Improve your Accent: Tongue Twisters


Hi, everyone. I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on "Popular Tongue

Twisters". So, every language has tongue twisters, which are essentially short phrases or short

little stories that repeat problem sounds or the same groups of sounds to make it difficult

to pronounce when you say it very quickly. Now, what is the purpose of tongue twisters?

Number one, they're really fun. And number two, they are challenging. And number three,

they do improve your pronunciation, your enunciation, and your ability to speak more fluently, more

clearly, and in a way that makes you more understandable, you know, to a general audience.

Especially if you're in public speaking, even for native speakers, tongue twisters are a

great way for actors or public speakers to improve their pronunciation; an ability to

be clear when they speak.

So, we're going to look at four popular tongue twisters in English. And at the end of the

lesson, if you really enjoyed this, you can actually check out our resources page where

there will be a resource that has a list of popular English tongue twisters for you to

keep practicing after this lesson, and to improve your pronunciation. Okay?

So, number one is: "She sells seashells by the seashore."

Now, this tongue twister is essentially to practice your "sh", "se" combinations. Okay?

So, you could see here it's: "She sells seashells", this is the hardest part. It goes "sh", "se",

"se", "sh". So you have a "sh" and a "sh" at the end; and in the middle, you have a

"se", "se". Okay? So, try saying it after me. "She sells seashells". All right, one

more time. "She sells seashells". Okay. And the full thing is: "She sells seashells by

the seashore." So this is "seashore", "se", "sh". So I'm going to say it one more time

and then you repeat after I say it. "She sells seashells by the seashore." Okay. Not bad.

Okay. All right, we'll try it one more time and I'm going to do it quickly this time.

"She sells seashells by the seashore." Okay. Keep practicing.

So, the next one says: "How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?"

This is very difficult because it does focus on the, you know, "c" sound, but it's specifically

the "l" and the "r" sound. So, I have taught numerous Korean speakers, as well as Japanese

speakers who do have an issue with the "l" and "r" sound, and this is a great tongue

twister to get you to practice the difference, to notice the difference. So, one more time.

I'm going to say it piece by piece, and I want you to repeat after me. So: "How can

a clam cram"? So, can you just say: "clam cram"? Okay? "Clean cream can". So repeat

this after me: "Clean cream can". All right. Now we're going to try the whole thing. So:

"How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?" It's not easy. Right? But the more you practice

it, the better you will be. And again, start slowly. First, make sure that you can actually

pronounce the sounds, and then work your way through it, repeating it, getting faster.

And eventually, you can say: "How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?" And then if you

say that again and again, you will improve, you will get better.

And finally, there are two more. These are actually much longer. The full versions are

much longer. So I just gave you the first line of these two very popular English tongue

twisters, and they are Betty Botter and Peter Piper. For the full versions, you can check

out the resources page like I mentioned before.

So, for Betty Botter, this will really help you to practice that "ah" sound in English,

as well as other vowel sounds. The full versions has:

"Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said the batter's bitter."

So you're going to be practicing your "a", your "e", your "ah". And just listen and repeat

after me for the first line. So, first: "Betty Botter bought some butter." Okay, so here,

we have "be", so just repeat after me. "Be", "bah", "bah", "be", so this one is not "bah",

not "batter", but "butter", "buh", "buh", "buh". One more time. "Bu", "bah", so open

your mouth more on "Botter" and "bought". So, we'll say the whole thing one more time.

"Betty Botter bought some butter." Okay. Not bad, not bad. And let's try it one more time,

a little quicker this time. "Betty Botter bought some butter." Okay. So, keep practicing

it. And for the full version, check out the resources page.

And finally, probably the most common and popular tongue twister in English that many

people know is: "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers."

So, this one is especially useful for Latin speakers who have an issue with the "eh" sound,

often pronounced as "e". So, if I were a Latin speaker, specifically Spanish, then I might

say: "Peter Peeper picked a peck of peeckled peppers." So I would be saying "pe", "pe",

"pe". Really, it's: "Peter Pi, Peter Piper", not "peeked or picked", but: "picked", "picked".

Okay. "Peter Piper picked". All right? So repeat it one more time after me. "Peter Piper

picked a peck of pickled peppers." All right. The whole thing. "Peter Piper picked a peck

of pickled peppers." Okay, not bad. And again, specifically, I really want you to focus on

the "eh" sound in this one. So "picked", "pickled", "picked", "pickled". So repeat after me: "Picked",

"pickled". Now, if you're saying "peekled" or: "peeked", you have to get that out of

your mind somehow, and essentially, just try focusing on making a shorter sound. So, one

more time from the whole thing. "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." All right.

And very quickly now, here we go. "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." It's very

difficult. I understand.

Okay, guys, so this is specifically a lesson to practice your pronunciation. So we are

not going to have a quiz on this one, but I want you to go back, watch this video again,

and keep practicing your pronunciation. From the top, I'm going to say it one more time.

"She sells seashells by the seashore.",

"How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?",

"Betty Botter bought some butter.",

"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers."

All right. Nice job.

So, as always, I want you to subscribe to my YouTube channel, check out the resources

page, and you can get a lot more of these and similar tongue twisters. Until next time,

guys, see you later. Bye.

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