German may be the most widely spoken language in the European Union, but let's be honest - it's just downright funny sometimes. We roasted French, so now it's time for the German language to have its turn.

People around the world learning how to speak German have long struggled with German's fearsome grammar, in which multiple funny words are stuck together to make more descriptive terms. This leads to things like long, aggressive store names and job titles, as well as migraines for tourists and expats in Germany. The spelling of these long German words is an even more sensitive subject.

Since German is an ancestor to English, a lot of funny German words were passed down to us but changed in spelling over time. The original German forms of these words now have... Well, 'interesting' connotations. See for yourself below.

Oh, and just for the lols, here is the longest word in German - Donaudampfschifffahtselektrizitatenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengessellschaft. Standing proudly at 80 letters, this word translates to "Association for Subordinate Officials of the Head Office Management of the Danube Steamboat Electrical Services" and is an absolutely real concoction of letters. Try not to break your tongue with it!

#2

Nobody Expected That From You, German Language

Nobody Expected That From You, German Language

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However, according to Olly Richards, a polyglot and the founder of I Will Teach You A Language, German actually isn't too difficult to master.

"One of the main reasons German isn’t all that hard to learn is that German and English originate from the same language families and share more similarities than you probably realize," Richards wrote. "Both German and English are Indo-European languages that stem from the Germanic family of languages. About 40% of German vocabulary is similar to English vocabulary, which is good news for native English speakers!"

#3

Mastering A Second Language

 Mastering A Second Language

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John L Kelly
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Ein Schwaben Bräu bitte" makes everything work out fine.

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Richards said that pronunciation is also more straightforward than you might think and grammar is relatively easy to pick up thanks to recognizable patterns. "If we examine the phrases 'what is that?' and 'was ist das?', the connections are obvious."

Also, the polyglot thinks that it's is much easier to pronounce words phonetically in German than in English. "In English, letters often change sounds without any logical explanation. This isn’t the case in German."

"Although some aspects of German may seem difficult, once you break the language down, it's not actually that hard."

#4

Simplicity Is The Key

Simplicity Is The Key

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#5

There's A Word For Everything In German Language

There's A Word For Everything In German Language

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#6

Germans vs. Foreigners

Germans vs. Foreigners

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#8

The Language Of Poets

The Language Of Poets

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Troux
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These all have direct English equivalents: "I got tossed in the back of a car" "We came together after the movie" "I gave my bird what she needed last night"

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#9

Kinder Kids

Kinder Kids

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#10

Funny German Language

Funny German Language

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Juana
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why do the write the names of the languages and then throw in Mexico? For continuity they should have written Spanish. And a flag of Spain.

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#11

Hand Shoes Make Perfect Sense

Hand Shoes Make Perfect Sense

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Roman Hans
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Here Germany makes much more sense. Why make up a new word when you can repurpose old ones? Gloves really are “hand shoes.”

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#12

Salad, Anyone?

Salad, Anyone?

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#13

As A Foreigner Who’s Learning German, So Accurate

As A Foreigner Who’s Learning German, So Accurate

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#14

Funny German Language

Funny German Language

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Volker Burmester
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sechs is german for six and sound almost like sex. Vier means four in german and sounds like fear. And fünf is german for five.

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#15

When German Language Wasn't Scary But Cute

When German Language Wasn't Scary But Cute

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Mary Peace
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The French say "How are you called?" when they want to know your name. I suppose it's like asking "How do I get your attention?" really.

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#16

Naming Animals In German

Naming Animals In German

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#17

Best Photo From Trip To Berlin

Best Photo From Trip To Berlin

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fat hard street. nothing to see here, move along folks.

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#18

When German Language Had Like A Gazillion Ways To Say "Why".

When German Language Had Like A Gazillion Ways To Say "Why".

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

All of these have a different connotation and add to the richness of communication. You would also rather say "for which purpose do you use a rifle" than "why", if you seek to explore the intention.

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#19

When A Single Letter Made A Huge Difference

When A Single Letter Made A Huge Difference

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Effect, affect...you will find enough examples in English, too.

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#20

When German Language Wasn't As Cold And Ugly As They Always Say … But Beautiful And Emotional

When German Language Wasn't As Cold And Ugly As They Always Say … But Beautiful And Emotional

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#21

Makes Sense

Makes Sense

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Linus Nilsson
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I laughed, until I realized that it's the same in my language

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#22

This Is Why I Love The German Language

This Is Why I Love The German Language

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Tomek Sztuk
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Brilliant, although it's a purposefully complicated joke name :D Fahrradständer is a real German name for a bicycle stand, above says something in line of "climate protection enforcing device securing place" ;)

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#23

Funny German Language

Funny German Language

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Lilya
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Person: That's amazing! Me: That's sausage to me. Person: No, the post I was talking about. Me: SAUSAGE

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#24

Have Some Class

Have Some Class

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JuJu
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nope. We use both. Usually depending on the vowel or Umlaut before the ss/ß.

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#25

When Even The Simpsons Had To Show The World How The German Language Is Trolling Everyone

When Even The Simpsons Had To Show The World How The German Language Is Trolling Everyone

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Kateryna
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Die" is "the" relating to the feminine gender... so it sounds like they are indicating Bart is female

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#26

Funny German Language

Funny German Language

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Johan Nobel
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Funny, most of these work for Dutch as well and no, Dutch != German

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#27

When Germany Showed The World What "Wordception" Means.

When Germany Showed The World What "Wordception" Means.

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Hans
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You may need context. Essen is a town in the Ruhr area. Essen means food. essen means to eat. "Wollen wir heute in Essen ein wenig Essen essen?" thus makes sense.

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#29

German Is A Beautiful Language.

German Is A Beautiful Language.

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'd go with "Klugscheißer" (clever-pooper), don't know what that word above is supposed to mean.

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#30

When German Language Was Only For The Brave.

When German Language Was Only For The Brave.

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#34

When German Language Was So Logical That It Confused You.

When German Language Was So Logical That It Confused You.

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#35

Dear People Learning German...

Dear People Learning German...

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Monday
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ah yes, I too find the weather very gay today.

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#36

Funny German Language

Funny German Language

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Cat Meow
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Someone count the points please. I'm curious. (I really don't play Scrabble... XD)

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#37

German Language Jokes

German Language Jokes

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#38

German Grammar Struggle

German Grammar Struggle

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Dee Hunter
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And if you REALLY want to confuse them: Use Russian. They have two more cases.

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#39

Funny German Language

Funny German Language

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Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For your information, German isn't shouted aggressively by Germans at all. We imply that from the second world war because of how the Gestapo were. If you say the above German word normally, it sounds quite nice.

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#40

1. When German Language Nailed It.

1. When German Language Nailed It.

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Never ever in my quite long life have I heard anybody use that word lol.

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#41

When Animals Sounded Way Cuter In German. Like Raccoon.

When Animals Sounded Way Cuter In German. Like Raccoon.

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Femme Finn
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Whoa! Same in Finnish, pesukarhu. I guess it comes directly from German.

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#42

Everytime

Everytime

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#43

When German Language Showed That Germans Have A Strange Relationship To Their Tools. Or Their Mothers

When German Language Showed That Germans Have A Strange Relationship To Their Tools. Or Their Mothers

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#44

German Language

German Language

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Emphasis on the first syllable- possible grave bodily harm court case coming your way, emphasize the last part and you're good.

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#45

German Is Such A Beautiful Language.

German Is Such A Beautiful Language.

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#47

Funny German Language

Funny German Language

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#48

When German Language Surprised You By Somehow Not Being Accurate Anymore

When German Language Surprised You By Somehow Not Being Accurate Anymore

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JuJu
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But there is only one that can suck and blow! The famous Heinzelmann.

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#49

When German Words Looked Like They Have To Be Kidding You

When German Words Looked Like They Have To Be Kidding You

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#50

Learn German If You Der

Learn German If You Der

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Femme Finn
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well when you really think about the word "butterfly", is it a sexy word? Butter. Fly.

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