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.

#1

Funny German Language

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Lucia De Santiago
Community Member
3 years ago

XD

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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

Funny German Language

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John L Kelly
Community Member
3 years ago

I guess Greta isn't French after all.

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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

Funny German Language

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John L Kelly
Community Member
3 years ago

"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

Funny German Language

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Anna Brandigi
Community Member
3 years ago

I'm getting some mixed signals here

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#5

Funny German Language

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Anna Brandigi
Community Member
3 years ago

They have words for pretty much everything

Talia Johnson
Community Member
3 years ago

Apart from 'procrastination' according to my German friend. When I explained the meaning to her, she said 'but why on earth would you put off doing something when you could do it now?' I said 'I'll tell you later' :-)

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Jon Smith
Community Member
3 years ago

We have that word to, disimprove.

Shushadei
Community Member
2 months ago

But ours is longer! (Ha!)

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Ironcat_xox
Community Member
3 years ago

There's a word for being happy yet slightly guilty for someone else's self-imposed misery. No joke. Schadenfreude.

Wren Aghaji
Community Member
3 years ago

It's not actually a German word though

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Julia NotMyLastname
Community Member
3 years ago

Exactly. Sometimes the reason German words are longer is bc they use a word that is shower than our sentences but longer than our words to describe something we take a sentence to describe.

Alison Marchand
Community Member
2 months ago

"Use it in a sentence, please?"

klaus murder
Community Member
2 months ago

In austria we say "Pfusch"

Erwin Dillinger
Community Member
2 months ago

Pfusch is also german but has a different meaning than verschlimmbessern. Pfusch is simply, doing a bad job at something.

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Vaida Kuodytė
Community Member
2 months ago

The secret is taking all the words in the sentence and slamming them together

Wibbi
Community Member
2 months ago

I have a friend who is learning German right now. From time to time she asks me for words which almost always ends with her exclaiming: "I knew you have a word for that!"

Reginald Joseph
Community Member
2 months ago

The best words ever: Shameful joy and Grief Bacon

Chris Cross
Community Member
3 years ago

If not, we make one up on the spot : ) . No joke !

moonsong23
Community Member
3 years ago

That's actually a real word...

Viktoria Zellner
Community Member
3 years ago

bei uns gibt´s für ALLES das passende wort. und sei es ein reines zusammensetzwort. ;)

Kelda Morris
Community Member
3 years ago

"to bad-make-better"

Michael Yackovlev
Community Member
12 months ago

In English there is definitely such a word - and it`s "update". Now mostly all interface updates imply some worsening...

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Alexandra Hopp
Community Member
3 years ago

It's a word and I have heard people using it frequently. You would not find it in a dictionary though. Yet.

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
1 month ago

Awsome word!

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
2 months ago

German or Yiddish?

Isa Car
Community Member
2 months ago

1. what makes you think it is not German? 2. you know there are overlappings between those two languages?

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Cecile Lacroix
Community Member
2 months ago

yes, there is a word for that: Kaputtreparieren

Mathieu Brouwers
Community Member
2 months ago

"Zerstrukturieren" short for "zerstören" (destroy) and "umstrukturieren" (restructure).

Paul Punzer
Community Member
2 months ago

Verballhornen.

Christel Nellemann
Community Member
2 months ago

What a wonderfull word, must aquire in vocabulary 😆

TheHolyFatherOfToast
Community Member
2 months ago

hmmmmm..... do they have a word for "Making something better but then screwing it up by making it better"?

Mathieu Brouwers
Community Member
2 months ago

"Zerstrukturieren" short for "zerstören" (destroy) and "umstrukturieren" (restructure).

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Anthony Klang
Community Member
2 months ago

Solala xD is the German Wort!

ERIN W.
Community Member
2 months ago

EVIDENTLY!

Ray Heap
Community Member
2 months ago

Kaputtrepariert.

Alice Kraatz
Community Member
1 year ago

yes, and schadenfreude is sad-happy. we're weird. deal with it.

Isa Car
Community Member
2 months ago

damage-happy

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Katalin Sas
Community Member
3 years ago

:)

Anja Blumnau
Community Member
3 years ago

Sehr geil 😂 ja, wir haben auch dafür ein Wort was das ganze perfekt beschreibt 😂

Lawrence Walker
Community Member
3 years ago

Yes, they really have a word for that...

Daniela Basic
Community Member
3 years ago

bwahahahaha :D i can't

Sarah Scharlemann
Community Member
3 years ago

Jep

Anke Seibt
Community Member
3 years ago

😂

Edeltraud Dent
Community Member
3 years ago

Verschlechtern würde ich sagen 😉

René Grand
Community Member
3 years ago

Beim verbessern, verschlimmert

Robyn Scott
Community Member
3 years ago

They probably have a word for "having a word for everything".......

Caroline Cassano
Community Member
3 years ago

Not only a word for everything, but 10 other ways to say it and 1,000 words sounding just like it meaning completely different things.

Susan Forbes
Community Member
3 years ago

Thought that was English

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Santi Bunjamin
Community Member
3 years ago

<3

Mona Blenke
Community Member
3 years ago

haha sure we got this word :D it happens all the time ... why should not name it

Lubova Krylova
Community Member
3 years ago

They really do!

Mark K
Community Member
3 years ago

Aha, benutzt da jemand jodel?

Luise Kirsten
Community Member
3 years ago

Actually this word doesnt exist in german language :/ sorry for that, I'm German.

xXBattleloreXx
Community Member
3 years ago

I was surprised myself but it actually seems to exist o_O I just looked it up in the Duden ;)

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Mya Lugar
Community Member
2 months ago

Hitlers' reign!

Elfi Tralala
Community Member
3 years ago

nobody EVER uses this word! It only exists in articles like this one.

farbenzirkel
Community Member
2 months ago

Maybe a regional thing? But i know a lot of people (including me) who are using that.

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#6

Funny German Language

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Lilya
Community Member
3 years ago

Ha that's so me.

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#7

Funny German Language

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Anna Brandigi
Community Member
3 years ago

same

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#8

Funny German Language

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Troux
Community Member
3 years ago

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

When Even German Kids Got Involved In This Mess!

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juice
Community Member
2 months ago

heehee, because Kinder means children

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#10

Funny German Language

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Juana
Community Member
3 years ago

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

German Language In A Nutshell

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Roman Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

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?

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Monday
Community Member
2 months ago

I need to sort out my cable salad....

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#13

As A Foreigner Who’s Learning German, So Accurate

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Daria Z
Community Member
2 months ago

🤘😆

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#14

Funny German Language

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Volker Burmester
Community Member
3 years ago

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 As F**k

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Mary Peace
Community Member
2 months ago

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

Funny German Language

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Beatrice Alighieri
Community Member
3 years ago

This is brilliant, I can't stop laughing XD

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#17

Best Photo From Trip To Berlin

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Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

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".

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Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

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

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Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

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

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
2 months ago

That is true

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#21

Makes Sense

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Linus Nilsson
Community Member
2 months ago

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

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Tomek Sztuk
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

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

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Lilya
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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JuJu
Community Member
2 months ago

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

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Kateryna
Community Member
2 months ago

"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

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Johan Nobel
Community Member
3 years ago

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.

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Hans
Community Member
2 months ago

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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#28

Funny German Language

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Silent Skeleton
Community Member
3 years ago

Yes

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#29

German Is A Beautiful Language.

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
2 months ago

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.

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True Blue
Community Member
2 months ago

Hahahahahahahaha lord it's true

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#31

Funny German Language

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Anna Brandigi
Community Member
3 years ago

Well, they're not wrong

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#32

Tja

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
2 months ago

well...

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#33

About Time!

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
2 months ago

When you least expect it

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#34

When German Language Was So Logical That It Confused You.

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Giorgio Prodoti
Community Member
2 months ago

in Italian also more or less

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#35

Dear People Learning German...

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Monday
Community Member
2 months ago

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

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#36

Funny German Language

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Cat Meow
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#37

Funny-German-Language-Jokes

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Vicky Zar
Community Member
2 months ago

Wouldn't it be just Zusammengehörigkeit?

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#38

German Gramatik Struggle

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Dee Hunter
Community Member
2 months ago

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

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#39

Funny German Language

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Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
3 years ago

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.

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
2 months ago

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.

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Femme Finn
Community Member
2 months ago

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

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#42

Everytime

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Kateryna
Community Member
2 months ago

All of which mean "the"

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#43

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

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DforDorothy
Community Member
2 months ago

In Hungarian also...

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#44

German Language

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
2 months ago

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.

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Reginald Joseph
Community Member
2 months ago

Stab mixer=they aren't wrong

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#46

Everything!

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Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
2 months ago

hip-gold

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#47

Funny German Language

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Bianca Gue
Community Member
3 years ago

English is for the lazy people. :-P

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#48

When German Language Surprised You By Somehow Not Being Accurate Anymore

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JuJu
Community Member
2 months ago

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

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Ray Martin
Community Member
2 months ago

It's pronounced how it's spelt.

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#50

Learn German If You Der

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Femme Finn
Community Member
2 months ago

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

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Note: this post originally had 86 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.

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