The longest word in the Greenlandic language - Guide to Greenland

The longest word in the Greenlandic language

By
Lasse Kyed
Verified Local

Greenlandic is a polysynthetic language

If you go to a website called kalak.gl it claims the longest word is this: “Nalunaarasuartaatee-ranngualioqatigiiffissua-lioriataallaqqissupiloru-jussuanngortartuinnaka-sinngortinniamisaalinn-guatsiaraluallaqqooqiga-minngamiaasiinngooq.” Consisting of 153 letters. It means something along the lines of: “There were reports that they apparently – God knows for how many times – once again had considered whatever I, my poor condition despite, still could be considered to be quite adept and resourceful as initiator to put a consortium together for the establishment of a range of small radio stations.

Nowbeing the curious soul that I am, and since there has never been an official statement made about the longest word, I thought I would ask the national department of language to see whether or not this was correct, and to my surprise, they had an even longer word: “Nalunaarasuartaatee-raARAnngualioqatigiiffissua-lioriataallaqqissupiloru-jussuanngortartuinnaka-sinngortinniamisaalinn-guatsiaraluallaqqooqiga-minngamiaasiinngooq” – the only difference is the capitalized letters: “ARA“, making the word 156 letters and simply changing the translation of “-small radio stations” to “-tiny radio stations”. 

BUT, that is a word which would never actually be said out loud, it’s simply a fun brain teaser, and you’re free to try and come up with an even longer word, which isn’t impossible, just quite difficult. 

The longest singular word accepted in the Greenlandic dictionary is: “Inuussutissarsiorsinnaajunnaarnersiutilik.” Consisting of 41 letters, it hardly gets close to the longest word, but could easily be made longer, a fun little fact for you.

If you’d like to learn some Greenlandic yourself check out this tour in Ilulissat!

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