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5 FUN and EASY Chinese Tongue Twisters to Improve Your Speaking!

作者:纽带中文

Before we start... think about this first: If a woodchuck could chuck wood, how much would it chuck?

WHAT???

Exactly, you're not alone in this, I literally asked 'WHAT???' when I first heard about this English tongue twister...

Tongue twisters are a headache for beginners, but they are also a good way of learning a language as they can really train the tongues to twist to make the right sounds.

Do you believe Chinese tongue twisters (绕口令rào kǒu lìng) can be more challenging and more fun? In Chinese, apart from the right pronunciation, you also need to focus on the right tones... Accept the challenge, we're gonna dive in a few Mandarin puzzles today!

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1. 妈妈骑马。马慢,妈妈骂马。

(māma qí mǎ. mǎ màn, māma mà mǎ.)

Translation: Mother rides a horse. The horse is slow, and the mother scolds the horse.

Here comes one of the easiest one. Yes Chinese tones can be tricky. But you must get a hold of the four tones, as you would never want to mix up a horse with your mom!

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2. 吃葡萄不吐葡萄皮,不吃葡萄倒吐葡萄皮。(chī pú táo bù tǔ pú táo pí, bù chī pú táo dào tǔ pú táo pí.)

Translation: Eat grapes but don’t spit out the grape skin, don’t eat grapes but spit out the grape skin.

Even some Chinese locals could find this one a little bit tricky! This tongue twister covers all four tones and the consonants ch, p, and b.

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3. 知道就说知道,不知道就说不知道,不要知道说不知道,也不要不知道说知道,你知道不知道?(zhī dào jiù shuō zhī dào, bù zhī dào jiù shuō bù zhī dào, bù yào zhī dào shuō bù zhī dào, yě bù yào bù zhī dào shuō zhī dào, nǐ zhī dào bù zhī dào?)

Translation: If you know, just say you know. If you don't know, just say you don't know. You shouldn't know and say you don't know. And you shouldn't know and say you do know. You know?

This might be too long for you... But think about what they say in Friends, they don't know that we know that they know... Maybe easier to practice now?

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4. 山上有座白庙, 地上有只白猫, 白发老公公掉了一顶白帽, 白猫叼着白帽跑进一白庙。(shān shàng yǒu zuò bái miào, dì shàng yǒu zhǐ bái māo, bái fà lǎo gōng gōng diào le yī dǐng bái mào, bái māo diāo zhe bái mào pǎo jìn yī bái miào.)

Translation: There is a white temple on the mountain. There is a white cat on the ground. The white-haired old man lost his white hat. The white cat ran into a white temple with the white hat in its mouth.

Definitely not beginner friendly, but you will be able to learn the difference among a cat, a hat, and a temple in just one sentence! Isn't that amazing?

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5. 扁担长,板凳宽,扁担要绑在板凳上,板凳不让扁担绑在板凳上,扁担非要绑在板凳上。(biǎn dan cháng, bǎn dèng kuān, biǎn dan yào bǎng zài bǎn dèng shàng, bǎn dèng bù ràng biǎn dan bǎng zài bǎn dèng shàng, biǎn dan fēi yào bǎng zài bǎn dèng shàng.)

Translation: A bamboo pole is long, and the bench is wide. The bamboo pole was bound to the bench. The bench did not allow the pole to be bound to it, but the pole insisted on being bound to the bench.

Personally I hate this one... But don't follow me! You can't find a better practice than this for the an, ang and eng sounds! Also, you will be able to learn the d and b consonants in a fun way!

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纽带中文是美国知名教育传媒集团蟋蟀传媒旗下的中文在线教育平台,专注为5-16岁的海外青少年儿童提供高质量的一对一、一对多中文学习服务。从创立至今,纽带中文现已覆盖北美地区,并为北美多所中文及图书馆提供长期沉浸式在线中文课程。
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