Advent Calendar 9 – “Lord of the Flies”

Written By: Emanuel Updated: May 29, 2020

Hallo ihr lieben,

day 9 of our Advent Calendar and today you’re in for some serious

brain wrecking

with a little riddle. A sentence riddle.
We all know that German, by dint of cases, flexible structure and sheer infamy, can create some abominations of sentences. Just take a look at Hegel.
Today we’ll look at one of the craziest sentences German has to offer.  And it’s only 9 words long.
Nah, kidding. I meant 90. Wait… actually I wasn’t kidding. It’s really only 9.
But they’ll give you hell :).

First, I’ll just read it to you. If you can understand it then you’re a true master.
The next step is, I’ll give you the transcript, but without capital letters and punctuation. Then, I’ll give you the proper version, and then a break down of the grammar.

Viel Spaß :)





no punctuation/spelling:


wenn hinter fliegen fliegen fliegen fliegen fliegen fliegen hinterher.


proper spelling:

Wenn hinter Fliegen Fliegen fliegen, fliegen Fliegen Fliegen hinterher.



And here’s a grammar chart I made.



Yeah… I know… it looks like the flies are actually also flying inside the chart.
Anyway, this was our little riddle for today and if you’re like “I would never have been able to figure that one out” then don’t worry…  a native speaker of German who hears this tinker for the first time will need some time to process it, too.
I’m curious… were you able to figure it out right away? Or once you had the spelling? Or not at all?  Oh and do you have something like this on your mother tongue? Let me know in the comments below and maybe win today’s little give away.
Schönen Tag und  see you tomorrow.

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