I found this on Tickld and just had to share! According to the original post, if you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. And, after trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labor to reading six lines aloud…
This Greek gave up somewhere along two thirds into it 🙂
Update: In a fascinating display of her sleuth skills, Angela of the Hedgeblog Times found out that it was written by Gerard Nolst Trenité in 1922. Its proper title is “The Chaos.” She even unearthed a video of a poor soul reading the thing in its entirety!
Given up yet? Why not read my award-winning children’s book, Runaway Smile for free instead?
The title of the poem is so apt! I ran out of breath half way!!
Lol – same here 😀
Reblogged this on perferviddreams and commented:
Give it a try..it’s awesome..whosoever created is surely a genius..!!
You’ve got to love the English language. I loved this post! 🙂
You sure do 😀
Wow, that’s something else! I tried to read the whole thing aloud, bearing in mind that I’m French so although I’m bilingual I still occasionally stumble on the pronunciation of certain words. That was quite challenge! English is a really crazy language when you stop and think of it. I’d hate to have to learn it as an adult.
Lol – great, now I have to remove my tease about my inability to understand the French when they speak English! 😀
Thanks and welcome 🙂
Haha! I actually sound totally English, you wouldn’t know I’m French to hear me speak, so you’d be fine 😉
Lol – fair enough. My wife, Electra, is half-French, and I can understand her English just fine. Also, she reads my blog, so…
Reblogged this on Books and More.
I couldn’t even get to the end of this myself, and I miss-pronounced quite a few of the words in my haste! What a great poem!
Lol – same here 😀
I wonder if countries other than English-speaking ones have spelling bees? Could be the intricacies and contradictions of English have turned spelling it into a competitive sport.
We don’t in Greece. The French, on the other hand, do. Then again, French is even worse than English, when it comes to spelling…
It may be more difficult to spell but not to comprehend. Saw this in the Times a couple of days ago. There is a ‘Headline’ collection going on and this was one reporting a collision between a WH Smith’s delivery van and a car ‘Stationary van hits stationary car’ !
Lol – brilliant! 😀
Oh. My. God. Even I have a headache after reading that! Wow. It’s amazing I’m literate.
Lol – I know the feeling 😀
Luckily I speak American, ha! I also speak Thai and it’s difficult to condense my words when using Thai.
I am pleased to hear that you recognise (no Z) American as a different language, because it truly is. It is no more English than French is English, and should be celebrated as a different tongue. Here is my own take on the matter.
I hope that you are having a happy life in Thailand.
Best wishes, Pete.
Lol – at least, I can understand Americans. Can’t say the same for the French… 😀
I am teasing a little Nicholas…
Sorry, should have made it clearer: couldn’t say the same for the French, when they speak English 🙂
Another story, difficult to convey. At an army roll-call this was shouted ‘Montaige Montaige’ ‘Montague’ sir Response ‘Take three hours Fatigew!’
Lol – I hear you 😀
I sort-of got that Nicholas, no problems mate.
Lucky you! 🙂
Reblogged this on Jeanne Owens, author and commented:
Any wonder it’s so hard for people, especially non-native speakers, to learn the language?
Loved this poem. It’s quite amusing…
English can be so confusing! <3
Lol – did you intend for your comment to rhyme?
‘Cause that is what made it sublime :b
Wow, talk about tongue twisting! The English language really is a complex, yet wonderful thing. 🙂
My feelings exactly 🙂
Yikes! This was a mouthful, and then some. But I had great fun reading it out loud nonetheless!!
Lol – excellent! 😀
Clever poem, and hard for many native English speakers, not to mention ELS people.
Lol – tell me about it 😀
I just realized there was a video of the poem! LOL! Cute and pleasant voice! No need for lexicon! Now I think I know how to pronounce those words. 🙂
I’ve listened to the video, but I’m still unsure about a couple of them 🙂
Nicholas, I took the read it straight through challenge. You know, the author had fun with unrelated words, and rhyme placement. No look-up on those unknown. A first for me. I’d rather re-read, Runaway Smile, my favorite kids’ book on the shelf. The book is incredible! Buy it people ! Christine
Lol – that’s just adorable! Thank you 😀
Ow my, ow my! I need to spend some time with a lexicon and a notebook to learn the pronunciation and meaning of quite a few words. Fascinating though that someone thought to put all those words into a poem! Few of our Greek words made it to the poem. Why do the English have to take the perfectly written and spelled lexeis and twist them in their mouth to sound nothing like the perfectly clean and crisp words they are?
Thanks Nicholas for the most unusual posts.
I will copy and paste in my blog.
Re-blogging does not work for me…or doing it wrong 🙂
Lol – a tongue-twister of a poem, alright! 😀
Ha! I can see why it would be confusing for readers in other countries. Very cute.
Thanks to Angela, we now know it was written in 1922. Time for an update, perhaps? 😀
A bit of a labour of Hercules but very doable. My only problem is that I’ll be looking for the dictionary later to find out what the heck Foeffer is. That one got me.
Lol – no idea! 😀
I just updated the post, to add a video of someone reading the whole thing…
I could read it, but not sure if I could say them all correctly. Sometimes I read books and find out later words are pronounced differently than I had them in my head. HA!
Lol – there’s no hope for me, then… 😀
When I was in college learning to be a teacher they offered this thought in order to explain how difficult it might be to teach kids how to spell. FISH, they said, could be spelled GHOTI, based on other English words. GH, pronounced as in tough, O pronounced as in WOMAN, and TI, pronounced as in VACATION. Yes, it’s hard!
My uni supervisor was a linguist. He was the one who first showed me ghoti. I still remember how it cracked him up to see my expression 😀
Reblogged this on BOOK CHAT and commented:
If you find learning another language to be daunting, try learning English.
M R Ducks
M R not Ducks
O S M R See M Wangs?
Well I B. M R Ducks!
Lol – now, don’t you start! 😀
Apparently it was written by Gerard Nolst Trenité. Proper title is “The Chaos” (1922) if anyone is curious! 😀
That’s amazing – thank you so much for that! I’ll add it to the post 🙂
No problem. There’s a video of someone actually reading the whole thing on You Tube!
I’ll be sure to add that to the post as well!
Just managed to read the whole thing aloud/allowed! Lol. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be! Great brain exercise to warm up for a writing session.
Phew! I think I need a nap first. 😉
Lol – hat off to you! 😀
A little tricky, but doable. English i.s. a complicated language. 😀 A fascinating poem. I wonder who thought to write it. Kudos to him or her.
Absolutely. I’d love to shake their hand, then force them to learn Greek so I can repay the favour 😀
Ha ha ha ha ha. Now, that’s a t.h.o.u.g.h.t.
Delightful fun! I’ve always said, unlike the romance languages of antiquity, English and especially American English is a melting-pot!
How true! Thanks and welcome 🙂
Sometimes, (often) the rules go out the window in English. This poem is a great illustration of that. Thanks. ☺ Van
Lol – what rules? 😀
That’s a long one. I’ll admit that I stopped because I have to get a few things done, so I don’t know if my two ‘favorite’ English words are on here. Bologna (pronounced Baloney) and Colonel (pronounced Kernel). I really wonder what drunken linguist made those two up. Also, things get even stranger when you take regional dialects and accents into account. I still don’t know some of the words my wife uses and we’re only from opposite sides of New York.
That really doesn’t bode well for me 😀
Just avoid those two words and you’ll be fine. In case of confusion, smile and nod.
Excellent advice. Served me well a couple of years ago in Austria.
If that doesn’t work, just say where you’re originally from and most Americans will explain things. Especially in the South. 🙂 Downside is that you have to hear a little sucking up. Being a New Yorker in Florida led to a lot of ‘I always wanted to see the Empire State Building’ and ‘I was in NYC once. Maybe we passed each other’.
Lol – I get the “I know a Greek. Maybe you’re related.” Sad thing is, we probably are.
I wonder if we all do stuff like that to help put the other person at ease. Now is that better or worse than someone saying ‘You’re Greek? I loved the Percy Jackson series.’ I actually heard someone say this to the owner of a Greek restaurant.
Lol – I’m sure the restaurant owner was touched… 😀
To be fair, I’ve seen and heard worse. Imagine trying to explain to someone that the pocket bread is spelled ‘Pita’ and not ‘Peeta’. Or at least being there to see the exchange. This wasn’t at a restaurant or with anyone from Greece, so I don’t know if it counts. (I’m not even 100% Pita is originally from Greece. Should probably look that up.)
No need to look it up, you’re correct 🙂
Hurray! I know something. That ends my day. Night, everybody!
Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
Do not try if you are easily tongue tied, or at least, oil your tongue well before attempting 😀
How we ever learn to speak it or read is a wonder! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Thanks for reading! 🙂
I read a variation of this a long time ago and I have to say that this poem certainly rings true. English is a tough language mostly because it doesn’t make any sense. 😉
Lol – fair enough! Thanks and welcome 🙂
You made me see that there is still a loooot of work ahead of me…. lol It would take me hours to google the words I never heard of…
Lol – I know what you mean 😀
The only language I speak is English, and yet I made 3 mistakes… Go me! I think I need a new language to confuse myself with.
Lol – excellent! 😀
That’s pretty good Dneika, give yourself a pat on the back!
I quite like the fact that English is so confusing. I used to get French friends to try to pronounce ‘Guinness’…
Best wishes, Pete.
I took a deep breath, then managed to read the whole thing (in my head) without a mistake! I should be able to, let’s face it. It does show so many of the idiosyncrasies of our language. As you rightly say, many native speakers would struggle with much of this, if they are not used to writing regularly.
Most enjoyable. Thanks Nicholas.
Best wishes, Pete.
Wow, I’m duly impressed! Well done, sir! 🙂
Piece of cake when read aloud (there are tricks to reading things like this); nevertheless, it does throw around homophones, homographs and homonyms, like spanners aimed at the ankles of the unwary.
It is very interesting, and well done too. Might make a good teaching ‘aid’ for TEFL.
Indeed. My ankles are bruised 🙂
The piece is well and cleverly written, and I enjoy that kind of writing, but it’s often co-opted by appended scientific-sounding assertions that cannot be verified. More folks would find themselves in the privileged percentage if they knew that breath control, and varying pitch, pace and emphasis, is how to read aloud such exercises in enunciation, with little or no stumbling to mar the performance.
Fair enough, but where the fun be in that? 🙂
Lol – this poem had me in stitches, but I guess that’s what you get with a language that has been influenced by so many any other languages. It has to be remembered that England was invaded a number of times by Romans, Danes, Angles, Saxons, and Normans – no wonder the English language is so horrendous to learn!!!!
I don’t know, I’m rather fond of it by now… 😀
I have reblogged this! Could not resist sharing further.
Thank you! 🙂
Reblogged this on philipparees and commented:
Worth contemplation and a lot of sympathy!
Never was there a better illustration of why English is so flexible, and hellish for a foreigner to master! It reminds me of an apocryphal joke of the student who thought, after months of study, he was beginning to crack it until he read a billboard which said ‘Cavalcade pronounced success’ and went home and shot himself!
Lol – hadn’t heard that one 😀
Reblogged this on poetry and chocolate and books and commented:
Goota try this. Interesting! 😀
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
Try this from Nicholas Rossis especially those of you who enjoyed the tongue twisters last week.. this beats those into a cocked hat as they say in my neck of the woods…
Gosh! And I thought Irish was an unreasonable and difficult, illogical language,,but I see now that English is far worse! At least the strange spellings in Irish are an indication of the pronunciation… A very clever poem, I wonder who wrote it?
Lol – no idea, but I tip my hat to them 😀