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October 6, 2023

Articulate around the world (nuggets from the international versions)

Need a challenge? Learning a language? Or merely an eccentric collector?

How about a non-UK version of Articulate?

They do exist – in fact, the game’s played all over the world – although you might find it tricky to get hold of some of the following products here in the UK (at least without paying a fortune in P&P).

Each game isn't simply a translation of the original, although - of course - a huge proportion of subjects on the cards are universally relevant.

People and places are probably most likely to trip you up, the way somebody born and bred thousands of miles away might struggle to describe 'Hull'.

Here’s a selection of some of the overseas Articulate sets, along with the cultural pitfalls that might await…

English-language versions

Country-specific Articulates were launched in both Australia and New Zealand relatively recently, but the game caught on big-time, and a high proportion of overseas visitors to this site now come from that part of the world (Hello, friends!!!) The game’s been longer-established in the United States.

Unsurprisingly, a game of Articulate in the US would hold no terrors for the experienced UK player. There are very few people on the yellow segments who don’t enjoy at least some recognition over here, and none of those irritating ‘we-speak-the-same-language-but-different’ words that mean something completely different over there.

Given that, the less well-travelled may wish to brush up on their geography, lest they appear ignorant of the resort town of Hilton Head, or the Michigan city of Ann Arbor.

Non-English-language versions

Let’s head first to Italy. Here, the fast-talking description game (‘Il Gioco delle descrizioni rapide’) was promoted by the classic ‘shark’ TV ad, enthusiastically dubbed by local voiceover artists to make it extra-frantic. (Vintage TV commercial enthusiasts can still find it embedded on Amazon’s Italian site, should they so desire).

Brush up on your culture! You’ll be expected to describe Gianni Rodari, the much-loved and internationally-recognised children’s author, whose books were rarely translated into English. And Braccio di Ferro, the ‘arm of iron’ – otherwise known as Popeye.


If you want to play in Portuguese, you’ll be on the lookout for Palavra Proibida ('Forbidden Word!'). The ‘Articulate’ moniker isn’t used at all on this particular version, and design tweaks leap out with a sunshine yellow and a cheesy-cheery typeface.

But you’ll find the cards and board comfortingly familiar as you scramble to describe Luis di Matos, Portugal’s legendary illusionist and magician.


To introduce further complications, how about a game of Articulate that’s based upon the languages spoken in and around southern central Europe?

Slovenian and Croatian is the core of this particular version – many words on the cards are common to both languages, plus others in that Western South Slavic family (such as Bosnian). Where there are differences – however minor - the word is given in two languages, and occasionally in a third.

This version introduces what’s probably our favourite overseas strapline. ‘Igra ostrih umova i brzih jezika’ translates as ‘A game of sharp minds and quick tongues’. Which just about nails it for us.


Finally, let’s return home via Germany. The German people are mad for their board games, and ‘Das unglaublich schnelle Erklarspiel’ (‘The unbelievably fast explanation game’) is no exception.

Once again, the cards provide a mix of universal words or terms, internationally-known people and places, and topics of more… local… interest. So to finish off, we’ll help you out on those ‘person’ segments by introducing you to Austrian music star Andreas Gabalier, in a video that we’re certain that our own beloved Terry Wogan would have relished introducing.



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