How does this work?

We've created new versions of traditional tales especially for language learners, teachers, and anyone who enjoys a nice story.

Traditional stories lovingly retold in modern language

We've replaced the antiquated fairy tale language with modern language, and injected an extra helping of vocabulary to expose learners to new words and phrases.

Translated by humans into French, Spanish, Italian and German

We've created versions in different languages with the help of lovely clever human translators (no automatic translations here!)

(Optional) parallel English texts

If you need a helping hand with our French, Spanish, Italian or German versions, expand the little "translation"button and we'll give you then English translation. Hide it again to test yourself!

Recorded by native speakers, slowly and clearly

Listen to the stories as you read along. We've created beautiful, clear audio versions of each story with the help of our wonderful voice artists. Our voice artists speak a bit slower than normal, so you can keep up and hear all the words.

... And it's free!

You can listen to these stories for free right here on the website.

You might be wondering...

“Is this really free?”

Yup. For now, anyway!

“Are you planning any other languages?”

Hopefully in future! If you'd like to see us do a particular language, shoot us a quick email and let us know. We're easily swayed by public opinion.

“How do I print the stories?”

You should just be able to go to your browser's "print" menu and hit the print button. You should get a nice print version of the story.

Before you do that, make sure you've opened or closed any translations, as needed. It will print exactly what you've got on screen! 

“Can I use these with my class or study group?”

Sure! If you teach or participate in an in-person class, you can play the audio in your class, and you can also print the stories to use with your class.

Please don't republish the stories or distribute them digitally. Linking to us is absolutely fine. (Please do!)

“Can I download the audio?”

Not just yet, but it's coming soon. Sign up to our newsletter and we'll let you know when it becomes possible.

“Can I mention you in my newsletter or social media?”

Well gosh, that would be delightful! Go right ahead! 

“Can my class adapt one of your stories into a play and perform it in front of the school?”

Yes, this has happened, and yes, this is OK! So long as you're not taking it to Broadway, we're cool.

“Why isn't the audio playing?”

Sometimes it can take a little moment for the audio to load, particularly if you're on a slow connection or mobile device. The audio files are moderately large, so it can take a while to squeeze down those pipes.

If you're still waiting after 10 seconds and you're on a computer, you might have a stale version of the page cached in your web browser. You can try clearing your cache / history and see if that helps.

Otherwise, if you have access to another browser (e.g., Firefox, Chrome, Safari) try loading the stories using that instead.

If nothing works, get in touch and we'll sort it out together.

Who are you anyway?

The Fable Cottage was launched in April 2018 as a spin-off project from other excellent language-learning sites, The French Experiment, The Spanish Experiment, The Italian Experiment, and The German Project.

The wizard behind the curtain is Aletta Mazlin, who has a background in design, writing, and being awkward in different languages.

We're always looking to connect with language experts, writers, translators, proofers, voice wizards and music maestros to help produce these delights. If you're interested in helping out, please get in touch.

I have a different question!

If you have any questions or problems at all, just drop us a line. You'll get a genuine human-person response.

Alternatively, you can direct your snail-mail to:

Human Friendly Ltd
4 Ash Street
Christchurch 8011
New Zealand