Beautiful nights, beautiful canals

Dear editor, can you please quote the famous Dutch tongue-twister about 88 canals and 88 something else, by which the Dutch assess if a foreigner will be able to master Dutch?

Editor's note: You presumably mean the impressing sentence Wij smachten naar achtentachtig prachtige nachten bij achtentachtig prachtige grachten, we long for 88 beautiful nights by 88 beautiful canals. The challenging sound is the ch which is pronounced in the very back of your throat.

Sent by: Milla


Bob, US 2011-07-12

The original that Milla asks for is: "Acht en tachtig kleine kacheltjes." It means 88 small stoves and is almost impossible for anyone but a dutchman to pronounce correctly.

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johan, hamm, germany 2010-02-24

In the second world war in the Netherlands there was this famous password:
Scheveningen, schoenen, schaatsen, Scheveningen, shoes, skates. A German can't pronounce those 3 words properly.

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Pranesh Bhargava, Groningen, The Netherlands 2009-08-06

By the way, the challenging sound is also 'g', and not only 'ch'.

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Kristof 2005-11-26

This is one word: hottentottententententoonstelling. It means 'a hottentot tent's exhibition'.

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