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! Most stories with video!

We waved a magic wand (and drew hundreds of extra illustrations) to turn most 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...

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

Sure! You're very welcome to use these stories with your class.

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 (e.g., for remote learning), you'll need a classroom membership.

If you're recording lessons to sell online, or to publish on a video sharing platform like YouTube, it's best if you get in touch to see what's possible.

Please don't republish the stories or distribute our stories / videos / audio digitally. Please don't create your own recordings or videos using our stories without discussing it with us first. Linking to us is absolutely fine. (Please do!)

“Can I translate these stories into my language and publish them on YouTube?”

That's a very specific question! It's best to get in touch to discuss this.

“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 more than once, 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.

“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 on doing any other languages?”

Not in the near future. We're working on adding more stories for our current array of languages, and we don't want to spread ourselves too thin.

But if there's a language you would especially love for us to cover, you're welcome to get in touch and let us know. Our ears are still open :)

“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 technical questions/problems, you can check out our support area. Any other questions or problems, 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.

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