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Long German words: a phrasebook for show-offs

“Some German words are so long that they have a perspective,” quipped Mark Twain, in his 1880 book ‘A Tramp Abroad’. He wasn’t wrong - the German language is notable for its compound nouns. Here are 10 phrases that visitors to the country might use to impress the locals.


63 letters
Translation – officially out of use since 2013, this means "law for the delegation of monitoring beef labelling".
When to use it? While quizzing the hotel chef about his sauerbraten.


41 letters
Translation - Danube steamship company captain
When to use it – earn your place at the captain’s table as your cruise ship sets sail from Passau.


80 letters
Translation - Association for Subordinate Officials of the Head Office Management of the Danube Steamboat Electrical Services
When to use it – after a dozen schnapps with the aforementioned captain.


24 letters
Translation: demonstrations of friendship
When to use it? Frequently, at Oktoberfest.


36 letters 
Translation - motor vehicle liability insurance
When to use it? While renting your Mercedes at the Avis desk


39 letters
Translation - "insurance companies providing legal protection."
When to use it? While booking a walking tour of the Black Forest – just in case the local operator goes bust


46 letters
Translation - companies providing mass communications services.
When to use it? While looking for a biergarten in which to watch the big football game.


65 letters
Translation - 777,777
When to use it? When predicting to a local bookmaker how many goals Brazil will concede in their next match with Germany.


49 letters 
Translation: a trainee assistant social insurance broker 
When to use it? While discussing Bayern Munich's footballing dominance, for example: "This year's Bundesliga title race was as boring as a Sozialversicherungsfachangestelltenauszubildender".


50 letters
Translation: the Barbie of the bar where the beer of the beard barber for the barbarians of Rhubarb’s Barbara’s bar is sold (see video below for an explanation)
When to use it? Don't.



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