With 67 letters, this is the longest German word that is actually used

real estate transaction permit competence transfer ordinance” / the longest German word

The German language freely lets you stack words on top of each other to create genuine lexical monstrosities. Perhaps the most famous example is Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft (“Association for Subordinate Officials of the Main Maintenance Building of the Danube Steam Shipping Electrical Services”)—which, however, seems to be a mere invention of a creative mind with too much time.

In contrast to this, Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung (“real estate transaction permit competence transfer ordinance”) is a real thing. The word refers to a regulation that came into force in 2003, signed by then Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries. However, it might surprise you to hear that the German language is generally not at all characterized by lengthy words. In fact, words in standard German texts are more than 2% shorter than those in English. 

Still, Germans have the better options to drive people crazy when playing a game of hangman.



German Is Weird: Crazy Words von Arschkarte bis Zielwasser - from "ass card" to "aiming water"

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German Is Weird: Crazy Words von Arschkarte bis Zielwasser - from "ass card" to "aiming water"

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