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20 Long and Hard Words to Pronounce from Europe

The majority of European languages belong to the Indo-European language family. There are several branches of this family such as Germanic, Romance, Baltic, Albanian, Slavic, Armenian, Hellenic (Greek) and Celtic.

Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian, are also present in Europe but are part of a separate family – the Uralic languages. The other language families present in Europe include Mongolic, Turkic, Northwest, Northeast Caucasian, and Kartvelian. Maltese is the only language in Europe that has national language status and origins from the Sicilian Arabic language.

Map of Europe

The most spoken languages in Europe are:

1) English – 33%,

2) German – 22.4%

3) French – 19.71%

4) Italian – 14.31%

5) Spanish – 12.66%

6) Polish – 8.52%

7) Dutch – 4.92%

8) Romanian – 4.76%

9) Russian – 3.84%

10) Czech – 2.73%

11) Hungarian – 2.7%

12) Portuguese – 2.61%

13) Greek – 2.43%

14) Swedish – 2.4%

Each language has its own value and role in history. There have been many conflicts in the past caused by language differences, even wars. Today, the true value of a learned language is higher than ever before. So, when you decide to learn a new language, don’t let these hard words to pronounce discourage you.

20 Long and Hard Words to Pronounce

 

1. Ancient Greek: 183 letters

The comic playwright Aristophanes created this amazing word, which is the longest recorded word by Guinness:

Lopado-temacho-selacho-galeo-kranio-leipsano-drim-hupotrimmatosilphio-karabo-melito-katakechumeno-kichl-epikossuphophatto-peristeralektruon-opto-kephallio-kigklo-peleio-lagoio-siraio-baphe-traganopterugon 

It’s a dish of fish, fowl, dainties and sauces.

 

2. Swedish: 131 letters

Nordvästersjökustartilleriflygspaningssimulatoranläggningsmaterielunderhåll – suppföljningssystemdiskussionsinläggsförberedelsearbeten

refers to ‘North West sea coastal artillery reconnaissance flight simulator facility equipment maintenance follow-up discussion post-preparatory work’.

3. Turkish: 70 letters

This language has many long words – this is because words can be extended with the inclusion of place, time or other modifiers. So

muvaffakiyetsizlestiricilestiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmissinizcesine 

means ‘acting as if you are one of the people who are supporting bad manners’. There is also the 31 letter long

çekostravakyalılardanmısınızsiz 

which means ‘are you from Cekostravakyali?’, and the 28 letter long

Afyonkarahisarlilardanlarmis 

meaning ‘they belong to the family that came from Afyonkarahisar’.

 

4. German: 67 letters

Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung 

is ‘an authorization for the transfer of land permits’.

 

5. Finnish: 61 letters

lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas 

is a ‘technical warrant officer trainee specialized in aircraft jet engines’.

 

6. Welsh: 58 letters

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch 

is a village on the island of Anglesey in Wales, and it means literally ‘St. Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave’.

 

7. Danish: 52 letters

Speciallægepraksisplanlægningsstabiliseringsperiode 

is the ‘period in which the planning of a specialist doctor’s practice is established’.

 

8. Dutch: 48 letters

Kindercarnavalsoptochtvoorbereidingswerkzaamheden 

preparation activities for a children’s carnival procession’.

 

9. Greek: 47 letters

Aktinochrysofaidrovrontolamprofengofotostolistos 

refers to ‘one dressed in golden-shining, thundering and incandescent clothes’. The 24 letter long word

ypodimatoepidiorthotirion 

means ‘by mending shoes’ and

skoulikomyrmigkotrypa 

refers to an ant hill.

 

10. English: 45 letters

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis 

is a technical word for a lung disease, while the 34-letter

supercalifragilisticexpialidocious 

originates from the Mary Poppins film. Also, the 33-letter 

hippopotomonstrosesquipedalianism 

means the love of long words.  There is also the 28-letter 

antidisestablishmentarianism 

the longest non-technical and non-coined word in the English language.

 

11. Hungarian: 44 letters

You will break your tongue trying to say

megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért 

which means for your [plural] continued behavior’.

 

12. Bulgarian: 40 letters

The word

neprotivokonstitutsionstvuvatelstvuvayte 

means ‘something against the constitution’.

 

13. Polish: 31 letters

Konstantynopolitanczykiewiczówna 

refers to a girl who lives in Constantinople.

 

14. Lithuanian: 30 letters

The word

nebeprisikiškiakopusteliaudavome 

means ‘we didn’t pick rabbit cabbage’.

 

15. Italian: 30 letters

Psiconeuroendocrinoimmunologia 

is a term for a discipline dealing with the relationships between the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. There is also the 26-letter

precipitevolissimevolmente 

which is the Italian way to say that you do something in a hurry.

 

16. Latvian: 28 letters

Pretpulksteņrādītājvirziens  

means ‘in a counterclockwise direction’, while the 15-letter

virs-apakšcepure 

means ‘underneath the hat’.

 

17. Portuguese: 29 letters

The word

anticonstitucionalissimamente 

has 29 words and it simply means ‘unconstitutionally’.

 

18. Latin: 27 letters

Honorificabilitudinitatibus 

is the state of being able to achieve honors.

 

19. Slovak: 26 letters

Sternocleidomastoidian 

means the ‘less farmed’, while the 23-letter najnevypocítavatelnejší refers to the ‘most difficult example to calculate’.

 

20. Romanian: 22 letters

Najneobhospodárovateľnejší 

means the ‘sternocleidomastoid muscle’, which is located in the front of the neck. There is also the 19-letter

najnevypocítavatelnejší  

which means ‘otorhinolaryngology’, or ORL specialist.

***

Martha Simons is a freelance writer and editor. She has solid experience in marketing and is fluent in four languages. Martha’s goal is to help people around the world communicate more effectively and benefit from it. She currently works at Translateshark.

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