tongue twisters

Tongue Twister | Characteristics of tongue twisters | Short tongue twisters | Difficult tongue twisters

We explain what a tongue twister is, its characteristics and educational benefits. Also, examples of short and difficult tongue twisters.

Tongue Twister

It is known as tongue twisters or tongue twisters to certain word games that consist of one or several sentences that are difficult to pronounce , due to the fact that they present internal rhymes or alliterations that require a greater effort in speaking . They are usually on humorous or imaginative subjects, and exist in practically all languages .

Tongue twisters are part of the oral tradition and are generally passed down from generation to generation. On the other hand, they have also been extensively studied by linguists and teachers , since they are often understood as a good exercise to improve diction, especially in childhood ages.

Tongue twisters are generally inherited anonymously from previous generations. Their history is more or less uncertain, although they are known to have existed in Ancient Greece , as part of exercises aimed at improving the capacities of politicians and orators, a tradition later inherited by Roman culture.

Characteristics of tongue twisters

Broadly speaking, a tongue twister is characterized by the following:

They consist of short sentences, made up of very similar phonemes ( sounds ) , repeated in different words , according to the pattern of a sound order or a rhyme.

Although it seems obvious, they are difficult to pronounce , especially for the first time.

They are anonymous, do not have an author , and are transmitted by oral tradition.

They exist in all languages and their content often reflects the local culture .

Benefits of tongue twisters

Tongue twisters are widely used in books and classes during the initial stages of educational training, when children are still acquiring and perfecting their grasp of the language.

In this sense, they are ideal for exercising the speech apparatus and, precisely, “unlocking” the tongue to facilitate speech. That is the reason why they are also convenient when learning new languages , as an exercise in pronunciation and fluency, and why they are a common tool of speech therapists.

Short tongue twisters

Here are some examples of short tongue twisters, as an example:

Three sad tigers swallow wheat in a wheat field.

When I say Diego, I say I say, and when I say I say, I say Diego.

Pablito nailed a little nail into a bald boy’s bald head.

Go outside and take the bag of salt out in the sun to dry.

The abbot gave rice to the fox.

On a carriage ride, a page came and lost his luggage.

The mischievous pájara bites the typical gourd.

Difficult tongue twisters

The following are tongue twisters considered particularly complex:

Compadre, buy me a coconut! Buddy, coco I don’t buy! Because he who eats little coconut, buys little coconut, and eats little coconut, buy little coconut.

When you tell stories, count how many stories you tell, because without knowing how many stories you told, you will not know how many stories you have to tell.

Pedro Pablo Pérez Pereira, a poor Portuguese painter, paints for little money beautiful landscapes to walk around Paris.

Erre con erre cigarro, erre con erre barrel, cars run fast on the railroad tracks.

The bishop of Constantinople wants to deconstantinopolize. Whoever deconstantinopolizes him well, he will be a good deconstantinopolizer.

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