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7 Zany Zungenbrecher to Supercharge Your German Pronunciation Skills

Learning a language can seem daunting sometimes, right? But here’s a secret weapon: find ways to make it FUN! Think what this activity would look like if it were fun. When you’re enjoying the process, you’re less afraid of the inevitable mistakes that are part of fluency.

This is where this week’s topic comes into play: Zungenbrecher (tongue twisters). They are playful and silly, though they can help you tackle some of your weak spots. These get your mouth used to the flow of German words. They can help break down the complex sounds, so if you get tongue-tied sounding out “CH,” “Z,” “X,” “R,” and other German letter combinations, these will get you on the fast track to confidence.

Ready for a playful challenge?

Lets explore seven tongue twisters and break them down for you to understand them better.

“Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid und Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut”.

(Wedding dress stays wedding dress and blue cabbage stays blue cabbage)

Challenge: Consonant clusters “br” and “bl,” long and short vowel sounds

Practice tip: Exaggerate the “br” and “bl” sounds, focusing on the difference between “Braut” (long “au”) and “Blau” (short “au”)

“Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische, frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritz.” (Fisherman Fritz fishes for fresh fish, fresh fish fishes Fisherman Fritz)

Challenge: Various “ch” sounds, plural modifications

Practice tip: Pay attention to the different “ch” sounds in “Fischers” (soft) and “frische” (hard), and note how “Fisch” changes to “Fische” in the plural form


“Zwischen zwei Zwetschgenzweigen zwitschern zwei Schwalben.”

(Two swallows chirp between two plum branches)

Challenge: “z” and “zw” pronunciations, compound words

Practice tip: Break down the compound words (“Zwetschgenzweigen,” “zwitschern”) and focus on the “z” and “zw” sounds

“Auf dem Rasen rasen Hasen, atmen rasselnd unterm Rasen”.

(Hares race on the lawn, breathing rasping under the lawn)

Challenge: Trilled and guttural “R” sounds, alliteration

Practice tip: Exaggerate the “R” sounds in “Rasen,” “rasen,” and “rasselnd,” and pay attention to the sentence rhythm created by the alliteration

“Wenn Fliegen hinter Fliegen fliegen, fliegen Fliegen Fliegen nach.”

(When flies fly behind flies, flies fly after flies)

Challenge: “ie” and “ei” vowel combinations, “fl” and “gen” sounds

Practice tip: Focus on the difference between “ie” in “fliegen” and “ei” in “Fliegen,” and practice the “fl” and “gen” sounds in rapid succession

“Esel essen Nesseln nicht, Nesseln essen Esel nicht.”

(Donkeys don’t eat nettles, nettles don’t eat donkeys)

Challenge: “es,” “ss,” “ch,” and “t” sounds

Practice tip: Pay attention to the difference between “essen” (short “e”) and “Nesseln” (long “e”), and exaggerate the “ch” and “t” sounds

“Der Cottbuser Postkutscher putzt den Cottbuser Postkutschkasten.” (The Cottbus stagecoach driver cleans the Cottbus stagecoach box.)

Challenge: “tz,” “tsch,” “u,” and “o” sounds

Practice tip: Break down the tongue twister into smaller parts, focusing on each challenging sound combination separately

How to Practice

Break It Down: Struggling even at a slow speed? Isolate the tricky part (“frische Fische” for example) and repeat that smaller chunk until it’s smoother.

Exaggerate: Over-pronounce the difficult sounds at first, it helps train your ear and mouth.

Musicality Matters: Some Zungenbrecher have a natural rhythm, lean into it! It helps with fluency, even if you don’t understand every word.

Record yourself: Listening makes it easier to hear your progress and see where you can still improve! If you practice them during one of our sessions, you get instant feedback along with a video recording to review.

I found this series of videos entertaining where the person is rapping the tongue twisters is the best way to describe it.

When I first started learning German, I struggled with the “ch” sounds in words like “ich” and “ach.” Practicing tongue twisters like “Fischers Fritz” helped me master these sounds and feel more confident in my pronunciation.

Incorporating Zungenbrecher into your German learning routine will improve your pronunciation, help you internalize language patterns, and develop fluency.

Now it’s your turn! Challenge yourself to master these seven Zungenbrecher and share your progress with our community. Let’s support each other and celebrate our growth together.

What are some of your favourite tongue twisters from around the world? Reply to us and let us know!

Remember, the key to language learning success is to embrace the journey, make mistakes, and, most importantly, have fun! So, let’s put our tongues to the test and unlock the secrets of German pronunciation together.

Viel Spaß beim Üben und bis bald!

Latogo Team


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