Скороговорки

From ‘Around the rugged rock, the ragged rascal ran’ to ‘red leather, yellow leather’, one aspect of mastering a language is being able to master its tongue twisters. They are always decidedly odd sentences:


  • Combien de sous sont ces saucissons-ci? Ces saucissons-ci sont six sous (French): “How much are these sausages here? These sausages here are six cents”.

  • Zwei schwarze schleimige Schlangen sitzen zwischen zwei spitzen Steinen und zischen (German): “Two black slimy snakes sit between two pointed stones and hiss”.

 

Other favourites in the European arena include:

  • Měla babka v kapse brabce, brabec babce v kapse píp. Zmáčkla babka brabce v kapse, brabec babce v kapse chcíp (Czech): ”Grandma had a sparrow in her pocket and the sparrow made a sound. Grandma pressed the sparrow and it died”.

  • Als vliegen achter vliegen vliegen, vliegen vliegen vliegensvlug (Dutch): ”If flies fly behind flies, flies will fly like lightning”.

  • Król Karol kupił Królowej Karolinie korale koloru koralowego (Polish): ”King Karl bought Queen Caroline coral-colored bead”.

  • Far, Får får får? Nej, inte får får får, får får lamm (Swedish): ”Father, do sheep have sheep? No, sheep don't have sheep, sheep have lambs”.

  • W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie (Polish): "In the town of Szczebrzeszyn a beetle buzzes in the reeds".

    As for the English language, we are provided with the following:

  • How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? A woodchuck would chuck all the wood that he could if a woodchuck could chuck wood
  • Sister Sue sells sea shells. She sells sea shells on shore. The shells she sells. Are sea shells she sees. Sure she sees shells she sells
  • You've known me to light a night light on a light night like tonight. There's no need to light a night light on a light night like tonight, for a night light's a slight light on tonight's light night

Some short words or phrases ‘become’ tongue-twisters when repeated, a number of times fast (try it!):

  • Thin Thing
  • French Friend
  • Red Leather, Yellow Leathe
  • Unique New York
  • Sometimes Sunshine
  • Irish Wristwatch
  • Big Whip

Some suggestions from visitors:

Portuguese

O tempo perguntou ao tempo quanto tempo o tempo tem. O tempo respondeu ao tempo que o tempo tem tanto tempo quanto tempo o tempo tem.

Time asked time how much time time has. Time replied to time that time has as much time as time has


Portuguese

Três tristes tigres

Three sad tigers


Georgian

თეთრი თრითინა თეთრ თოვლზე თრთოდა

A white weasel was shivering on white snow.


Italian

Sopra la panca la capra campa, sotto la panca la capra crepa.

Above the bench the goat lives, under the bench the goat cracks.


Romanian

Un vultur sta pe pisc cu un pix in plisc.

An eagle sits on a peak with a pen in its beak.


Croatian

Na štriku se suši šareni šosić

colorful skirt is dried on the stove


Romanian

Oaia aia e a ei, eu i-o iau.

That sheep is hers, I will take it.


Serbian

на врх брда врба мрда.

(Na vrh brda vrba mrda) On top of the hill a willow is moving


Greek

Μια πάπια μα ποια πάπια μια πάπια με παπιά

A duck but what a duck, a duck with a duckling


Greek

Μια τίγρη μα ποια τίγρης - Μια τίγρη με τρία τιγράκια

A tiger, but which tiger? A tiger with three tiger cubs


Greek

Ανεβαίνω, κατεβαίνω, μπαινοβγαίνω κι ανεβομπαινοβγαινοκαταβαίνω. Βρίσκω πόρτες κλειδωτές, κλειδωμένες και κλειδαροαμπαρωμένες.

I go up, down, in and out and up and out and down. I find doors locked, locked and padlocked.


Lithuanian

Šešios žąsys su šešiais žąsyčiais

Six geese with six goslings


Greek

Άσπρη πέτρα ξέξασπρη κι από τόν ήλιο ξεξασπρότερη (aspri petra xexaspri ki apo ton ilio xexasproteri)

White rock, a lot white and because of the sun whiter that before


Danish

Rød grød med fløde

Red pudding with cream


German

Fischer‘s Fritz fischt frische Fische, frische Fische fischt Fischer‘ Fritz

a fisherman fishes fresh fish….


Estonian

Kummikutega kummitus kummitas kummutis

A ghost wearing wellies was haunting in the chest of drawers


Lithuanian

gervė gyrūnė gyrėsi gerą girą gėrusi geroj girioj gerai gėrusi

a good drinker boasted a good drink of good wood


French

Un chasseur sachant chasser sans son chien est un bon chasseur.

A hunter that knows how to hunt without his dog is a good hunter.


Polish

Stół z powyłamywanymi nogami

A table with broken legs


Hungarian

Egy icike-picike pocok pocakon pöckölt egy másik icike-picike pockot, erre a pockonpöckölt icike-picike pocok pocakon pöckölte a pocakon pöckölő icike-picike pockot

A teeny-weeny vole flicked another teeny-weeny vole on its stomach, so the stomach-flicked teeny-weeny vole flicked the stomach-flicking teeny-weeny vole on its stomach.


English

Betty bought some butter, but the butter Betty bought was bitter, so she bought some better butter than the bitter butter Betty bought before.

Irish

Na bac le mac an mbacaigh, 'gus ní bacaigh mac an mbacaigh leat!

Don't bother with the baker's son and the baker's son won't bother you!


Danish

Fem flade flødeboller på et fladt flødebollefad

Five flat cakes on a flat cakeboard


Croatian

Riba ribi grize rep,pa joj odgrizne rep.

Fish bite fish`s tail,then she bite it off.


Spanish

¿Cómo quieres que te quiera si el que quiero que me quiera no me quiere como quiero que me quiera?

How can I love you if the one I want to love me doesn't love me the way I want him to love me?


Do you know an interesting tongue twister in your language? Let us know!
(Once it has been proofread, your entry will be uploaded)
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