How Crazy-Long German Words are Made

German is known for its extra long compound words. When Mark Twain complained that some German words were “so long they have a perspective,” he was thinking of words like Freundschaftsbezeigungen demonstrations of friendship and Generalstaatsverordnetenversammlungen general states representatives meetings. Long German words were in the news this year when many sources reported that Germany had “lost its longest word” because the European Union removed a law from its books called ahem:
Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz
the law for the delegation of monitoring beef labeling.

But Germany had not in fact lost its longest word, because the process for forming these words is an active, productive part of the language, and the potential exists for creating words even longer, if so needed in the moment. How does that process work?

via Here’s How Crazy-Long German Words are Made | Mental Floss.

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