Today we are celebrating the European Day of Languages and we’d like to share with you a little bit of fun. One aspect of mastering a language is being able to conquer its tongue twisters. In English, this might be “around the rugged rock, the ragged rascal ran” or the childhood favourite “she sells seashells by the seashore”.
It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in your own words. You say something just a bit too quickly and a jumble of sounds come out incoherently. That’s a tongue-twister – a sequence of ordinary words that become impossible to pronounce when put in succession.
Try saying “toy boat” several times in a row and you’ll find it becomes “toy boyt”, while “top cop” becomes “cop cop.”
Try these English language tongue-twisters:
According to the Guinness World Records the world’s toughest tongue twister is “sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep sick.”
Short phrases to get you tripping over your tongue:
Or impress your international colleagues with your attempts at these international tongue-twisters:
French: Papier, panier, piano.
Paper, basket, piano.
Danish: Stativ, stakit, kasket.
Rack, picket fence, cap.
Italian: Trentatré trentini entrarono a Trento tutti e trentatré trotterellando.
Thirty-three dwellers of Trent came into Trent, all thirty-three trotting and toddling.
Swedish: Sju undersköna sjuksköterskor sköter sju sjösjuka sjömän på det sjunkande skeppet Shanghai.
Seven beautiful nurses take care of seven seasick sailors on the sinking ship Shanghai.
German: Auf den sieben Robbenklippen sitzen sieben Robbensippen, die sich in die Rippen stippen, bis sie von den Klippen kippen.
Seven seal tribes sit on the seven seal cliffs, poking each other in the ribs until they topple off the cliffs.
Turkish: Bir berber bir berbere “Bre berber, gel beraber bir berber dükkânı açalım” demiş."
One barber said to another barber, “Hey barber, let’s open up a barber shop together."
Spanish: Pepe Peña pela papa, pica piña, pita un pito, pica piña, pela papa, Pepe Peña.
Pepe Peña peels potatoes, cuts pineapple, blows a whistle, cuts pineapple, peels potatoes, Pepe Peña.
Portuguese: A mulher barbada tem barba boba babada e um barbado bobo todo babado.
The bearded woman has a beard (f) that is silly and filled with drool, and a silly beard (m) completely filled with drool.
Croatian: Kralj i kraljica Klara su svirali klavir.
King and Queen Klara were playing the piano.
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