Updated: March 16, 2017
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Challenge Yourself With These 5 Japanese Tongue Twisters

Mastered hiragana and katakana recently? Why not practice your pronunciation with these 5 famous hayakuchi kotoba (tongue twisters)? This is truly a great way to get familiarized with Japanese sounds!

#1 Right ear, right eye, right eye, right ear

Retina 1
右耳右目右目右耳
(Migi mimi migi me migi me migi mimi)

This is an excellent tongue twister to revise your knowledge of directions and body parts. What's more, it only contains three kanji characters, so you can get acquainted with some kanji!

#2 Men and women of all ages

Retina 2
老若男女
(rounyaku nannyo)

Another tongue twister that lets you learn four kanji characters that are commonly used in daily life. These four characters represent old, young, male and female respectively. Together, they mean "men and women of all ages". Also, if you want to express the notion of "regardless of age", you can just say 老若男女を問わず (rounyaku nannyo o towazu).

#3 Blue scroll, red scroll, yellow scroll

Blue scroll https://goo.gl/LUdtKG
青巻紙、赤巻紙、黄巻紙
(Aoi makigami, Aka makigami, Ki makigami)

Now that you have learned the kanji characters for body parts, directions and gender, you can practise saying aloud some colors by trying out the aforementioned tongue twister. Another variation of this tongue twister you can try is 赤パジャマ、黄パジャマ、茶パジャマ (Aka Pajama, Ki Pajama, Cha Pajama).

#4 Both plums and peaches are members of the peach family

Retina lunch with lao pa
李も桃も桃のうち
(Sumomo mo momo mo momo no uchi)

Let's learn the names of some fruits with this tongue twister. Plums are called "sumomo" while peaches are called "momo" in Japanese. Since both of them are classified under the peach (momo) family, reciting their names together makes for a delightful tongue twister!

#5 The guest beside me eats a lot of persimmons

Retina lunch with lao pa
隣りの客はよく柿食う客だ
(Tonari no kyaku wa yoku kaki kuu kyakuda)

Yet another fruit-related tongue twister. Learn how to say persimmons in Japanese (they are called "kaki" by the way). This tongue twister is about how a customer (kyaku) sitting beside me (tonari) eats a lot of (yoku) persimmons (kaki).
Get your pronunciation up to speed by reciting these tongue twisters again and again. What's more, you can pick up some frequently used kanji characters, so have fun practicing these linguistic gems and improving your Japanese at the same time!
mondomover

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