The 5 Most Difficult Korean Tongue Twisters
Korean tongue twisters can be a fun way to practice Korean pronunciation. And some of them are simple to say (some are impossible to say). Which Korean tongue twisters can you say?
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The Korean word for "tongue twister" is 잰말놀이 ("jaen-mal-no-li"), and it literally means "playing with quick words."
Being good at tongue twisters requires strong pronunciation skills. So Korean tongue twisters can be a fun way to practice Korean pronunciation.
Here are 5 of the most common, and also the most difficult Korean tongue twisters for you to practice.
#1: 네가 그린 기린 그림은 못 그린 기린 그림이고 내가 그린 기린 그림은 잘 그린 기린 그림이다.
Here is the romanized version: "ne-ga geu-rin gi-rin geu-ri-meun mot geu-rin gi-rin geu-ri-mi-go nae-ga geu-rin gi-rin geu-ri-meun jal geu-rin gi-rin geu-ri-mi-da."
This is one of the most well-known tongue twisters in Korean, and if you ask any Korean they will know it (but they might not be able to say it correctly).
The meaning of this tongue twister is, “The drawing of a giraffe that you drew is a poorly drawn drawing of a giraffe, and the drawing of a giraffe that I drew is a well-drawn drawing of a giraffe.”
A few words frequently used in this tongue twister are 그림 ("geu-rim") meaning "drawing," 기린 ("gi-rin") meaning "giraffe," and the verb 그리다 ("geu-ri-da") meaning "to draw." If you learn these words well, it will make practicing this one a lot easier.
#2: 간장 공장 공장장은 장 공장장이고 된장 공장 공장장은 강 공장장이다.
Here is the romanized version: "gan-jang gong-jang gong-jang-jang-eun jang gong-jang-jang-i-go doen-jang gong-jang gong-jang-jang-eun gang gong-jang-jang-i-da."
Although this one sounds really difficult, it’s probably one of the easier tongue twisters in Korean to memorize. "Easier" is relative to the other ones....
The meaning of this one is, “The factory manager of the soy sauce factory is Factory Manager Jang, and the factory manager of the bean paste factory is Factory Manager Kang.”
A few words to know are 간장 ("gan-jang") meaning "soy sauce," 공장 ("gong-jang") meaning "factory," and 된장 ("doen-jang") meaning "soy bean paste." Also, the 장 ("jang") at the end of words means "manager."
#3: 목동 로얄 뉴로얄 레스토랑 뉴메뉴 미트소시지소스스파게티, 크림소시지소스스테이크
Here is the romanized version: "mok-dong no-yal lyu-ro-yal le-seu-to-rang nyu-me-nyu mi-teu-so-si-ji-so-seu-seu-pa-ge-ti, keu-rim-so-si-ji-so-seu-seu-te-i-keu."
This one is mostly Konglish words - words that originally came from English. These words are just pronounced using the Korean alphabet.
Mokdong is an area in Seoul, and the rest is Konglish.
Although this tongue twister is tricky to say in Korean, if you switch all of the Konglish words for the regular English words it’s actually much easier.
Here is what it would sound like using the original English words:
"Mokdong Royal New Royal Restaurant New Menu Meat Sausage Sauce Spaghetti Cream Sausage Sauce Steak."
#4: 서울특별시 특허허가과 허가과장 허과장
Here is the romanized version:"seo-ul-teuk-byeol-si teu-keo-heo-ga-gwa heo-ga-gwa-jang heo-gwa-jang."
This one literally means, “Seoul Metropolitan City’s Patent Granting Section Permission Section Chief, Chief Heo.”
A few words to know are 특허 ("teuk-ho") meaning "patent," 허가 ("heo-ga") meaning "permission," and 과장 ("gwa-jang") meaning "department."
#5: 경찰청 철창살은 외철창살이고 검찰청 철창살은 쌍철창살이다.
Here is the romanized version: "gyeong-chal-cheong cheol-chang-sa-reun noe-cheol-chang-sa-ri-go geom-chal-cheong cheol-chang-sa-reun ssang-cheol-chang-sa-ri-da."
In my opinion, this is the most difficult Korean tongue twister to say. Try to see if you can say it, even slowly.
This one means, "The police headquarters’ iron bar windows are single-layer iron bars, and the prosecutor’s office’s iron bar windows are double-layer iron bars.”
A few words to know are 경찰청 ("gyeong-chal-cheong") meaning "police headquarters," 철창살 ("cheol-chang-sal") meaning "iron bar windows," and 검찰청 ("geom-chal-cheong") meaning "prosecutor's office."
So which of these was the hardest? Can you say any of them? Comment below this article.
If you have any questions for me, you can also comment below this article. I love teaching Korean, and I'd love to help you.
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