Who would have thought? There really are celebratory dates for anything! November 7th celebrates International Tongue Twister Day. As keen linguists, we love challenging ourselves with word games, and tongue twisters in your second language can be a fun way to test your pronunciation skills. Do some tongue exercise today with these amusing phrases in your second language.

Dutch tongbrekers

Onder de roomse kerk met drie droge doeken.
Below the Roman Catholic Church with three dry tea-cloths.

De koetsier poetst de postkoets.
The coachman cleans the coach.

De kat krabt de krullen van de trap.
The cat crabs the curls off the stairs.

Als vliegen achter vliegen vliegen, vliegen vliegen vliegensvlug.
If flies fly behind flies, flies will fly like lightning.

French virelangues

Je veux et j’éxige ; j’éxige et je veux.
I want and I demand. I demand and I want.

Papier, panier, piano.
Paper, basket, piano.

Je cherche Serge.
I am looking for Serge.

Trente-trois gros crapauds gris dans trente-trois gros trous creux.
33 fat grey toads in 33 big hollows.

German zungenbrecher

Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische.
The Fischer’s son Fritz is fishing for fresh fish.

Kluge kleine Katzen kratzen keine Krokodile.
Clever little cats don’t scratch crocodiles.

Esel essen Nesseln nicht, Nesseln essen Esel nicht.
Donkeys don’t eat nettles, and nettles don’t eat donkeys.

Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid und Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut.
A wedding dress remains a wedding dress, and red cabbage remains red cabbage.

Gaelic Rabhlóga

Cheannaigh cailín cliste ceanúil císte.
A clever, affectionate girl bought a cake.

Chuaigh ceannaí cneasta cliste thar chlaí crua chloch.
A smart, kind merchant went over the hard stone wall.

Cearc ag piocadh piobair de phláta Pheadair.
A chicken is picking peppers from Peter’s plate.

Bhí bean bheag bhocht breoite bruite leis an bhfuacht.
The poor little sick women was scaled with the cold.

Italian scioglilingua

Sopra la panca la capra campa, sotto la panca la capra crepa.
On the bench the goat lives, under the bench the goat dies.

Trentatré trentini entrarono a Trento tutti e trentatré trotterellando.
Thirty-three dwellers of Trent came into Trent, all thirty-three trotting and toddling.

Tre tigri contro tre tigri.
Three tigers against three tigers.

Se l’arcivescovo di Costantinopoli si disarcivescoviscostantinopolizzasse, vi disarcivescoviscostantinopolizzereste voi come si è disarcivescoviscostantinopolizzato l’arcivescovo di Costantinopoli?
If the archibishop of Constantinople debishopconstantinoplized himself, would you debishopconstantinoplize yourselves in the same way as the archibishop of Constantinople debishopconstantinoplized?

Polish łamaniec językow

W czasie suszy szosa sucha.
A way is dry when there’s drought.

Król Karol kupił Królowej Karolinie korale koloru koralowego.
King Karl bought Queen Caroline coral-colored bead.

Stół z powyłamywanymi nogami.
A table with broken legs.

We szwy płaszcza się zaszywszy w szyku marsza trzy wszy weszły.
Hiding in seams of a coat, three lice entered in a marching formation

Portuguese travalínguas

Sabia que o sabiá sabia assobiar?
Did you know that the thrush could whistle?

O rato roeu a roupa do rei de Roma.
The rat nibbled the King of Rome’s clothes.

O rato roeu a rolha da garrafa de rum do rei da Rússia.
The rat nibbled the cork of the bottle of rum of the king of Russia.

Um prato de trigo para três tigres.
One dish of wheat to three tigers

Spanish trabalenguas

El perro de San Roque no tiene rabo porque Ramón Rodríguez se lo ha robado.
Saint Roque’s dog has no tail because Ramón Rodríguez has stolen it.

El cielo está enladrillado. ¿Quién lo desenladrillará?
El desenladrillador que lo desenladrille, ¡buen desenladrillador será!
The sky is full of bricks. Who will put them out now?
The “unbricker” who could put them out, will be such a good “unbricker”!

Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en tres tristes trastos en un trigal
Three sad tigers were eating wheat in three sad (lousy) dishes in a wheat field.

Pablito clavó un clavito, un clavito clavó pablito.

Little Paul nailed a little nail, a little nail Little Paul nailed

Swedish tungvrickare

Sex laxar i en laxask.
Six salmon in a salmon-box.

Packa pappas kappsäck.
Pack daddy’s suitcase.

Sju sjösjuka sjömän sköttes av sju sköna sjuksköterskor.
Seven seasick sailors were nursed by seven beautiful nurses.

Klockan sju sitter en sjuk katt på skivan och sjunger.
At 7 o’clock a sick cat is sitting on a disc and singing.


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