A tongue twister is very common to Filipinos and even in other countries. Typically, tongue twisters can be used as a game and even used in teaching language at school. It helps develop the speaking skills and pronunciation skills of the students. A sentence, phrase, or a series of words that are hard to say properly is called a tongue twister. Kids actually love tongue twisters and challenge their friends to try to say them faster in a row.
For Tagalog language learners, tongue twisters are also a fun way to work on 1 or 2 sounds at a time to get the speaker’s pronunciation right. For example, you may begin by saying the Filipino tongue twister slowly, then try to speed up a bit. Whenever you’re confident enough to say a tongue twister through, go and try to say it 2 times or 3 times in a row for a bigger challenge.
The Tagalog language’s vowel character, combined with the succession of consonant syllables, can frequently produce sounds that can drive even native speakers nuts. Filipinos have a lot of interesting and very challenging tongue twisters that you need to know. So, here are the popular Tagalog tongue twisters.
Easy Filipino Tongue Twisters
Siopao, siomai, suman.
- This means – Steamed buns, pork dumplings, rice cake.
Pugong bukid, pugong gubat
- It means, farm quail, forest quail.
Pagkakamali, kamalian, mali, magkamali, kasalanan.
- This means a mistake.
Kabilugan ng Buwan, Buwan ng Kabilugan
- This means full moon, moon full.
Notebook at aklát, notebook at aklát, notebook at aklát.
- This is just a notebook and a book.
Pasko, Paksiw, Pasko, Paksiw, Pasko, Paksiw
- This means Christmas, Paksiw (It is a Filipino cooked fish with onion, vinegar, salt, ginger, and seasoning)
- It means aking someone worrisome, anxious, troublesome and etc.
- It means delightful, sumptuous, delicious, tasty and etc.
Ang relo ni Leroy Rolex.
- This translates to Leroy’s watch as a Rolex.
Ngipin ang nangangailangen ng ngubngob
- Teeth are what are needed by (a) toothless (man).
Bituka, botika, butiki.
This translates as intestine, pharmacy, lizard.
Intermediate Filipino Tongue Twisters
Pitumpu’t pitong puting tupa
- This translates to seventy-seven white sheep.
Makati sa Makati, may pari sa Aparri, mahihilo sa Iloilo at may bagyo sa Baguio.
- It’s itchy in Makati (city), there’s a priest in Aparri (city), you will get dizzy in Iloilo (city), and there’s a storm in Baguio (city).
Minekaniko ni Moniko ang makina ng manika ni Monika.
- This means Moniko fixed the machine in the doll of Monika.
Sumasaway ng pasaway ang nagsasaway na sanay magsaway.
- The one who rebukes who is accustomed to rebuke.
Ang relo ni Leroy ay nagka luray-luray.
- This means Leroy’s watch broke into pieces.
Sinusi ni Susan ang sisidlan ng sisiw.
- This means Susan locked the cage of the chicks.
Difficult Filipino Tongue Twisters
Pinaputi ni Tepiterio ang pitong puting putong patong patong.
- This translates as Tepiterio whitening up the seven white rice cakes on top of each other.
Usong usong isang isang salu-salong nagsisi-usyosohan ang mga aso sa asosasyon sa Ascuzena.
- It means the dogs are busy sharing and chatting at a dog association in Ascuzena.
Mayamaya’y mamamanhikan si Aman sa mayamang si Maya malamang sa harap ng maraming mamamayan.
- This translates as a little later, Aman will court wealthy Maya, probably in front of many people.
Isinayaw nang isinayaw ng mananayaw ang sayaw na isinasayaw ng mga mananayaw.
- It means the dancer danced and danced the dance that the dancers were dancing.
Palakang Kabkab, kumakalabukab, kaka-kalabukab pa lamang, kumakalabukab na naman.
- This means a Kabkab Frog, croaking; it was just croaking, now it’s croaking again.
Kakakanan lang sa kangkungan sa may kakahuyan si Ken Ken habang kumakain ng kakaibang kakanin kahapon.
- It means yesterday Ken Ken just turned left to go to the swamp near the woods while eating a weird rice cake.
Nagtanim nang nagtanim ang manananim ng tanim na itinatanim ng mga manananim.
- It means the planter planted the plant that the planters planted.
Humuli ng ahas si Pedro Penduko. Ang nahuling ahas ay biglang nagluko. Ang naglukong ahas nanuklaw kay Pedro. Ang nanuklaw na ahas tinodas ni Pedro kaya sila ngayon ay kapwa nadedo.
- It means Pedro Penduko caught a snake. The caught snake suddenly snorted. The crooked serpent bit Pedro. The biting serpent was killed by Pedro, so they are now both dead.
Conclusion | Final Thoughts
Tongue twisters warm up your speaking ability, especially when you’re learning the Tagalog language. It is an excellent way to practice, improve fluency and pronunciation. They can also help to improve accents by using alliteration, which is the repetition of one sound. They’re not just for children but are also used by actors, politicians, and public speakers who want to sound clear when speaking.