Polish Tongue Twisters



To the native English speaker, even simple sentences in Polish might seem like tongue twisters at first, but there’s no better way to practise Polish pronunciation than by taking on the real thing!
The most well-known of all Polish tongue twisters comes from a poem by Jan Brzechwa, a poet and children’s author also famous for his Pan Kleks series of books. The very first lines of his poem Chrząszcz (The Beetle) are:

W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie
I Szczebrzeszyn z tego słynie
Wół go pyta: „Panie chrząszczu
Po cóż pan tak brzęczy w gąszczu?ˮ

… which translates as

“In Szczebrzeszyn a beetle buzzes in the reeds
and for this Szczebrzeszyn is famous
An ox asks him: “Mr Beetle
why are you buzzing in the bushes?”.
Here’s the audio:

And the first line a little slower:

And indeed, the town of Szczebrzeszyn is now famous for its fictional beetle, and the picture above is of a monument erected in its honour.

Other Tongue Twisters

Other popular tongue twisters for you to practise include the following:

Stół z powyłamywanymi nogami – A table with broken legs

Król Karol kupił królowej Karolinie korale koloru koralowego – King Karol bought Queen Caroline coral-colored beads

Spod czeskich strzech szło Czechów trzech – From Czech huts came three Czechs

Konstantynopolitańczykowianeczka – The unmarried daughter of a man from Constantinople

Wyindywidualizowaliśmy się z rozentuzjazmowanego tłumu – We isolated ourselves from an enthusiastic crowd


And if you’re still unsure of any of the Polish letters or sounds, check out our guide to the alphabet and pronunciation tips!


Image credit: Chrząszcz image by MaKa (CC-BY-SA-2.5)
Audio credits: First chrząszcz audio by Adam78, second by Mazbln. All audio in table by Adam78 except Pl-konstantynopolita-czykowianeczka.ogg, by Equadus. All audio CC-BY-SA-3.0)

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