Say the following sentence out loud.
«Fem flate flyndrer på et flatt fat.»
Did you have trouble?
It definitely isn’t easy!
Tongue twisters like that are a lot of fun to try and say, but they’re also one of the best ways to practice Norwegian pronunciation.
Many tongue twisters don’t make a whole lotta sense—some don’t even use complete sentences. However, they’re filled with great sounds for you to master, as well as some interesting vocabulary lessons.
How to Practice Norwegian Pronunciation with Tongue Twisters
Start off with some easier tongue twisters:
Pappa pakker pappkasser
Fisker'n Finn fisket fersk fisk forrige fredag
Kappe, putte, pakke, kutte
Voksen bokser vasker bukser
Move on to some medium difficulty tongue twisters:
Sju skjeggete sjømenn skylte sju skitne skjorter i sjøen
Stekt torsk, kokt torsk
Piken til kongen har rødt krøllete hår
Åtte kopper upoppet popcorn
Nye børster børster bedre enn gamle børster børster
And finally, some difficult tongue twisters to try:
Ibsens ripsbusker og andre buskvekster
Kristine kjøper kjøttkaker hos kjøpmannen i Kjellstad
Lille snille Pernille griller piller på Nilles grill, mens lille Ville triller Pernilles snille krokodille som spiller trekkspill
Hadde jeg hatt den hatten jeg hadde hatt, så hadde jeg hatt en hatt jeg og
Klokka på Ringerike ringer ikke, derfor måtte Ringerike flytte til Rommerike. Men Rommerike rommet ikke Ringerike, derfor måtte Ringerike være der det var
Now repeat, repeat, repeat. When it comes to tongue twisters, repetition is very important. You can’t expect a tongue twister to improve your Norwegian speaking skills if you only say it once.
These fun little phrases can be specifically used for improving your pronunciation, so it’s doubtful that you’ll pronounce everything correctly the first time. Plus, the more you say the sounds in these tongue twisters out loud, the easier it’ll be for you to remember them.
Focus on articulation. Many people treat tongue twisters as a game of speed. In other words, people want to see how fast they can say them over and over again. This is great if you’re just having fun, but if you’re trying to learn the Norwegian sounds, you need to forget speed and focus on articulation.
That means paying special attention to how your mouth is moving and making sure that you pronounce every single sound in each word, even if you have to go slow at first.
Study mouth positioning. Before you start trying to make Norwegian sounds, it can be very helpful to study how your mouth should be positioned. All languages are different, and chances are there are certain Norwegian sounds you’ll struggle with because your mouth has never had to make those positions before.
Identify your weaknesses. Any tongue twister you use is going to be great pronunciation practice. However, you can get the most out of your time by focusing on which Norwegian sounds are the most difficult for you personally.
Write them down, then look for the tongue twisters in the list above that specifically have lots of those sounds.
Use tongue twisters as a warm-up. Tongue twisters have traditionally been used by actors, news anchors, and even politicians before they give a speech.
This is because tongue twisters prepare your mouth for speaking clearly and correctly. Practicing key sounds warms up both your mouth muscles and your vocal cords. I recommend using this same method before you’re about to give a presentation in Norwegian or participate in a practice conversation.
I hope you’ve had a lot of fun trying to master these tongue twisters. Keep practicing!
And One More Thing…
If you enjoy learning Norwegian in a fun, authentic way, you'll love Lenoo's online courses. We use a natural, interactive teaching method that helps you ease into the language and culture comfortably and in a fun environment.