December 21st, 2016
Christmas is almost here! Here’s a link to our favorite Christmas Recipes from around the World. Most are for dessert. Yummy! Enjoy! Mama Lisa
July 19th, 2016
Bruce Ham wrote to us recently looking for help with the lyrics to a Dutch children’s song that his grandmother used to sing to the kids in the family. He sent us a recording of his grandmother singing the song. In the recording you can also hear his grandma talk about how she used to […]
June 9th, 2016
In America, we celebrate dad on the 3rd Sunday of June by treating him to his favorite meal or spending quality time doing something he loves. But that’s not the case in every country. Every culture has their own ways to show appreciation to their fathers. For example, in South Africa families go fishing or […]
May 4th, 2016
Yodeling began as a way of communicating over long distances in mountainous regions. It’s believed that people as early as the Stone Ages yodeled! To yodel you alternate the voice between low and high pitches.The low pitches come from the chest and the high pitches come from the head region. Try yodeling, "yodel-ay hee ho" […]
January 22nd, 2016
"It’s interesting to learn about how people count on their fingers in different countries… I mean the way people show the digits with their fingers. In the U.S., people show the forefinger for 1, so do the Spanish. While in France, we show the thumb, so do the Germans. In Morocco, they join the thumb […]
December 23rd, 2015
Zimtsterne literally translates from German to English as Cinnamon Stars. They’re Cinnamon Star Cookies These cookies are a specialty of Germany, Austria, Alsace (Region of France) and Switzerland. They’re made for Christmas and in Alsace, they’re part of the "bredele" Christmas cookie tradition. These are also made by German Jewish people for Yom Kippur. They […]
December 19th, 2015
Check out these fun, rocking renditions of Christmas carols as performed by Ryan DeRamos. The links below include lyrics, recordings plus additional links to French and Spanish Translations… Jingle Bells O Christmas Tree Hallelujah In dulci jubilo It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Joy to the World We Three Kings of Orient Are Child in […]
December 14th, 2015
Gingerbread Cookies are an important part of the holiday season in Germany. They’re sold in Christmas Markets that are found all over Germany at this time of year. The creation of the Gingerbread Man is credited to the court of Queen Elizabeth I. The story is that she had gingerbread man cookies made to resemble […]
December 13th, 2015
Gingerbread Cookies are part of the December Holiday tradition. They’re made in Germany, England, the Netherlands, Australia, the U.S.A., and many other countries around the world. This delicious gingerbread cookie recipe replaces the molasses with honey, making it less intense and more pleasing for kids and adults alike. This also creates a soft gingerbread cookie. […]
December 8th, 2015
An den Winter is a German poem about winter by Elisabeth Kulmann (1808-1825). She wrote more than 1,000 poems before she died at age 17. This lovely poem evokes the feeling of the season. Below, you can listen to the poem in the original German and read along with the text and an English translation… MP3 […]
December 7th, 2015
Weihnachten (Christmas) is one of the most famous German Christmas poems. It was written by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788 – 1857). The poem starts with the mention of a market. The Christmas Market – Weihnachtsmarkt – is a big part of the Christmas season in Germany. It usually opens with the start of Advent. […]
December 3rd, 2015
St. Nicholas Day is celebrated in parts of Europe on December 5th – 6th. Many children receive gifts and treats in the shoes they left out the night before. To learn more about St. Nicholas Day, check out these articles we’ve posted… Below you can learn some St. Nicholas Songs and Rhymes… St. Nicholas […]
November 18th, 2015
Going door-to-door for treats between Halloween and Christmas-time has been common throughout the West for the past few centuries. These traditions have their roots in Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival that was celebrated from October 31st to November 1st, the halfway point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. It was a festival that […]
June 4th, 2015
Playing real video games for fun is a great way to improve your foreign language skills. I’m talking about games you’d want to play in your own language, not specifically language learning games. There are many fun games that are available in many different languages. I’m an early advanced French learner, so I understand enough […]
April 14th, 2015
Watch Darth Vader say, "I am your father" to Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movie in 20 different languages (as dubbed in the movies). You can see a list of the languages with their voice actors below the video. Languages and Voice Actors: English (Original) – James Earl Jones Spanish (1980) – Isidro Olace […]
April 3rd, 2015
Do you remember doing the Bunny Hop? I learnt it as a kid in the early ’70’s in dance class. The Bunny Hop and the Finnish Folk Dance called "Letkajenkka" (aka Letkis) are nearly identical. Both became a dance craze around the world. The Bunny Hop became popular in the early 1950’s. The Ray Anthony […]
December 19th, 2014
Season’s greetings! At Mama Lisa’s World there’s no time of year we love better than the holidays! We’re happy to announce that we’ve recently added the following Christmas Carols to Mama Lisa’s World with mp3 recordings and YouTube videos: Italian Dormi, dormi, bel Bambin (Sleep, Sleep Beautiful Child) Tu scendi dalle stelle (You Come Down […]
December 8th, 2014
The feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated by some people in the US, usually those with German ancestors. The holiday takes place on the night of December 5th to the morning of the 6th. Shoes or stockings are left out for St. Nick to fill with gifts. Here’s what Donna Berich wrote about it from […]
December 4th, 2014
It’s almost the time of year when many of us will be preparing gingerbread houses with our families! We don’t often think of it but, of course, gingerbread houses are associated with the story of Hansel and Gretel. They’re lured into the home of the witch in the forest since it’s made of gingerbread and […]
October 23rd, 2014
We have over 150 German Songs on Mama Lisa’s World with translations. We were recently asked which ones are popular for children. Here’s a list of the best-known German kids songs that was shared by a German friend. Each song is linked to its lyrics page with a translation… Alle meine Entchen Alle Vögel sind […]
October 21st, 2014
Monique and I have been adding a lot of Drop the Handkerchief Games to Mama Lisa’s World. This got Monique thinking about the actual meaning of handkerchief in different languages. Here are some of her thoughts… "I was thinking about the word for handkerchief in some languages and it’s funny what they literally mean. In […]
June 13th, 2014
Written by Sadao Mazuka in Japan. The tune to "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" comes from Europe in the 18th century. It has travelled all over the globe, from France, to the US, to Japan. Here’s a breakdown of the route it’s taken… 1752 (France) – Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau composed the original tune to "Go […]
June 3rd, 2014
Eating bugs might sound disgusting to most of us today, but some people used to love it! Maybugs or Cockchafers used to be a great nuisance to crops in Europe. People were encouraged to hunt them down to lower their population. There’s even a French song about hunting Maybugs called Il était un petit homme […]
October 23rd, 2013
Monique Palomares wrote about a recent trip she took to Berlin, Germany. While there she visited the outdoors East Side Gallery created on parts of the old Berlin Wall. Here’s what she wrote: "The East Side Gallery is an open air gallery which was painted in 1990 on the East side of a section of […]
September 25th, 2013
By Monique Palomares The bear is the symbol of the city of Berlin in Germany. You can see it printed on mugs and magnets. You can find different sized teddy-bears symbolizing Berlin. You can also find a bear map in a subway station showing which train to take. Though this one is not for sale! […]
September 16th, 2013
By Monique Palomares I went to Berlin for the first time this Summer and discovered special crossing signs for pedestrians at traffic lights. These crossing lights are originally from former East Germany. There are male and female versions of these lights. The male ones are called "Ampelmännchen" (single ones are called "Ampelmann"). The green ones […]
June 3rd, 2013
Here is a sweet video rendition of the German lullaby, Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf, followed by the German lyrics and an English translation. Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf, Der Vater hüt die Schaf, Die Mutter schüttelts Bäumelein, Da fällt herab ein Träumelein. Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf! Schlaf, Kindlein, schlaf, Am Himmel ziehn die Schaf, Die Sternlein […]
January 31st, 2013
Theresa wrote asking for help with a childhood rhyme that’s possibly of Russian or German origin: Greetings from WA State. My grandfather passed away years ago, and when I was a small girl, I remember him sitting little ones on his knee and bouncing them to a familiar sing-song. I DO NOT have any idea […]
January 12th, 2013
Liz wrote asking for help with a German Hand Game. Here’s her email: Hi, My name is Liz, & I’ve been searching and searching for an old German hand game my dad has done with us since we were tiny – that was done with him when he was little by my grandmother. I’m sure […]
December 21st, 2012
Gingerbread Houses are made at Christmastime in Germany, the US and other countries around the world. Gingerbread Houses are intricately linked to the Grimm fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. In the story, two children, Hansel and Gretel get lost in the woods. They come upon a house made of gingerbread covered in frosting and […]
December 17th, 2012
Wandrers Nachtlied is the title of two different poems written by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The 2nd poem was written in 1780. This is the one we’re featuring here. It’s considered by many to be the most beautiful poem in the German language. Here you can read the original poem and listen to […]
December 12th, 2012
Gumdrop candy is associated with Christmas in many countries. Gumdrops are used to decorate gingerbread houses.They’re also part of The Nutcracker, a popular ballet that’s performed at Christmastime. In the ballet, sugarplum fairies and gumdrops dance. Visions of dancing candy got me to thinking of making gumdrops for Christmas this year. Most of the gumdrop […]
December 9th, 2012
Advent is a poem about Christmas by Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). Here you can listen to an mp3 of the original poem in German while reading along with the text. After the poem you’ll find an English translation. MP3 of Advent Advent Es treibt der Wind im Winterwalde die Flockenherde wie ein Hirt […]
October 17th, 2012
Many cultures have a Peek-a-boo Game that’s played with little kids. First you hide the child’s face behind a cloth, a hand or another object. Then you say "Peek-a-boo!" Next you quickly take the object away from the child’s face and say, "I see you!" A similar game called "Bo-peep" has been around since at […]
June 27th, 2012
You can now listen to 50 Grimm’s Fairy Tales in the original German on Librivox. Grimm’s Fairy Tales are a collection of German folk tales. These recordings include the original versions of such stories as The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel and Rapunzel. These tales were originally published under the title, “Kinder- und Hausmärchen” (Children’s […]
April 5th, 2012
Janet Barnes sent me a video with a note asking for help with the song lyrics to a Pennsylvania Dutch or German song…. Here’s Janet’s note: My mother has written down a song her father used to sing to her and I think it might be German. If not German, it would be Dutch. They […]
February 17th, 2012
Open Culture has a page of free language learning links covering 40 languages. Here are some of the languages you can find links for… Arabic, English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Finnish, Gaelic, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Maori, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swahili, […]
January 21st, 2012
This poem comes from the German book Der Struwwelpeter oder lustige Geschichten und drollige Bilder by Heinrich Hoffman. It was first published in German in 1844. It’s a collection of 10 poems that are cautionary tales. An English version was translated and published 4 years later, in 1848, called, "Struwwelpeter: Merry Tales and Funny Pictures". […]
December 6th, 2011
Today is St Nicholas Day! Many children in Europe receive gifts and treats in the shoes they left out last night for St. Nick. Read all about the traditions of St. Nick here.
December 5th, 2011
St. Nicholas is very popular in Germany! There are various traditions of St Nick there, depending on the region. In some places he walks from house to house giving treats. In other places children leave out their polished shoes and boots to be filled with treats and gifts in the middle of the night of […]
December 1st, 2011
Advent Candles are used to mark the days from December 1st until Christmas Eve on December 24th. The candles have the numbers 1 to 24 on them, starting at the top with 1 and ending near the bottom of the candle with 24. Each day you light the candle and let it burn down to […]
November 19th, 2011
Deborah wrote to me asking for help with a beloved German kids poem. Here’s her letter: Hello, my husband’s father (born 1896) and now he, both have used a poem with their children and grandchildren called "Rumpity Bump". Unfortunately I never wrote the words down and recently my husband suffered a stroke which left him […]
November 15th, 2011
Krampus is a nasty demon with horns and a long red tongue. His name comes from the word for "Claw". He accompanies St. Nick on his rounds the night before St. Nick’s Day (December 6th). St. Nick gives all the good little boys and girls gifts. Krampus, on the other hand, gives the kids who […]
July 24th, 2011
Recently I wrote about Early Picture Sheets which were one page sheets with images on them that were popular in the 19th century. They were used to teach kids to draw. In Europe, they had similar pictures sheets, though sometimes they were used for different purposes. In France, these early picture sheets were called, "Les […]
November 29th, 2010
Noche de paz is the Spanish version of Silent Night. This Christmas Carol was originally written in German in 1816 by Joseph Mohr. It was called Stille Nacht. Below you can listen to Noche de paz, read the Spanish lyrics and then a literal English translation of the Spanish version. MP3 Recording of Noche de […]
November 24th, 2010
You can now listen to and read My Very First Little German Book online or download them onto your computer. The book and recording are both in German and English. The book has nice little illustrations. View the 1st two pages of the book by clicking on the image above. The book includes a little […]
July 30th, 2010
Librivox just released another bunch of recordings of fairy tales in various languages, including Hungarian, Russian, German, English, Italian and Portuguese (with links to the text of each tale). This is the 3rd collection they’ve posted. Fairy Tale Collection #1 also includes recordings in Latvian, Danish, Romanian, Yiddish and French. You can also check out […]
July 25th, 2010
I received this question yesterday… Hi! I’ve been looking for the lyrics to the German translation of “If your happy and you know it”… does anyone have that? I found two versions, which I posted. They’re both different ways of saying “If You’re Happy”. They’re called, “Wenn du fröhlich bist” and “Wenn du glücklich bist”. […]
July 1st, 2010
Micki Friedmann Grant wrote: Hey all – anyone know what this song is – I believe it’s a cumulative song, in German, and all I have is the nouns which accumulate! “schwarzer bar,” “blaues meer,” “bucherschrank,” “wasserfall,” “stolzer hahn,” “junger herr,” “eisenbahn,” “fledermaus,” “gummi ball.” I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to find this song again! […]
March 6th, 2010
Monique Palomares works with me on the French and Spanish versions of Mama Lisa’s World. She sent me some proverbs about March from different European countries in response to a post I did about Italian Proverbs about March. Here’s what Monique wrote… Here are some proverbs in Occitan, Catalan, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German about […]
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A Mama Lisa Book
Over 50 songs and rhymes, in French with translations into English. You'll find well-known songs like Frère Jacques, Alouette, and Au claire de la lune, alongside many you may never have heard of. At the end of each item in this book, there's a web address to an online version of the song or rhyme. There we are often able to include sheet music, recordings and videos of performances. We hope this book will help foster a love of French songs and culture all over the world! Order Here!
Travel to far away places with our new E-Books Kid Songs Around The World and Lullabies Around The World
Whoever the children are in your life - your kids, your grandkids, your students, even yourself (in your heart) - Mama Lisa's E-books are wonderful ways to help them experience other languages and cultures.
In Kid Songs Around The World we've gathered 100 of our favorite songs and rhymes from all the continents of the globe.
Each song includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation, and most include sheet music. All include links to web pages where you can listen to recordings, hear the tune or watch a video performance. Each includes a beautiful illustration.
Many have commentary sent to us by our correspondents who write about the history of the songs and what they meant in their lives.
BONUS: Order now and receive Lullabies Around The World FREE!
$3.99 for Both Downloadable E-Books Order Here!
Over 50 lullabies and recordings from all over the world. Each Lullaby includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation.
Kid Songs Around The World and Lullabies Around The World are downloadable e-books, which you will gain access to immediately. (They are not physical books.)
We hope these books will help foster a love of international children's songs!
$3.99 for Both Downloadable E-Books Order Here!