Updated: Jul 9, 2022
If you’re looking for a fun way to improve your pronunciation in a new language, then let me introduce you to my best friend: tongue twisters! ♣️
In this post, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite tongue twisters from some of the languages I’m practicing: Spanish, Italian, French, and Korean (there are others but I’m really shy hehe~). I also included 5 of my Korean middle school students’ favorite English tongue twisters for an extra challenge. 😉
Keep reading to see some of my favorite tongue twisters in English, Spanish, Italian, French, and Korean!
What are tongue twisters?
Tongue twisters are these nonsense phrases with sounds or words that are difficult for speakers to say in one go. They are great warm up exercises for learners who want to build confidence speaking in the language learning world. Anyone can enjoy them, but learners with the Club learning style could really benefit from doing these challenges regularly ♣ (if you don’t know your language learning style, take this short and fun quiz here).
Gimme the list!!
OK!! Without further ado, here are some of my favorite tongue twisters from English, Spanish, Italian, French, and Korean!
Note: This post was made with the help of other amazing online resources. For more thorough explanations on how these exercises help with pronunciation and translations, visit the sources listed under each language! 😎
Tongue twisters were great warm up exercises for my middle school students because they saw how much I struggled to say them. Even though there are hundreds of tongue twisters I could've chosen for this section, I decided to highlight these five. Try to say these at least three times for an extra challenge! 😄
“Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks.”
“She sells seashells by the seashore.”
“The 33 thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.”
“Which wrist watches are Swiss wrist watches?”
“If you must cross a coarse, cross cow across a crowded cow crossing, cross the cross, coarse cow across the crowded cow crossing carefully.”
Want to find up to 40 different tongue twisters for English? find it here!
The one tongue twister I remembered from my language exchange partner years ago was the "tres tristes tigres" one (you can see it below!). While searching for it, I found tons of resources with tongue twisters. These five were just extra fun for me to practice, and I thought they focused some of the more difficult Spanish sounds. Can you do them all? 😄
“Una cacatrepa trepa tiene tres cacatrepitos. Cuando la cacatrepa trepa trepan los tres cacatrepitos.”
“Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal.”
“Buscaba el bosque Francisco, un vasco bizco, muy brusco, y al verlo le dijo un chusco, ¿Busco el bosque, vasco bisco?”
“Pancha plancha con cuatro planchas. ¿Con cuántas planchas Pancha plancha?”
“Hoy ya es ayer y ayer ya es hoy, ya llegó el día, y hoy es hoy.”
Want to find up to 10 tricky Spanish tongue twisters? find it here!
Ahhh, the memories of practicing these challenges before my first flight to Rome! Fun fact: I majored in Latin and Ancient Greek, and I didn't get to do a lot of Italian speaking practice before I studied abroad. I was really scared to speak Italian, so I practiced reading short stories out loud in my room at night. I also found some tongue twisters from a children's website, and all of these things helped me feel better about using Italian during my 4-month stay! Give these a try! 😄
“Sotto le frasche del capanno, quattro gatti grossi stanno sotto quattro grossi sassi, quattro gatti grossi e grassi.”
“Trentatré trentini entrarono in Trento, tutti e trentatré trotterellando.”
“Sul tagliere gli agli taglia non tagliare la tovaglia la tovaglia non è aglio se la tagli fai uno sbaglio.”
“Sopra la panca la capra campa, sotto la panca la capra crepa.”
“Apelle figlio di Apollo fece una palla di pelle di pollo. Tutti i pesci vennero a galla, per vedere la palla di pelle di pollo, fatta da Apelle, figlio di Apollo.”
Want to find the mega source for Italian tongue twisters with pronunciation information? find it here!
When I studied ancient languages in my university, I thought about doing graduate school for the Classics. In order to do that, I thought, I should study French. I started with French music, which slowly turned into my study playlist! I would hum to some of the songs, and from there, I would try to sing the lyrics. I was worried about my pronunciation, so again, I tried to read stories out loud. These tongue twisters were extremely difficult for me, but nothing beats the feeling of finally getting the pronunciation right! Are you brave enough to try these? 😄
“Si mon tonton tond ton tonton, ton tonton sera tondu.”
“Je suis ce que je suis, et si je suis ce que je suis, qu’est-ce que je suis?”
“Cinq chiens chassent six chats.”
“Je veux et j’exige du jasmin et des jonquilles.”
“Ces cerises sont si sûres qu’on ne sait pas si c’en sont.”
Want to find up to 20 French tongue twisters and explanations? find it here!
When I started teaching middle school students in South Korea in 2019, I knew I wanted to create fun lessons and activities for my students, and that's what I did. My English classes slowly turned into culture exchanges (and sometimes Korean lessons 😂), and whenever I gave the students a challenge, they tried to give me a similar one in Korean. Since I often used tongue twisters as a warm up exercise, my students would give me Korean tongue twisters as "homework." If I couldn't say the challenge by the next class, the students got candies or points for a special prize at the end of the semester.
These are just a few of the tongue twisters I had to "master" for my students. If you can do these, treat yourself to something special! 😄
간장 공장 공장장은 간 공장장이고 된장 공장 공장장은 공 공장장이다. (Romanization: Gan-jang gong-jang gong-jang-jang-eun gang gong-jang-jang-igo dwen-jang gong-jang gong-jang-jang-eun gong gong-jang-jang-ida)
내가 그린 기린 그림은 못 그린 기린 그림이고 네가 그린 기린 그림은 잘 그린 기린 그림이다. (Romanization: Nae-ga geu-rin gi-rin geu-rim-eun mot geu-rin gi-rin geu-rim-igo ne-ga geu-rin gi-rin geu-rim-eun jal geu-rin gi-rin geu-rim-ida)
서울특별시 특허허가과 허가과장 허 과장. (Romanization: Seo-ul-teuk-byeol-si teuk-heo-heo-ga-gwa heo-ga-gwa-jang heo gwa-jang)
육통 통장 적금 통장은 황색 적금 통장이고 팔통 통장 적금 통장은 녹색 적금 통장이다. (Romanization: Yuk-tong tong-jang jeok-geum tong-jang-eun hwang-saek jeok-geum tong-jang-igo pal-tong tong-jang jeok-geum tong-jang-eun nok-saek jeok-geum tong-jang-ida)
목동 로얄 뉴로얄 레스토랑 뉴메뉴 미트소시지소스스파게티 크림소시지소스스테이크. (Romanization: Mok-dong ro-yal nyu-ro-yal re-seu-to-rang nyu-me-nyu mi-teu-so-si-ji-so-seu-seu-pa-ge-ti keu-rim-so-si-ji-so-seu-seu-tei-keu)
Want to find even more Korean tongue twisters? find it here!
That's all for this one!! Which languages’ tongue twisters should I write about next? Share your favorite tongue twisters and language recommendations in the comments or in the “Contact Us” section for a chance to win a special thank you gift!
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Ok, now it's really done! Thanks for reading this far, and as always, happy learning!
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