A tongue twister is a sequence of similar-sounding words whose repeated pronunciation is challenging even for native speakers. They exist in all languages and are a fantastic way of improving your pronunciation, even though most of them don’t make a lot of sense!
If you’re up for a challenge and aren’t afraid of your tongue getting tied, why not give some of these popular Welsh tongue twisters (or ‘cwlwm tafod‘) a go. I can’t guarantee they’ll be easy but they are certainly a barrel of laughs for kids and adults alike. 🙂
1. Ydy dy dei du di yn dy dŷ du di neu ydy dy dad di yn dy dŷ du di?
English translation: Is your black tie in your black house or is your dad in your black house?
2. Mae Llewelyn y llyfrgellydd o Lanelli wedi llyfu llawer o lyfaint.
English translation: Llywelyn the librarian from Llanelli has licked many toads.
3. Llawr ar lawr y cawr enfawr mae llawer o lewod lliwiog yn llyfu llaw Gwawr nawr.
English translation: Down on the enormous giant’s floor there are many colourful lions licking Gwawr’s hand.
4. Oer yw’r eira ar Eryri.
English translation: The snow is cold in Snowdonia.
5. Chwaraeasoch chwe chŵn chwaraegar chwe chwibanau chwedlonol i chdi.
English translation: Six playful dogs played six fabulous whistles to you.
6. Magwyd Magi Madog mewn ffedog ond methwyd magu mab Magi Madog yn yr un ffedog ag y magwyd Magi Madog.
English translation: Magi Madog was brought up in an apron, but Magi Madog’s son could not be brought up in the same apron in which Magi Madog was brought up.
7. Rowliodd lori Lowri lawr y lôn.
English translation: Lowri’s lorry rolled down the lane.
Another alternative to this tongue twister is:
Rowliodd Rowli lori lawr yr allt.
English translation: Rowli rolled a truck down the hill.
8. Wel wedodd Wil wrth y wal, ond na wedodd y wal wel i Wil.
English translation: “Well,” said Will to the wall but the wall did not say “well” to Will.
9. Barf gafr, barf gafr, barf gafr…
English translation: Goat’s beard, goat’s beard, goat’s beard…
10. Llongyfarchiadau llanciau Llanelli.
English translation: Congratulations to the young men of Llanelli.
11. Collais fy nghyllell yn Llanelli.
English translation: I lost my knife in Llanelli.
12. Pesychoch chi fel na phesychasoch chi o’r blaen.
English translation: You coughed like you’ve never coughed before.
13. Chwech o berchyll bychain cochion.
English translation: Six little red piglets
14. O’i wiw ŵy i wau e â – o’i ieuau; Ei weau a wea; E wywa ei we aea; A’i weau yw ieuau iâ
English translation: From his worthy egg weaving he goes – from his youngest (days); His weavings he weaves; His web withers in the winter; And its weavings are the yokes of ice.
The English translation above was provided by Y Wenhwyseg on Twitter.
Can you think of any other Welsh tongue twisters? If so, please share them below! 😀