Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


19.6.05
  Monster Words

Well, some of you might know that the German language can create pretty long words by combining several nouns

Part of this is due to the structure of the language that can fe. turn a verb into a noun by adding a pre- or suffix. So, tun (to do) becomes Tätigkeit (the doing). You'll find this in a word like Wohltätigkeit (charity - the doing good/beneficial). If you combine this with Veranstaltung (event), you'll get a typical German word: Wohltätigkeitsveranstaltung. And I can't blame people who prefer to use the English Charity Event instead, it's easier to type. *grin*

But it can also be fun, like yesterday in FM chat, where another German girl and I tried to create a real monster word, much to the amused awe of the English participants. Such words are not really used. Here's what we came up with:

Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänsuniformknopflochstanzmaschinen-
einstellungsschraubenspezialschraubenzieherwandhalterung

To translate the word, you'll have to start at the end, and the word order is sometimes not the one of the German word:

Wall-holder for the special screwdriver for adjusting the screws on a machine that punches the buttonholes into the uniform of a captain of the Danube Steamship Voyages Society.
 


Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction and Fantasy author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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I'm a writer of Historical Fiction and Fantasy living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.


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