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Tongue twisters


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Here are a few Japanese tongue twisters I found on a mailing list, thought I share them.

namamugi, namagome, namatamago
[raw dough, raw rice, raw egg]

tonari no kyaku ha yoku kaki kuu kyaku da.
[The guest beside me is a guest who eats lots of persimmons.]

bouzu ga byoubu ni jouzu ni bouzu no e wo kaita.
[The monk skillfully drew a picture of a monk on some canvas.]

kaeru pyoko pyoko mi pyoko pyoko awasete pyoko pyoko mu pyoko pyoko.
[roughly translates as: three frogs jump jump six frogs jump jump all together]

We have a few more, but since our network isn't fully functional yet, we have no access to our Japanese system or Global IME. Anyhow, the site below offers an abundance to J-twisters

=> 早口言葉
hehe ...

Although, that's a list of tongue twisters it looks like alot of those are also used by TV news casters and announcers for training.

I've thought that knowing a bunch of these would be good for training myself and having a go with my students.

I'm not sure Japanese language lend itself to tongue twister games. There are too few sounds and the ones that are easily confused in other languages are usually the same in Japanese or don't exist.

Try those in French (classics really ):

"Les chaussettes de l'archiduchesse sont seches archi-seches"
[The socks of the archiduchess are dry, completely dry]

"Un chasseur sachant chasser sans son chien est un bon chasseur"
[a hunter able to hunt without his dog is a good hunter]

Both practice the "s" >< "sh" sounds.

In German, I knew (it's a few years ago, so I am not sure if it's right ; do you know it, Thomas ?) :

"Ich könne keinen Kreuzkümmel Kerne kauen"
[I can't chew any cumin core]

This one is a joke on the Thüringer accent. Someone told me Thüringe people would just pronounce it as something like "kene kene kene".
The cumin seed twister was new to me. :)

Saxonian dialects are difficult to grasp indeed.

Here are some other German tongue twisters:

"Wir Wiener Waschweiber würden weiße Wäsche waschen, wenn wir wüssten, wo warmes Wasser wäre."
[We Viennese washer-women would wash white clothes if only we knew where to find warm water.]

"Zwischen zweiundzwanzig schwankenden Zwetschgenzweigen schweben zweiundzwanzig zwitschernde Schwalben."
[Twenty-two chirping swallows hover in between a plum tree's twenty-two swinging branches.]
well, heres one i stole of azumanga daioh!

"basu gasu baku hatsu"
it says in the subtitle that it means Bus Gas Explosion
Here's two more Japanese ones. The translations are crude so forgive me:

Uranihaniwa, niwanihaniwa, niwatorigairu.
[In the backyard there are two (chickens), and in the front yard there are two chickens.]

Sumomomo momomo, momonouchi.
[A plum as well as a peach are types of a peach.]
I know one in german, but maybe it's not so correct, can't really remember:

"Fischer Fritz fischt frische Fische"...

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