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German tongue-twisters Includes sound files!

Even for native speakers, German tongue-twisters are by no means easy. Listen to the following Zungenbrecher (= tongue-twisters) by clicking on the sound icon next to each sentence and then try to say them yourself. How fast can you manage them without making a mistake?

     1. In Ulm, um Ulm und um Ulm herum.
("In Ulm, around Ulm and round about Ulm.")
     2. Bürsten mit harten Borsten bürsten besonders sauber.
("Brushes with hard bristles brush particularly clean.")
     3. Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische.
("The Fischer's son Fritz is fishing for fresh fish.")
     4. Kluge kleine Katzen kratzen keine Krokodile.
("Clever little cats don't scratch crocodiles.")
     5. Zwischen zwei Zweigen zwitschern zwei Schwalben.
("Two swallows twitter between two branches.")
     6. Weil lustige Leute laufend lachen, lachen lustige Leute auch beim Laufen. 
("Because humorous people laugh all the time, humorous people laugh even when they run.")
     7. Echte Dichter dichten leichter bei Licht.
("Real poets find it easier to compose in daylight.")
     8. Jedes Jahr im Juli essen Jana und Julia Johannisbeeren.
("Every year in July Jana and Julia eat blackcurrants.")
     9. Schneiders Schere schneidet scharf - scharf schneidet Schneiders Schere.
("Schneider's scissors cut sharply - sharply is how Schneider's scissors cut.")
     10. Wer will weiße Wäsche waschen?
("Who wants to wash white washing?")
     11. Esel essen Nesseln nicht, Nesseln essen Esel nicht.
("Donkeys don't eat nettles, nettles don't eat donkeys.")
     12. Der Koch roch auch noch in der Nacht nach Knoblauch.
("Even in the night, the cook smelled of garlic.")
     13. Man trinkt Wein in Wien.
("People drink wine in Vienna.")
     14. Müller Lümmer frühstückt schüsselweise grünes Gemüse.
("Lümmer the miller eats green vegetables by the bowlful for breakfast.")
     15. Der dicke Dieter trägt den dünnen Dieter über den dicken Dreck.
("Fat Dieter carries thin Dieter across the thick mud.")

Anyone who wants to find more German tongue-twisters should visit the following sites:

  • Click here to watch three Germans attempt to repeat the tongue-twister. "Schneiders Schere schneidet scharf, scharf schneidet Schneiders Schere."
  • Click here to visit Michael Reck's extensive "International Collection of Tongue Twisters". Some are these Zungenbrecher are in standard German, others are in dialect.
  • Click here to see Oliver Horvath's list of German tongue-twisters.

Web links  Pronunciation and Alphabet Exercises  Web links

  Pronunciation exercises
Anglicized German words How to pronounce German words that have made their way into the English language.
Similar words in English and German These words in this exercise may look familiar to us, but are spoken very differently in German.
Anglicized German names How should the names of these famous people from the German-speaking countries actually be pronounced?
German names for cities How do native German speakers refer to the following towns and cities?
  Alphabet exercises
Spelling your name Listen to some German names being spelled and see if you can write them down.
German abbreviations Read out some German abbreviations and then hear how they should sound.
MFG - mit freundlichen Grüßen Watch a video for a German rap video made up of abbrevations and then sing along to the instrumental!

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