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Guten Tag! Today we’re going to look at tongue twisters. In German, tongue twisters are called Zungenbrecher (which literally means ‘tongue breakers’!). Not only will I write the tongue twisters and their translations down for you, but I’ve recorded each one, too, so you can hear exactly how they are meant to be pronounced. Hopefully this will give you all you need to go off and practise saying them at lightning speed!
–> They are great for practising certain sounds, letters or letter combinations – especially if you don’t have those particular sounds in your own language (one example would be the German ‘z’ which is pronounced like the English ‘ts’ sound — so a tongue twister with a lot of German ‘z’ sounds would make ideal practice for a native English speaker. There is one listed below!).
–> They are fun! And most people are more likely to remember what they’ve learnt if there was an element of fun involved.
–> They also bring an element of challenge. How satisfying is it when you finally can say a tongue twister? Learning tongue twisters in another language will give you a real sense of accomplishment!
–> Bonus advantage: Tongue twisters strengthen the muscles used when talking! So tongue twisters are basically a workout! 😉
Let’s get going with our 10 German tongue twisters. Click on the little ‘play’ button to hear the audio.
Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische – Frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritz
(‘Fischer’s son Fritz is fishing for fresh fish – Fresh fish is what Fischer’s son Fritz is fishing for’)
Der dicke Dieter trägt den dünnen Dieter über den dicken Dreck
(‘Fat Dieter carries thin Dieter over the thick mud’)
Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid und Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut
(‘Wedding dress stays as wedding dress and red cabbage stays as red cabbage’)
Zwischen zwei Zwetschgenzweigen sitzen zwei zwitschernde Schwalben
(‘Two twittering swallows sit between two plum branches’)
Wir Wiener Waschweiber würden weiße Wäsche waschen, wenn wir wüssten, wo weiches, warmes Wasser wäre
(‘We Viennese washerwomen would wash white clothes if we knew where the soft, warm water was’)
Bäcker Braun backt braune Brezeln. Braune Brezeln backt Bäcker Braun
(‘Baker Brown bakes brown pretzels. Brown pretzels bakes Baker Brown.’)
Acht alte Ameisen aßen am Abend Ananas
(‘Eight old ants ate pineapple in the evening’)
Du magst Wachsmasken? Max macht Wachsmasken
(‘You like wax masks? Max makes wax masks’)
Esel essen Nesseln nicht, nein, Nesseln essen Esel nicht
(‘Donkeys don’t eat nettles, no, nettles donkeys do not eat’)
Der dicke Dachdecker deckte das dicke Dach. Dann trug der dicke Dachdecker, die dicke Dame durch den dicken Dreck. Dann dankte die dicke Dame dem dicken Dachdecker, dass der dicke Dachdecker die dicke Dame durch den dicken Dreck trug
(‘The fat roofer covered the thick roof. Then the fat roofer carried the fat woman through the thick mud. Then the fat woman thanked the fat roofer that the fat roofer carried the fat woman through the thick mud’)
I have recorded the above Zungenbrecher a little slower than you would normally say a tongue twister, but that’s so that you can hear the pronunciation of the words clearly first. Start out by saying them slowly, then see if you can speed up! Here’s my attempt at saying the 10th one above (‘Der dicke Dachdecker..’) as quickly as I can (I was almost successful)!
Let me know how you get on with these. Viel Spaß damit (have lots of fun with it)!!!! 🙂