Tongue twisters are a specific sequence of words whose rapid, repeated pronunciation is difficult even for native speakers.
Sometimes they are a string of similar words which differ in certain syllables, sometimes alliteration is used, some tongue twisters are difficult because of unusual sentence structures, which require increased focus and attention to say the words accurately. The idea is to be able to say them quickly– and correctly!
Some tongue twisters are used for fun but voice actors, singers, radio hosts, TV newscasters, politicians and professional speakers use them as articulation exercises.
When you practice this, make sure whomever is within listening distance won’t be offended!
I’m a mother pheasant plucker, I pluck mother pheasants.
I’m the most pleasant mother pheasant plucker to ever pluck a mother pheasant.
I’m not the pheasant plucker I’m the pheasant plucker’s wife, I’ve been plucking Mother pheasants my whole pheasant plucking life.
I’m not the pheasant plucker I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate, I’m only plucking Pheasants ’cause the pheasant plucker’s late.
The Toughest Tongue Twister in the World!
According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the toughest tongue twister is ‘The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick’.
But, according to researchers at world renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the most difficult tongue twisters is “Pad kid poured curd pulled cod.”
In their study, the researchers tried to understand whether they could induce double sound mistakes (such as “c” and “t”) with different types of tongue twisters. They recorded volunteers saying a simple list of words such as “top cop” and full-sentences such as “the top cop saw a cop top.”
Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, an MIT psychologist, who along with her team created the phrase, said participants in the study had two reactions when they attempted to say this 10 times fast. They either failed to get through it or stopped talking altogether, Shattuck-Hufnagel said.
Want to give it a try?! Let me know how you do! (Record yourself and send it in for a surprise!)
Here are More to Challenge Yourself with:
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?
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood,
as a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
Betty bought a bit of butter.
But the butter Betty bought was bitter.
so Betty bought a better butter,
and it was better than the butter Betty bought before.
Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep.
The seven silly sheep Silly Sally shooed
These sheep shouldn’t sleep in a shack;
Sheep should sleep in a shed.
All I want is a proper cup of coffee,
Made in a proper copper coffee pot
I may be off my dot
But I want a cup of coffee
From a proper coffee pot.
Tin coffee pots and iron coffee pots
They’re no use to me –
If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee
In a proper copper coffee pot
I’ll have a cup of tea.
One-One was a racehorse.
Two-Two was one, too.
When One-One won one race,
Two-Two won one, too.
Amidst the mists and coldest frosts,
With stoutest wrists and loudest boasts,
He thrusts his fists against the posts,
And still insists he sees the ghosts.
Hard for Them to Do and Fun for You to Watch!
The International Phonetic Alphabet is a notation system of phonetic symbols based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in1886 as a standardized representation of the sounds of human spoken language.
The IPA is considered a roadmap for elements of speech that are part of oral language— phones, phonemes, intonation
encompassing all languages spoken around the globe, and also shows the separation of words and syllables.
People across disciplines use this helpful tool: voice, stage and film actors, singers, linguists, speech pathologists, translators, ESL (English as a second language students), foreign language students and teachers and more.
Fascinating blog article:
A Retrospective into English Phonetic Transcription
International Phonetic Alphabet Chart
There are 7 sections to the chart, including consonants and other symbols, vowels, non-pulmonic consonants, diacritics, suprasegmentals, tones / word accents.