Japanese Tongue-twisters

Japanese language has a quite long list of funny and difficult tongue-twisters!
“Tongue-twister” in Japanese is said 早口言葉 (はやくちことば, hayakuchi kotoba), which literally means “fast mouth words”.

Here is a list of the ones I could gather! (P.S. If you know some other ones please let me know!)

1.
Bouzu ga byoubu ni jouzu ni bouzu no e wo kaita.
坊主が屏風に上手に坊主の絵を描いた。
Meaning: The monk drew a good picture of another monk on the folding screen.

2.
Hyoko pyoko pyoko mi pyoko pyoko
. Awasete pyoko pyoko mu pyoko pyoko.
ひょこぴょこぴょこ三ぴょこぴょこ。あわせてぴょこぴょこ六ぴょこぴょこ。
Meaning: Take two sets of three chicken cackles add them together and they make six chicken cackles.

3.
Kono take wo kono takegaki ni tatekaketa no wa, 
take wo tatekaketakatta kara tatekaketa no desu.
この竹をこの竹垣に立てかけたのは、竹を立てかけたかったから立てかけたのです。
The reason I have leaned this bamboo against this bamboo fence is that I just wanted to lean a bamboo against it.

4.
Kono ko ni tokonatsu no kokonatsu kokonotsu,
 ano ko ni mo tokonatsu no kokonatsu kokonotsu.
この子に常夏のココナツ九つ、あの子にも常夏のココナツ九つ。
I give nine coconuts from a tropical island to this child, and I give nine coconuts from a tropical island to that child, too.

5.
Tora wo toru nara tora wo toru yori tori wo tore, toriwa otorini torawo tore.
トラをとるならトラをとるより鳥をとれ、鳥はおとりにトラをとれ。
Instead of catching the tiger, catch a bird, and use the bird as a bait to catch the tiger.

6.
Oyagame no ue ni kogame, kogame no ue ni magogame.
親亀の上に子亀、子亀の上に孫亀。
On the parent turtle is the child turtle, on the child turtle is the grandchild turtle.

7.
Kono kugi wa hiki nuki nikui kugi da.
この釘は弾きにくい釘だ。
This nail is hard to pull out!

8.
Tokyo tokkyo kyoka-kyoku kyou kyuukyo kyoka kyakka.
東京特許許可局今日急遽許可却下。
The Tokyo patent office hurriedly rejected the permission today.

9.
Kamoshika mo shika mo shika da ga, tashika ashika wa shika de wa nai.
羚羊も鹿も鹿だが、確か海驢は鹿ではない。
The Japanese serow (a kind of antelope) and the sika deer are both deer, but certainly the sea lion is not a deer.

10.
Shinkansen shurushuru shurushuru, senro ni sotte hashiru.
新幹線しゅるしゅるしゅるしゅる、線路に沿って走る。
The bullet train goes along the tracks saying “shurushuru” (onomatopoeia).

11.
Koshou shoushou, shio shoushou, shouyu shoushou.
こしょう少々、塩少々、しょうゆ少々。
A little bit of pepper, salt, and soy sauce.

12.
Shanson kashu, shinshun shansonshu.
シャンソン歌手、新春シャンソンショー。
Chanson singer, new year chanson show.

13.
Aka pajama, ki pajama, cha pajama.
赤パジャマ、黄パジャマ、茶パジャマ。
Red pajamas, green pajamas, brown pajamas

14.
Aka chazutsu, ki chazutsu, cha chazutsu.
赤茶筒、黄茶筒、茶茶筒。
Red tea kettle, yellow tea kettle, brown tea kettle.

15.
Kanda kajichou kado no kajiya no Kanbei-san ga kachiguri katta ga katakute kamenai kamisan ga kanshaku okoshite kari-kari kandara kari-kari kameta.
神田鍛冶町角の鍛冶屋のかんべいさんが搗ち栗買ったが硬くて噛めないかみさんがかんしゃく起こしてかりかり噛んだらかりかり噛めた。
Kanbei, the blacksmith on the corner at Kanda Kajicho, bought roasted chestnuts too hard to bite. His wife threw a tantrum and gnawed on them successfully.

16.
Sumomo mo momo, momo mo momo, sumomo mo momo mo momo no uchi.
スモモも桃、桃も桃、スモモも桃も桃のうち。
A Japanese plum is a kind of peach, a peach is also a peach, both Japanese plum and peach are kinds of peaches.

17.
Aka makigami, ao makigami, ki makigami.
赤巻き紙、青巻き紙、黄巻き紙。
Red scroll, blue scroll, yellow scroll

18.
Uraniwa niwa niwa niwa niwa niwa niwatori ga iru.
裏庭には二羽庭には二羽鶏がいる。
There are two chickens in the back yard and two in the front yard.

19.
Nama mugi, nama gome, nama tamago.
生麦、生米、生卵。
Raw wheat, raw rice, and raw egg.

20.
Jazu kashu, shanson kashu.
ジャズ歌手、シャンソン歌手。
A jazz singer and a chanson singer.

21.
Basu, gasu, bakuhatsu.
バスガス爆発。
Bus, gas, explosion (the gasoline of the bus exploded).

22.
Tonari no kyaku wa yoku kaki kuu kyaku da.
隣の客はよく柿食う客だ。
My neighbor’s guest eats lots of persimmons.

23.
Tokyo-to Tokkyo kyokakyoku-chou.
東京都特許許可局長。
Head of the Tokyo patent office.

24.
Kono takegaki ni dare take tatekaketa?
この竹垣に誰竹立てかけた?
Who placed this bamboo pole against this bamboo hedge?

25.
Papa no pajama wa kipajama chapajama shimapajama.
パパのパジャマは黄パジャマ茶パジャマ縞パジャマ。
Papa’s pajamas are yellow pajamas, brown pajamas, and striped pajamas.

26.
Niwa no niwa ni wa, niwa no niwatori wa niwaka ni wani wo tabeta.
にわの庭には二羽の鶏はにわかにワニを食べた。
In Mr. Niwa’s garden, two chickens suddenly ate a crocodile.

27.
Nomu nara noru na, noru nara nomu na.
飲むなら乗るな、乗るなら飲むな。
If you drink don’t drive, if you drive don’t drink.

28.
Migi me migi mimi, migi mimi migi me.
右目右耳、右耳右目。
Right eye right ear, right ear right eye.

29.
Gorbachovshokichou.
ゴルバチョフ書記長。
Gorbachev Secretary-general.

30.
Barabarana banana babarowa.
バラバラなバナナババロワ。
The scattered bananas were Bavarian.

31.
Tanaka-san no nagai takai katai katana.
田中さんの長い高い硬い刀。
Mr. Tanaka’s long, expensive, hard sword.

32.
Atatakakunakatta kara, atatakai fuku wo tsukatta.
暖かくなったから、暖かい服を使った
。
Because it wasn’t warm I used warm clothes.

33.
Kono neko koko no neko no koneko kono koneko ne.
この猫ここの猫の子猫この子猫ね。
This cat is the kitten of the cat here, this kitten.

34.
Shin’en shinen to shinsetsushin shinshintsu ni ga arimasu.
深遠思念と親切心寝室にがあります。
The bedroom has deep thoughts and kindness.

35.
Tako Beru no tako wa takakunakatta.
タコベルのタコは高くなかった。
Taco Bell’s tacos aren’t expensive at all.

How many could you say? xD


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