The German language has forever been at the receiving end of jokes, most of which revolve around the notion that no matter how pleasantly the language is spoken, it still sounds like the speaker is angry. Moreover, the affinity of the language for long-winding compound nouns is as fascinating as it is hilarious. But the fact remains that this language, with a rich literary tradition, boasts amazingly creative words – some of which are virtually impossible to pronounce without stumbling, some quirky and some so beautiful that you would wish you had them in your language.
No, I didn’t forget the space bar. This 79-letter tongue-twister to beat all tongue-twisters is a real word, translating to ‘Association of subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services’. It is the longest German word ever coined. Though it was abolished by the German spelling reform of 1996, no list of unique German words is complete without a mention of this word.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes this mammoth word as the longest German word in regular use. It translates to “insurance companies providing legal protection.” As Mark Twain once said, “Some German words are so long that they have perspective.”
Tote Hose (dead trousers) is the feeling of intense boredom, the kind that makes you feel as if time has come to a standstill and the phase you are going through will never end.
This is a beautiful word, one that we need in every language. Fernweh (distance pain) is the aching need to be somewhere else, to travel or get away. It’s roughly the opposite of homesickness.
Innerer Schweinhund (inner pig dog) is that avatar of your personality that snoozes the alarm five times to catch two extra hours of sleep. It is the little devil inside you that convinces you that life is too short to get up, rush, hurry or do just about anything.
Drachenfutter is a peace offering, in kind or favor, by a husband or boyfriend to appease his partner as a compensation for doing something wrong or inconsiderate. If you think it’s funny that the Germans have a word for it, wait till you hear the translation – dragon feed!
Kummerspeck (grief bacon) is the flab you gain due to emotional overeating. If you have ever polished off a family-size tub of ice-cream while watching 27 Dresses (2008) surrounded by tissues, you have experienced Kummerspeck.
You know how the perfectly fitting response to something someone said comes to you after the conversation is already over? That annoying phenomenon is treppenwitz (staircase wit), which refers to the most amazing lines or comebacks you think of too late (figuratively, on your way down the stairs after the conversation).
Torschlusspanik (closing door panic) is the fear of opportunities lost forever, dreams not realized or goals not accomplished before a figurative ‘door closes’, meaning before it’s too late. The next time your mom’s friend makes an unsolicited reference to your ticking biological clock, advice her to not indulge in Torschlusspanik, and make your escape while she is trying to figure it out.
Geborgenheit (secure-ness) was actually voted to be among the most beautiful words in the German language. Much of its charm is lost in translation, but it roughly means to be completely present in a given situation, to experience a moment of unadulterated happiness or an intense feeling of satisfaction with a situation.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.