The Babbel Blog

language learning in the digital age

Tongue-twister challenge!

Posted on October 1, 2014 by


When you’re learning a new language, tongue-twisters are a great way to practice your pronunciation. Tongue-twisters are sentences or series of words that are hard to say. They often have similar alternating sounds, like ‘s’ and ‘sh’ or ‘p’ and ‘b’. Although they are typically nonsense, the English classic “She sells sea shells on the sea shore, and the shells that she sells are sea shells, I’m sure” was actually a popular song in 1908 based on the life of Mary Anning, a famous British fossil hunter and collector.

To celebrate the release of our Swedish tongue-twisters course, we’ve selected eight tongue-twisters in different languages – English, German, Italian, French, Danish, Swedish, Turkish and Russian – and turned them into short animations. Can you master them?



This is Stu.
Stu chews shoes.
But if Stu chews shoes, should Stu choose the shoes he chews?



Auf den sieben Robbenklippen sitzen sieben Robbensippen,
Die sich in die Rippen stippen bis sie von den Klippen kippen.

Seven seal tribes sit on the seven seal cliffs,
Poking each other in the ribs until they topple off the cliffs.



Sopra la panca la capra campa. Sotto la panca la capra crepa.

On the bench the goat lives. Under the bench the goat dies.



Combien ces six saucissons-ci et ces six saucisses-ci ?
C’est six sous ces six saucissons-ci et six sous ces six saucisses-ci aussi !

How much are these six little sausages and these six sausages?
These six little sausages are six cents, and these six sausages are also six cents!



Stativ, Stakit, Kasket.

Rack, fence, cap (repeat!)



Sju undersköna sjuksköterskor sköter sju sjösjuka sjömän på det sjunkande skeppet Shanghai.

Seven beautiful nurses take care of seven seasick sailors on the sinking ship Shanghai.



Bir berber bir berbere “Bre berber gel beraber bir berber dükkanı açalım” demiş.

One barber said to another barber “Hey barber, let’s open up a barber shop together.”



Сев в такси спросила такса: “За проезд какая такса?” А таксист ответил так: “Возим такс мы просто так-с.”

In a taxi the dachshund asked “How much is the fare?” And the taxi driver replied, “The ride is free for dachshunds.”


Let us know your own favourite tongue-twisters in the comments!



Wood that is difficult

Kokoo kokoon koko kokko! Koko kokkoko? Koko kokko. (Finnish)
= Gather together the whole heap! The whole heap? The whole heap.

Kokoo kokoon koko kokko! Koko kokkoko? Koko kokko.

Unique New York, New York unique!

Say it fast several times!

In spanish “Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal”

Mean “Three sad tigers swalloed wheat in a wheat field”

Or also the name of a small village in Mexico “Parangaricutirimicuaro”

Zwischen zwei Zwetschgenzweigen zwitschern zwei Schwalben!

De Pabscht hät s’Schpäckbschteck z’Spiez zschpat bschtellt. (Swiss German!)

Deuil esta qué porque jamais

Great article, but gotta agree, i would be nice to hear them without pauses. Here’s a famous French tongue twister:

Les chaussettes de l’archi duchesse sont elles sèches archi-sèches?

I am a mother pheasant plucker, I pluck mother pheasants, I am the most pleasant mother pheasant that has ever plucked mother pheasants


That would be, uh,

« Shī Shì shí shī shǐ »Shíshì shīshì Shī Shì, shì shī, shì shí shí shī.Shì shíshí shì shì shì shī.Shí shí, shì shí shī shì shì.Shì shí, shì Shī Shì shì shì.Shì shì shì shí shī, shì shǐ shì, shǐ shì shí shī shìshì.Shì shí shì shí shī shī, shì shíshì.Shíshì shī, Shì shǐ shì shì shíshì.Shíshì shì, Shì shǐ shì shí shì shí shī.Shí shí, shǐ shí shì shí shī shī, shí shí shí shī shī.Shì shì shì shì.



I wish I could listen to the tongue twisters without the pauses! Isn’t that the whole point?

Hey Valerie – we’re preparing a Blockbuster version for the magazine with all the tongue-twisters together, really fast. It’ll be out in November.

Siedzi Jerzy na wieży i nie wierzy, że na wieży nie ma jeży.

Król Karol podarował królowej Karolinie korale koloru koralowego.

Two Mandarin Chinese tongue twisters:

I do like learning german and it is fun.

I’m using Babbel for Polish. Why no Polish tongue twisters?

Hi Catherine, we’ve only done some languages to start with – we may yet get to Polish! Check out our Youtube site over the coming weeks.

this is wrong:Chinese tongue-twister:
Si-shi shi si-shi, shi-si shi shi-si
should be:
si shi si, shi shi shi, si shi shi si shi, shi si shi si shi.

Chinese tongue-twister:
Si-shi shi si-shi, shi-si shi shi-si
Fourty is fourty, tourteen is fourteen

A variatioin of the above :
Chasseurs qui savez chasser, chassez ce chat de ce chassis-là!

Auf den sieben Robbenklippen sitzen sieben Robbensippen,
Die sich in die Rippen stippen bis sie von den Klippen kippen.

Un chasseur sachant chasser chassa son chien dans un sachet

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