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Tongue Twisters

Being a language teacher, I enjoy having fun with language. Recently in one of my classes, something came up about tongue twisters. I thought I'd post a few of my favorites today in English, and then for those who are interested in several fun ones in French and German.

(These are the most fun when you try to pronounce them out loud, saying the shorter ones several times.)

Mr. See owned a saw. And Mr. Soar owned a seesaw. Now, See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw before Soar saw See, which made Soar sore. Had Soar seen See's saw before See sawed Soar's seesaw, See's saw would not have sawed Soar's seesaw. So See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw. But it was sad to see Soar so sore just because See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?
If Peter Piper Picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?

Unique New York

Toy Boat


Now let's try a some in French where tongue twisters are called des virelangues = tongue turners. I will translate them into English.

Les chaussettes de l'archiduchesse sont-elles sèches?
Are the archduchess's socks dry?
Extra dry!

Si six scies scient six citrons, six cent six scies scient six cent six citrons.
If six saws saw six lemons, six hundred six saws saw six hundred six lemons.

Si ton tonton tond ton tonton, ton tonton sera tondu.
If your uncle trims your uncle, your uncle will be trimmed.

Un chasseur sachant chasser chasse sans chiens.
A hunter knowing how to hunt hunts without dogs.


Now for some German Zungenbrecher = tongue breakers

Graben Grabengräber Gruben?
Graben Grubengräber Gräben?
Grabengräber graben Gräben.
Grubengräber graben Gruben.

Do gravediggers dig ditches?
Do ditchdiggers dig graves?
Gravediggers dig graves.
Ditchdiggers dig ditches.

Fischers Fritz isst frische Fische,
frische Fische isst Fischers Fritz.

Fischer's Fritz eats fresh fish;
fresh fish eats Fischer's Fritz.

In Ulm, um Ulm, um Ulm herum.
In Ulm, around Ulm, all around Ulm.

Zwischen zwei Zwetschgenbäumen zwitschern zwei Schwalben.
Between two plum trees twitter two swallows.


Though this final item isn't a tongue twister, it is a bit of fun with language.

An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Latvian, a Turk, a German, an Indian, several Americans (including a Hawaiian and an Alaskan), an Argentinean, a Dane, an Australian, a Slovak, an Egyptian, a Japanese, a Moroccan, a Frenchman, a New Zealander, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Guatemalan, a Colombian, a Pakistani, a Malaysian, a Croatian, a Uzbek, a Cypriot, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Chinese, a Sri Lankan, a Lebanese, a Cayman Islander, a Ugandan, a Vietnamese, a Korean, a Uruguayan, a Czech, an Icelander, a Mexican, a Finn, a Honduran, a Panamanian, an Andorran, an Israeli, a Venezuelan, an Iranian, a Fijian, a Peruvian, an Estonian, a Syrian, a Brazilian, a Portuguese, a Liechtensteiner, a Mongolian, a Hungarian, a Canadian, a Moldovan, a Haitian, a Norfolk Islander, a Macedonian, a Bolivian, a Cook Islander, a Tajikistani, a Samoan, an Armenian, an Aruban, an Albanian, a Greenlander, a Micronesian, a Virgin Islander, a Georgian, a Bahaman, a Belarusian, a Cuban, a Tongan, a Cambodian, a Qatari, an Azerbaijani, a Romanian, a Chilean, a Jamaican, a Filipino, a Ukrainian, a Dutchman, a Ecuadorian, a Costa Rican, a Swede, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a Belgian, a Singaporean, an Italian, a Norwegian and an African...

... walk into a fine restaurant.

"I'm sorry," says the maître d', after scrutinizing the group, "you can't eat here without a Thai.


Do you have a favorite tongue twister to add to these? I look forward to the comments.


"The genuineness of our faith is validated in the fires of trial." — Tim Chevalier


Laughing stock: cattle with a sense of humor