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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lingua Pravorum

tongue-twisters from languages around the world


  1. My favourite Chinese tongue-twister

    1. How is that a tongue twister?

    2. The pinyin is

      Chī pútáo bù tǔ pútáo pí, bù chī pútáo dào tǔ pútáo pí

  2. A Spanish one:
    Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en tres tristes trastos; en tres tristes trastos tragaban trigo tres tristes tigres.
    It doesn't make any sense but sounds funny :)

  3. Have you tried this one in German: "Fischer's Fritz fischt frische Fische, frische Fische fischt Fischer's Fritz"?

  4. Άσπρη πέτρα ξέξασπρη κι απ' τον ήλιο ξεξασπρότερη. Greek one!

  5. Even me get fail with saying it twice or more than on time.. Kids challenge each other with saying it twice time straight : "خيط حرير على حيط ابو خليل" it is in Arabic !.
    Khet 7arer 3la het khalil
    Rough translation:
    Silk string on Khalil’s wall

  6. One in romanian:
    "Capra neagră calcă-n piatră,
    Piatra mare crapă-n patru.
    Aşa să crape capul caprei,
    Cum a crăpat piatra-n patru."

  7. Nice one!
    In Brazil we say "O rato roeu a roupa do rei de Roma"

  8. And the pronunciation of the Korean:

    Ganjang Gongjang Gongjangjangeun Gang Gongjangjangigo, doenjanggongjang gongjangjangeun gong gongjangjangida.

  9. I also like 生麦、生米、生卵 (nama mugi nama gome nama tamago) - raw wheat, raw rice, raw egg(s) - because it's shorter and thus easier to remember than Mr Niwa's garden (but still good for impressing small children). In Japanese tongue twisters are called 早口言葉, literally "fast mouth words", which seems like a good description!

  10. My favorite, a classic:
    I really advise just putting this in google translate to get the phonetics and the English meaning. I dare your to try and say it, it'll be a real challenge but you'll impress your Chinese friends if you have any if you can say it well. Good luck!

  11. And the one from Poland :)
    Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz from Częszczyrzeboszyce in Łękołody district (powiat)

  12. Finnish tongue-twisters can be interesting, here's one:

    "Kokooko Kokko koko kokon kokoon? Kyllä Kokko koko kokon kokoon kokoo!"

    "Will Kokko gather up the whole bonfire? Yes, Kokko will gather up the whole bonfire!"

  13. most common finnish one is "vesihiisi sihisi hississä" (there is no translation possible)

  14. *Lingua Pravarum

  15. One from Indonesia:
    Kaki kakek kakakku kaku kaku kena paku
    (my gramps and brother's toe nail paralyzed from stepping a nail)
    Satu sate tujuh tusuk (p.s do it 7 times)
    (one satay seven pieces of meat)

  16. Several examples from Cantonese (transliterations are in Jyutping):
    1. 入實驗室撳緊急掣 (jap6 sat6 jim6 sat1 gam6 gan5 gap1 zai3) - enter a laboratory and press the emergency button
    2. 一文一隻雞,一文一隻龜,你話雞貴定係龜貴 (jat1 man1 jat1 zek3 gai1, jat1 man1 jat1 zek3 gwai1, nei5 waa6 gai1 gwai3 ding6 hai6 gwai1 gwai3) - $1 for a chicken, $1 for a tortoise. Which one will you say as the more expensive one, chicken or tortoise?
    3. 床腳撞牆角 (cong4 gok3 zong6 coeng4 geot3) - bed leg clashes with the wall corner

  17. Hebrew trans: Its not my turn to clean the locker! Its your turn to lean the locker! The locker can't be cleaned by me! I am not going to clean it!

  18. Russian one:
    Carl stole a coral from Clara and Clara stole a clarinet from Carl.

  19. One from Poland:
    "Król Karol kupił królowej Karolinie korale koloru koralowego."

  20. Here's my favourite Russian one: сиреневенькая глазовыколупывалка с подвыподвернутыми ножками и перевыподвернутыми ручками. It would sound something like "the violet contraption for taking eyes out with oddly twisted legs and arms", if you try to translate it. :)

  21. My favourite Serbian slang one: Na vrh brda mdma mgra

  22. A more complete one for Portuguese: O rato roeu a rolha da garrafa de rum do rei da rússia e a rainha com raiva resolveu remendar.