Off topic: Can anyone recommend any nursery rhymes in French, German, Spanish, Italian or Russian?
Thread poster: Hazel Underwood

Hazel Underwood  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:58
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Jun 18, 2009

As a linguist it is very important to me that my toddler gets an early introduction to languages so I am on the lookout for ideas for foreign nursery rhymes or songs that I can sing with him, those with actions would be a bonus.

Can anyone recommend any?

French, German, Spanish, Italian or Russian would be preferred as I know these myself!

Thanks for your ideas!


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-06-18 09:41 GMT]


Tamara Fantinato
English to Italian
+ ...
italian Jun 18, 2009

Ninna nanna ninna o
questo bimbo a chi lo do
lo darò alla befana
che lo tenga una settimana

Unfortunately I don't remember how it finishes... It was a ninna nanna my mum usually sang for me... I'm 31 now and unfortunately I can't ask my mum... I hope someone else who knows it could help you...



Helen B  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
English to French
+ ...
In French Jun 18, 2009

'75 chansons, comptines et jeux de doigts' from the 'Editions Enfance et Musique' is a great CD with lots of different songs (lullabies, songs for dancing, songs with actions, etc.)

The music is very good and I enjoy listening to the CD as well.

I would love recommendations on similar CDs in English.


CristinaK  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
Finnish to Swedish
+ ...
Interesting topic! : ) Jun 18, 2009

Hi there,

I am also a mother,
and my child (now 4 years old) has due to growing up in two different countries and "mixed" family background been introduced to four languages, although he is using
"only" two as a bilingual child (Swedish and English).

I am also interested in keeping his English fluent as we now stay in Sweden
and he is using mostly Swedish.
Any ideas on similar CDs in English would be great!

That French CD would be great for myself
to brush up my School French which unfortunately I am about to forget... : )


Elisabetta M.  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
English to French
+ ...
How many languages? Jun 18, 2009


as a mother of 3 (1,12 and 10) bilingual children (french and italian, as I am italian and we live in France, their dad's homecountry) I perfectly understand you want to initiate your toddler to foreign languages. However I must admit I was a bit surprised when I read :French, German, Spanish, Italian or Russian.
Considering my experience I would suggest - considering your child's age - to choose one foreign language and stick to it. He/she will learn other languages more easily growing up. You can start a new one when they start elementary school. Your choice can depend on many thigns: what is your favourite (or best known) language, where do you plan to spend holydays. If your child does not find any personal interest in the foreign language (as playing with other kids or else) it will be difficult to keep his/her interest alive...
For french nursery rhymes you can look on the web site of fnac éveil et jeux.
Have a nice day


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My sons' all-time favourite Jun 18, 2009

It has brought tons of laugh here at home, and is a classical children's song in Spain. The music is like that of a hat dance. I am sure you will find the music in Youtube.

Pinocho fue a pescar
al río Guadalquivir.
Se le cayó la caña
y pescó con la nariz.

Cuando llegó a su casa
nadie le conocía.
¡Tenía la nariz
más grande que un tranvía!

Su madre toca el bombo
su padre los platillos
¡y al pobre Pinochito
se le caen los calzoncillos!

Here you can find more classical Spanish songs for small children.

Edited to add this:
In the above link, one of the songs is missing the best part! The "Que llueva, que llueva" one should end with:
¡Y los míos no
porque son de cartón!

How could they miss the best part??icon_smile.gif

Good luck!

[Edited at 2009-06-18 08:37 GMT]


Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:58
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
There is a forum for multilingual families Jun 18, 2009

Hi Hazel,
Did you know there is an entire forum dedicated for multilingual families?

I am sure you can get lots of help and ideas there.

(PS: I will ask the Mod to move this topic to that forum.)


Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Spanish ... and French Jun 18, 2009

Here's an old Spanish rhyme my father was fond of:

¿Qué haces?
¿Qué dices?
¿Adonde vás?
A buscar los amores que tú no me dás.

And a Spanish song with an interesting tune:

Triste, sola, sola se queda Fonseca,
Triste, sola, en la universidad.
Y los libros, y los libros empeñados
En el monte, en el monte de piedad.

And I vaguely remember a French semi-song rhyme about a wolf:

Promenons dans les bois ...
Si le loup y est, il nous mangerait,
S'il n'y est pas, il nous mangerait pas ...

Méchant loup - hou, hou, hou! Que fais tu - hou, hou hou?
(Voix du loup): Je mets mes lunettes ...
Je mets mes pantoufles, etc. etc.

I'm sure lots of French speakers will know the rest of it.



Chiara Righele  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
English to Italian
+ ...
Ninna nanna ninna o Jun 18, 2009

Tamara Fantinato wrote:

Ninna nanna ninna o
questo bimbo a chi lo do
lo darò alla befana
che lo tenga una settimana

I think there are different versions of this lullaby, depending on the regional area...

I know this version:

Ninna nanna ninna o
questo bimbo a chi lo do
lo darò alla befana
che lo tenga una settimana
lo darò all'uomo nero
che lo tenga un anno intero
lo darò alla sua mamma
che lo porti a far la nanna

Not sure that's what you wer looking for, though... Maybe you can find the music on Youtube...



Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A little poem Jun 18, 2009

Can also help them improve their memory when they grow older. You must say this poem making the most of your acting capabilities. I think it's by 18th-century poet Moratín.

Admiróse un portugués
de ver que en su tierna infancia
todos los niños en Francia
supiesen hablar francés.
«¡Arte diabólica es!»
dijo, torciendo el mostacho,
«que para hablar en gabacho,
un fidalgo en Portugal
llega a viejo, y lo habla mal;
¡y aquí lo parla un muchacho!».


Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:58
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
in Russian Jun 19, 2009

Here's a very simple one my son adored.

Идет коза рогатая
Идет коза бодатая
Забодает забодает забодает...

While you're saying it, you walk your fingers toward the baby slowly. When you get to the last line, the goat (your two fingers) tickles the baby in the tummy.


Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:58
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Location Jun 23, 2009

If you can get to London, then Grant & Cutler (specialist language bookshop, Great Marlborough Street) has a selection of CDs, tapes, wall charts, videos... everything really.

My favourite French rhyme has always been:

Petit escargot
porte sur son dos
sa maisonette
Aussitot qu'il pleut
il est tout heureux
il sort sa tete


Edit: I've just found this site, it seems you can download French rhymes as mp3.

[Edited at 2009-06-23 15:00 GMT]


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Can anyone recommend any nursery rhymes in French, German, Spanish, Italian or Russian?

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