English Tongue Twisters Help With Pronunciation
by Thomas Lipschultz
I love studying languages, and have spent a lot of time studying Japanese. One of my favorite things to study is “tongue twisters.” What are tongue twisters? Well, in Japanese, a classic example is: あの客はよくかき食う客だ. We have tongue-twisters in English, too, and they’re really great for practicing English pronunciation. For example, can you say this one?
“She sells seashells by the seashore.”
That’s the most famous one in English, I think. But my favorite one to teach people in Japan is:
“Red leather, yellow leather.”
Try copying this into Google Translate and clicking the button to hear it spoken, then try repeating it. If you can say this like Google does, it means you’ve mastered the difference between R and L sounds in English, and you’re very good at saying TH sounds, too. And if you can say it quickly, three times in a row, then maybe you speak English better than even native speakers do!
Another favorite of mine is:
“Ed had edited it.”
If an American says this one naturally, it sounds like, エデデデデデ, because Americans like to skip or combine sounds when they speak. It’s really interesting, and a little funny, don’t you think?
If you want to become better at pronouncing English, try saying some tongue twisters sometime. You might have a lot of fun, and I think next time you come to NOVA for a lesson, the teacher will notice that your pronunciation has improved a lot!