Try These Tongue Twisters to Loosen up Your Tongue.

Tongue twisters are a kind of language art, an art which can greatly help develop children’s language and thinking!

Tongue twisters also give children the chance to exercise their eloquence, memory, and reaction abilities. Not only are tongue twisters different than how many students are used to learning, but they also allow children to relax and just have fun with the language.

Of course, there’s the added bonus for parents as we watch our children contort their mouths, teeth, and tongue trying to figure out how best to say the tongue twister – and their laughs and joy when they’re successful! Recently, tongue twisters have been making a comeback as another tool in the toolbox for learning Chinese, how about you give some a try?

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Today we’ll start with a few simple tongue twisters. These can help children (and adults!) distinguish between some similar Mandarin pronunciations that we sometimes find difficult when learning. Even if you have some trouble at first, just remember: even native speakers’ tongues get twisted when they try these!

1. 吃葡萄 (chī pútáo) – Eating Grapes

Chī   pútáo  bù    tǔ   pútáo   pí’ér.
吃     葡萄    不    吐    葡萄    皮儿
Eat grapes without spitting out grape skins.

Bù chī pútáo dào tǔ pútáo pí’ér.
不   吃   葡萄  倒  吐  葡萄  皮儿
Do not eat grapes and spit out grape skins.

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2. 数枣儿 (shǔ zǎo’er) – Counting Jujubes

Chū  dōngmén   guò  dàqiáo,
出       东门      过    大桥,
Go out the east gate and cross the bridge;

Dàqiáo  dǐ  xià    yī  shù  zǎo’ér.
大桥    底   下   一   树    枣儿。
there’s a jujube tree under the bridge;

Ná zhe    gānzǐ    qù  dǎ  zǎo’ér.
拿 着       竿子     去   打    枣儿。
take the pole to strike the jujube;

Qīng de duō hóng de shǎo.
青     的   多   红    的     少。
many green ones, few red ones;

Yí  gè  zǎo’ér、liǎng gè zǎo’ér
一   个  枣儿、    两   个  枣儿
one jujube, two jujubes;

Sān  gè  zǎo’ér、sì  gè zǎo’ér
三   个   枣儿、  四  个   枣儿
three jujubes, four jujubes;

Wǔ  gè  zǎo’ér、liù  gè zǎo’ér
五   个   枣儿、 六  个   枣儿
five jujubes, six jujubes;

Qī  gè  zǎo’ér、bā  gè zǎo’ér
七   个   枣儿、八   个   枣儿
seven jujubes, eight jujubes;

Jiǔ   gè zǎo’ér、shí  gè zǎo’ér
九    个   枣儿、十  个   枣儿
nine jujubes, ten jujubes;

Zhè   shì   yí gè   ràokǒulìng,
这      是     一 个     绕口令,
this is a tongue twister;

Yī  qì  shuō  wán  cái  suàn  hǎo.
一  气   说     完    才    算    好。
it only counts if you say it all in one breath!

HSK 3 quiz

3. 四是四,十是十 (sì shì sì,shí shì shí) – Four Is Four And Ten Is Ten

Sì   shì   sì,   shí   shì   shí;
四   是  四, 十    是   十;
Four is four, ten is ten;

Shísì   shì   shísì,     sìshí  shì sìshí ;
十四    是   十四,四十  是  四十;
Fourteen is fourteen, forty is forty;

Bié  bǎ sìshí shuō  “xìxí”,   bié    bǎ shísì shuō  “shìshí”.
别   把  四十  说    “细席”, 别    把  十四   说    “适时”。
Don’t say forty as “fine seats”, don’t say fourteen as “timely”;

Yào xiǎng   shuō  hǎo  sì  hé  shí,   quán  kào  shétóu  hé  yáchǐ .
要      想      说     好   四   和   十,全      靠     舌头    和    牙齿。
If you want to say four and ten, you must rely on your tongue and teeth;

Yào  xiǎng  shuō  duì  sì,    shétóu pèng  yáchǐ;
要      想      说     对    四,  舌头    碰     牙齿;
If you want to correctly say four, your tongue must touch your teeth;

Yào xiǎng  shuō  duì  shí,    shétóu bié  shēnzhí.
要      想      说     对    十,  舌头    别    伸直。
If you want to correctly say ten, don’t straighten your tongue;

Rènzhēn  xué, cháng  liànxí,    shísì 、 sìshí、   sìshísì.
认真         学,    常      练习,十四、  四十、   四十四。
Study hard, practice often, fourteen, forty, forty-four.

HSK 3 quiz

The Chinese language is broad, profound, and ever-changing, and tongue twisters can be an indispensable magic tool for practicing and being even more comfortable with spoken Chinese.Don’t believe it? Try reading this 3 times in a row:

Hóng    lǐyú     yǔ   lǜ     lǐyú    yǔ     lǘ.
红        鲤鱼    与    绿    鲤鱼    与    驴。
A red carp and a green carp and a donkey.

HSK 3 quiz
Need some motivation? How about a challenge…
Add us on WeChat/ WhatsApp and send us a recording of you reading one of these tongue twisters, and you may be selected to receive a prize!
WhatsApp: +86 18229894003
WeChat Official Account: eclchildChinese2021

You May Want to Learn More :
“Are Your Kids “Tricksters” or “Treaters”?”
“How Children Can Overcome the Difficulties of Learning Pinyin?”
“Helping Your Child Introduce Themselves in Chinese”
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