Advent calendar 4 – “German is dangerous”


Hello everyone,

day 4 of our advent calendar and today it’s time for some fun. Get ready for….

German tongue twisters

I’ll give you a selection of tongue twisters that I personally find difficult. And yes, I’m gonna read them to you, first slow, then fast. And I won’t edit. So you can hear me fail :)

The German word for tongue twister is Zungenbrecher, by the way. So they don’t just twist your tongue, they apperantly break it.
So let’s see, if they’re really that bad.

And the first one can ONLY be this (the first audio is slow, the second as fast as I can)

Yeah, that sounds very German now, doesn’t it :). All those sh and ts.
This tongue twister is probably the most famous one even though it’s not the most difficult one. I mean… you just heard me. I totally aced it. What is it about? Well, it tells us about “the Fritz of Fisher” and how he’s fishing fresh fish. And please don’t ask me what Fritz is in this context; maybe the son of the fisher is called Fritz. I don’t know.
I wouldn’t think too much about the message of tongue twisters anyway. And the one with the fish is way more meaningful than the one coming up next, which is about making wax masks from wax mask wax.

It’s actually very similar in English, so it might qualify

  • If you like wax masks – Max makes wax-masks from wax-mask-wax.

This one is by far less known than the first one, but I find it quite tricky. It definitely take some training to get it right.
Not as much as the last one though, which is also called “Students’ reckoning.”

Not bad, huh.
And you know what the best thing is? It’s not even that hard for a German. Well… at least when they’re a bit sloppy about the ch. But I’m sure it is an absolute nightmare for students that have issues with ch.

So, that’s it for today. We’ll do a second part soon and there, I’ll show you the ones that are really hard for me, personally. So please don’t spoil any German tongue twisters in the comments yet.
But let me know what you think of the ones we had? Were they difficult for you? Which one’s the hardest? And what are some cool ones in your language? Let me know in the comments below, and enter the competition for today’s little giveaway (which I still haven’t decided what it’s gonna be)
Have a great day and bis morgen!

for members :)

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Isn’t “Fischers Fritze” just the fisherman Fritz? I always read it as such. Like “Kaufmann Karl” gets “Kaufmanns Karle” in this antiquated kind of nickname style. Not that one would ask about sense in tounge breaker, I mean, who cares what sparrows do in bushes?


…or goats with sugar?


I find the english version of the wax masks one even harder than the german one (and I’m a native english speaker)… Haha thank you for this fun bit of frustration on a Sunday morning :D


Here is a Turkish tongue twister:

Bu yoğurdu sarımsaklasak da mı saklasak sarımsaklamasak da mı saklasak?

Meaning: Shall we keep this yogurt after “garlicing” it or shall we keep it without “garlicing”?


Say them each three times, real fast:

1. Smart fellow I fellow smart.

2. She slit the sheet the sheet she slit upon the slitted sheet she sits.


I agree with evabara about the wax masks in English. One that is well known in English is, How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? It does not get tough until you repeat it several times. Also, she sells seas shells down by the shining sea shore. Tough for kids with braces on their teeth!


My favorite English tongue twister is the classic :
Betty Botter bought some butter
But she said the butter’s bitter.
If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better batter, that will make my batter better.

And my favorite Italian scioglilingue (tongue melters)

Trentatré Trentini entrarono a Trento, tutti e trentatré, trotterellando.
33 people from Trento, entering Trento, all 33 were trotting.

Apelle, figlio d’Apollo, fece una palla di pelle di pollo.
Tutti i pesci vennero a galla per vedere la palla di pelle di pollo,
fatta d’Apelle, figlio di Apollo.
Apelle, son of Apollo made a ball of chicken skin. All of the fish came to see the ball of chicken skin made by Apelle, son of Apollo.


That’s also my favorite English tongue twister!


Are we not pronouncing at all the L in Teeschälchen?


A little naughty, but:

I’m not a pheasant plucker, I’m a pheasant plucker’s son,
But I’ll be plucking pheasants ’till the pheasant plucking’s done.


A pretty hard Hungarian one:

A szerencsés csősz cserszömörcés sört szürcsöl.
The lucky hayward is sipping beer made of smoke tree.

Lisa Hansen

I’ve always liked:
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pecks of pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?


Too fun! I became acquainted with ‘shoulder surgery’ last month (for my son, not me!!) and the more we discussed it, the harder it was to say. :D


Alle sind schwer für mich xD Ich denke, dass meine “ch” sehr stark sind…

Es gibt einige schwere Zungenbrecher (“trabalenguas”) im Spanischen:

1) El volcán de Parangaricutirimícuaro se quiere desparangaricutiriguarizar, y el que lo desparangaricutiricuarizare será un buen desparangaricutirimizador.
(It’s about a volcano in Mexico, and it basically says that this volcano doesn’t want to be a volcano anymore, so whoever makes it possible would be a good “desvolcanizer”. Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense :D)

2) “Erre” con “erre” cigarro,
“erre” con “erre” barril.
Rápido corren los carros,
Cargados de azúcar del ferrocarril.
(It’s about a cigar, a barrel, some fast cars and a sugar railroad. Even though it’s a little silly, it may be a nightmare for someone who can’t pronounce the rolled “r”)


And also… The hardest English tongue twister for me is “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”. I can’t even say “sixth” properly xD


Makes no sense, but one of my favorites is “The sea ceaseth, but it sufficeth us”.

Davide Robba
Davide Robba

Der der sechsten Kranken ist wirklich schrecklich.
Was ist seine wahre Bedeutung?
“Die sechste Krankheit der Schafe des sechsten kranken Scheichs”?

Übrigens, diese ist auf Italienisch und sehr berühmt:

“Sopra la panca la capra campa,
sotto la panca la capra crepa”

meaning: auf der Bank lebt die Ziege, unter der Bank die Ziege stirbt.


I liked the last one, once I did it a few times I think I got the hang of it… maybe XD I absolutely love tongue twisters, my favourite one is a Japanese tongue twister about a girl called Momo and Peaches (also called Momo). I can’t remember exactly how it goes, because I’ve always got it wrong, but a few of my friends do it every now and then to show off.

I get this one wrong all the time too, it is the one English tongue twister that I just seem to fail at every time XD

She sells sea shells by the sea shore. It is really hard to not ‘sh’ every ‘s’.