About us

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

Our writers, editors and translators have backgrounds in second language teaching. We craft the stories so that they are reasonably accessible for learners, while still being interesting and challenging.

(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. Our voice artists speak a bit slower than normal, so you can keep up and hear all the words.

New! Some stories with video!

We waved a magic wand (and drew hundreds of extra illustrations) to turn some of our stories into videos. All these extra visual “clues” help you to follow the story, even if you don't quite understand all the words.

Actually great stories

The best stories are the ones that you (and the kids) want to hear over and over again.

Our stories are educational, but they're also entertaining for both kids and wry-witted adults.

You might be wondering...

“Are you going to add more stories?”

Yes! There are more stories waiting in the wings, but they do take quite a long time to make.

If you follow us on Facebook you might catch a sneak peek of what's happening behind the scenes.

“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.

Currently we have Dutch and Brazilian Portuguese at the top of the leaderboard.

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

Sure! You're welcome to use the text in your class. If you'd like to use our audio or video stories with your class, please purchase a membership.

(You can use a Household membership if you're playing the audio/video on one device in front of an in-person group. If you need students to access the stories on their own devices, you'll need a Classroom membership.)

If you'd like to assign the stories to students who are learning remotely, you can buy a classroom membership.

Please don't republish the stories or distribute them digitally. Please don't create your own recordings or videos using our stories without our permission. Linking to us is absolutely fine. (Please do!)

“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.

“Can I use your stories in my — [insert anything else]”

Let's just make a wildcard option here. If you want to do anything, and you're not sure if it'll be cool or uncool, just shoot us an email and ask.

“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! 

“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.

Our translators, editors, voice artists and tunesmiths are sprinkled around the globe, but our headquarters are in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Come visit, we'll make you a coffee.*)

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

Aletta is also good at talking about herself in the first-person plural in order to sound professional.

“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:

Aletta @ The Fable Cottage
C/o Saltworks
4 Ash Street
Christchurch 8011
New Zealand

* Not even joking. We have an excellent coffee machine and we almost know how to use it.

** Unless you want to sell us some amazing new clothes, only visible to smart people. We know how that scam works.