Most complex tongue-twister?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Xylene, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Xylene Valued Senior Member

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    1,398
    What in your opinion is the most complex tongue-twister in existence? It would depend on the language, obviously, but in English I would say it was the following, below;

    'The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick'

    Any better examples, in English or other languages (with translations, thanks)
     
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  3. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    Chinese tongue-twisters are much, much more difficult than their English counterparts. Because Chinese is a tonal language, many sentences can be constructed made entirely out of one or two sounds (for example "shir" - written "shi" in pinyin), but with different tonal patterns.

    Here's an example of a Chinese tongue-twister. You won't be able to say it properly at all, though, as any non-Chinese speaker will be incapable of the tones. (Also, I'm not going to take the long time to write out all the tones!)

    si shi si, shi shi shi, shisi shi shisi, sishi shi sishi, sishisi shi sishisi.
    yao xiang shuo dui shi,
    shetou bie shenzhi;
    yao xiang shuo dui si,
    shetou peng yachi;
    yao xiang shuo dui shi he si,
    duo duo lianxi zhi, chi, she.

    Again, it's impossible to pronounce that properly if you're not a Chinese speaker.

    There are others along these lines. For the Chinese speakers among us:

      四是四,十是十,十四是十四,四十是四十,

      谁能说准四十、十四、四十四,谁来试一试,

      谁说十四是四十,就打谁十四,

      谁说四十是细席,就打谁四十,

    Another one, which translates as "4 is 4, 10 is 10, 14 is 14, 40 is 40, 44 stone lions are dead."
    四 是 四 , 十 是 十 , 十 四 是 十 四 , 四 十 是 四 十 , 四 十 四 只 石 狮 子 是 死 的 。
     
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  5. Steve100 O͓͍̯̬̯̙͈̟̥̳̩͒̆̿ͬ̑̀̓̿͋ͬ ̙̳ͅ ̫̪̳͔O Valued Senior Member

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    That one is a lot easier if you use the more common but incorrect pronunciation of "sixth".

    I always pronounce it as "six thespians"
    aposed to the common one of "sick thespians"

    My favourite tongue twister is:

    What noise annoys an oyster most? A noisy noise annoys an oyster most.
     
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  7. Enmos Staff Member

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    43,184
    A Dutch one:
    "Kapper Knap, de knappe kapper, knipt en kapt heel knap, maar de knecht van kapper Knap, de knappe kapper, knipt en kapt nog knapper dan kapper Knap, de knappe kapper knipt en kapt"
     
  8. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    2,520
    My sister says she sells sea shells at the sea shore.
     
  9. Cyperium I'm always me Valued Senior Member

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    2,985
    A noisy nose annoys me the most, especially if that nose belongs to me.

    But I don't think it is a tongue twister, I found it quite easy to say, actually it is really a tongue freer

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    Like this in sweden; va säger ru att du sa att du sa, sa ru att du sa, sa ru?

    "Ru" is a dialectical form of "du" (when it is said quickly).
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  10. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

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    3,452
    I'm not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's son.
    I'm only plucking pheasants 'til the pheasant plucker comes.

    Not too tough but humorous should someone get it screwed up
     
  11. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

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    1,330
    Mongolian:

    Тал дээрх тавин таван тарган тарвагыг
    тавин таван тарган тарвага гэхгүй юм бол
    өөр ямар тал дээрх тавин таван тарган тарвагыг
    тал дээрх тавин таван тарган тарвага гэх юм бэ?

    ЖАМЦ ЭМЧ ЧАМД ЦАМЦ ЗАХИСАН УУ?
    ЖАМЦ ЭМЧИйН ЗАХИСАН ЦАМЦ ЧАМД БАйНА УУ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  12. Steve100 O͓͍̯̬̯̙͈̟̥̳̩͒̆̿ͬ̑̀̓̿͋ͬ ̙̳ͅ ̫̪̳͔O Valued Senior Member

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    2,346
    Here's another good un.

    Betty Botter bought some butter
    But she said the butter's bitter,
    If I put it in my batter
    It will make my batter bitter,
    But a bit of better butter
    Will make my batter better,
    So she bought some better butter
    Better than the bitter butter,
    And she put it in her batter
    And her batter was not bitter,
    So 'twas better Betty Botter
    Bought a bit of better butter.
     
  13. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    33,264
    ^^&**((##@^^^!__+==+

    %##(&&@@!^^_++

    $##*@@))==++_@@$

    Alien one I heard while being anal probed!
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Why don't you do us a favor and transliterate that phonetically into Roman letters. Not everyone here can read the Cyrillic alphabet.

    I can, but I'm sure some of the sounds are different from the Russian pronunciation of the letters. Even Bulgarian differs slightly from Russian.
     
  15. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    7,028
    Machine language tongue twister:

    0111011100001110010011111000011100100010001

    Whew! thats hard for my computer to say!

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  16. Steve100 O͓͍̯̬̯̙͈̟̥̳̩͒̆̿ͬ̑̀̓̿͋ͬ ̙̳ͅ ̫̪̳͔O Valued Senior Member

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    2,346
    This is a tongue twister shown in base 2 instead of 36.

    11001000001100011111101001101111001001000111111010100000000000000000000
     
  17. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

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    1,330
    I don't know the linguistic method to transliterate but just used a practical way:

    Tal deerkh tavin tavan targan tarvagiig
    Tal deerkh tavin tavan targan tarvaga gekhgui yum bol
    uur yamar tal deekh tavin tavan targan tarvagiig
    Tal deerkh tavin tavan targan tarvaga gekh yum be?

    jamts emch chamd tsamts zakhisan uu?
    jamts emchiin zakhisan tsamts chamd baina uu?

    For me the last one is kind of difficult.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2009
  18. Xylene Valued Senior Member

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    1,398
    In the Guiness Book of Records there was mention of a tongue-twister which they said was the most difficult. 'The skunk rolled down and ruptured its larynx' doesn't sound too complex--until you try saying in Xhosa, the language of the Zulus.
     
  19. stereologist Escapee from Dr Moreau Registered Senior Member

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    685
    Another easy to say tongue twister that raises smiles:

    One smart fellow thought he was smart
    Two smart fellows thought they were smart
    Three smart fellows thought they were smart
    Four smart fellows thought they were smart
    ...

    and so forth until the giggles set in
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Xhosa and Zulu are two related languages, members of the Nguni subgroup of the Bantu group of the Niger-Congo language family.

    The Zulu people speak Zulu, not Xhosa.

    Both Zulu and Xhosa are click languages, using clicking sounds as consonants. But the clicks are not native to the Niger-Congo family. Some of the Bantu people lived near speakers of languages of the Khoisan family, which has the clicks, and they assimilated a few of the phonemes. This phenomenon is called a sprachbund, a group of languages that borrow vocabulary, phonetics, grammar, syntax, etc., from each other, rather than inheriting it from a common ancestor.
     
  21. Xylene Valued Senior Member

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    Woops--

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    my apologies--I stand corrected, Fraggle.
     
  22. fedr808 1100101 Valued Senior Member

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    6,706
    say "soldier shoulder" ten times fast. Nobody has ever gotten past 3 without practicing a few times in my experiance. usually hear sholdier soulder or some combination of that when someone messes up.
     
  23. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    3,485
    I did it! I'm pretty good at tongue twisters, although saying Toy Boat over and over always gets me.
     

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