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Tongue Twisters

One of the joys of traveling abroad is the opportunity to try out your college French or high school Spanish. It can be a challenge for tourists to communicate in a foreign tongue. And as our vagabond traveler Doug Lansky reports, a foreign tongue...like an American tongue...can twist.

Tongue Twisters
by Doug Lansky

Listen with RealAudio: Tongue Twisters

Reading Swedish tongue twisters Here's an example of an American tongue twister: "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How many peppers did Peter Piper pick?"

Now...imagine saying that phrase if you were French.

Attempting a tongue twister in a foreign language is like skiing an Olympic mogul run on one ski with the boot unbuckled. The result is usually a verbal wipe out.

I have some friends who can touch their tongue to their nose, fold their tongue in half, and twist it upside down. They can say "Sally Sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore" five time fast without messing it up.

If you can perform these tongue gymnastics, or find that people compliment your pronunciation when you travel, I'd like to offer you a challenge: some of the world's most difficult tongue twisters. Forgive me if I don't bother to attempt these myself.

Listen to an audio clip of these tongue twisters, available Monday, October 19.

From France, Frankfurt and other phenomenally friendly foreign lands,
this is Doug Lansky for the Savvy Traveler

Doug Lansky is also editor of a new travel-humor anthology called, "There's No Toilet Paper on the Raod Less Traveled." Available from Travelers' Tales Publishing, $12.95.


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