the other end, they go to a machine which says with a graph how your brain is working.
    I did that study once because i had a paralysis in my face when I was 8.
    And -mente is used to form the adverb
    so, I can say
    Electroencefalográfcamente hablando, mi cerebro está sano.

    And more
    Electro: about electricity
    encefalo: about the brain
    grama: about an image, picture, graph....

    It was very difficult
    I'll ask LN if I was right.

    It's a very good explanation, but I don't know how to translate it in German, if you wanted me to do this.
     

    Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    gaer said:
    It would be nice to start a future topic about words that mean the same things SOMETIMES, but don't at all other times.

    It would be incredibly complicated though, and I think it would have to be done one by one. For instance, we just talked about gloat vs. malicious glee.

    Well, here's another one:

    comfortable/komfortabel

    I won't discuss it here, since it's totally off-topic, but this falls into what I call SOMETIMES a false-friend, because again there are overlapping meanings.

    Gaer

    komfortabel and comfortable aren't false-friends. Did you mean something like 'actual ≠ aktuell'? If yes, your idea is good to create a new thread about this topic.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    whodunit said:
    komfortabel and comfortable aren't false-friends. Did you mean something like 'actual ≠ aktuell'? If yes, your idea is good to create a new thread about this topic.
    I won't start a new thread about false friends but rather particular word pairs.

    I'll do it now. :)

    G
     

    ErOtto

    Senior Member
    Bilingual: Spanish (Spain) / German (Germany)
    Whodunit said:
    It's a very good explanation, but I don't know how to translate it in German, if you wanted me to do this.

    electrocardiograma = Elektrokardiogramm (EKG)
    electroencefalograma = Elektroencefalogramm (EEG)

    Im übrigem wird es im spanischen nicht mit -mente benutzt... es sei denn um das längste Wort zu bilden ;)

    cu
    ErOtto :cool:
     
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