Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung. It has a ring to it, doesn’t it? Try it out for yourself: Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung. To an English speaker, it may seem like a meaningless, even endless assortment of letters, but it turns out that it’s an award-winning German word. As the Associated Press reports, a survey of 10,000 Austrians has chosen the lengthy noun as its word of the year.

Roughly translated, the word means “postponement of the repeat runoff of the presidential election.” The super-long word was coined this year in response to a similarly drawn-out presidential election in Austria.

In May, Austrians elected Alexander Van der Bellen to the presidency in May. But Van der Bellen’s victory was a narrow one, and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), the country’s far-right party, contested the results and claimed that voting irregularities warranted a new election. The repeat runoff was due to go ahead on October 2, but then something sticky happened. As The Guardian’s Kate Connolly reports, the government requested a postponement of the repeat runoff when issues with the glue used to seal mail-in ballots were discovered. The election was postponed and a new term was born.
在五月份,奥地利人将Alexander Van der Bellen选为下一届总统。但Van der Bellen仅是险胜,而奥地利自由党,奥地利的极右翼政党对这个结果提出抗议,并声称由于投票过程中的不规范行为,重新选举具有了正当理由。这次重选理应在十月二日进行,但又有些棘手的事情发生了。正如《卫报》的Kate Connolly报道中所说,政府又要求推迟这次重选,因为他们发现拿来密封邮寄选票的胶水出了问题。随着选举的推迟,又一个政治术语诞生了。

The election finally went forward with higher turnout. This time, the far-right party was rejected by Austrian voters by an even wider margin. The events were watched with amusement and exhaustion by Austrians. As the jury of experts who judged the contest told the Austrian paper Der Standard (in German), it is “both an expressive and ironic commentary [on] the political events of the year.”
这场选举最终获得了更高的投票率。这次,极右政党以更大的差距被奥地利选民拒之门外。奥地利人最终以娱乐却又疲惫的心情见证了这次事件。正如对这次抗议做出审判的专家陪审团告诉奥地利媒体《标准报》(Der Standard),这个词是对这场年度政治事件不仅生动而且极具讽刺意味的评论。

If you wanted to save a letter, you could spell Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung with an umlaut instead, making Bundespräsidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung. Those little symbols, which add an e to a vowel, are another example of how the German language lets speakers combine more than one thing. Or you could just marvel at how much longer it is than the longest word in the English language—pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.