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The Tongue Twisters THREAD


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Here are a couple in Russian:

Тише мыши, кот на крыше, а котята ещё выше.

Roughly it means, "Be quiet, mice, the cat is on the roof, and the kittens are even higher."

Ехал Грека через реку. (Yekhal Greka cherez reku)

Видит Грека: в реке рак. (Veedyet Greka: v reke rok)

Сунул Грека руку в реку. (Sunul Greka ruku v reku)

Рак за руку Грека - цап! (Roc za ruku Greka - tsop!)

"A Greek went across the river. The Greek saw a crayfish in the river. The Greek thrust his hand into the river. The crayfish grabbed the Greek's hand."

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"Pójdźże, kiń tę chmurność w głąb flaszy."-Polish

(English translation: Come on and drop your sadness into the depth of a bottle.)

"Der dicke Dachdecker deckte das dicke Dach.

Dann trug der dicke Dachdecker, die dicke Dame durch den dicken Dreck.

Dann dankte die dicke Dame dem dicken Dachdecker,

dass der dicke Dachdecker die dicke Dame durch den dicken Dreck trug."-German

(English translation: The fat roofer roofed the thick roof.

Then the fat roofer carried the fat lady through the thick mud.

Then the fat lady thanked the fat roofer

for (the fat roofer) carrying the fat lady through the thick mud.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've tried pronouncing all of the English tongue twisters and I could read out loud most of them, which is awesome. :) We had to practice pronunciation reading The Chaos, so I had zero problems with that one. :P I even know the first few lines by heart.

Here is one for the learners that have problems pronouncing the English "th" sounds:

Something in a thirty-acre thermal thicket of thorns and thistles thumped and thundered threatening the three-D thoughts of Matthew the thug - although, theatrically, it was only the thirteen-thousand thistles and thorns through the underneath of his thigh that the thirty year old thug thought of that morning.

Here are some Slovene ones:

Pešec prečka cestišče

Pedestrian crosses the road

pikčasta ptička v pikčasti kletki (this is funny because ptička means little bird and pička means vagina. Oh well. :)

a spotted bird in a spotted cage

Pešci sčistite cestišče

Pedestrians clean the road

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How much wood could a wood chuck; chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood.

She sells sea shells on the sea shore, but the sea shells that she sells on the sea shore are not the real ones.

I wish I were what I was when I wished I were what I am.

How much ground would a groundhog hog, if a groundhog could hog ground? A groundhog would hog all the ground he could hog, if a groundhog could hog ground.

Betty bought butter but the butter was bitter, so Betty bought better butter to make the bitter butter better.

Fischers Fritze fischt frische Fische; Frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritze.

Wenn hinter Griechen Griechen kriechen, kriechen Griechen Griechen nach.

Zwanzig zerquetschte Zwetschken und zwanzig zerquetschte Zwetschken sind vierzig zerquetschte Zwetschken.

Peter packt pausenlos prima Picknickpakete. Prima Picknickpakete packt Peter pausenlos.

Wenn Hessen in Essen Essen essen, essen Hessen Essen in Essen.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Betty Botter bought some butter;

"But," said she, "this butter's bitter!

If I put it in my batter..

Oh my, I would love to hear this tongue twister pronounced by a native speaker with glottal stop!

Anyway, I see no Italian tongue twister has been posted so far. By the way, tongue twister in Italian is scioglilingua (tongue-melter).

"Sotto la panca la capra campa, sopra la panca la capra crepa."

(under the bench the goat lives, over the bench the goat dies).

Really infamous, it's much harder than it looks, and almost invariably you'll end up saying something like "under the bench the cramp clamps, over the camp the berch crepes".

This one is very short, but surprisingly hard to pronounce, especially if you can't roll your Rs properly!

"Tre tigri contro tre tigri"

(three tigers versus three tigers)

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"Sotto la panca la capra campa, sopra la panca la capra crepa."

(under the bench the goat lives, over the bench the goat dies).

Really infamous, it's much harder than it looks, and almost invariably you'll end up saying something like "under the bench the cramp clamps, over the camp the berch crepes".

This one is very short, but surprisingly hard to pronounce, especially if you can't roll your Rs properly!

"Tre tigri contro tre tigri"

(three tigers versus three tigers)

We also have the one with the tigers in Serbian: "Три тигра и три тигрице"

How did I do with the Italian one, is my pronunciation ok? That was my second recording.  :smile:

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0DrL5f59Kcn

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We also have the one with the tigers in Serbian: "Три тигра и три тигрице"

How did I do with the Italian one, is my pronunciation ok? That was my second recording.  :smile:

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0DrL5f59Kcn

Oh my, that is very very good! I think not being a native speaker helps, you speak at a slower pace and it's easier to avoid the tongue twisting effect. Whereas when it's in your language you tend to try and say it at your normal rate of speech, and the similarity between phonemes makes you err.

By the way your pronunciation is really good, you can definitely hear the Eastern Europe accent but what you say is very clear and correct!

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Oh my, that is very very good! I think not being a native speaker helps, you speak at a slower pace and it's easier to avoid the tongue twisting effect. Whereas when it's in your language you tend to try and say it at your normal rate of speech, and the similarity between phonemes makes you err.

By the way your pronunciation is really good, you can definitely hear the Eastern Europe accent but what you say is very clear and correct!

Thanks! You are right, I did speak a little slower.

I plan on recording myself reading a short story in Italian in a couple of days, and I'm gonna post it in my log, so maybe you can give me a few pointers. I know that the elle "L", is a lot softer in Italian than it is in Serbian, and that when there is a double letter after a vowel, the vowel is a little longer. 

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(Kikuyu Tongue Twister)

Kana koona kora kora nako kora kona kana koora – it means a child sees a small frog and runs away. The small frog sees the child and runs away. We used to compete on who would say the tongue twister best when we were children. Thanks for this wonderful reminder.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I taught in South Korea, I used to make up tongue twisters of my own to help the kids work on their pronunciation. I should have kept a better record of them, this one is from memory.

  "Fred and Frank always fought fiercely over Francine, for each thought that Francine should have been with him."

  Not spectacular, but always a fun exercise to get the kids speaking, and laughing mostly.

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Share your favorite Tongue Twisters

Tongue Twisters are a funny thing, right? I would like to share a few with all of you guys. When posting your favourite tongue twisters, please indicate the language in brackets, like I did for [swiss German]

Let's start with some Swiss German Tongue Twisters:

[sWISS GERMAN TONGUE TWISTERS]

"Dr Papscht het ds Spiez ds Späckbschteck ds spät bschteut."

"Dr Whisky-Mixer mixet Whisky, Dr Whisky-Mixer mixet Whisky"

"Lütis Lüti lütet lüter aus lütis Lüti lütet"

Betty Bottta bought a piece of butter, the piece of butter Betty botta bought was bitter, so Betty botta bought a piece of better butter to make the piece of bitter butter Betty Botta bought better.

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  • 1 month later...

I love tongue twisters as a kid, I even bought a tongue twister book. It is totally fun and I see it as a way to improve my pronunciation.

My favorite English tongue twister is:

A tutor who tooted the flute

Tried to tutor two tooters to toot.

Said the two to the tutor:

"Is it harder to toot or

To tutor two tooters to toot?"

And my favorite tongue twister in tagalog: Butiki, bituka, butika.

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Here's another one in Spanish:

Erre con erre cigarro,

Erre con erre barril.

Rapido corren los carros,

Cargados de azucar al ferrocarril.

Here's the translation:

'R' with 'R' cigar,

'R' with 'R' barrel.

Quickly run the cars,

Loaded with sugar on the railroad.

My Spanish teacher taught my class this one, as a way to practice rolling our 'R's'. It's a very interesting tongue-twister, too, even if it makes no sense!

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Here's a classic English one I used to love to try and get right when I was a kid:

Peter Piper picked a pack of peppers. How many peppers did he pick?

Another English one that's been discussed a bit here is the wood-chuck tongue twister, but I like the answer to it a bit more:

A woodchuck wouldn't chuck wood if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

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I love tongue twisters to learn language, and to improve speech patterns. Its also a great tool for when I do simultaneous interpretations and translations.

[Norvegian bokmål]

Ibsens ripsbusker og andre buskvekster.

Veggpapp,takpapp og tapet.

Djerv dvergbjørk.

Klokka på Ringerike ringer ikke, derfor måtte Ringerike flytte til Rommerike. Men Rommerike rommet ikke Ringerike, derfor måtte Ringerike være der det var.

Det var en gang en sebra som ikke kunne se bra.

Så gikk han til en sebra som kunne se bra.

Så lærte den sebraen som kunne se bra,

den sebraen som ikke kunne se bra å se bra!

[swedish]

Ställ stället i ställ-stället i stallet istället.

Sju sjösjukliga sjömän sköttes av sjutton sköna sjuksköterskor.

Knut satt vid en knut och knöt en knut.

När Knut knutit knuten var knuten knuten.

Farfar, får får får?

Nej, får får inte får, får får lamm.

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