Friday 20 October 2017

Germany's longest word cut short

The longest word in the German language has been removed from the books because European Union regulations have changed
The longest word in the German language has been removed from the books because European Union regulations have changed

A tweak to laws in a German state to conform with current EU regulations has caused an unexpected casualty - the longest word in the German language.

The Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz is no more.

The "law delegating beef label monitoring" was introduced by the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in 1999 as part of measures against mad cow disease.

But the law was removed from the books last week because European Union regulations have changed.

German still has words such as the very robust Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitaenswitwe to fall back on - meaning "widow of a Danube steamboat company captain".

But such words have been so rarely used that they are not in the dictionary. There the longest word honour falls to Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung - automobile liability insurance.

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