New video about Compound Words! What is your favourite (or most detested) long German word??

Hallo liebe Leute,

I just finished a new video where I talk about compound words or "zusammengesetzte Wörte":

EDIT: here is a new version with some small corrections:

In it, I discuss lengthy words which can be found in a German dictionary such as:


And "Bandwurmwörte" or tapeworm words, whose name suggests the unwieldy length of words such as:


Also, I included 20 or so everyday words which you may already know which form friendlier, easier-to-tame compound words.

I hope you enjoy!

mit freundlichen Grüßen aus Berlin,


ps-what are some of your favourite compound or otherwise lengthy words in the German language?

June 2, 2016


Thank you for posting this video. Your explanations of some of the easier compound words really made sense. Your videos and your language skills keep getting better and better! :)

June 2, 2016

My pleasure! Awww, thanks for the nice words. So happy you like them :-D

June 2, 2016

Interestingly, just about ten minutes before you posted, I had checked to see if you had recently posted any new videos. I always look forward to them. :)

June 2, 2016

Yay! Then I promise to keep making more!

June 2, 2016

I found this video a while ago:

June 2, 2016

Hahaha! My German sitting next to me on the couch stopped what he was doing, watched the video, and erupted into laughter after the girl in the video finished the word. I should have told him to repeat it.

June 2, 2016


This is a word to describe a certain way to label beef. XD

June 2, 2016

It describes a law (Gesetz) about transferring (übertragen) tasks ( Aufgaben) regarding the supervision (Überwachung) of labeling (ettiketieren) beef (Rindfleisch).

June 2, 2016

Hehe. I think I've seen this one before. Classic ;-)

June 2, 2016

The most famous German longest word is Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänspatent. That can of course grow... Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänspatentsüberreichung. And a bit more... Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänspatentüberreichungsfeierlichkeiten.

Sorry, I haven't seen the video yet...

June 2, 2016

Mine definitely is "Meerwasserentsalzungsanlagenbaufinanzierungsplanzustimmungsstimmzettelsammelurnenentleererausbildungsraumputzfrauenwohngebäudebelüftungsbaufirmenassistenz" :P PS: self-constructed

June 2, 2016

I finally saw the video. Cool, I like it.

zusammengesetzte Wörter - das Wort, die Wörter

there are unfortunately 2 mistakes in it.

Achterbahn fahren/ Achterbahnfahren is spelled without hyphen like it has been done in the video.

das Riesenrad. riesen is not a word that can stand alone in German. The picture showed "ein Riesenkaninchen" . The adjective would be riesig. Das Kaninchen ist riesig. The compound word would be made of der Riese (the giant) +das Rad= Riesenrad.

I will use that for my little German student when we discuss compound words:-)

June 2, 2016

My boyfriend (who is German) corrected me and said he would spell Achterbahn-fahren with a hyphen, so I added it :-) This is because it is used as a gerund (das Achterbahn-fahren) and not as a proper verb (he said to a German the hyphen helps make this clearer). I originally wrote it as "achterbahnfahren". But look at the English language and how we use or do not use hyphens. It is rather chaotic from person to person! I see people write "handmade" and "hand-made", "state of the art" and "state-of-the-art", etc...

I had actually written "die Riese" first, but then changed it later. I know "riesen-" is not a stand-alone word, but I can see how my usage of it in the video could be confusing, as it is used more like a prefix to a noun. I should have written it as "Riesen-" or, as you said, left it as "die Riese". I agree that this makes more sense!

ps-at any rate, mistakes are not really unfortunate, but rather awesome tools to help humans learn. I love when people point stuff out to me like you have because it causes me to question more, fact check, and learn more. Thanks so much for your input and for watching the video. Are you perchance a native German speaker? :-)

June 2, 2016

Hi lance I am sorry, but your boyfriend is not quite right about Achterbahnfahren. It can be spelled either in one word or in two words but not with a hyphen. (fur further reference please check the duden)

As for "riesen" The link actually shows that Riesen is a prefix or the plural of der Riese. It actually says so because Riesen- is always spelled with a capital letter and it Substantiv obove. Gerundium - the Gerund of fahren is fahrend but it is not used in everyday German. Ich bin fahrend - nobody says that. Ich fahre gerade. Ich fahre im Moment. That is, how the Gerund is used. You just don't say: Ich bin Achterbahn fahrend. You say: Ich fahre jetzt/gerade/im Moment Achterbahn.

There are compound adjectives , too, like riesengroß. Die Freude is riesengroß, again it is a combination of riesig + groß= riesengroß

In your video (and I am astonished that you created it!!!) the adjectiv is riesig. He should not have orrected you, because you were right with "der Riese + das Rad= das Riesenrad"

Apart from that, the video is fantastic!

Yes, I am German - how did you guess that:-), and I hardly ever use hyphen in German words.

June 2, 2016

Interesting to know. Sounds like my first instincts were correct! Maybe this is a good sign that my German is really improving!

Again, I really appreciate your feedback. When one learns a new language, there are so many influences all around, and then there is the standard or correct way of doing things. I learned a lot from your feedback. Haha. I guessed you were German when you wrote "kann" instead of "can" in your first message.

June 2, 2016

Wie cool ist das denn:-) Ich habe es verbessert!

immerhin hat mich meine englische Schreiberei nicht verraten! Ich bin nach wie vor der Meinung, dass du ein wahnsinnig großes Wissen hast und das Video ist richtig gut gemacht und der Akzent - wirklich schön. Sprichst du das selber? Ich vermute mal, dass du das bist!

Ich freue mich, dass ich dir helfen konnte. Sprachen lernen ist nicht so einfach:-)

I do hope your boyfriend is not upset, though...

June 2, 2016

Ja, das bin ich (die Stimme im Video).

Vielen Dank für deine nette Worte! Allerdings ist Sprachenlernen nicht so einfach. Das ist eine Untertreibung. ;-)

My boyfriend and I just had a nice grammar conversation over breakfast (a very late breakfast) as the result of your feedback. I think he was re-thinking some of the advice he gave me too. Hehe.

I think I will make another, more proper version of the video and add it to my YouTube channel.

June 2, 2016

Here is the new version with your suggestions:

I think the word "Riesen" is more clear now with the picture of the very tall man (Eddie Carmel) by Diane Arbus.


June 2, 2016

Just fyi, forms like "fahrend" aren't gerunds, they're present participles. Modern Standard German doesn't have a gerund really, but usually the term "gerund(ium)" refers to a type of nominalised verb anyway. "Ich fahre gerade." and "Ich fahre im Moment." don't contain any type of gerund or present participle, but I assume you're trying to say that they are ways to express a progressive or continuous aspect. I think there's some confusion here because English usually expresses both of these aspects by "(to) be + present participle", and the present participle and the gerund look the same in English (i.e., this is the "-ing"-form of verbs).

June 2, 2016

While considerable shorter than many mentioned here, my favorite is Übersetzungswissenschaft which I came across studying for entrance exams this year.

June 2, 2016

Unfortunately I can't reply further down..

The new video is amazing and the giant - wow.
-the vidio shows that compound words can be made of noun+noun, verb+noun and unfortunately not any more about adjectiv+noun. You lost that:-( Maybe you could replace "der Riese" with "riesig". Der Mann ist riesig.

My daughter just watched the video. Now she asks for a Bratwurst - how do I get a German Bratwurst on her plate???

I fell a bit sorry for your boyfriend...:-)

June 2, 2016

Yeah... well I will make more videos about compound words so maybe I can mention some more of the grammar details there.

You are not still in Germany I assume? There are plenty of Bratwursts here!!!

My boyfriend is bombarded with grammar questions from me all the time. I actually think he enjoys it (sometimes) because he has a very analytical mind and he loves to learn new things. He tells me I already know way more about German grammar than he does... ;-)

June 2, 2016

I live in England. I started the German tree because of my student. The grammar is wonderfully explained and I want her to start using duolingo. No wonder you know the grammar well. My daughter likes your accent and she likes your Englishaccent , too. You are American, right? I have family and friends in Berlin, it's a very busy place

June 2, 2016

I never knew much about grammar at all until I undertook the challenge of learning German. Amazing how much one can learn from examining a foreign language!

Thanks to your daughter. Yes, I'm American (from Texas originally), but my American accent has changed quite a bit since living in California for 10 years and London for 2 years (and now Germany of course). Berlin is great! Love that it is both busy and peaceful all at the same time. Lots of green places to escape to!

June 3, 2016

London is beautiful, too. It's kind of neighbourhood:-)

Sprichst du zu Hause deutsch oder englisch? Ich glaube, dass man eine Sprache erst richtig lernt, wenn man im Land ist und sie benutzen muss. Ich erlebe das mit meinem Englisch. Dadurch, dass meine Kinder früher im englischen Schulsystem unterrichtet wurden, habe ich einen vollkommen neuen Wortschatz bekommen. Dennoch gibt es so viel zu lernen - ich kann zwar ein Kind "auf englisch" bekommen (eins meiner Mädels ist hier geboren), aber ich habe Probleme in der Werkstatt. Keilriemen und Ölpumpe sind nicht wirklich Bestandteil meiners Wortschatzes (gewesen).

I'm glad you like living in Germany, somehow I would be sad if you didn't :-)

June 3, 2016

Hey Lance i see you have YouTube channel :-) I will join.

June 3, 2016
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