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Trabalenguas (Tongue Twisters)

Tongue twisters

1. isolate difficult sounds so you can practice them more efficiently and

2. improve pronunciation by making speaking muscles stronger and more agile.

Yeah, I work out.

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Mi mamá me ama.

My mom loves me.

Because you’re so cute and charming and because nature got her all hopped up on oxytocin so she wouldn’t abandon you as an an adolescent.


Rubén riñe con una rata en el ferrocarril rápido.

Ruben argues with a rat on the fast rail.

Look, we don’t know why Ruben thinks it’s important to quarrel with rodents. Did the rat not give up its seat for the pregnant lady? We’ll never get the rest of the story. Keep rolling those Rs though.


Erre con erre cigarro, erre con erre barril,

rápido ruedan los carros cargados de azúcar del ferrocarril.

R with R cigar, R with R barrel,

Swiftly move the cars, loaded with sugar on the railroad.

Spanish tongue twisters are very concerned with railway activity.


El perro cachorro de Roque Machorro se enreda en la ropa,

se enrosca cual cuerda y se enreda en la rueca de Rosa Rueda.

Roque Machorro’s puppy dog is entangled in clothes,

curled up like a rope, and entangled in Rosa Rueda's spinning wheel.

“Cual cuerda” is fun to say over and over again. Don’t take our word for it; try it for yourself.


Pepe Pecas pica papas con un pico,

con un pico pica papas Pepe Pecas.

Si Pepe Pecas pica papas con un pico,

¿dónde está el pico con que Pepe Pecas pica papas?

Pepe Pecas (a name meaning Peter Freckles) picks potatoes with a pick,

with a pick Pepe Pecas picks potatoes.

If Pepe Pecas picks potatoes with a pick,

Where is the pick with which Pepe Pecas picks potatoes?

Sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it? Evidently Peter picking things holds cross-cultural interest/challenge.


Speaking of Challenge:

Reply with a video of you trying out one of these trabalenguas in the comments!

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