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Old 05-11-2012, 06:01 PM   #1
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Twain, Mark: The Awful German Language. v1. 11 May 2012

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) was an American author and humorist. He seems to have become fascinated with the German language and mentioned it in several speeches that he gave in Europe.

At a speech in Vienna in 1899, he said:

Quote:
I have not sufficiently mastered German, to allow my using it with impunity. My collection of fourteen-syllable German words is still incomplete. But I have just added to that collection a jewel—a veritable jewel. I found it in a telegram from Linz, and it contains ninety-five letters:

Personaleinkommensteuerschätzungskommissions-mitgliedsreisekostenrechnungs-ergänzungsrevisionsfund

If I could get a similar word engraved upon my tombstone I should sleep beneath it in peace.
"The Awful German Language" was originally published as as Appendix D in his 1880 book "A Tramp Abroad."

Here are some quotes from this essay:

Quote:
My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing), in 30 hours, French in 30 days, and German in 30 years.
Quote:
In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl.
(I deliberately decided against correcting the numerous German typos and grammar mistakes in the original text.)
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File Type: epub Twain, Mark - The Awful German Language.epub (200.4 KB, 467 views)

Last edited by Doitsu; 05-12-2012 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Fixed some minor formatting issues and re-uploaded the .ePub file.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #2
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Google translate gives:

Personaleinkommensteuerschätzungskommissions-mitgliedsreisekostenrechnungs-ergänzungsrevisionsfund

as:

Personal income tax estimate commission member travel costs accounting-auditing supplement fund

remove the first hyphen and it becomes:

Personal Income Tax Assessment Commission member travel cost accounting audit supplement fund


I have too much time on my hands.

Last edited by banjomike; 05-15-2012 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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According to Wikipedia, currently the longest German word is:

Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz = beef labeling supervision duties delegation law

which consists of a measly 6 nouns.
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