"We tend to stop after a certain number of syllables, but German seems to prefer long words."
I'm not sure that we do (stop). We tend to write the resulting mess as separate words but that's a cosmetic detail. The big exception here is when we are glueing Latin or Greek roots together, in which case we join them up, presumably because the parts aren't recognisable words on their own.
Either way, in the spoken language the stream of sounds is much the same. I imagine that in the mind of a listener these compounds are just as separable (or not) in either language.