Zungenbrecher

Sooooo. . . . in response to my post on tongue twisters, my friend John sent me a note offering a tongue twister in German. So I began practicing this Zungenbrecher. I think I’ve got it but don’t hold me to it. Anyway, it got my meager brain churning – and I checked out Zungenbrecher in other languages. I thought you might like to see a few – and practice with children or grandchildren.

German tongue twister

Eseln essen Neseln nicht, Neseln essen Eseln nicht.

Donkeys don’t eat onions and onions don’t eat donkeys.

Spanish tongue twister

Qué triste estás, Tristán, con tan tétrica trama teatral

How sad you are, Tristán, with such a gloomy theatrical tale!

Arabic tongue twister

Al mishmish dah mish min mishmishkum wa kaman al mishmish dah mish min mishmishnah.

The apricot is not your apricot and the apricot is also not our apricot.

French tongue twister

Si mon tonton tond ton tonton, ton tonton sera tondu.

If my uncle shaves your uncle, your uncle will be shaven

Chinese tongue twister

吃葡萄吐葡萄皮儿 – 不吃葡萄不吐葡萄皮儿。
吃葡萄不吐葡萄皮儿 – 不吃葡萄倒吐葡萄皮儿。

chī pútáo tǔ pútáo pí ér – bù chī pútáo bù tǔ pútáo pí ér.
chī pútáo bù tǔ pútáo pí ér – bù chī pútáo dào tǔ pútáo pí ér.

Eat grapes throw out their skins — don’t eat grapes don’t throw out their skins.
Eat grapes don’t throw out their skins — don’t eat grapes throw out their skins.

Tongue Twisters

The first tongue twisters that most kids of my generation learned was Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.  A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.  If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?” 

The two others that I remember well (and which to this day I can recite perfectly) are:  Rubber buggy bumpers” and “Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore.”  I was told to repeat them three times quickly and of course I remember them coming out “Rubber bubby mumpersRugger buddy buppersBuggy bubber bumpers.”  The “Sally” one came out equally bad. 

I haven’t given much thought to tongue twisters until a few weeks ago when someone challenged me to say “I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit.”   Now that is not one for the faint of heart.  Especially if you have to say it while holding your tongue.   Fortunately this is one I learned from Donna early on (must be an East Coast thing) so I took a breath and spat it out.  Flawlessly.  Raised a few eyebrows that did. . . .  

If anyone gets bored, here are 549 tongue twisters  you can practice (see http://www.uebersetzung.at/twister/en.htm ).  And there are tongue twisters for children (which is probably a good educational tool) – see   http://www.funenglishgames.com/funstuff/tonguetwisters.html.   Excuse me now as I wish to wash my Irish wristwatch. . . .