How to Speak Backwards

Three Parts:Writing BackwardsTalking BackwardsPracticing By Recording

Looking for an off-beat, unusual way to break the ice or astound and confound your friends? Try writing or talking backwards! It's a great way to challenge yourself, and it makes even the most mundane thoughts sound interesting and fun. Talk about a party trick! It takes practice, but the results are worth the effort.

Part 1
Writing Backwards

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    Plan to practice writing backwards before trying to speak backwards. Writing backwards is a skill that will help you greatly while you learn to speak backwards. This is because writing backwards will get you used to quickly flipping around sentences and words, and you'll get familiar with common words and what they look like backwards. If you practice writing backwards, then you'll find it much easier to start speaking backwards.
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    Think of something simple to write. Practice with "I am learning how to write backwards on wikiHow." It should be a short sentence. You can work your way up to longer and more complicated sentences as you practice more.
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    Type the entire phrase backwards. Type it from the end to the beginning, as if holding a mirror up to the monitor, like this: ".woHikiw no sdrawkcab etirw ot woh gninreal ma I" ("I am learning how to write backwards on wikiHow" backwards.)[1]
    • Alternatively, type each word backwards. This is a little easier to read: "I ma gninrael woh ot klat sdrawkcab no woHikiw."
    • You can also do this with pencil and paper. For the most well-rounded practice, do it with both.
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    Practice until it becomes easier. Like most things, practice makes perfect. Spend some time each day thinking of random sentences and writing them in reverse. The more you do it, the faster you will get, until you can type and read backwards like it's nothing.[2]
    • If you want to measure your progress, you can time yourself. Think of a different sentence with the same number of words everyday, and time how long it takes you to write it in reverse.

Part 2
Talking Backwards

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    Think of something interesting to say. For example, "Watch for sheep in the park." Keep it simple at first. The sentence should be fairly short, with no commas or long words.
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    Write it backwards as you've learned to do. In this case, it will read "krap eht ni peehs rof hctaw." There's no need to capitalize when you write the sentence backwards. In fact, doing so may make it a little harder to read.
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    Alter the backwards sentence to make it readable. You can't just write down any word backwards and read it by pronouncing each letter in order. That's because some letters we don't pronounce separately, but in combination with others, like "ch" and "sh". So the next step after writing the sentence down is to alter it make it readable. So in this example, "krap eht ni peehs rof hctaw," should be changed to "krap eth ni peesh rof chtaw."
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    Read it aloud. Don't worry about inflection and tone. Just focus on pronouncing the strange words how you intuitively think they look like they're pronounced.
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    Read backwards without writing. The next step is to start practicing reading things backwards before writing them backwards. Find a book near you that has simple language and vocabulary. Try reading some sentences out of it in reverse by looking at the last letter in the last word first, and reading from right to left.
    • The tricky part about this is learning to make the appropriate edits when it comes to sounds like "wh" and "ch" on the fly. So when you see a word like "charge," you don't try to say "egrahc," you say "egrach."
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    Speak backwards from your head. The final step is to start practicing saying things backwards without reading them or writing them down first. Think of a simple sentence. Start with the last word in the sentence, and pronounce it starting with the last letter, going backwards. Visualize the words backward in your head if it helps. [3]

Part 3
Practicing By Recording

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    Pick a simple phrase. For this example, let's try "I like peaches and cream." The key to this method is to keep it short because you'll be memorizing and repeating unusual sounds.
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    Record yourself. Start your recording device, and record yourself saying the phrase normally. Speak slowly and clearly.
    • There are apps for phones that can record and reverse speech, if you don't have a voice recorder.
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    Reverse the playback. This way you can hear yourself saying the phrase backwards.
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    Practice mimicking your recorded voice backwards. Try to use the exact tones and inflections of the phrase. "I like peaches and cream" should sound something like "mEERk nuzuchEEP kyaleye." You can practice copying it over and over until you sound just like the recording.
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    Record yourself again. When you think you are ready, record yourself speaking the phrase backwards.
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    Play your newly recorded phrase backwards. In other words, play the recording of yourself speaking backwards in reverse. The result will be a strange version of yourself speaking the original sentence. The closer this sounds to normal speech, the better you spoke backwards.
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    Practice. Spend some time each day coming up with sentences, writing them down backwards, and speaking them. Keep recording yourself, and use those recordings to perfect your backwards speech. As you get better, use longer sentences and eventually, paragraphs.[4]


  • Practice a lot. You already know your native language, so now all you have to do is sound it out word by word by word; it is easier than you may think.
  • Try reading a dictionary and saying the words backwards. For advanced students of phonetic reversal, try reading an encyclopedia backwards.
  • Practice with a friend, and try to figure out what the other is saying.
  • Memorize vocabulary not sentences; when talking backwards to others, vocabulary is key.
  • It's more understandable when speaking backwards to friends when you only say each word backwards. If you say the entire sentence backwards, it's likely that only you will know what you're talking about.
  • Pronounce each word how it sounds, not how it is spelled. For example, Mark is pronounced Khram not Kram. Moreover, it is really hard to pronounce a word that starts, or ends with a ch, st, sh. They go together in sound. For example, "trish" would be "shirt".


  • Some words may sound suggestive or inappropriate when spoken backwards. Use wisely.

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Categories: Puzzles and Memory Games