Tongue Twister – Turkey

Tongue-Twister- Turkey

Bir berber bir berbere gel birader seninle beraber bir berber dükkani açal?m demi?.

“One barber said to another barber, ‘come brother let’s open a barber shop together.’”

Ahmet grew up in western Turkey and lived there until he went to boarding school in Canada (and later in the U.S.) in 8th grade. He could not provide a transliteration, as he did not know some of the words since there is a big difference in tenses and grammar structure between the Turkish and English language. He knew what it meant in English, he just didn’t know the transliteration. He learned this tongue twister at a young age from his parents. He used it around his friends, as there used to be a competition between his friends to see who could say it the fastest. He said that mainly children use it, as it is a way for them to compete against one-another and it is a form of entertainment for them. It doesn’t have any real significance or meaning in his life, other than it sounds ridiculous and it’s hard to say.

This tongue twister is definitely harder to say in Turkish than in English. Just by observation, many of the words in the Turkish version start with b or have a ‘b’ sound. It doesn’t have the same effect in English because the words do not sound similar, and don’t get your tongue-tied. Ahmet said that the subject of the tongue twister (the barber opening up a barber shop) doesn’t have any special Turkish significance. It is similar to the English tongue twister, “she sells sea shells by the sea shore.” This tongue twister doesn’t really mean anything or symbolize American culture, but it is fun and difficult to say.