Do you know what a tongue-twister is?
No, it isn’t a kind of painful penalty if you do something bad.
|Can you see my drawing?|
A tongue-twister is a phrase, sentence, or paragraph that is difficult to say quickly. This is because it has many difficult sounds that are very similar.
Sometimes a tongue-twister may seem to have a story in it or some sense. But often, it’s just a combination of meaningless sounds.
As you can imagine, a tongue-twister can be a good exercise to develop our tongue, lips, and throat. In short, the different muscles of our mouth should be ready for English pronunciation.
Very often, a non-native speaker isn’t familiar with the tongue and mouth movements that they need in order to make American English sounds. Of course their speech organs are used to the natural ways of their native language. They haven’t been trained enough for English speech or communication.
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The mouth and its other parts need physical exercise just like another part of the body. If you want to make the muscles of your legs stronger, what do you do? You do exercises that target the exact part that you want to develop. You can’t do arm exercises to build leg muscles. Vice versa, you can’t do arm leg exercises to build arm muscles.
If you don’t exercise your mouth for English communication, then the sounds that you are trying to make will continue to feel strange to your mouth. And if they feel strange to you, of course they also sound strange to native speakers of English.
Practicing with tongue-twisters by yourself is one way to help you become more familiar with English sounds.
for Exact Sounds
for Exact Sounds
Here are 5 tongue-twisters that I gathered from the Internet. Most likely, there are many other tongue-twisters you’ve already heard.
Like I said, it’s better if you know the exact sound that one tongue-twister is trying to practice. If you know your weak points in terms of English pronunciation, you can concentrate on practicing tongue-twisters that aim to fix your exact weak point.
Target: “Th” Sound
The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.
Target: “L” Sound (This is a common weak point of Asian learners)
Luke Luck likes lakes.
Luke’s duck likes lakes.
Luke Luck licks lakes.
Luck’s duck licks lakes.
Target: “T” Sound
Send toast to ten tense stout saint’s ten tall tents.
Target: “S” Sound
I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop. Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.
*Note: Be careful about the last sound in this tongue-twister. You must avoid saying the word “shit.” This is a bad word. :-)
For more info about “shit” and other bad words in English, just read:
Target: “Sh” Sound
I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish,
But if you wish the wish the witch wishes
I won’t wish the wish you wish to wish.
In summary, tongue-twisters are a funny and interesting way to practice your English pronunciation. It is also great to do them together with your friends, as a group activity or game.
Hope You Learned Something!