5 Fun Facts About the German Language

Learn about some of the more fun facts about the German language. The German language has many interesting quirks and a rich history. For instance, you might not know that German has 30 letters and three genders. But did you know that there is also a 63-letter word?

30 letters

German is also the oldest language in the world, having been created in the 7th century. The first version of the language is known as Old High German. It was only after the two World Wars that the language started to lose popularity and was suppressed in many countries. Thankfully, today, the language is still spoken in several areas.

Many German words are untranslated into English or any other language. For example, the word “fremdschamen” refers to the shame that you feel on someone else’s behalf. Another word, “Fernweh”, means travel bug. Both words are opposites of “heimweh,” the word for home. In addition, the German alphabet has a special letter that represents double-S, known as an Eszett.

Three genders

In German, the gender of a noun is determined by the suffix. The masculine suffix is -ismus. This suffix creates nouns that are abstract, such as trees. However, it is not always necessary to use -ismus. In some cases, you can use the feminine suffix -anz.

When learning the German language, it is important to understand the different genders. If you plan to learn other languages, this distinction will be useful to you. The German language uses gendered nouns a lot.

Tongue twister

German dialects differ significantly from one another, so you should learn to distinguish them. One of the most difficult dialects is the Bavarian dialect, which differs in vocab and pronunciation. Some even argue that Bavarian is its own language! Fortunately, most German dialects are easy to learn.

Nouns are capitalized in German, just like in English. In fact, German nouns are capitalized in all cases, unlike English, where only proper nouns are capitalized. The German language is also known for having three different genders: male, female, and neuter. For example, a knife, fork, and spoon are called das Messer, die Gabel, and der Loffel, respectively. If you want to know how to distinguish one from the other, look at the context and the articles of the word.

63-letter word

This is one of the longest words in the German language. The term, “rindfleischetikettierungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz,” literally translates to “beef labelling supervision duty delegation law.” This law was implemented after the BSE-mad cow scare in 1999. In official government documents, it is abbreviated as RkReUAUG.

Another interesting fact about the 63-letter word is that it never made it into the German language dictionary. Despite being 63 letters long, it is only relevant in one state. In 1999, the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania introduced a new law to regulate the labeling of beef. This law was so long that it was only used on government documents.

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