"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Thursday, 8 January 2009


I don’t quite know how I reached it but I came across a Blog with one of my favourite virelangues as a heading. “ Les chaussettes de l'archiduchesse sont-elles sèches? Archi-sèches.” In case you hadn’t gathered, a virelangues is a French tongue-twister. i recall learning a load of those at college for fun. This one translates as “Are the Archduchesses socks dry? Extra dry.”

Here are a few others that I enjoyed as a youngster...

Si ma tata tâte ta tata, ta tata sera tâtée.
(If my aunt feels your aunt, your aunt will be felt.)

Je suis ce que je suis et si je suis ce que je suis, qu'est-ce que je suis?
(I am what I am and if I am what I am, what am I?)

Même maman m'a mis ma main dans mon manchon
(My mother has put my hand up my sleeve.)

Ces cerises sont si sûres qu'on ne sait pas si c'en sont.
(These cherries are so sour one can't believe they’re cherries.)


  1. I used to collect virelangues as a child! Here are some more:

    Si six scies scient six cyprès, six cent scies scient six cent cyprès
    (If six saws saw at six cypresses, six hundred saws saw at six hundred cypresses)

    Un chasseur sachant chasser ne chasse jamais sans son chien
    (A hunter who knows how to hunt never hunts without his dog)

    Si six sangsues sucent au sang six sots, six cent sangsues sucent au sang six cent sots
    (If six leeches bleed six idiots, six hundred leeches bleed six hundred idiots)

    Ton thé t'a-t-il ôté ta toux? dit la tortue au tatou. Mais pas du tout! dit le tatou. Je tousse tant qu'on m'entend de Tahiti à Tombouctou!
    (Did your tea take away your cough? asked the turtle to the armadillo? Not at all! said the armadillo. I cough so much you can hear me from Tahiti to Timbuktu!)

  2. Thank you,
    I love the first one! Since you commented I've tried it and tried it and I still can't do it properly at speed, even while looking at it!