• Olga Jarrell

Do you want to improve your Russian pronunciation? Tongue twisters

Updated: Nov 27, 2019


When most people think of tongue twisters, a childhood image comes to mind -attempting to recite a tricky rhyme or a tongue twister as fast as possible without tripping over your tongue. It is a great challenge for almost everybody. Try to say “She sells sea shells” or “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” and you can’t help smiling and enjoying the race to get it right.

What exactly is a tongue twister?

According to Wikipedia, a tongue-twister is a phrase that is designed to be difficult to articulate properly, and can be used as a type of spoken word game. Some tongue-twisters produce results which are humorous when they are mispronounced.

Usually, a tongue twister combines a repetition of similar (but not necessarily identical) sounds with a phrase that is designed in such a way that it is very easy to slip accidentally. These sentences and rhymes are likely guaranteed to provide us with lots of fun and laughter.

If you think that tongue twisters are for children only, you might be right. Some of them are. Not only are they fun, funny, and entertaining, but they also can help kids in their speech development.

However, tongue twisters are used not only in children development. They serve a practical purpose in practicing pronunciation for many people: actors who need to develop a certain accent, speech therapists to help those with speech difficulties, and last but not least, by language learners to improve their accent. Tongue twisters are not only light-hearted linguistic fun and games, but they might also help you stretch your vocal muscles before you start speaking, improve your pronunciation, and learn new words.

What does the Russian word «скорогово́рка» mean?

«Скорогово́рка» is a compound word that has two roots: «скор» and «говор», which mean “fast” and “speak”. It literally means “fast speaking”.

What is the best way to learn Russian tongue twisters?

You could become very fluent in saying tongue twisters if you follow these easy steps.

1) Listen to the audio (if available).

2) Read it out loud slowly.

3) Read and repeat each words separately.

4) Pronounce the whole thing slowly several times.

5) Pronounce it as fast as you can, but don’t forget to articulate all the words clearly.

6) Challenge yourself by memorizing it. Use it every time before you speak Russian (before class, for example).

Now go ahead and practice some popular Russian tongue twisters.

Which one is the most challenging for you?

Click on the image below to see all the tongue twisters.

#tonguetwisters #pronunciation #скороговорки

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