Some German words are so long that they have a perspective. Observe
These things are not words, they are alphabetical processions.
Of course when one of these grand mountain ranges goes stretching
across the printed page, it adorns and ennobles that literary landscape
but at the same time it is a great distress to the new student, for it
blocks up his way;...
- Appendix D of _A Tramp Abroad_
Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you
are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic
with his verb in his mouth.
-_A Connecticut Yankee_ 1889, ch 22
Mark Twain had a terrible time learning how to speak German, and
ultimately he decided it was the fault of the German language. His brain
rebelled against the unreasonable demands of "the language which
enables a man to travel all day in one sentence without changing cars."
"I can understand German as well as the maniac that invented it", said
Twain, "but I talk it best through an interpreter."
One time during a visit to Germany with his friend the Reverend Joe
Twichell, Twain was talking about sme rather private matters to Twichell
within earshot of some Germans, and Twichell became nervous about it.
"Speak in German, Mark," urged Twichell. "Some of these people may
-_Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain_ edited by Alex Ayres, 1987
"Mastery of the art and spirit of the Germanic language enables a man to
travel all day in one sentence without changing cars."
I was trying to explain to St. Peter, and was doing it in the German
tongue, because I didn't want to be too explicit. -
- Paine,_Mark Twain's Speeches_ 1923, p. 247
The Germans are exceedingly fond of Rhine wines; they are put up in tall,
slender bottles, and are considered a pleasant beverage. One tells them
from vinegar by the label.
-_A Tramp Abroad_ 1880, vol. 1, ch. 15
Hope this contains one that you had in mind. Now, how about translating
those long German words at the beginning of this post. Those really words
or did Twain manufacture them?
Barbara Schmidt (who doesn't speak the native tongue either.)