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Tongue Twisters: English and Not English

  1. Dec 10, 2012 #1


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    The current photo contest -


    - made me wonder about tongue-twisters. For PFers who aren't native English speaking, what are some tongue-twisters in your native language?

    And of course I'd like to know native English speakers' favorites as well.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2012 #2


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    Stół z powyłamywanymi nogami. (Table with legs pulled out - or more precisely - with legs broken out, if it makes sense in English).

    Król Karol kupił królowej Karolnie korale koloru koralowego. (King Carl bought Queen Caroline coral-colored corals). The main problem here are intertwined r and l, which makes it similar "red lorry, yellow lorry".

    I cóż, że ze Szwecji? (So what, that (it is something) from Sweden?)

    W czasie suszy szosa sucha. (During the drought road is dry).

    Czy Tata czyta cytaty Tacyta? (Does Dad read Tacitus quotes?)

    Plenty here: http://pl.wikiquote.org/wiki/Łamańce_językowe

    Apparently for those outside of Poland half of the problem is pronunciation of sounds like rz, sz, cz. We are used to them, so "W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie" (In Szczebrzeszyn beetle sounds in the reed) is not as difficult for Poles as it may look.

    But yes, Polish is not easy for others:

  4. Dec 11, 2012 #3


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    I don't know where to begin pronouncing Polish.. here some Dutch sentences, good for foreigners that want to practice their pronunciation.

    Pronouncing "ch" (use a guttural sound)
    Wij smachten naar achtentachtig prachtige nachten bij achtentachtig prachtige grachten.
    (We yearn for eighty-eight wonderful nights at eighty-eight beautiful canals).

    Pronouncing "br" (use a rolling r)
    Bram de brave broer van breiende brauwende Brielse Brechtje, bracht in zijn bronsbruin broekje een bril en een brandbrief en een gebroken brokje bros bruin brood over de brede brug naar Breukelen.
    (Bram the brave brother of knitting brewing Brielse Brechtje, brought in his bronze brown pants glasses and a fire letter and a broken piece of brittle brown bread on the wide bridge to Breukelen).
  5. Dec 11, 2012 #4
    A tongue twister that probably took me the longest to perfect is "The Leith police dismisseth us."
  6. Dec 11, 2012 #5

    jim mcnamara

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    The seething seas ceaseth and many men must munch much mush

    Or if that was cake:

    The sick sixth sheik's sixth sheep's sick (of tongue twisters - no doubt)
  7. Dec 11, 2012 #6


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  8. Dec 11, 2012 #7


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    My favorite is
    Try saying that tree times in rapid succession.

    Go ahead.

    TRY IT!

  9. Dec 11, 2012 #8

    As goes for: The big black bug's blood.
  10. Dec 11, 2012 #9


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    Ok, that one I mastered after 5 tries.

    I've pretty much mastered toy boat, but still slip up at times. It took a LOT of practice.
  11. Dec 11, 2012 #10
    Theophilus Sisal, the thistle sifter, lifted a sack of unsifted thistles.
  12. Dec 11, 2012 #11


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    This somewhat reminds me of the anti-joke I developed this morning, in a 4am daze, in a last ditch effort, after my living smelled a bit funny this morning...

    "So you went over and, Mark's den was filled with gummy bears?

    Sounds like something squishy in Mark's den"

    Say that ten times fast. :tongue2:
  13. Dec 14, 2012 #12
    Irish wrist watch.

    Say it three times fast.
  14. Dec 14, 2012 #13


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    Darn you!!
  15. Dec 14, 2012 #14
    Here's a moderately simple German one:
    "Fischers Fritze fischt frische Fische. Frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritz." (Fisher Fritz fishes fresh fishes. Fresh fishes fishes fisher Fritz.)​

    And one for the more intrepid:
    "Zwischen zwei Zwetschgenzweigen sitzen zwei zwitschernde Schwalben." ('Twixt two plumtree twigs sit two twittering sparrows.)​
  16. Dec 14, 2012 #15
    While studying Spanish the teacher gave us tongue twisters to practice our pronunciation.

    Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal. (Three sad tigers were hauling wheat in a wheatfield.)

    Pablito clavo un clavito. Un clavito clavo Pablito. (Pablito nailed a nail. A nail nailed Pablito.)
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