"Say something in [Japanese]!"
One of the most frustrating things about learning a language is the inevitable “say something in that language!” Something I like to do in response is say a tongue twister, which is impressive and a good way to practice pronunciation, anyway. Here are a few I’ve learned:
ばすがすばくはつ [basu gasu bakuhatsu] (3X)
What it means: Bus, Gas, EXPLOSION!
Note: I learned this from a particularly cute Japanese woman, who liked to throw her arms up to imitate the explosion as she taught us.
あおパジャマあかパジャマきパジャマ [ao pajama aka pajama ki pajama] (3X)
What it means: Blue pajamas, red pajamas, yellow pajamas.
Note: I have been told the color order on this doesn’t matter, as long as you say it the same way all three times.
となりのたけがきにたけたてかけた。たけ たてかけたかったからたけたてかけた。[tonari no takegaki ni taketate kaketa. take tate kaketakatta kara taketate kaketa.]
What it means: I leaned on the bamboo fence next to me. The bamboo fence leaned also onto me.
Note: This one is especially fun at parties. One of my coworkers thought this sounded particularly hilarious with an American accent, although that’s probably because she was used to my normal speaking, which I do try to keep close to actual Japanese.
すいたそうしゃじょうしろシャツじゅんしゃしゃさつじけん。[Suita soushajou shiro shatsu junsha shasatsu jiken.]
What it means: The crime of the shooting of a white-shirted associate in a Suita railyard.
Note: my fiance’s father taught me this one, and I’m only 90% sure I’ve mastered it. As I can’t find evidence of its existence on the internet, you’re just gonna have to trust me.
These are called “Hayakuchi Kotoba (早口一言)” in Japanese. I like to learn the words first, then worry about correct intonation and rhythm second in this case. It makes the longer ones especially easier to memorize.
I wonder about other languages’ tongue twisters…