Norwegian Language Blog

Norwegian Tongue Twisters Posted by on Nov 9, 2010 in Language


Since I posted a question about Norwegian tongue twisters on facebook last week, I think I should do the topic justice and write a post.  Some of you had some great ones to share with all of us!  I love tongue twisters even if they are in languages I can´t understand.  It´s just funny to literally not be able to move your mouth in a natural way to look and sound normal when you say something.

One very popular tongue twister is this:

Du ska ikkje kalle Kalle for Kalle, selv om moren til Kalle kallar Kalle for Kalle, ska’kje du kalle Kalle for Kalle, for Kalle hetar egentlig Karl.

Translation:  You’re not supposed to call Kalle for Kalle, even though Kalle’s mother calls Kalle for Kalle, aren’t you supposed to call Kalle for Kalle, because Kalle’s real name is Karl.

Åtte kopper upoppet popkorn.

Translation:  8 cups of unpopped popcorn.

Byens beste baker Bjørn Brun, baker bare brune brendte berlinerboller.

Translation:  They city´s best baker Bjørn Brun only bakes brown burnt berlin rolls.

Fisker’n Finn fiska fersk fisk forige fredag.

Translation: The fisherman Finn fished fresh fish last Friday.

Det var en gang en sebra som ikke kunne se bra.
Så gikk han til en sebra som kunne se bra.
Så lærte den sebraen som kunne se bra,
den sebraen som ikke kunne se bra å se bra!

Translation: There once was a zebra that couldn´t see well.  So he went to a zebra that could see well.  Then the zebra that could see well taught the zebra that couldn´t see well to see well!

Kristine kjøper kjøttkaker hos kjøpmannen i Kjellstad.

Translation: Kristine buys meat cakes at the storekeeper in Kjellstad.

Lille snille Pernille griller piller på Nilles grill, mens lille Ville triller Pernilles snille krokodille som spiller trekkspill.

Translation: Little nice Pernille grills pills on Nille´s grill while little Ville rolls Pernille´s nice crocodile that plays the accordion.

Nye børster børster bedre enn gamle børster børster.

Translation: New brushes brush better than old brushes brush.

Fem flate flyndrer på et flatt fat.

Translation: Five fat fishes on a fat plate.

Leika dåkkå dåkkå mæ dåkkå dåkkå då?

Translation: Are you playing with dolls, are you?

Æ e i A.  Æ e i A æ å!

Translation: The school inspector asks, “which class are you in?” the answer is “I am in A” (Æ e i A) then he asks another boy “what class are you in then” he answers “I am in A I too” (Æ e i A æ å).

Do you think you can pronounce any of these??  Give it a shot!  It´s even more funny if you look in the mirror or videotape it.

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. Inger:

    Artig! Har du hørt denne: Ripsbusker og andre buskevekster…?