Is your English understandable? Here are 20+ tongue twisters to help.

  • Is your English understandable? Here are 20+ tongue twisters to help.

    Is your English understandable? Here are 20+ tongue twisters to help.

    Do your international colleagues understand your English? Are you missing public speaking opportunities and promotions because of your accent? Unfortunately, this may be the case. Accents can hold us back. As an international trainer, I hear leaders and teams struggle with this issue all the time. Research indicates that accents are a major factor impacting international communication (1).

    So how do we fix this problem? There are many ways for non-native speakers to improve their public speaking skills. One way to soften an accent is to practice sounds that are misunderstood. Tongue twisters can help by targeting and repeating certain sounds. Below are a few tongue twisters specifically for French Speakers.

    Practicing “W,” “H,” and “R”

    1. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
      He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood
      As a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood
    2. Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?
    3. I wish to wash my Irish wristwatch
    4. Willie’s really weary
    5. Wayne went to Wales to watch walruses
    6. Which witch is which?
    7. Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?
    8. We won our worldwide race on Wednesday
    9. Honour our hero, Henry, on the hour
    10. Help him help himself or he will become horribly homely.
    11. Rolling red wagons
    12. Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better
    13. Red rover, red rover, come over
    14. The red rat crossed the road to reach the other side

    Practicing “Th”

    1. I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you
    2. Tom threw Tim three thumbtacks
    3. He threw three free throws
    4. Thin sticks, thick bricks
    5. This thistle is for Margaret Thatcher

    Practicing “V”

    1. Victor won a valent victory in Vail.
    2. Valerie likes it visa versa. (In this case, visa versa means in the opposite order.)

    Life would be boring if we all spoke exactly the same way. The key is to make sure that we’re understood.

    For a few more helpful tongue twisters, check-out this blog. 🙂


    Media, presentation and public speaking trainerKimberly VanLandingham is the CEO, trainer and strategist for European Market Link Sarl, including Presentation Training Switzerland. Specialising in international and technical leaders and teams, she facilitates live and online training courses in public speaking, cross-cultural communication, and leadership. Kimberly has over 20 years experience at the DuPont company, degrees in engineering and communications, and over 10 years experience helping clients with international communications.

    Photo by Joey Nicotra on Unsplash


    1. Brett, J.k Behfar, K.k & Kern M. C. (2006, November). Managing multicultural teams. HBR’s 10 Must Reads: On Managing Across Cultures. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
    2. Alex (n.d.). 50 Tongue twisters to improve pronunciation in English, EngVid.

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