Longest Words All Over the World
Spanish: electroencefalografistas - people who practice electroencephalography.
More at: http://spanish.about.com/od/writtenspanish/a/longest_word.htm
Bulgarian: Непротивоконституционствувателствувайте - not to take actions which are against the constitution of the country.
Afrikaans: Tweedehandsemotorverkoopsmannevakbondstakingsvergaderingsameroeperstoespraakskrywerspersverklaringuitreikingsmediakonferensieaankondiging - issuable media conference’s announcement at a press release regarding the convener’s speech at a secondhand car dealership union’s strike meeting.
Chinese: In terms of pronunciation, Chinese characters (Mandarin) are strictly monosyllabic. As such, words are limited to a length of five phonemes. In Romanized spelling, no more than six letters are needed for any single Chinese character in standard pronunciation, with the exception of 双, (shuāng, “double”).
Individual characters are not direct equivalents of words in the English sense, as many Chinese “words” require more than one character to express, one being 葡萄 (pútáo, “grapes”).
Chinese characters are made up of a number of distinct pen or brush strokes. The number of strokes in any given word is a constant, and thus counting the number of strokes required for a word could be used as a measure of the word’s length. According to Joël Bellassen (1989), the most complex Chinese character is zhé listen (help·info), meaning “verbose” and containing sixty-four strokes; this character fell from use around the 5th century.
Czech: Traditionally, the word nejneobhospodařovávatelnějšímu is considered as the longest Czech word, but there are some longer artificial words. Most of them are compound adjectives in dative, instrumental or other grammatical case and derived from the iterative or frequentative verbal form or the ability adjective form (like -able).
nejneobhospodařovávatelnějšímu, “to the least farmable one”, 30 letters
nejzdevětadevadesáteroroznásobitelnějšími, “by the most possible to be 99-tuplable out”, 41 letters
nejnerestrukturalizovávatelnějšímu, “to the least restructurable one”, 34 letters
nejneznesrozumitelňovávatelnějšímu, “to the least able to be making less understandable”, 34 letters
nejnevykrystalizovávatelnějšímu, “to the least crystallizable one”, 31 letters
Danish: Speciallægepraksisplanlægningsstabiliseringsperiode, which is 51 letters, is the longest Danish word that has been used in an official context. It means “Period of plan stabilising for a specialist doctor’s practice,” and was used during negotiations with the local government. Konstantinopolitanerinde, meaning female inhabitant of Constantinople, is often mentioned as the longest non-compound word.
For the fairytale The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep, the author Hans Christian Andersen named one of the characters Gedebukkebensoverogundergeneralkrigskommandersergenten (“General-clothes-press-inspector-head-superintendent-Goat-legs”) as a parody on the long Danish military titles which is 54 letters long.
Another example is multiplikationsudregningstabelshæfteopbevaringsreolsproduktionsfacilitet, 77 letters, which is “Production facility of storage shelves of boxes for notebooks for the calculations of multiplication tables”, a factory which will hopefully never need a road sign pointing in its direction.
Dutch: Dutch, like many Germanic languages, is capable of forming compounds of potentially limitless length. The 49-letter word Kindercarnavalsoptochtvoorbereidingswerkzaamheden, meaning “preparation activities for a children’s carnival procession,” was cited by the 1996 Guinness Book of World Records as the longest Dutch word.
The longest word in the authoritative Van Dale Dutch dictionary (edition 2009) in plural form is meervoudigepersoonlijkheidsstoornissen; 38 letters long, meaning “multiple personality syndromes”. The entry in the dictionary however is in singular, counting 35 letters. In many publications meervoudigepersoonlijkheidsstoornis is written in two words: meervoudige (multiple) persoonlijkheidsstoornis (personality disorder). However, written as one word meervoudige refers only to persoonlijkheid (personality), while written as separate words meervoudige refers to persoonlijkheidssyndroom (personality syndrome). Written as one word reflects the correct meaning.
The longest entry in Van Dale Dutch dictionary (edition 1984) is zandzeepsodemineraalwatersteenstralen, 37 letters, a variation of opsodemieteren, meaning “to fob off”.
The free OpenTaal dictionary, that was certified by the Dutch Language Union (i.e. the formal Dutch language institute) and that is included in many open-source applications, contains the following longest words that are 40 letters long:
vervoerdersaansprakelijkheidsverzekering, “carriers’ liability insurance”;
bestuurdersaansprakelijkheidsverzekering, “directors’ liability insurance”;
overeenstemmingsbeoordelingsprocedures, “conformity assessment procedures”
The word often said to be the longest in Dutch - probably because of its funny meaning and alliteration - that appeared also in print is hottentottententententoonstellingsterrein (exhibition ground for Hottentot huts); counting 41 letters. If this word would be made plural, it would add another two letters.
English: The longest technical word in English is the scientific name for the protein titin, at 189,819 letters. Titin is the largest known polypeptide in the human body, composed of 34,350 amino acids. Though lexicographers regard generic names of chemical compounds as verbal formulae rather than English words, for its sheer length it is often included in longest-word lists.
The 45-letter word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is the longest English word that appears in a major dictionary. Originally coined to become a candidate for the longest word in English, the term eventually developed some independent use in medicine. It is referred to as “P45” by researchers.
Antidisestablishmentarianism, at 28 letters, is the longest non-coined, non-technical English word. It refers to a 19th century political movement that opposed the disestablishment of the Church of England as the state church of England.
Floccinaucinihilipilification, at 29 letters (and meaning the act of estimating something as being worth so little as to be practically valueless, or the habit of doing so), is the longest non-technical, coined word in the English language.
Esperanto: The longest official Esperanto roots are 12 letters long, shown here with added the substantive “-o” ending:
diskriminacii (to discriminate),
paralelogramo (parallelogram), and
Since Esperanto allows word compounding, there are no limits on how long a word can theoretically become. A relatively short example is the 46-letter komencopaleontologiokonservatoriaĉestriĝontajn, which is an (accusative and plural) adjective that means “about to begin to become the leader of a contemptible palaeontology conservatory”. (Such clusters are not considered good style, but are permissible under the rules of Esperanto grammar.)
Estonian: Estonian has many long words; one of the more notable ones, at 24 characters, is kuulilennuteetunneliluuk, meaning “the hatch a bullet flies out of when exiting a tunnel”. It is notable as it is also a palindrome, meaning it can be read from both ends.
One other long word is uusaastaöövastuvõtuhommikuidüll at 31 characters, denoting an ideallistic morning after the new year. It can be used in a sentence such as Maalilist jõuluööeelootusaega ja illuminaarses aoõhetuses uusaastaöövastuvõtuhommikuidülli to say “merry Christmas and a happy new year”.
Another good example of a long word is “sünnipäevanädalalõpupeopärastlõunaväsimus” which means “The tiredness one feels on the afternoon of the weekend birthday party”. Or if you break it down into parts “birth.day.week.end.party.after.lunch.tiredness”.
Finnish: An example of an actually long word that has been used in the Finnish language is kolmivaihekilowattituntimittari which means “three phase kilowatt hour meter” (31 letters) or lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas “airplane jet turbine engine auxiliary mechanic under officer student” (61 letters) which has been deprecated. If conjugation is allowed even longer real words can be made. Allowing derivatives and clitic allows the already lengthy word to grow even longer even though the real usability of the word starts to degrade. The Finnish language uses free forming of composite words: New words can even be formed during a conversation. This allows for adding nouns after each other without breaking grammar rules.
If one allows for artificial constructs as well as using clitics and conjugated forms, it is possible to create even lengthier words. The longest word formed using these rules can for ex. be kumarreksituteskenteleentuvaisehkollaismaisekkuudellisenneskenteluttelemattomammuuksissansakaankopahan (102 letters), which was created by Artturi Kannisto.
French: The longest usual word in French is anticonstitutionnellement (25 letters), meaning “anticonstitutionally” (in a way which is not conforming to the constitution).
Like in English, the longest technical word in French is the scientific name for titin (189,819 letters).
German: In German, whole numbers (smaller than 1 million) are expressed as single words, which makes siebenhundertsiebenundsiebzigtausendsiebenhundertsiebenundsiebzig (777,777) a 65 letter word. In combination with -fach or, as a noun, (das …) -fache, all numbers are written as one word. A 79 letter word, Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, was named the longest published word in the German language by the 1996 Guinness Book of World Records, but longer words are possible. The word refers to a division of an Austrian steam-powered shipping company named the Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaft which transported passengers and cargo on the Danube. The longest word that is not created artificially as a longest-word record seems to be Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz at 63 letters.
The longest known word that is not a compound word seems to be the 23 letter word Unkameradschaftlichkeit. It uses only derivations.
Greek: In his comedy Assemblywomen (c. 392 BC) Aristophanes coined the 173-letter word λοπαδοτεμαχοσελαχογαλεοκρανιολειψανοδριμυποτριμματοσιλφιοκαραβομελιτοκατακεχυμενοκιχλεπικοσσυφοφαττοπεριστεραλεκτρυονοπτοκεφαλλιοκιγκλοπελειολαγῳοσιραιοβαφητραγανοπτερύγων. A fictional food dish consisting of a combination of fish, poultry and other meat, hare usually refers to rabbit, it is cited as the longest ancient Greek word ever written and it is the longest word ever to appear in literature.
Hebrew: The longest Hebrew word is the 19 letter-long: ושכשאנציקלופדיותינו (wshksh’ntsyklwpdywtynw), which means “and that when our encyclopedias.”
The 11-letter word וְהָאֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנִים (wh’hshkrpnym) is the longest word to appear in the Hebrew Old Testament. Its meaning is “and the satraps”.
Hungarian: Megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért, with 44 letters is officially the longest word in the Hungarian language and means something like “for your [plural] continued behaviour as if you could not be desecrated”. It is already morphed, since Hungarian is an agglutinative language.
The longest dictionary form word is the non-morphed form of the longest word in use, megszentségteleníthetetlen, with 25 characters, and means “cannot be desecrated”.
Another word that conforms to Hungarian orthography: legeslegtöredezettségmentesíthetetlenebbeskedéseitekért can be translated to something like “because of your highest unfragmentationability factor”.
Italian: The longest word in Italian is traditionally precipitevolissimevolmente, which is a 26-letter-long adverb. It is formed by subsequent addition of postfixes to the original root:
precipitevolissimo: “very hasty”;
precipitevolissimevole: “[of someone/something] that acts very hastily”, (not grammatically correct);
precipitevolissimevolmente: “in a way like someone/something the acts very hastily” (not grammatically correct, but nowadays part of the language).
The word is never used in every-day language, but in jokes. Nevertheless, it is an official part of Italian language; it was coined in 1677 by poet Francesco Moneti:
finché alla terra alfin torna repente / precipitevolissimevolmente
—Francesco Moneti, Cortona Convertita, canto III, LXV
The word technically violates Italian grammar rules, the correct form being precipitevolissimamente, which is three letters and one syllable shorter. The poet coined the new word to have 11 syllables in the second verse.
Other words can be created with a similar (and grammatically correct) mechanism starting from a longer root, winding up with a longer word. Some examples are:
sovramagnificentissimamente (cited by Dante Alighieri in De vulgari eloquentia), 27 letters, “in a way that is more than magnificent by far” (archaic);
incontrovertibilissimamente, 27 letters, “in a way that is very difficult to falsify”;
particolareggiatissimamente, 27 letters, “in an extremely detailed way”;
anticostituzionalissimamente, 28 letters, “in a way that strongly violates the constitution”.
The longest accepted neologism is psiconeuroendocrinoimmunologia (30 letters).
Irish: The longest word ever recorded in the Irish Language (Gaeilge) consisted of 47 charachters. The word itself is adbheachaighfecaitearmheileadhbhnaertgofoirsede It was recorded for the first time in 1963 and is roughly translated as ‘you (plural) are racist bastards for not letting us on the page and acknowledging our language and cultural identity.
Latvian: The longest technical terms are common with other European languages, but the longest non-technical word is pretpulksteņrādītājvirziens, 27 letters long, which means “counter-clockwise direction”.
Lithuanian: The two longest Lithuanian words are 37 letters long: 1) the adjective septyniasdešimtseptyniastraipsniuose – the plural locative case of the adjective septyniasdešimtseptyniastraipsnis, meaning “(object) with seventy-seven articles”; 2) the participle nebeprisikiškiakopūsteliaudavusiuose, “in those that were repeatedly unable to pick enough of small wood-sorrels in the past” – the plural locative case of past iterative active participle of verb kiškiakopūsteliauti meaning “to pick wood-sorrels” (edible forest plant with sour taste, word by word translation “rabbit cabbage”). The word is commonly attributed to famous Lithuanian language teacher Jonas Kvederaitis, who actually used the plural first person of past iterative tense, nebeprisikiškiakopūstaudavome.
There are two Lithuanian words sharing 35 letters: 1) the participle nebeprisikiškiakopūsteliaudavusiems, “for those who were repeatedly unable to pick enough of small wood-sorrels in the past” – the plural dative case of past iterative active participle of the verb kiškiakopūsteliauti; 2) the adjective septyniasdešimtseptyniasluoksniuose – the plural locative case of the adjective septyniasdešimtseptyniasluoksnis meaning “(object) with seventy-seven layers”.
Māori: The 85-letter place name Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikomaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu was the longest place name in the Māori language.
Norwegian: The longest word in Norwegian, that is a real word in ordinary use, is menneskerettighetsorganisasjonene (33 letters). The meaning is “the human rights organizations”. Being used mostly in statistics, the term sannsynlighetstetthetsfunksjonene (meaning “the probability density functions”) is also 33 characters long. The physics term minoritetsladningsbærerdiffusjonskoeffisientmålingsapparatur has 60 characters, but is not a common word. Its meaning is “(a) device for measuring the distance between particles in a crystal”.
In theory, though, it is possible in Norwegian to make words as long as one wants; for instance, menneskerettighetsorganisasjonssekretæren (the secretary of a human rights organization), menneskerettighetsorganisasjonssekretærkurset (the course for secretaries working for human rights organizations), menneskerettighetsorganisasjonssekretærkursmateriellet (the material for a course for secretaries working for human rights organizations), and so on, are possible. The reason is that compounds are, unlike in English, mostly closed in Norwegian (skolebuss vs. school bus). Definite articles are also suffixed instead of being separate words (bussen vs. the bus), which may lengthen nouns by an additional two-three letters.
Polish: Longest Polish words are adjectives created from numerals and nouns.
Dziewięćsetdziewięćdziesięciodziewięcionarodowościowego, 54 letters, is an inclined genitive form of word, meaning roughly “of nine-hundred and ninety-nine nationalities”.
Similar words are rather artificial compounds, constructed within allowed grammar rules, but are seldom used in spoken language, although they are not nonsense words. It’s possible to make even longer words that way, for example:
Dziewięćsetdziewięćdziesiątdziewięćmiliardówdzięwiećsetdziewiędziesiątdziewięćmilionówdziewięćsetdziewięsiątdziewięćtysięcydziewięćsetdziewiędździesięciodziewięcioletni (168 letters, meaning “999,999,999,999 years old”).
One of the longest common words is 31-letter dziewięćdziesięciokilkuletniemu – a form of “ninety-and-some years old one”. Another ones are Konstantynopolitańczykowianeczka (32 letters) – an old-fashioned word for an unmarried daughter of a man from of Constantinople and pięćdziesięciogroszówka (23 letters) – “a 50 groszy coin”.
Portuguese: The 46-letter word pneumoultramicroscopicossilicovulcanoconioticozinhos (plural diminutive of pneumoultramicroscopicossilicovulcanoconiótico) is the longest word . It is an adjective referring to a sufferer of the disease pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. The 29-letter word anticonstitucionalissimamente (adverb, meaning “in a very unconstitutional way”) is recognized as being the longest non-technical word.
Romanian: The 44-letter word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcaniconioză is the longest word. It is a substantive referring to a disease.
Russian: Theoretically, there can be words with unlimited length, for example: прапрапра…дедушка (praprapra…dedushka, great great great…grandfather). Probably one of the longest originally-Russian word is превысокомногорассмотрительствующий (prevysokomnogorassmotritelstvuyushchy) which contains 35 letters, or its dative case form превысокомногорассмотрительствующему (prevysokomnogorassmotritelstvuyushchemu, with 36 letters), which can be an example of excessively official vocabulary of 19th century. The longest numeral compounds, such as Тысячевосьмисотвосьмидесятидевятимикрометровый (Tysyachevosmisotvosmidesyatimikrometrovy), which is an adjective containing 46 letters, meaning “1889-micrometer”.
Sanskrit: Sanskrit has a colossal capacity to make a word as long as one desires, as nouns and verbs and their meanings can be expressed in one word. The longest word ever used in Sanskrit literature is:
from the Varadāmbikā Pariṇaya Campū of Tirumalāmbā
Each hyphen separates every individual word this word is composed of.
The approximate meaning of this word is: “In it, the distress, caused by thirst, to travellers, was alleviated by clusters of rays of the bright eyes of the girls; the rays that were shaming the currents of light, sweet and cold water charged with the strong fragrance of cardamom, clove, saffron, camphor and musk and flowing out of the pitchers (held in) the lotus-like hands of maidens (seated in) the beautiful water-sheds, made of the thick roots of vetiver mixed with marjoram, (and built near) the foot, covered with heaps of couch-like soft sand, of the clusters of newly sprouting mango trees, which constantly darkened the intermediate space of the quarters, and which looked all the more charming on account of the trickling drops of the floral juice, which thus caused the delusion of a row of thick rainy clouds, densely filled with abundant nectar.”
Serbian: The longest word in Serbian language, except the ones that describe person’s age, seems to be a 26-letter long wordprestolonaslednikovićevica, which means something like a woman who seemed to inherit trone of the Crown prince. Recently, when instead of Serbian was Serbo-Croatian language, the longest word was prijestolonasljednikovićevica (30), which means the same, but with ijekavian accent. The second longest word is otorinolaringologija (20), which means otorhinolaryngology. The longest word which describe person’s age are devedesetdevetogodišnjakinjina, which means 99-year-old woman’s (possesive).
Slovak: The longest Slovak word is Najneprekryštalizovávateľnejšievajúcimi (39 letters), which means “most anticrystallizing” in plural.
Swedish: The longest word in the Swedish language, according to Guinness World Records, is Nordöstersjökustartilleriflygspaningssimulatoranläggningsmaterielunderhållsuppföljningssystemdiskussionsinläggsförberedelsearbeten (130 letters). It means “Northern Baltic Sea Coast Artillery Reconnaissance Flight Simulator Facility Equipment Maintenance Follow-Up System Discussion Post Preparation Work(s).” Since compound words are written together to form entirely new words, the “longest one” could be arbitrarily long.
Realisationsvinstbeskattning (28 letters) is the longest word in Svenska Akademiens Ordlista. It means “capital gains tax”.
Tagalog: The longest known Filipino word in a dictionary is the 32-letter, 13-syllable Nagsisipagsisinungasinungalingan, which means “trying to tell fake lies to another.”
Like all other Philippine languages, Tagalog is an agglutinate language, and because of this there are many opportunities in everyday speech to create long words (by English standards).
Examples of this include:
Pinagpinamamagaspasan (21 letters, 9 syllables) meaning “a dusty place where chickens usually groom themselves”
Pinakanakapagpapabagbagdamdamin (31 letters, 13 syllables) meaning “something/someone that can get one upset/carried-away the most” from the root bagabag (upset).
Turkish: Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine, at 70 letters, has been cited as the longest Turkish word, though it is a compound word and Turkish, as an agglutinative language, carries the potential for words of theoretically infinite length.
1. Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine, at 70 letters, means “As though you are from those we may not be able to easily make a maker of unsuccessful ones”.
2. Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmışsınız? means “I think you are one of those people whom we could not turn into a Czechoslovakian?”
3. Afyonkarahisarlılaştırabildiklerimizdenmişsinizcesine means “As if you are one of the people that we made resemble from Afyonkarahisar”.
Vietnamese: Nghiêng, with 7 letters, meaning “inclined”, is the longest word in the single-syllable Vietnamese language.
Welsh: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, a railway station on the island of Anglesey in Wales, is the longest place name in the Welsh language. At 51 letters in the Welsh alphabet, the name can be translated as “St Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave”. However, it was artificially contrived in the 1860s as a publicity stunt, to give the station the longest name of any railway station in the United Kingdom.