Level up Your Spanish Pronunciation with these Hilarious Spanish Tongue Twisters
Pronunciation is one of the most difficult aspects of learning any language, and Spanish is no exception. From sounds that don’t exist in English – like the rolling r sound – to words with tricky vowels, even the most diligent language learner may change the meaning of a word due to a mispronunciation.
That’s why it’s important to practice correct pronunciation from the moment you begin to study. Not only will you instill good pronunciation habits, but native speakers will also be able to understand you more easily.
One of the most fun and effective ways to practice pronunciation in any language is tongue twisters, which combine the most difficult sounds into one sentence. The more you practice saying the sentence, the more quickly and clearly you’ll be able to pronounce it!
To help you practice your Spanish pronunciation, we’ve compiled a list of some tongue twisters, or trabalenguas, that focus on different letters and sounds. Try these out to put your pronunciation skills to the test!
Improve Your Pronunciation with These Tricky Spanish Tongue Twisters
Lado, ledo, lido, lodo, ludo, decirlo al revés lo dudo. Ludo, lodo, lido, ledo, lado, ¡Qué trabajo me ha costado!
Translation: Lado, ledo, lido, lodo, ludo, I doubt I can say it in reverse. Ludo, lodo, lido, ledo, lada, that’s hard work!
One aspect of Spanish pronunciation that is straightforward is the vowels. In Spanish, every vowel has only one sound, with few exceptions. Practice saying them in this sentence and you’ll pronounce them easily in no time!
Cuando cuentes cuentos, cuenta cuantos cuentos cuentas. Porque si no cuentas cuantos cuentos cuentas, nunca sabrás cuantos cuentos cuentas.
Translation: When you tell stories, count how many stories you tell. Because if you don’t count how many stories you tell, you’ll never know how many stories you tell.
Here’s another one that helps you practice your vowels. This one shows just how much of a difference a vowel can make in the meaning of a word, and it also shows how important it is to pronounce each of them clearly!
¿Cómo quieres que te quiera si quien quiero que me quiera no me quiere como quiero que me quiera?
Translation: How do you want me to love you if who I want to love me doesn’t love me how I want them to love me?
This one combines different vowel sounds with the rolling r and strong qu sound. If you can say this one quickly, native speakers will be seriously impressed!
Ñoño Yáñez come ñame en las mañanas con el niño.
Translation: Ñoño Yáñez eats yams in the morning with the boy.
The ñ sound doesn’t exist in English, so pronouncing it correctly in different words can be a challenge for English speakers. Never fear – this trabalengua is the perfect way to practice it!
Erre con erre guitarra, erre con erre barril. Rápido corren los carros, cargados de azúcar del ferrocarril.
Translation: R and r guitar, r and r barrel. The wagons are rolling quickly, full of sugar from the train.
The rolling r sound can be difficult for English speakers to start with, but it’s even more difficult to pronounce it correctly in different words! This tongue twister may be a mouthful, but it’ll help you practice this tricky sound.
Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal. Un tigre, dos tigres, tres tigres tragaban en un trigal. ¿Cuál tigre tragaba más? Todos tragaban igual.
Translation: Three sad tigers were eating wheat in a field. One tiger, two tigers, three tigers were eating in a wheat field. Which tiger ate more? They all ate the same.
Here’s another one with the rolling r sound. Because the t sound is so strong, rolling the r directly after it can be particularly challenging. Speak this tongue twister aloud a few times, and you’ll eventually become accustomed to this difficult sound!
Un burro comía berros y el perro se los robó. El burro lanzó un rebuzno y el perro al barro cayó.
Translation: A donkey was eating watercress and the dog stole them. The donkey neighed loudly and the dog fell into the mud.
This trabalengua helps you pronounce combinations of the different vowel sounds while rolling the r. (It’s also a pretty funny story!)
Pedro Pérez Pereira, pobre pintor portugués, pinta pinturas por poca plata, para pasear por Portugal.
Translation: Pedro Pérez Pereira, a poor Portuguese painter, paints paintings for little money, to walk around Portugal.
This one is useful because it helps you develop a rhythm when you’re speaking. There is also another variation of this tongue twister: Pedro Pérez Pereira, pobre pintor portugués, pinta preciosos paisajes por poco precio para poder pasar por París. Pedro Peréz Pereira is a pretty busy painter!
Si tu gusto no gusta con el gusto que gusta mi gusto, qué disgusto tiene mi gusto al saber que tu gusto no gusta con el gusto que gusta mi gusto.
Translation: If your taste doesn’t like the taste that my taste likes, what disgust my taste has knowing that your taste doesn’t like the taste that my taste likes.
This is another rhythmic trabalengua. It’s also a good way to practice translating. For an extra challenge, see if you can identify which words are the nouns and which words are the verbs!
El anillo del llavero no tiene llaves. ¿Quién se ha llevado las llaves del anillo del llavero?
Translation: The keyring has no keys. Who took the keys off the keyring?
The last tongue twister on this list helps you practice saying the ll sound, which is often pretty difficult for English speakers to pronounce. In fact, this tongue twister is usually a challenge even for native Spanish speakers!
Improve Your Pronunciation with Pimsleur’s Voice Coach
The only way to improve your pronunciation is to practice, practice, practice. The tongue twisters on this list are an excellent way to focus on some of the most difficult sounds in Spanish. Once you’ve perfected these, you’ll notice an improvement in how clearly you speak. Native speakers will also be able to understand you more easily.
Another way to practice your pronunciation is to dive right in and immerse yourself in Spanish conversations with Pimsleur’s Voice Coach tool. Voice Coach will take your conversation skills to the next level by using artificial intelligence and voice recognition technology to give you science-based feedback on your pronunciation. You’ll start to perfect even the most difficult sounds without even realizing it!
Try a Free Lesson, including Voice Coach right now!