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.
Have A Go At German Scrabble
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!
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!"
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."