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Pronunciation Practice: Tongue Twisters Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in Culture, Grammar, Vocabulary

A tongue twister, or un virelangue en français, is hard a hard to pronounce sentence, often used as a kind of game among children, but also used to clear up pronunciation problems. They are always specifically designed to be difficile de dire (hard to say), even for des locuteurs natifs (native speakers)! Just think of the last time you tried to finish “peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers…

Bien sûr (of course), French has its own virelangues, and just like their counterparts en anglais (in English), they tend to not really mean anything, but that’s not why les gens essayer de les dire (people try to say them). They’re fun because of the way they sound, and, more importantly, how hard it is to say them!

Le français is not always the easiest language to pronounce for non-native speakers, and as such it’s good to take any little boost you can find to help your pronunciation. So if you want to make sure you are articulating well and can string together those tough phonétique française (French phonetics), try out des virelangues below!

To start out, here’s a very easy one that most everyone in France knows:

Les chaussettes de l’archi-duchesse sont-elles sèches, archi-sèches ?

Next up, is another well known virelangue, but one that is more difficult to say:

Un chasseur sachant chasser sait chasser sans son chien.

And one last virelangue, a very simple one, but one that the French have the hardest time saying:

Les soldats se désolidarisèrent-ils ?

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About the Author:John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


Comments:

  1. Susan:

    New member here, but Iam wondering if you also help in the pronouncing the words. It would certainly help me! Thank you.

    • John Bauer:

      @Susan There are a ton of tools for helping you with your pronunciation here! Check out all Transparent Language has to offer over on their Learn French page!