Toolkit: Tongue Twisters

This could seem like somewhat of a stray away from our traditional toolkit articles that aim at providing tips about life in France but we, in fact, think that this article on Tongue Twisters will come in particularly handy, not just to impress your French friends but also to improve pronunciation and grammar in French.

I am sure that you all remember trying over and over again to say ‘Peter Piper picked peppers … ‘ until you got it exactly right. While it can be difficult at the beginning, once you have mastered it you cannot help but feel pretty proud! Well, imagine if you could do that in French too! These phrases are in fact made with the intention of being difficult to say, even for a native French speaker so to master them as a non-native speaker is particularly impressive!

Here are some examples of classic French tongue twisters. Practicing these is a great way to perfect your pronunciation in French and to deepen your understanding of the French language and culture.

Tongue Twister Challenge #1

  • Les chaussettes de l’archiduchesse, sont-elles sèches? Archi-sèches.

Alliteration: So apparently according to this tongue twister the Archduchess’ socks are very dry! Translated literally, this sentence is: Are the Archduchess’ socks dry? Very dry. Not such a tongue twister in English but in French this sentence is particularly hard to say as it is a cruel mixture of the sh and ss sounds. Practicing this will make your sentences in French much more natural and fluid.


Tongue Twister Challenge #2

  • Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien

A hunter who really knows how to hunt, must know how to hunt without his dog. This one is particularly hard to say!