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German: Humour

Resources to support the learning and teaching of the German language.

The longest German words

Try reading the German words aloud.

The German language is relatively easy. To illustrate how simple it is, let's study an example in German.

First, let's get a German book, an excellent book, published by Dortmund, which shows the way of life of the Australian Indians, the Hotentotes (Hottentotten in German).

It says in the book, that the kangaroos (Beutelratten), are captured and put inside cages (Kotter), covered with a screen (Lattengitter) in order to protect them from insects.

These cages, in German, are called "cages covered with a screen" (Lattengitterkotter) and, when they hold a kangaroo, they are called "cages covered with a screen with a kangaroo" (Lattengitterkotterbeutelratten).

One day, the Hotentotes arrested an assassin (Attentäter), accused of having murdered the mother (Mutter) of a Hotentote, (Hottentottenmutter), who was the mother of a deaf/mute boy (Stottertrottel).

This woman, in German, is called a Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterand her assassin is called aHottentottenstottertrottelmutterattentäter.

In the book, the Indians captured the assassin, and since they didn't have where to put him, they put him inside the cage for the kangaroo (Beutelrattenlattengitterkotter). But the assassin escaped. After they have searched for the assassin, a Hotentote soldier arrived at the tribe screaming:

-- We captured the assassin (Attentäter)!
-- Which Attentäter? - asked the Indian Chief.
-- The Lattengitterkotterbeutelrattenattentäter - says the soldier
-- What?? The "assassin that was inside the cage for kangaroos covered with a screen"?? - asks the Indian Chief.
-- Yes, it's the Hottentottenstottertrottelmutteratentäter (assassin of the mother of a deaf/mute boy).
-- Oh - says the Chief - you could have said from the beginning that you had captured the....

Hottentottenstottertrottelmutterlattengitterkotterbeutelrattenattentäter!!!!!!!!!

(the assassin of the hotentote mother of the deaf/mute boy that was inside the cage for kangaroos covered with a screen)

Please note: Hotentotes are actually bushmen from Southern Africa!

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