Examples of long words in different languages

You’ve likely wondered what the longest word in the world is. Such a question may spark the curiosity of people who are learning a language or those who like languages, because the formation of the words and their length can influence how difficult people perceive a language to be.

 

What are the longest words in each language?

While there are plenty of long words, could you have guessed that the longest word has 189,819 letters? We’re not going to write the whole thing but it starts with Acetylseryltyrosyl… and comes from English. If you are familiar with the world of science, it probably sounds like a molecule. It is indeed a protein which experts conveniently refer to as ‘titin’, as few people know or are able to pronounce the full term.

After the previous example, a 130-letter word may seem rather short, no? In this case, we’re talking about a Swedish word used to refer to a very specific piece of artillery. Here’s the word: “Nodöstersjökustartilleriflygspaningssimulatoranläggningsmaterielunderhallsuppföljningssystemdiskussionsinläggsförberedelsearbeten“. We dare you to take a stab at pronouncing it!

New Zealand is the home of this 85-letter word: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is a very specific term that refers to a hill in the northern island, which has been given a poetic and mythological meaning.

Although we are dipping below the 100-letter ceiling, there are more rather curious words. Such is the case with the Turkish word Muvaffakiyetsezlestiricilestiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmissinizcesine, which means that it is not easy to cause another person to fail. This 70-letter word is tied with another German term: Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, which is used to name a group of officials who worked on the construction of a power plant made by the steamboat company that sailed the Danube.

 

What about the longest words in Spanish?

Many Spaniards will say: “I know, it’s: supercalifragilisticoespialidoso!” There’s no guessing how many of us know this fantastic word from Mary Poppins. Nevertheless, the Royal Spanish Academy does not recognize this term, making the longest Spanish words to be electroencefalografista, with 23 letters, and the well-known esternocleidomastoideo, with 22. Curiously, once again, the longest words in the Spanish language have to do with medicine.

Before we go… Did you know there are people who are afraid of long words? We’re not sure who exactly decided to give this phobia a name, but we’re certain that anyone diagnosed with it in Spain won’t be too pleased to find out that the name of their condition is hipopotomonstrosesquipedaliofobia. Paradoxical, no?

In short, we hope you have found this article interesting and you have learned a little more about the long words that can be found in different languages and some of their meanings. It’s a unique way of learning more about languages in today’s multilingual society.

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