The Babbel Blog

language learning in the digital age

Tongue-twister challenge!

Posted on October 1, 2014 by

tongue-twister
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?
 

English


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

German


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.
 

Italian


Sopra la panca la capra campa. Sotto la panca la capra crepa.
On the bench the goat lives. Under the bench the goat dies.
 

French


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!
 

Danish


Stativ, Stakit, Kasket.
Rack, fence, cap (repeat!)
 

Swedish


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.
 

Turkish


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.”
 

Russian


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!