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8 German tongue-twisters to leave your mouth in knots
Photo: DPA.

8 German tongue-twisters to leave your mouth in knots

The Local · 19 Feb 2016, 16:22

Published: 19 Feb 2016 16:22 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Feb 2016 16:22 GMT+01:00

Just as English-speakers enjoy a good “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” challenge every now and then, Germans love their Zungenbrecher - literally, tongue-breakers.

Here are some of our favourites. How many can you say five times fast?

1. Wenn Fliegen hinter Fliegen fliegen, fliegen Fliegen hinter Fliegen her.

Even the English translation is bit tricky to say: If flies fly behind flies, then flies fly after flies.

2. Schnecken erschrecken, wenn sie an Schnecken schlecken, weil zum Schrecken vieler Schnecken Schnecken nicht schmecken.

This one means: Snails are shocked when they lick snails because to the surprise of many snails, snails don’t taste good.

3. Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut und Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid

Photos: DPA.

Wise words: A red cabbage is always a red cabbage, and a wedding dress is always a wedding dress.

4. Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische, frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritz.

This one is a classic: The fisherman’s Fritz fishes for fresh fish, fresh fish is what the fisherman’s Fritz fishes. And don’t worry if you can’t get it on the first go - even the German news anchor struggled with it in the above video.

5. Zwischen zwei Zwetschgenzweigen sitzen zwei zechenschwarze tschechisch zwitschernde Zwergschwalben.

This one uses a bit of Bavarian vocabulary - even trickier: Between two plum branches sit two Czech coal-black twittering dwarf swallows.

6. Der dicke Dachdecker deckt Dir dein Dach, drum dank dem dicken Dachdecker, dass der dicke Dachdecker Dir Dein Dach deckte.

Added bonus if you can sing it like this guy: The fat roofer tiles your roof, so thank the fat roofer, that the fat roofer tiled your roof.

7. Am zehnten zehnten um zehn Uhr zehn zogen zehn zahme Ziegen zehn Zentner Zucker zum Zoo.

On the tenth of October (10/10) at 10.10am, ten tame goats pulled ten centners (unit of weight) of sugar to the zoo.

8.  Der Grabengräber gräbt die Gräben.

Der Grubengräber gräbt die Gruben.
Graben Grabengräber Gruben?
Graben Grubengräber Gräben?
Nein!
Grabengräber graben Gräben.
Grubengräber graben Gruben

Story continues below…

Eli Duke/Flickr Creative Commons.

The gravedigger digs graves.

The ditchdigger digs ditches.
Do ditchdiggers dig graves?
Do gravediggers dig ditches?

No!
Gravediggers dig graves.
Ditchdiggers dig ditches.

Now if only we could figure out whatever this guy is saying:

 

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