Tonguetwister Tuesday! Get your mouth ready.
La pipe au papa du Pape Pie pue.
lah pee po pah-pah dew pah-puh pee PEW. Click below to hear this pronounced!
Pope Pius’s papa’s pipe stinks.
Well, of course. Most pipes stink, at least when they are no longer lit. At last, a tonguetwister that actually makes some sense! This one was supposedly written by the French poet Jacques Prévert, though I have not confirmed that information. (Can anyone point me to the source?)
This tonguetwister is as good as Peter Piper in English. In fact, so we remain on even ground, here’s that one for English-speakers to warm up on and non-English speakers to practice on:
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers; a peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
Regardless of which one you decide to spend your time on, you will have limber lips by the time you are done. For la pipe au papa, remember that the French /p/ is a tauter sound than the English. If you curl your lips inward a bit as if you wanted to bite them, you will produce a nice authentic French /p/ that sounds more like an American /b/. For Peter Piper, remember to push your lips outward just a tiny bit and press them together very lightly, so you make a little puff of air with each /p/. You should be able to feel the puff on the palm of your hand.
Now, have at it, Francophones and Anglophones alike!