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Japanese Tongue Twisters

Tongue twisters can be quite memorable if you learn with fun and it also adds a way to challenge your language skills. If you are keen to learn a foreign language like Japanese, then learning Japanese tongue twisters can help you learn Japanese pronunciation with interest and ease. 

In this blog, you can check out why the tricky phrases of Japanese which are used as some of the favorite tongue twisters even today. 

The Best Way to Learn Japanese Pronunciation 

The Japanese tongue twisters are termed 早口言葉 (はやくちことば), which means “fast mouth words.” Using tongue twisters can just be the best way to learn Japanese pronunciation due to two major reasons:

Builds a Good Foundation for Japanese Pronunciation

Tongue twisters aid you in developing a good spoken foundation for the language. Focusing on difficult parts can help you to learn the pronunciation basics in a fun way without getting bored. However, with consistent use of tongue twisters, you will be able to distinguish the different words with similar pronunciations but different meanings. 

Aids to Learn Japanese by Making Mistakes

Making mistakes while learning a new language can be just part of the language-learning process, and it specifically applies when you start using Japanese tongue twisters. Embrace your mistakes during the learning process and never get discouraged. Because these tongue twisters are mostly difficult even for native Japanese speakers.

The Top Tongue Twisters to Learn Japanese

Here are the top Japanese tongue twisters for you to try and master.

Raw wheat, raw rice, raw eggs – (生麦生米生卵 (なま むぎなまごめなまたまご) 

This Japanese tongue twister talks about Japanese food. When you visit Japanese restaurants, you need to know when they serve you food that is 生 (なま) raw, especially if you have dietary restrictions. The Japanese words that represent staple foods are:

  • Mugi – 麦 (むぎ – wheat)
  • Gome – 米 (ごめ – rice, uncooked)
  • Tamago 卵 (たまご – egg)

Red Scroll, Yellow Scroll, Blue Scroll – (赤巻紙、黄巻紙、青巻紙 (あかまきがみきまきがみあおまきがみ) 

These Japanese tongue twisters describe a clerk with scrolls. They are flashing in the format あかまき がみきまきがみ あおまきがみ, あかまきがみ きまきがみ あおまきがみ…

 Here, 

  • Akamakigami – 赤巻紙 – あかまきがみ – Red scrolls
  • Kimakigami – 黄巻紙 – きまきがみ – Yellow scrolls
  • Aomakigami – 青巻紙 – あおまきがみ – Blue scrolls

In this, frequent k sound is used in the pronunciations. If you understand that, reading and speaking Japanese sentences becomes easier. 

Bus Gas Explosion – バスガス爆発 (バスガスばくはつ)  

This tongue twister makes use of the words basu – バス(bus), gasu -ガス (gas), and bakuhatsu – 爆発 (explosion). Try to keep the “a” sounds short! Repeat each word thrice and much faster to effectively learn them.

Both Plums and Peaches Are Members of the Peach Family – 李も桃も桃のうち (すもももももももものうち) 

You can’t understand the meaning of this phrase by reading the hiragana alone. Also, it is difficult to tell where the next word begins or ends. To read these types of tongue twisters, you need to break down these words as follows:

  • sumomo -李 (すもも -) – plum/s 
  • mo (も) – “also” particle
  • momo – 桃 (もも-) – peach/es
  • も – “also” particle
  • Momo – 桃 (もも) – peach
  • No uchi – の (うち) – the family /group of

Conclusion

Thus, if you have made up your mind to learn Japanese, start your learning with Japanese tongue twisters also. The reason is that it can definitely be a creative and fun way to practice and improve Japanese pronunciation skills immensely. Keep practicing daily and never give up until you say those tongue twisters like a native.

What is the purpose of Japanese tongue twisters?

Japanese tongue twisters are proven to clarify the clearer pronunciation of words. You can use it to stretch and strengthen the muscles while you speak. This can help you learn the Japanese language with interest as it has been developed with the practice purpose of speech and language development. It is also used to expand the vocabulary.

What is the hardest tongue twister in Japanese?

Japanese tongue twisters are known as 早口言葉 (hayakuchi kotoba) in Japan. The literal meaning is “fast-talking words”. There are many tricky tongue twisters in Japanese but the hardest one is ‘Kaeru pyoko-pyoko mi pyoko-pyoko awasete pyoko-pyoko mu pyoko-pyoko’ which means “The frogs jump, three (times) jumps, together jump, six (times) jumps.”

How are the Japanese tongue twisters designed?

If you get to know the Japanese tongue twisters, you will fall in love with the language. The Japanese phrases are designed in a way that can help to pronounce even difficult sentences at ease. It also helps you take your Japanese language skills to the next level.

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