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List of tongue-twisters

From Academic Kids

Contents

List of tongue-twisters in English

Rhymes and poems

Sarah, Sarah, sits in her Chevrolet.
When she shifts she sips her Schlitz,
and when she sips her Schlitz she shifts.
Betty Botter bought a bit of butter. "But," she said, "this butter's bitter! Template:Audio
If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter!"
So she bought a bit of butter better than her bitter butter,
And she put it in her batter, and her batter was not bitter.
So 'twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter.
A canner can can anything that he can,
But a canner can't can a can, can he?
A certain young fellow named Beebee
Wished to marry a lady named Phoebe
"But," he said. "I must see
What the minister's fee be
Before Phoebe be Phoebe Beebee"

(This is a limerick that turns into a tongue-twister at the last phrase.)

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
If a woodchuck would chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck
If a woodchuck would chuck wood.
I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's mate,
And I'm only plucking pheasants 'cause the pheasant plucker's late.
I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's son,
And I'm only plucking pheasants till the pheasant pluckers come.

The most common mistake here involves a spoonerism of pheasant plucker and derivative phrases.

One smart fellow, he felt smart
Two smart fellows, they felt smart
Three smart fellows, they all felt smart
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
How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?
She sells sea shells by the sea shore
The sea-shells that she sells are sea-shells I'm sure
A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot
Said the two to the tutor
"Is it tougher to toot
Or to tutor two tooters to toot?"
A mother to her son did utter
"Go, my son, and shut the shutter"
"The shutter's shut" the son did utter
"I cannot shut it any shutter!"

Phrases to be repeated rapidly

  • A cricket critic
  • A black bug's blood
  • Irish wristwatch
  • Legend tripping
  • Liril
  • Red lorry, yellow lorry
Variants: Red leather, yellow leather; Red welly, yellow welly
  • Road-roller
  • Upper roller, lower roller
  • Rubber baby buggy bumpers
  • Toy boat
  • Unique New York
  • Stupid Superstition

Other phrases

  • "Are you copper-bottoming 'em my man?" "No, I'm aluminiuming 'em ma'am."
  • The black bloke's back brake block broke.
  • A box of biscuits, a box of mixed biscuits, and a biscuit mixer
  • He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.
  • Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie.
  • I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit, upon a slitted sheet I sit.
  • The Leith police dismisseth us.
  • A proper cup of coffee from a copper coffee pot
  • Round and round the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran.
  • The sixth sick sheikh's sixth sheep's sick.
  • "We reweave rips" (A sign in the window of a tailor's shop.)
  • The winkle ship sank and the shrimp ship swam.
  • An old seabear sits on the pier and drinks a pint of beer.
  • Three sweet switched Swiss witches watch three washed Swiss witch Swatch watch switches. Which sweet switched Swiss witch watches which washed Swiss witch Swatch watch switch?

Tongue twisters in languages other than English

Consonant clusters in Slavic languages

Many of tongue-twisters in various Slavic languages depend on long consonant clusters, which are misleading to non-native speakers. In almost all cases in clusters of more than three consonants there are schwa and similar short vowels inserted, even if native speakers are not really aware of them.

Albanian

  • Karikaturisti karikaturon karikatura karakteristike. (listen)
The caricaturist caricaturates characteristic caricatures. (Coincidentally kari is the definitive form of a vulgar term for penis.)
  • Kupa me kapak kupa pa kapak (listen)
The cup with a lid the cup without a lid
  • Polli pula e Lleshit n kaile t'leshit. (listen)
The hen of Lleshi laid an egg in a wool basket.
  • Pirdh o prift ne prill pirdh.
Fart priest in april, fart.
  • Plaka lau pllakat.
The old woman washed the tiles.
  • I papashaportizuar
You don't have a passport.

Arabic

  • خيط حرير على حيط خليل

Bulgarian

  • Крал Карл и кралица клара крали кларинети от кралските кларинетисти.

(They say) the king Carl and the queen Clara stole clarinets from the royal clarinetists.

  • Петър плет плете, през три реда преплита. Плети, Петре, плета.

Peter knits a wattle-fence, weaves three times through. Weave, Peter, the wattle-fence.

  • На чичко Чочко чичковите червенотиквеничковчета

Unkle Chochko's little red pumpkins.

  • Шест шишета се сушат на шест шосета от шест сешуара.

Six bottles are being dried on six highways by six blowdriers.

Catalan

  • Setze jutges d'un jutjat menjant fetge de penjat
Sixteen judges from a court eating hanged man's liver

Croatian

  • Pile pikće dok do kuće ne dopikće.
Chicken cackels until /to the house/ it cackels.
  • Riba ribi grize rep.
One fish bites another fishes tail.
  • Na vrh brda vrba mrda.
On top of the hill a willow swings.
  • Petar Petru pleo petlju pokraj puta po sto puta.
Petar made a loop for Peter by the road, hundreds of times.
  • Sjedi stari Zlokotlokrp i stara Zlokotlokrpa i njihovih dvoje troje zlokotlokrpčadi.
/Sitting is/ old cauldron-mender and his old cauldron-mendress (wife) and their two or three cauldron-menderlings (children)
  • Cvrči cvrči cvrčak na čvoru crne smrče. (V. Nazor)
Chirping chirping cricket on the knot of a black spruce.

The following is written with syllable accents although one does not normally write them down as they are usually implied by context. However, writing this sentence without accents would make it unintelligible.

  • Gőre gőrē gőre grē, no što gőre grē dolje.
/Up there/ /worse/ mountains are burning, than mountains are burning down there.

Chinese (Cantonese)

(known as 急口令)

  • ming5 ding2 bing1 ding1 ting4 ding6 ting3 (酩酊兵丁停定聽)
The drunken soldier stopped and listened.
  • fu3 fu5 fu4 fu1 fu6 fu6 fu2 (富婦扶夫赴傅府)
A rich woman carried her husband to Fu's mansion.
  • yap9 sat9 yim6 sat1 gam6 gan2 gap7 dzai3, gwat9 gai1 gwat9 gwat7 gwat9 gai1 gwat9 (入實驗室襟緊急掣,掘雞掘骨掘雞骨)
Go to the laboratory and press the emergency button, dig for the chicken, dig for the bone, and dig for the chicken bone.

Chinese (Mandarin)

(known as 繞口令)

  • xī shī sǐ sh s sh s (西施死時四十四)
Xi Shi (a famous woman) died at age 44.

The following is Lion Eating Poet in the Stone Den, a famous tongue twister written by Yuen Ren Chao. It is a short story written exclusively with various tones of one syllable (shi), and composed in the literary Chinese style.

  • 施氏食獅史
石室詩士施氏,嗜獅,誓食十獅。氏時時適市視獅。十時,適十獅適市。是時,適施氏適是市。氏視十獅,恃矢勢,使是十獅逝世。氏拾是十獅屍,適石室。食時,始識十獅實十石獅屍。試釋是事。
  • shī sh sh shī shǐ
Sh sh shī sh shī sh, sh shī, sh sh sh shī. Sh sh sh sh sh sh shī. Sh sh, sh sh shī sh sh. Sh sh, sh shī sh sh sh. Sh sh sh sh shī, sh shǐ sh, shǐ sh sh shī sh sh. Sh sh sh sh shī shī, sh sh sh. Sh sh shī, sh shǐ sh sh sh sh. Sh sh sh, sh shǐ sh sh sh shī shī. Sh sh, shǐ sh sh sh shī shī, sh sh sh shī shī. Sh sh sh sh.

The following tongue-twister is based on the fact that the word "four" sounds like the word "ten":

  • 四是四,十是十,十四是十四,四十是四十。你不要把十四说成四十,四十说成十四。
  • S sh s, sh sh sh, sh s sh sh s, s sh sh s sh. Nǐ b yo bǎ sh s shuō chng s sh, s sh shuō chng sh s.
  • Four is four, ten is ten, fourteen is fourteen, forty is forty. You shouldn't say 'fourteen' as 'forty' or 'forty' as 'fourteen'.

This phrase can be used to tell if someone is drunk or not:

  • 四十四头死的石狮子
S sh s tǒu sǐ de sh shī zi
(Forty-four dead stone lions)

Czech

  • Strč prst skrz krk.
Stick a finger through your throat.
  • Nesnese se se sestrou.
He doesn't get on with his sister.
  • Roli lorda Rolfa hrl Vladimr Leraus.
The role of Lord Rolf was played by VL.
  • Nenaolejuje-li koleje Julie, naolejuji je j.
If Julie doesn't oil rails, I will oil them.
  • Třistatřicetři střbrnch střkaček střkalo přez třistatřicet tři střbrnch střech.
Three hundred and thirty three silver fire-engines were spraying over three hundred and thirty three silver rooves.

Danish

Red pudding made from stewed berries, served cold with cream

Dutch

  • De koetsier poetst de postkoets met postkoetspoets.
The coachman cleans the stagecoach with stagecoach cleaner.
  • De kat krabt de krullen van de trap met drie droge doeken.
The cat scratches the woodcurls of the stairs with three dry cloths.
  • De knappe kapper kapt knap, maar de knappe knecht van de knappe kapper kapt knapper dan de knappe kapper kappen kan.
The clever barber cuts hair well, but the clever helper of the clever barber cuts hair more clever than the clever barber can cut it.
  • De meid snijdt recht en de knecht snijdt scheef
The maid cuts straight and the servant cuts crooked
  • Liesje leerde Lotje lopen langs de lange lindenlaan
Liesje taught Lotje how to walk along the long tree lane

Esperanto

  • Ĉu ŝi scias, ĉu ĉi-scene la sklavo ŝtelas la sceptron?
Does she know if the slave steals the sceptre during this scene?
  • Serpo servu cin por ĉerpo el cerbo de serba cervo.
May a billhook serve thee to scoop out a Serbian deer's brain.

Estonian

  • Pagari piparkook (repeated).
Baker's ginger biscuit
  • Musta lehma saba valge lehma taga, valge lehma saba musta lehma taga (repeated).
Black cow's tail behind a white cow, white cow's tail behind a black cow.
  • Kabli klubi (repeated)
Kabli's club
  • Asjaajaja, majarajaja ja jaamalem (repeated, sobriety test)
Procurator and stationmaster
  • Kummikutes kummitus kummitas kummutis (repeated, sobriety test)
A ghost with rubberboots haunted in the chest of drawers
  • Jri lestus (jokingly used to determine if a non-native speaker has mastered the difficult accented vowels)
The Jri uprising, in the night of April 23, 1343 peasants in Northern Estonia rebelled against their Danish overlords and cleansed much of the country of the foreign rulers.
  • unapuu itseaeg on Jri lestusust jululaupevani
Blossom-time of an apple-tree is from the Jri uprising until the Christmas Eve.
  • Kuulilennuteetunneliluuk
The hatch of the tunnel of ballistic trajectory
This word also is a palindrome.
  • ueaiar
Edge of a yard fence

Finnish

  • Alavilla mailla hallan vaaraa
Risk of frost on low-lying lands
  • Appilan pappilan apupapin paksuposkipiski pisti poskeensa paksun papupurkin.
The thick-cheeked dog of the deacon of the rectory of Appila (a name of a place) ate a thick bean can.
  • Appilan pappilan apupapin papupata pankolla kiehuu ja kuohuu.
Bean casserole of the deacon of the rectory of Appila (a name of a place) boils and bubbles on the oven.
  • Appilan pappilan piski paksuposki pakkas kapskin ja pinkaisi juoksuun.
The thick-cheeked dog of the rectory of Appila (a name of a place) packed up a travelling-bag and started running.
  • Hieno piano (repeated)
Fine piano
  • Kokoo kokoon koko kokko! Koko kokkoko? Koko kokko.
Gather up a full bonfire! A full bonfire? A full bonfire.
  • - Kokko, kokkoo kokkoo koko kokko! - Koko kokkoko? - Koko kokko. Kokkookko? (Savo dialect)
Kokko (a surname), gather up the whole bonfire! - The entire bonfire? - The entire bonfire. Now will you gather it up?
  • Lauri lysi ruplanrahan jyrkn penkereen reunalta.
Lauri (a man's name) found a one ruble coin from the brink of a steep cliff.
  • Mustan kissan paksut posket (repeated)
Black cat's thick cheeks
  • Pappilan apupapin papupata pankolla kiehuu.
The rectory's deacon's bean casserole boils on the oven.
  • Presidenttipari pariloi Floridan kolesterolitonta broileria.
The presidential couple is barbequing cholesterol-less Florida broiler.
  • Vesihiisi sihisi hississ.
The water pixie hissed in an elevator. (tease or practice for people with a lisp)
  • Yksiksesks yskiskelet?
Are you coughing alone?
  • rrn kierrn orren ympri, ssn pistn taskuun.
I twine an 'R' around a purline, I put the 'S' into the pocket. (Tease or practice for people with problems pronouncing 'r' or 's')
  • li, l ly, li likkyy!
Idiot, don't hit, beer spills!

French

  • La roue sur la rue roule; la rue sous la roue reste.
The wheel on the road rolls; the road under the wheel stays.
  • Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien de chasse.
A hunter who knows how to hunt has to know how to hunt without his hunting dog.
  • La pipe au papa du Pape Pie pue (Prvert).
Pope Pius' dad's pipe stinks.
  • Si ces saucissons sont bons, ces saucissons-ci sont aussi bons.
If those sausages are good, these sausages here are also good.
  • Kiki tait cocotte et Coco concasseur de cacao. Kiki la cocotte aimait beaucoup Coco le concasseur de cacao. Or un marquis caracolant, caduc et cacochyme, conquis par les coquins quinquets de Kiki la cocotte, offrit Kiki la cocotte un coquet caraco kaki col de caracul. Quand Coco le concasseur de cacao comprit qu'un marquis caracolant, caduc et cacochyme conquis par les coquins quinquets de Kiki la cocotte, avait offert Kiki la cocotte un coquet caraco kaki col de caracul, il conclut Je clos mon caquet, je suis cocu !
  • Panier piano (repeated)
Basket piano
  • Les chausettes de l'archiduchesse sont-elles sches ou archi sches?
Are the archduchess's socks dry or very dry?
  • Si mon tonton tond ton tonton, ton tonton sera tondu.
If my uncle shaves your uncle, your uncle will be shaved.
  • Je veux et j'exige du jasmin et des jonquilles.
I want and demand jasmin and daffodils.
  • Natacha n'attacha pas son chat qui s'chappa,
Natacha did not tie up her cat, who escaped
  • Un dragon grad dgrade un dragon grad.
A commissioned dragoon decommissione a commissioned dragoon.
  • Je suis un original qui ne se dsoriginalisera jamais.
I am an orignal who will never de-originalise.
  • Spock s'pique avec du speed ? Mais c'est stupide! Spock spcule et s'perd dans des spleens sporadiques.
Spock takes speed by intraveinous? That's stupid? Spock speculates and loses himself into sporadic melancholy.
  • Les salauds salissent Solaar cela me lasse. Mais laisse les salir sur ce, salut! ("Caroline", MC Solaar)
The bastards dirty [make fun of] Solaar, this annoys me. But let them dirty this, bye!
  • Fruits cuits, fruits crus (repeated).
Cooked fruits, raw fruits.
  • Si six scies scient six cyprses, scient six cent scies six cent cyprses.
If six saws saw six cypresses, six hundred saws saw six hundred cypresses. (Was written in a Finnish book as "si si si si si si pr, si si sang si si sang si pr".)

German

  • Es klapperten die Klapperschlangen, bis ihre Klappern schlapper klangen. (listen)
The rattlesnakes rattled until their rattles began to sound exhausted.
  • Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische. (listen)
The Fishers' boy Fritz is fishing for fresh fish.
  • Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid, und Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut. (listen)
Bride's dress remains bride's dress, and blue cabbage remains blue cabbage.
  • Der Potsdamer Postkutscher putzt den Potsdamer Postkutschkasten. (listen)
The driver of the Potsdam stage coach cleans the case of the Potsdam stage coach.
  • Im Potsdamer Boxclub boxt der Potsdamer Postbusboss. (listen)
At the Potsdam boxing club, the boss of the Potsdam post bus is boxing. (almost works in English too)
  • Der Whiskeymixer mixt den Whiskey mit dem Whiskeymixer. (listen)
The whiskey mixer (barman) mixes whiskey with the whiskey mixer (device). (The fun here lies in the most probable mistake: wichsen is a vulgar German term for "to masturbate".)
  • Im dichten Fichtendickicht nicken dicke Fichten tchtig. (listen)
In a dense thicket of spruces, thick spruces are heavily napping. (German ficken means "to fuck" and Nichten equals nices - n<->f).
  • Der Kaplan klebt Pappplakate an die Plakatwand. (listen)
The chaplain is sticking posters made of heavy card to the notice board.
  • Wenn hinter Fliegen Fliegen fliegen, fliegen Fliegen Fliegen hinterher. (listen)
If flies fly behind flies, then flies fly after flies.
  • Bismarck biss Mark, bis Mark Bismarck biss.
Bismarck bit Mark, until Mark bit Bismarck.
  • Zwei Ladenjungen, die vor den Schokoladenladen Laden laden, laden Schokoladenladenladenmdchen zum Tanze ein.
Two salesboys, who load crates for the chocolate shop, ask chocolate shop salesgirls to the dance.
  • Diesen Morgen haben sieben Schwaben einen gelben Hasen gesehen.
This morning seven Schwabians have seen a yellow rabbit.
  • Die, die die, die die Steinkohlen stahlen, dingfest machen, erhalten einen Belohnung.
Those, who arrest those who steal the coals, earn a reward.
  • Ich sage Ihnen das, da das "das, da", das das Kind geschrieben hat, richtig ist.
Ich sage Ihnen jenes, da dieses "das, da", welches das Kind geschrieben hat, richtig ist.
I tell you that, that this "that, which" which the child has written, is correct.
  • Bringst du Opi Opium, bringt Opium Opi um.
If you give Grandpa Opium, Opium is going to kill Grandpa.

Franconian Dialect

  • A Mamaladaaama hamma daham aa.
(High German): Ein Marmeladeneimerchen haben wir daheim auch.
(English): A marmalade can, we have at home, too.

Swiss German

  • De Papscht ht s'Schpck Bschteck zschpaat bschtellt.
The pope was late ordering the bacon-utensils.

Greek

  • Μια πάπια, μα ποια πάπια; Μια πάπια με παπιά!
A duck, but which duck? A duck with ducklings!

Hebrew

  • גנן גידל דגן בגן, דגן גדול גדל בגן
A gardner grew a cereal in the garden, a large cereal grew in the garden.
  • שרה שרה שיר שמח
Sara sings a happy song.
  • נחש נשך נחש
A snake bit a snake.
  • אני לא מהמתמהמהים, אני מהמתמהמהות
I am not a procrastinator, I am a procrastinating woman.
  • אישה נעלה נעלה נעלה נעלה את הדלת בפני בעלה
A noblewoman put on a shoe, shut the door in her husband's face. (This is a game with the conjugation rules that allow to construct identical words (in spelling and pronunciation) with different meanings. Such twisters exist in Arabic too.)
  • זה אני me-זה מי ו who-זה הוא ו he-זה היא ו she
This one translates words from English to Hebrew. Translating all the Hebrew words to English would give "She means she, and he means he, and who means who, and me means me." Each Hebrew word is pronounced like the English word of the next couple.
  • עכו כוסתה טל, צפת אף היא כוסתה טל
Acre was covered with dew, Safed was covered with dew too.
Variation: שלג (snow) instead of טל (dew). This is more of an ear twister, you are supposed to pronounce it with no spaces, leaving the listened to guess what the קוקוס and the פיקוס are doing there.

Hungarian

  • t trk t grgt dgnyz rks rmk kztt.
Five Turks are massaging five Greeks amid everlasting delights.
  • Mit stsz, kis szűcs? Ss hst stsz, kis szűcs?
What are you frying, little furrier? Are you frying salted meat, little furrier?
  • Te tetted e tettetett tettet? Te tettetett tettek tettese, te!
Did you do this pretended act? You, doer of pretended acts, you!
  • Kt pk kt szp kk kpet kr.
Two bakers are asking for two nice blue pictures.
  • Nem mindenfajta szarka farka tarkabarka, csak a tarkabarka fajta szarkafajta farka tarkabarka.
Not all kinds of magpies have motley tails, only motley kind of magpies have motley tails.
  • Megszentsgtelenthetetlensgeskedseitekrt (This is the longest Hungarian word, kind of untranslatable.)
(approximate) For the impossibility of ye committing multiple acts of desecration.
(tentative) Unmightfulnessliyourslidownbefallingsly
  • Egy kupac kopasz kukac meg mg egy kupac kopasz kukac az kt kupac kopasz kukac.
A pile of bald maggots and another pile of bald maggots make two piles of bald maggots.
  • Jamaika a jamaikaiak.
Jamaica belongs to Jamaicans.
  • A szecsuni sncsiszol snt csiszol Szecsunban.
The rail-polisher of Sechuan polishes rails in Sechuan.
  • Lenin mauzleumnak lelinleumozsa.
Linoleuming Lenin's Mausoleum.
  • Az ibafai papnak fapipja van, ezrt az ibafai papi pipa papi fapipa.
The priest of Ibafa has a wooden pipe, so the priestly pipe of Ibafa is a priestly wooden pipe.

Italian

  • Un pezzo di pizza che puzza nel pozzo del pazzo di pezza.
A piece of pizza that stinks in the well of the ragged fool.
  • Sopra la panca la capra campa, sotto la panca la capra crepa
On the bench, the goat lives, under the bench the goat dies
  • Apelle, figlio di Apollo, fece una palla di pelle di pollo. Tutti i pesci venirono a galla, per vedere la palla di pelle di pollo fatta da Apelle, figlio di Apollo.
Apelle, son of Apollo, made a ball out of chicken skin. All the fishes came to the surface to see the ball made of chicken skin by Apelle, son of Apollo.
  • Tre tigri contro tre tigri, tre tigri contro tre tigri ...
Three tigers against three tigers ... (ad nauseam)

Milan dialect

  • Ti che te tachet i tac, tacum i tacc! Mi tacat i tac a ti? Tacheti ti i to tacc, ti che te tachet i tacc!
You, who's job is to stick on heels (to a shoe), stick my heels on! I should stick the heels for you? Stick your own heels since you stick heels on

Japanese

  • Basu gasu bakuhatsu (バスガス爆発)
Bus gas explosion
  • Tōkyō tokkyo kyoka kyoku (東京特許許可局)
Tokyo Patents Licensing Office (No such office exists.)
  • Kisha no kisha wa kisha de kisha shimasu (貴社の記者は汽車で帰社します。)
Your company's reporter is returning to office by steam train.
  • Nama mugi nama gome nama tamago (生麦生米生卵。)
Raw wheat, raw rice, raw egg.
  • Niwa ni wa niwa niwatori ga imasu (庭には二羽鶏がいます)
There are two chickens in the garden
  • Tonari no kyaku wa yoku kaki kuu kyaku da (隣の客はよく柿食う客だ)
Next door's guest often eats persimmons.
  • Bōzu ga byōbu ni jōzu ni bōzu no e o kaita. (坊主が屏風に上手に坊主の絵を描いた。)
The junior priest drew a picture of a junior priest on the screen very well.

Korean

  • Ganjanggongjang gongjangjang-eun Jang gongjangjang-igo doenjanggongjang gongjangjang-eun Gang gongjangjang-ida. (간장공장 공장장은 장 공장장이고 된장공장 공장장은 강 공장장이다.)
The manager of the soy sauce factory is Manager Jang and the manager of the soy paste factory is Manager Gang.
  • Gyeongchalcheong soechangsal oecheolchangsal, geomchalcheong soechangsal ssangcheolchangsal (경찰청 쇠창살 외철창살, 검찰청 쇠창살 쌍철창살)
The police headquarters' iron window bar (has) single-layer iron bars; the public prosecutor's office's iron window bar (has) double-layered iron bars.

Latin

  • Summergimurne?
Are we sinking?
  • O Tite tute Tati tibi tanta tyranne tulisti!
O you tyrant, Titus Tatius; such things you made happen! (By the poet Ennius)
  • Si itis cum Iesuitis, non cum Iesu itis.
If you go with the Jesuits, you are not going with Jesus.
  • Te te, ro Ro, ma ma, nu nu, da da, te te, la la, te te!
    (properly: Te tero, Roma, manu nuda, date tela, latete!)
I will destroy you, Rome, with my bare hands, arm yourselves and hide!

Lithuanian

  • eios ąsys su eiais ąsyčiais
Six geese with six goslings
  • Geri vyrai geroj girioj gerą girą gerdami gyrė
Good guys in good forest drank good kvass while praising it.

Marathi

  • Kachaa paapaD, pakkaa paapaD (repeated)
Cooked lentil wafer, raw lentil wafer
  • chataila tachni tochli
  • LuLi mule baaLe
  • chinchaachi chatni (The 2nd and 4th 'ch' sounds are pronounced as 'ts', something difficult for a non-Marathi speaker.)

Norwegian

  • Djerv bjergdvergbjerk
Brave dwarf mountain birch
  • Ibsens ripsbusker og andre buskvekster
The redcurrant bushes of Ibsen and other bushy trees
  • Veggpapp, takpapp, tapet
Wall board, ceiling board, wallpaper
  • Upoppa popcorn, papp og papir
Unpopped popcorn, cardboard and paper

Polish

Polish tongue-twisters
Original Translation Example Notes
W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie
I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie.
In [the town of] Szczebrzeszyn a beetle buzzes in the reed, for which Szczebrzeszyn is famous. listen 1
To cż że ze Szwecji So what that it's from Sweden? listen
Ząb, zupa zębowa. Dąb, zupa dębowa. A tooth, a teeth soup. An oak, an oak soup. 2
Spod czeskich strzech szło Czechw trzech Three Czechs came from where Czech thatches are. listen
Szedł Sasza suchą szosą, suszył sobie spodnie. Sasza (name) was going along a dry road while drying his trousers. listen
Stł z powyłamywanymi nogami A table with legs broken out listen
Wyindywidualizowaliśmy się z rozentuzjazmowanego tłumu. We isolated ourselves from the enthusiastic crowd. listen 3
Krl Karol kupił krlowej Karolinie korale koloru koralowego. King Charles bought for Queen Charlotte coral-coloured corals. listen 4
Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz (a name) 5
Przyszedł Herbst z pstrągami i słuchał oszczerstw z wstrętem przeszukując otwory w strzelnicy. Herbst came with the trouts and he started to listen to calumnies while repulsively searching through the holes in the firing ground.
Czy tata czyta cytaty Tacyta? Does dad read quotations from Tacitus?

Notes:

  1. The most popular Polish tongue-twister, these are the first two lines from Chrząszcz, a poem by Jan Brzechwa, in which almost all of the consonants make some kind of buzzing noise. Often, only the first line is used, which is hard enough as a tongue-twister.
  2. In a fast speech the latter mention of oak soup (zupa dębowa) is often mispronounced as dupa, a slightly vulgar word in Polish.
  3. The phonemes themselves are not difficult to pronounce, but long words (the first one has 11 syllables) make accents rare, resulting in flat, accentless, robotic speech. Note, that it is much easier to read it, than to repeat it by ear.
  4. The k, r, and l letters are used as often in the full phrase as in the last three words of the English translation (which themselves work almost as well as in Polish).
  5. This is a fictitious though possible full name in Polish, from the 1969 Polish comedy How I Unleashed World War II (Jak rozpętałem drugą wojnę światową) directed by Tadeusz Chmielewski, where it was used by the main character to confuse Gestapo officers asking for his name. When asked about his birthplace he replied with gmina Chrząszczyżeboszyce, powiat Łęgołody (commune Chrząszczyżeboszyce in the powiat of Łęgołody), which is even harder to pronounce.

Portuguese

  • Trs pratos de trigo para trs tigres tristes (repeated)
Three plates of wheat for three sad tigers
  • Um tigre, dois tigres, trs tigres (quickly).
One tiger, two tigers, three tigers.
  • Trs tigres tristes trituram trs pratos de trigo.
Three sad tigers triturate thress wheat plates.
  • O rato roeu a rolha da garrafa de rum do rei da Rssia.
The mouse gnawed the cork of the bottle of rum of the king of Russia.
  • O rato roeu a roupa do rei de Roma.
The mouse gnawed the clothes of the king of Rome.
  • O rato roer roa e, a Rosa Rita Ramalho, do rato a roer se ria!
The mouse gnaw gnawed and, Rosa Rita Ramalho, of the mouse that gnaws laughs!
  • A pia pinga, o pinto pia, pinga a pia, pia o pinto,o pinto perto da pia, a pia perto do pinto.
The sink drips, the young chicken chirps, drips the sink, chirps the young chicken, the young chicken close to the sink, the sink close to the young chicken.
  • O Papa papa o papo do pato.
The Pope eats the duck's crop.
  • Pedro tem o peito preto. Preto o peito de Pedro. Quem disser que o peito de Pedro no preto, tem o peito mais preto que o peito de Pedro.
Peter has the black chest. Black is the chest of Peter. Who says that the chest of Peter is not black, has the chest more black than the chest of Peter.
  • O peito do p de Pedro preto.
The top of Peter's foot is black.
  • Pedreiro da catedral est aqui o padre Pedro? - Qual padre Pedro? - O padre Pedro Pires Pisco Pascoal. - Aqui na catedral tem trs padres Pedros Pires Piscos Pascoais. Como em outras catedrais.
Mason of the cathedral is the priest Peter here? - Which priest Peter? - the priest Peter Pires Pisco Pascoal. - Here in the cathedral it has three priests Peters Pires Piscos Pascoais. As in other cathedrals.
  • A aranha arranha a r, a r arranha a aranha.
The spider scratches the frog, the frog scratches the spider.

Romanian

  • Eu pup poala popii, popa pupă poala mea (It's easy to mispronounce the word "poala" as a trivial word denoting the male sexual organ.)
  • Şase saşi n şase saci.
Six Saxons in six sacks
  • Capra calcă piatra, piatra crapă-n patru, crăpa-i-ar capul caprei cum a crăpat piatra-n patru.
  • Şase saşi cosaşi cos şase saci săseşti.
  • Bucură-te cum s-a bucurat Bucuroaia lui Bucur cnd Bucur s-a ntors bucuros din Bucureşti.
  • Saşiul stă pe şasiu şi şuşoteşte.

Russian

  • Шла Саша по шоссе и сосала сушку.
Sasha was coming down a highway and sucking on a bread-ring.
  • На дворе трава, на траве дрова. Не руби дрова на траве двора.
In the yard there is grass and on the grass there is firewood. Don't chop firewood on the grass of the yard.
  • Карл у Клары украл кораллы, а Клара у Карла украла кларнет Template:Audio
Karl stole corals from Klara and Klara stole a clarinet from Karl.
  • Ехал Грека через реку, видит Грека — в реке рак. Сунул Грека руку в реку, рак за руку Греку цап.
Greka (a Greek) was riding across a river, and saw that there was a lobster in the river. Greka put his hand in the river and the lobster bit his hand.
  • Тридцать три корабля лавировали, лавировали, да не вылавировали.
Thirty-three ships tacked, tacked, but didn't tack out.
  • Сшит колпак не по-колпаковски. Надо бы колпак переколпаковать, надо перевыколпаковать.
The cap is sewn noncapways. One has to re-cap the cap, to over-recap it.
  • Цапля чахла; цапля сохла; цапля сдохла.
Heron had been withering, heron had been pining away, heron kicked the bucket. Repeat quickly multiple times, with the emphasis shifting from the first word over to the second, the fourth, and the sixth.
  • "Расскажите про покупки!" "Про какие про покупки?" "Про покупки, про покупки, про покупочки свои!"
"Tell me about your purchases!" "What about what purchases?" "About your purchases, your purchases, about your little purchases!"

Serbian

  • Na vrh brda vrba mrda. (На врх брда врба мрда)
On top of a hill a willow swings.
  • Belo jare prolajalo (Бело јаре пролајало)
White goat kid started to bark.
  • Raskiseliše li ti se ti opanci? Razveselie li ti se gosti? (Раскиселише ли ти се ти опанци? Развеселише ли ти се гости?)
Have these opanci (kind of shoes) of yours been well soaked? Have your guests became jolly?
  • Ture bure valja; bula bure gura. Brže ture bure valja no što bula bure gura. (Туре буре ваља, була буре гура. Брже туре буре ваља но што була буре гура.)
A Turk brat rolls a barrel; a Turk damsel pushes a barrel. Turk brat faster rolls a barrel than Turk damsel pushes a barrel.
  • Gore gore gore gore. (Горе горе горе горе)
Up there woods burn worse. (Each word is said with different tone, and that is tongue-twister. Further, as Serbian language has flexible word order, there are 24 combinations of the tones, each having different emphasis. It is not easy to say all 24 combinations one after the other.)
  • Opskrbljen (Опскрбљен)
Supplied (This is actually not a tongue-twister for speakers of Serbian and similar languages, but is for speakers of languages which don't have words with what looks like six consonants together.)
  • Шаш деветорошаш, ал' се раздеветорошашио.
  • Četiri čavčića na čunčiću čučeći cijuču. (Четири чавчића на чунчићу чучећи цијучу.)
Four jackdaw chicks, on chimney perched, chirp.
  • Бела куја пролајала, залајала и одлајала.

Slovakian

  • Guľčka v jamčke
A little ball in a little hole - this is impossible for most Czech people to say correctly.

Slovenian

  • Peec čez cestiče (
"A pedestrian (goes) over a driveway." If spoken repetedly, one gets lost in the flurry of "s", "sh", "ts" and "ch" sounds.
  • Čmrlj (
"A bumble bee" Pronounced as a single syllable, starting with "chm-", followed by an "uh" vowel, and concluded with "rly", where r is rolled and y is pronounced similarly as in the English word "yes". (not considered a tonguetwister for native speakers)
  • Čmrljčina (}
"The bumble-bee language" This is a made-up word, but it is perfectly understandable and pronounceable in Slovenian as "čmrlj" above, followed by two syllables: "shchi-na".
  • Iz Je'ce čez cesto v Sto'ce po ro'ce. (IPA ?)

From Jeica over the road in Stoice to get flowers.

  • Marko/komar (repeat)

Marko is a personal name, komar means mosquito. If you repeat quickly you don't know anymore which one is which.

Spanish

  • El arzobispo de Constantinopla se quiere desarzobispoconstantinopolitanizar y el arzobispo que lo desarzobispoconstantinopolitanice buen desarzobispoconstantinopolitanizador ser.
The archbishop of Constantinople does not want to be the archbishop of Constantinople, and the archbishop who un-archbishop-of-Constantinople-izes him will be a good un-archbishop-of-Constantinople-ifier.
  • Tres tristes tigres tragan trigo en un trigal.
Three sad tigers swallow wheat in a wheat field.

(This is especially difficult for non-native speakers because of the pronunciation of the Spanish "r" and the sound of "tr" and "t". )

  • Erre con erre cigarro, erre con erre barril, rpido ruedan los carros, por los rieles del ferrocarril.
r with r cigar, r with r barrel, fast the cars go, through the rails of the train.

(This is especially difficult for non-native speakers because of the pronunciation of the Spanish "r")

  • La madre y la hija van a misa. La madre pisa paja; la hija paja pisa.
"The mother and her daughter are on her way to attend a mass. The mother steps on straw; the daughter on straw steps." Devised to make the speaker say "la hija pasa pija" (the daughter passes pija; the last word being either an insult or a colloquial word meaning 'penis').
  • Sobre el triple trapecio de Trpoli trabajaban, trigonomtricamente trastrocados, tres tristes triunviros trogloditas, tropezando atribulados contra trpodes, triclinios y otros trastos triturados por el tremendo tetrarca trapense.
Over the triple trapeze of Tripoli there worked, trigonometrically switched over, three sad troglodyte triumvirs, afflictedly bumping into tripods, triclinia and other gear crushed by the terrible Trappist tetrarch. Probably by Ramn del Valle Incln (?)
  • Mara Chuzena techaba su choza y un techador que por all pasaba le dijo: Maria Chuzena, t techas tu choza o techas la ajena? — No techo mi choza, ni techo la ajena; yo techo la choza de Mara Chuzena dijo Maria Chuzena al techador que por all pasaba.
Maria Chuzena was repairing her hut's roof, and a roof repairman that was passing by asked her: "Maria Chuzena, do you repair your hut's roof, or do you repair another person's?" "I dont repair my hut's roof or another person's; I repair Maria Chuzena's roof," said Maria Chuzena to the roof repairman who was passing by.
  • Pedro Perez Pereira, pobre pintor Portugues, empaca poquitas copitas en poquitos paquetes para poder partir para Paris.
Pedro Perez Pereira, a poor Portuguese painter, packs a few cups in a few packets in order to travel to Paris.

Swedish

Six salmons in a salmon-box
Pack daddy's suitcase.
Seven seasick seamen were cared for by seven beautiful nurses.
    • (Variant): Sju sjsjuka sjmn p skeppet Shanghai skljde sju skjortor i sjn.
Seven seasick seamen on the ship 'Shanghai' washed seven shirts in the sea.
To pick peppercorns in a copper pan
"West Coastish" (The double occurrence of 'st' followed by consonant clusters containing hard k's make this very awkward to pronounce correctly.)
"Fly, ugly fly, fly! And the ugly fly flew." (Three rounded vowels, "u", "y", and "" occur in seven out of nine words, making it hard not to mix them up.)
  • , , h, hs m.
Island, island, Grassy island, Grassy island's bride.
  • Kvistfritt kvastskaft.
"Splinterless broomstick". The complex consonant cluster combinations usually makes the speaker end up with something like "squish squash".

Dialectal

  • I a e , i a e (Dialect of Vrmland region)
(Standard Swedish): I n finns det en , och p n finns det en .
(English): In the stream there is an island, and on the island there is a stream.

Tatar

  • Mi başında biş me, biş mene biş başı. //
Five cats at stove's head, five heads of five cats

Vietnamese

  • Lặt rau rồi luộc.
Pick/cut the vegetables and boil them.

Vro

  • Hbhdsl hhvaksl.
To the silver heifer.
  • Selli.
Midnight animal (human being or ghost who is active at midnigt).
  • Kon um tuu lump', kon kunnaq ummaq?
Where is the pond where the frogs are?
  • Kakk ikk raah.
The owl is crying in the willow.
  • Hhn tsks' phn.
The woodpecker is pecking the lime tree.

isiXhosa

  • Iqaqa laziqikaqika kwaze kwaqhawaka uqhoqhoqha.
The skunk rolled down and ruptured its larynx.

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