We are 99% sure that every person who studies a foreign language faces difficulties. You might find it challenging to learn new words or understand grammar rules. There is also a chance that you understand all the rules but still make mistakes while doing grammar exercises. One more thing you might find problematic when studying a foreign language is listening comprehension. When you listen to a native speaker discussing some topic, communicating in a real life, or singing a song, you probably think “Oh, my God! What’s going on? I understand nothing. Could you slow down, please”. The last and perhaps, the most widespread trouble every language learner faces is inability to speak. There are several reasons that cause this trouble such as fear to make mistakes and sound foolish, lack of confidence, and a language barrier the majority of us find so difficult to overcome. Do you learn Spanish and find the abovementioned problems familiar? Keep reading this article and you’ll find out how to solve some of them…well, at least those concerning speaking.
Spanish is a really fast language, that’s why listening and speaking are the most challenging aspects for every student. As for vocabulary and grammar troubles, you can solve them by asking your teacher to explain a rule once more (if you study the language with a tutor) or taking a problematic lesson repeatedly (if you learn Spanish online). As for listening and speaking, the only thing that can help you develop these skills is constant practice. No need to mention that spending at least 10 minutes a day listening to Spanish news or songs will improve your comprehension soon. But what are you supposed to do if you have no chance to practise your speaking with a teacher, let alone a native speaker? We have one solution – try Spanish tongue twisters.
Tongue twisters (or trabalenguas) in Spanish as a part of learning process are mainly used to serve one of two purposes. First of all, they might introduce phonemes to beginner students who need to remember sounds in order to speak properly and be able to understand speech of native speakers in future. The second aim of tongue twisters is to improve pronunciation and develop fluency so that you could become a confident Spanish speaker. In addition to pronunciation improvement, tongue twisters benefit you in the following ways:
– they develop your memory and concentration – two abilities that come useful not only when studying a foreign language but also when performing any other tasks. Why, good memory and concentration are quite helpful in everyday life, too;
– tongue twisters increase your speech speed that is of the utmost importance when it comes to Spanish (you remember that it’s a very fast language, don’t you?);
– being able to pronounce and make out words of a tongue twister, you’ll also be able to develop your listening comprehension so that the speed of native speakers won’t seem as indistinct as before.
– whether you learn Spanish alone or in a group, exercising your mouth with tongue twisters is not only an effective but also a fun way to improve your Spanish.
As you can see, practicing tongue twisters is extremely useful and we’d like to represent you the best tongue twisters (in our view) to exercise your mouth in Spanish. One of the most popular tongue twisters in Spanish is Parangaricutirimicuaro tongue twister. Actually, Parangaricutirimicuaro is simply a name of a village in Mexico and it sounds like paran- goty- cuti- remi- cuaro but you’ll be surprised how mind-blowing it can be to pronounce one word right and fast. Once you understand this tongue twister isn’t difficult for you any more, you can complicate the task by trying another version – El pueblo de Parangaricutirimícuaro se va a desparangaricutirimicuarizar. Quien logre desparangaricutirimicuarizarlo gran desparangaricutirimicuarizador será.
As we’ve already mentioned, there is a collection of tongue twisters that can help you practise separate Spanish sounds some of which might be quite tricky:
– In order to remember that the Spanish letter ñ sounds [nya], practise Ñoño Yáñez come ñame en las mañanas con el niño.
– The tongue twister Juan junta juncos junto a la zanja will train you to pronounce j like [kh] and not to confuse it with English sound.
– Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal en tres tristes trastos. This tongue twister is aimed to help you train problematic letter r that can sound differently. And there is rolling r (double r) in Spanish that is also quite challenging to pronounce by students. Try to practice it with this tongue twister – Erre con erre cigarro, erre con erre barril, rápido corren los carros cargados de azúcar al ferrocarril. Finally, to learn the difference between [r] sounds, practicing El perro de Rosa y Roque no tiene rabo, porque Ramón Ramírez se lo ha cortado will come in handy.
– Letters q and c make the same [k] sound. Que col colosal colocó en aquel local el loco aquél. Que colosal col colocó el loco aquél en aquel local will help you remember this forever.
– Although [m] sound in Spanish is simple, you can develop your speech speed repeating Mi mamá me mima, y yo mimo a mi mamá.
– Spanish g differs from English g, and it’s obvious in this tongue twister – De generación en generación las generaciones se degeneran con mayor degeneración
– H in Spanish is silent, remember? Los hombres con hambre hombre, abren sus hombros hombrunos sin dejar de ser hombres con hambre hombre hombruno.
When you are confident enough about the accuracy of every sound you make in Spanish, it’s time to work on your fluency. Choose one of the following tongue twisters to improve your speech speed and challenge yourself to speak Spanish better and faster.
- Un parangaricutirimicuarano quería parangaricutirimicuarar, y el que parangaricutirimicuare será un parangaricutirimicuarizador;
- Juan tuvo un tubo, y el tubo que tuvo se le rompio, y para recuperar el tubo que tuvo, tuvo que comprar un tubo igual al tubo que tuvo;
- Si la sierva que te sirve, no te sirve como sierva, de que sirve que te sirvas de una sierva que no sirve;
- No me mires, que miran que nos miramos, y verán en tus ojos que nos amamos. No nos miremos, que cuando no nos miren nos miraremos;
- Comí chirimoyas, me enchirimoyé, ahora para desenchirimoyarme, cómo me desenchirimoyaré.