Portuguese tongue twisters

So, my latest project is an “Improve your English pronunciation in 30 days” online course that I hope to launch January 1st. Part of the pronunciation practice involves tongue twisters, and I’ve been trying to come up with my own. My favorite so far is: The shops by the church should sell cheap shrimp.

While doing research, I came across this site with 3441 tongue twisters in 117 languages! Of course, I went right to the Portuguese section. Here are a few of my favorites (along with rough translations):

Traga três pratos de trigo para três tigres tristes.
Bring three plates of wheat to three sad tigers.

^ This was the first tongue-twister I ever learned in Portuguese  🙂

Disseram que na minha rua          They say that on my street
Tem paralelepípedo feito             There are cobblestones made
De paralelogramos.                       Of parallelograms.
Seis paralelogramos                     Six parallelograms
Tem um paralelepípedo.               Are in one cobblestone
Mil paralelepípedos                      A thousand cobblestones
Tem uma paralelepípedovia.        Are in a cobblestone highway
Uma paralelepípedovia                 A cobblestone highway
Tem mil paralelogramos.              Has a thousand parallelograms
Então uma paralelepípedovia       So is a cobblestone highway
É uma paralelogramolândia?        A land of parallelograms?

Bote a bota no bote e tire o pote do bote.
Put the boot in the boat and take the pot out of the boat. 

O peito do pé de Pedro é preto.
Quem disser que o peito do pé de Pedro é preto,
tem o peito do pé mais preto do que o peito do pé de Pedro.

The instep of Pedro’s foot is black.
Anyone who says that the instep of Pedro’s foot is black,
has a blacker instep than the instep of Pedro’s foot.

A Xuxa acha a Sasha chata e a Sasha acha a Xuxa chata!
Xuxa thinks that Sasha is annoying and Sasha thinks that Xuxa is annoying! 

^ Xuxa is a Brazilian TV star, and her daughter is named Sasha.

A aranha arranha a rã.              The spider scratches the frog
A rã arranha a aranha.              The frog scratches the spider

Quem embaralhar um baralho bem embaralhado, bom embaralhador de baralho será.
Whoever shuffles a deck of cards well, will be a good shuffler of decks. 

Lara amarra a arara rara, a rara arara de Araraquara
Lara ties up the rare macaw, the rare macaw of Araraquara (a city in Sao Paulo state) 

And last but not least, a palindrome (reads the same forward and backwards):

Socorram-me! Subi no ônibus em Marrocos!
Help me! I got on the bus in Morocco! 

  • Ohhhhh. I’m gonna practice these with Carlos…awesome! Thanks for posting!

  • cecilia butcher

    OY

  • My wife is spanish and she would love this. Thanks lol

  • Lori McHugh

    I llike the mathematical one! Parallelograms, indeed!

  • Tiffany dos Santos

    Paralelepipedo is my favorite portuguese word, and it has been ever since I first heard it 🙂 No way could I say all that without tripping up!