Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chinese tongue twister

Like every other language, Chinese has tongue twisters too. But what makes Chinese tongue twisters more challenging is that you don’t have to worry only about pronunciation but also tones. Below is a good example.





sì shì sì

4 is 4


shí shì shí

10 is 10


shí sì shì shí sì

14 is 14


sì shí shì sì shí

40 is 40


sì shí sì shì sì shí sì

44 is 44


sì shí sì zhǐ shí shīzi shì sǐ de

44 stone lions are dead

This is usually the first tongue twister taught in Chinese classrooms. It was definitely the first for me. I struggle with s and sh sounds and this tongue twister was a nightmare for me. Let me know how you find it.

And do you think you can do better than Jackie Chan?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. haha... I totally agree. It is so hard to do the chinese tones and pronunciation. Over the whole summer at Middlebury, teachers were really happy with everyone's progress in Chinese, but the tones always remained a problem. Apparently, tones are so hard that it is one of the most difficult things to overcome in this language, yet they are so important because, as we just saw here, there are words completely the same, just its tone changes the meaning. This is a very good point.
    You should also cover the topic over chinese language's importance today.