Welcome to the strange world of English tongue twisters!
In this post, we’ll tell you what a tongue twister is and why you can use it to really improve your English speaking.
We’ll help you improve your English pronunciation by giving you a special tongue twister to listen to and practice.
The problem with English pronunciation
In English we have our own ways of pronouncing sounds. Many of these sounds exist in your language, but some sounds do not exist in your language. This can affect your English pronunciation.
We’re here to help! You’ll find many tongue twisters in our lesson today. You can listen to them and practice them all for free. As you do more and more, you will improve your English pronunciation.
English tongue twisters
What is a tongue twister? It’s a silly sentence which we use to concentrate on our pronunciation. Every language has a tongue twister. We often teach them to children, so they can have fun and improve their spoken skills – specifically, pronunciation.
But why should we stop doing them when we are kids? Whatever your age, we at English42 think tongue twisters are fun and educational. You can perfect your English speaking in your own time – and have a good time – by trying them.
We taught a classic tongue twister in our newest Quick English video:
We have designed some tongue twisters especially for . Whether or not you come from this countries, try the tongue twisters anyway.
Whether you’re from Spain, Mexico, Argentina – or any other Spanish-speaking country, we have a difficult sound for you! The sound that most Spanish speakers have problems with is the difference between Y and J. (for example, in the word job.)
Our specific tongue twister is designed to help you with that. You can see it here with Y sounds in blue and J sounds in red. It’s difficult, so try it slowly!
Now you can listen to a recording of the tongue twister and try to repeat it slowly and clearly.
If French or Italian is your main language, then the letter H is your biggest enemy!
To pronounce the letter H you need to breathe out. Try this with the word hhhhhhhotel.
Often, it’s difficult to tell when to pronounce the letter H and when not to pronounce it. Basically, if you see it, pronounce it.
In our tongue twister, we have highlighted the H pronunciation in blue. If you see red letters, don’t pronounce the H (even though you may want to!)
Now listen to the tongue twister, and repeat.
Turkish & German
Both Turkish and German speakers find it difficult to tell the difference between the V sound and the W sound. Our tongue twister is difficult, but shows you how to say the two sounds slowly, with V sounds in blue, and W sounds in red.
Try it and, if you need to hear it, click below. Speak slowly, concentrating on the pronunciation.
For many Arabic speakers, it is difficult to understand the difficulty between B and P . In Arabic, the 2 sounds are the same, but in English we need to make the difference.
The B sound is usually quite easy. However, P is an “explosive” sound. You need to breathe out when you pronounce it, but firstly hold your breath for a moment with your lips together.
Read this fun tongue twister (with B sounds in blue and P sounds in red) and then listen to our recording of the sentence. You will clearly hear the explosive P sound.
Now listen carefully to a recording of the tongue twister. Slowly and clearly repeat the sentence.
Japanese & Korean
Image by Milliped (CC BY SA 3.0)
In both Korean and Japanese, there is no difference between the L and R sounds – but in English there is! Often, Korean and Japanese people are not understood because of this problem.
Don’t panic! We’re here to help. Below, you can find probably one of the most difficult English tongue twisters. It involves Ranelagh, an area in our home town – and also a suburb of Paris. Who knows? Maybe someday you’ll be in Europe and you’ll need to pronounce this placename?
The tongue twister is here, with L sounds in blue and R sounds in red. Read, then listen and practice to improve this difficult English pronunciation.
Practice this once or twice. When you’re ready, listen to this recording of the tongue twister and repeat it slowly, concentrating on those 2 difficult sounds.