Trava-Línguas em inglês: Betty Botter

Tongue twisterMerriam-Webster dictionary defines a tongue twister as “a word, phrase, or sentence difficult to articulate readily because of a succession of similar chiefly consonantal sounds varied by small changes“.

OK, translated to plain English, that means a bunch of words that are really hard to say.

Now, for voice-over professionals, tongue twisters are a great way to keep the mouth in shape. And they can help English students, too. After all, if you can say a tongue twister, you can say just about anything.

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Every Monday for the next few weeks I’m going to post a new tongue twister here on English Experts. You can click on the audio link below the tongue twister to hear me do my best to read it out loud. Listen to me and then try to repeat the tongue twister yourself.

If it doesn’t come easy at first, don’t get discouraged. Just keep at it until you get it and have faith that your efforts will pay off.

We’ll get started with a famous tongue twister called “Betty Botter.”

Here goes.

Betty Botter bought some butter,
But, she said, “the butter’s bitter;
If I put it in my batter,
It will make my batter bitter;
But a bit of better butter,
That would make my batter better.
So she bought a bit of butter,
Better than her bitter butter,
And she put it in her batter,
And the batter was not bitter;
So t’was better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.

See you next week!


Jason Bermingham

Jason Bermingham já gravou locuções em inglês para a Samsung, Itaú, Banco Real, TV Cultura, MTV International, São Paulo Turismo, Oxford University Press e CNA, entre outros. Ele empresta a sua voz aos tweets diários da revista SpeakUp.

33 comentários

  • 28/09/09  
    Flavia diz: 1

    It reminded me of an article written by Alessandro some time ago, where he mentioned that we’d better warn our families about the fact that we’re practicing English via Internet, otherwise they would think we are getting crazy… Imagine what they would think if they heard me reapeating “butter-bitter-batter-bitter, better….” :D
    Excellent article, Jason. Thanks a lot.

  • 28/09/09  
    Vinicius diz: 2

    I remember another tongue twister that I learned when I was 10… “She sells sea shells by the sea shore”.

  • 28/09/09  
    Susana diz: 3

    Oh my God!

    If tongue twister is difficult in portuguese, in english it is very very difficult. But we need to try… If we don’t try, we won’t get it.
    It can be funny too :)

    Thanks for every article.

  • 28/09/09  
    Ana Cristina diz: 4

    Muito legal!!!!! Adorei!

  • 28/09/09  
    Stella diz: 5

    Is very difficult. rsrsrs

  • 28/09/09  
    Mayara de Castro diz: 6

    Thanks, Jason.
    Very funny! It’s a real tongue twister!

  • 28/09/09  
    Vera lúcia Pinto Campos diz: 7

    This is an excellent activity to practice pronunciation in English. Thanks. I have practice it.

  • 28/09/09  
    Rodrigo diz: 8

    Gostei, mas me explica uma coisa, na frase “So t’was better Betty Botter”, o que significa t’was ?

  • 28/09/09  
    Cida diz: 9

    are you kidding???
    so difficult, but funny…
    good for kids..can be different during the classes at schools…great idea!

  • 28/09/09  
    Anderson diz: 10

    Pretty good dude, thanks!! By the way, what’s the meaning of the contraction t’was, maybe it was ?? Once more thanks.

  • 28/09/09  
    Sonia Mara diz: 11

    Cool! And that’s not so difficult as I thought …

  • 28/09/09  
    Wilson diz: 12

    This is really difficult to pronounce.

  • 28/09/09  
    Lydiane diz: 13

    I love it!!!! It’s great to improve our English!!!

    Thanks Jason!

  • 28/09/09  
    Vera Abreu diz: 14

    Excellent article, Jason. Thanks a lot.

  • 28/09/09  
    joao mino diz: 15

    magnific! =D

  • 29/09/09  
    Jason Bermingham diz: 16

    I see a few people asked about ’twas. (The apostrophe should have gone before the t and not after it, since that’s where the missing letter would have gone.) Anyway, yes, ’twas is a contraction of it and was. ‘Twas isn’t common in modern English, but it helps in this tongue-twister by making “it was” one syllable instead of two! The most famous ’twas can be found in the poem, ‘Twas the night before Christmas…

  • 29/09/09  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 17

    Wonderful article, Jason! Congratulations and thanks! And your reading it was fantastic as well! The speed and rhythm were awesome!

    Sonia Mara, I’m appalled that you didn’t find it difficult. You must be a genius!

  • 29/09/09  
    Nestor diz: 18

    caraca. adorei esse trava-língua. Show de bola!!!!!!
    obrigado mais uma vez

  • 29/09/09  
    Thyago Hércules diz: 19

    Hi there!
    It’s very nice! I liked very much (and I laughed too) hey you saying this so fast is very funny! it looks like a radio with technicals troubles!! just kidding!)

    So, it is important we learn it ‘cuz help us to pronounce better some words that are so hard..

    That’s it!!


  • 29/09/09  
    Valeria N. Gonçalves diz: 20

    nossaaaaa!!! São tantos “b” que até confundi a audição.

  • 29/09/09  
    Frederico diz: 21

    Awesome! Thanks!

  • 01/10/09  
    Gabriel diz: 22

    ‘Twas realy nice…
    I’m new here, but I know much about english and I would like to share and improve it.
    N’ this tongue twister’s very good.
    Thanks a lot n’ I’m waiting for the next one…

    Congratulations for what you’ve done here…

  • 03/10/09  
    Célia Dias diz: 23

    Um pouco dificil, mas muito bom…..vai me ajudar bastante. Muito obrigada e parabéns pelo trabalho de vocês!!!

  • 04/10/09  
    fernanda diz: 24

    Ohh, that’s nice , amazing ..

  • 04/10/09  
    Dicas de Inglês :: Trava-Línguas em inglês: Woodchuck diz: 25

    […] This week we continue our quest to say things that are so hard to say that everything else we say sounds easy. What did I just say? I said we get to learn another tongue-twister! […]

  • 04/10/09  
    Ana Caroline diz: 26

    Oh, it´s so dificult!!! But I really like doing it!!!

  • 16/10/09  
    marciano barroso dumont diz: 27

    ola gosto muito da dicas de ingles o trava lingua do ”woodchuck” esta traduzido como picapau ,
    minha pergunta é ”woodchuck” nao seriá castor?
    e ”woodpecker” picapau ???
    mais o trava lingua fuciona do mesmo geito
    obrigado ate mais

  • 20/10/09  
    dani diz: 28

    very good!
    I loved!!!

  • 13/11/09  
    Clarice lopes diz: 29

    muito bom mas um pouco dificil ainda pra mim very good!

  • 21/11/09  
    Gabi diz: 30

    Este site é demais! Alessandro está de parabéns e Jason tem uma voz maravilhosa! Só lamento que as pessoas querem aprender inglês sem antes saberem português corretamente!

  • 20/01/10  
    Francinaldo diz: 31

    Daqui a uns vinte anos ou mais eu conseguirei ler como o Jason.

    Muito bom. Espetacular. Engraçado e divertido.
    Gosto muito dos “Trava-Línguas”.

  • 25/03/10  
    Marco brainiac diz: 32

    Jason they are so fantastics!

    Thanks a lot!

  • 24/05/10  
    Sula diz: 33

    My goodness, it´s terrific!!!
    realmente nao eh tao dificil como pensava…
    Congrats Jason!!!!
    God bless u!