Wednesday, October 10, 2007

antidisestablishmentarianism

I remember as a kid this was the longest word in the English language, but I don't think it is anymore. The kids are watching the cartoon A Pup Named Scooby Doo and it was the featured word on a game show. I wonder what the longest word is now. Whatever it is, English words can't hold a candle to German words when it comes to general length. Germans just stick several words together. I can't find my German-English dictionary, but here are a few words quickly chose out of a German textbook Vocabulary list:

die Gewerkschaftssekretaerin - union secretary
die Riesenschlange - python
die Nierenentzuendung - kidney infection
der Jugendherbergsausweis - owner/manager of a youth hostel
das Lebensmittelgeschaeft - grocery store
die Kopfschmnerztablette - headache pill
die Unterrichtsveranstaltung - organizing of a class
die Stirnhehlenentzuendung - frontal sinus infection
die Muskelschmerzen - muscle pain
das Meinungsforschungsinstitut - opinion research institute

I guess that's enough. So rather than have word phrases, Germans just make looong words. Which is pretty cool, considering when saying the words you also have to have a plenteous supply of phlegm.

But in all honesty, I love the German language. In high school I purposefully chose it rather than French or Spanish because French was too romantic and Spanish was too common. It served me well, as I got a two week, all expenses paid trip around Germany when I was 16, and then did a semester abroad in Austria when I was 20. I also got to be a student secretary in the Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages for nearly 3 years. Though now I'd like to learn Spanish because it is so useful, and French because it's fun to say only half the letters when you pronounce words.

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

Glad to see you are still using some German, kleine M.!