break one´s tongue - be unable to pronounce something

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MedaBeda

Senior Member
Czech
Hi,
Imagine the situation when you try to pronounce some word in a different language and it is very difficult. You struggle with the pronunciation and you feel like that you can never pronounce it right. For example, because there is the letter š , or ž. Yep, we have these in Czech ;)

We have an idiom - we say:
I will break my tongue, if I try to pronounce this.

Do you have some similar idiom?
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    That is not a standard idiom, but if you say it people will understand. They will think "that is a good way to say it, and a little bit funny".
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In English, there are a bunch of "tongue-twisters". Those are sentences that are difficult to say correctly. The most famous one starts:

    Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers...

    It is probably longer, but that's the part I remember.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I'd talk about breaking my jaw rather than my tongue:
    Czech is jaw-breakingly difficult to pronounce.
    Talking Czech is likely to give you a broken jaw.
    That [Czech] sentence was a real jaw-breaker.
    :)
     

    MedaBeda

    Senior Member
    Czech
    I'd talk about breaking my jaw rather than my tongue:
    Czech is jaw-breakingly difficult to pronounce.
    Talking Czech is likely to give you a broken jaw.
    That [Czech] sentence was a real jaw-breaker.
    :)
    I will break my jaw, if I try to pronounce this.

    Thank you:)
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I would have a broken jaw, if I tried to pronounce it. -> this is better but ewie's versions at #9 are far more idiomatic. :thumbsup:
     

    MedaBeda

    Senior Member
    Czech
    In AE a 'jaw breaker' is a ball, hard, of candy gum. I disagree with Paul.
    I will break my tongue, if I try to pronounce this.
    That is not a standard idiom, but if you say it people will understand. They will think "that is a good way to say it, and a little bit funny".
    Ok - so back to the original sentence :D:D:D:D:D

    Can I say??? I will break my tongue, if I try to pronounce this.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    That word/letter/sentence is a (real) jaw-breaker.

    possible?
    In BE, That word/letter/sentence is a (real) jaw-breaker is idiomatic. (What bennymix refers to in #16 is, in BE, a "gobstopper.")
    Can I say??? I will break my tongue, if I try to pronounce this.
    No, you can't. It is wrong. English-speakers' tongues are quite supple and do not "break".
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    We don't break our jaws merely by 'talking' in BrE either: we break our jaws by trying to pronounce (e.g.) Czech :)
     
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