Chinese Tongue Twisters 绕口令(rào kǒu lìng)

Where to search for Chinese Tongue Twisters

One of the best ways to practice your Chinese pronunciation is to learn some Chinese tongue twisters.

The Chinese Alphabet and Chinese Characters
Learn the Chinese Alphabet…

Not only will it help you to pronounce individual words, it will also help with comprehension, increase your vocabulary and most importantly, help you to perfect those Chinese tones!

If you search on the web there are lots of websites with lists of Chinese tongue twisters.

One of the best places to search is on YouTube as you will be able to hear as well as read the tongue twisters.

Being able to hear the words pronounced properly will definitely be able to help you perfect your recital!

It’s important if you want to be able to impress the locals in China.

Another reason to search YouTube for tongue twister videos are for the really bad attempts at saying them! Some of them had me laughing out loud.

Two of the best known (English, pinyin and characters)….

1. sì shì

四是四,十是十,十四是十四,四十是四十;
谁把十四说“十适”,就打他十四;
谁把四十说“适十”,就打他四十

sì shì sì, shí shì shí, shísì shì shísì, sìshí shì sìshí;
shéi bǎ shísì shuō “shíshì”, jiù dǎ tā shísì,
shéi bǎ sìshí shuō “shìshí”, jiù dǎ tā sìshí.

Translates to:

Four is four, ten is ten, fourteen is fourteen, forty is forty. 
If anyone pronounces “shísì” as “shíshì”, hit them fourteen times.
If anyone pronounces “sìshí” as “shìshí”, hit them forty times.

2. chī pútáo

吃葡萄吐葡萄皮儿,
不吃葡萄不吐葡萄皮儿。
吃葡萄不吐葡萄皮儿,
不吃葡萄倒吐葡萄皮儿。

chī pútáo tǔ pútáo pí ér,
bù chī pútáo bù tǔ pútáo pí ér.
chī pútáo bù tǔ pútáo pí ér,
bù chī pútáo dào tǔ pútáo pí ér.

Translates to gibberish pretty much:

Eat grapes throw out their skins
don’t eat grapes don’t throw out their skins.
Eat grapes don’t throw out their skins,
don’t eat grapes throw out their skins.

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