die scheußliche deutsche sprache

genau vertalingen

Some German words are so long that they have a perspective. Observe these examples:

Freundschaftsbezeigungen.

Dilettantenaufdringlichkeiten.

Stadtverordnetenversammlungen.

These things are not words, they are alphabetical processions. And they are not rare; one can open a German newspaper at any time and see them marching majestically across the page,—and if he has any imagination he can see the banners and hear the music, too.

In A Tramp Abroad („Bummel durch Europa“, 1880) verarbeitete Twain Erlebnisse und Erfahrungen seiner zweiten Europareise von 1878, die ihn durch Deutschland, die Schweiz und Italien führte. In diesem Buch veröffentlichte er im Anhang auch den berühmten Aufsatz („Die schreckliche deutsche Sprache“), in dem er humorvoll die Eigenheiten und Schwierigkeiten der deutschen Sprache erläutert.

…finally, all the parentheses and re-parentheses are massed together between a couple of king-parentheses, one of which is placed in the first line of the majestic sentence and the other in the middle of the last line of it—after which comes the verb, and you find out for the first time what the man has been talking about; and after the verb—merely by way of ornament, as far as I can make out,—the writer shovels in “haben sind gewesen gehabt haben geworden sein,” or words to that effect, and the monument is finished. I suppose that this closing hurrah is in the nature of the flourish to a man’s signature -