Grape Skin Chinese Tongue Twister

Context:/Relationship to the Piece: My informant told me that they used to hear this tongue twister a lot in Chinese school and they’ve been saying it over and over since then to try to get it right, but then since they’ve been repeating it so much for so long now it’s just stuck in their head. There are a lot of repeating characters that sound the same, such as “pu” “tu” and “bu,” along with “tao” and “dao,” which makes this a good, challenging tongue twister. 

Main Piece: “吃 葡 萄 不 吐 葡 萄 皮 ,不 吃 葡 萄 倒 吐 葡 萄 皮” Translation: “Eat grape but do not spit out grape skin, do not eat grape but spit out grape skin.”

Analysis: This tongue twister originated from China, as it is in Mandarin. Despite the fact that the words in a tongue twister are not changeable/the actual tongue twister itself cannot be edited by multiple people who can add their own variations to it, I added it to the USC folklore archives as an appreciation for how far it’s traveled, hence indicating many people it’s traveled through. People in China brought the tongue twister over to the Chinese-American population here, teaching it to their students through Chinese school. My informant’s personal relationship with the tongue twister itself also intrigues me. She personally took it on as a challenge to memorize it, and now it’s hard-wired into her brain. She added it to her own folklore archives by becoming an active carrier of this tongue twister.