Learning to Talk Backwards

Learning to talk backwards is an interesting challenge and great training for your brain. It’s also a good form of code and a great party trick. Or rather… Gninrael ot klat sdrawkcab si na gnitseretni egnellahc dna taerg gniniart rof ruoy nairb. S’ti osla a doog mrof fo edoc dna a taerg ytrap kcirt. However it’s also rather tricky and particularly if you want to be able to do it ‘on the fly’, however there are two methods you can use to develop the ability.


The first way to try talking backwards is to write everything you want to say down on a computer. Then copy the text out but looking at the last letter first and working backward (even this can be a tad tricky). Now though you have the words written down for you as you should talk them, with a few minor edits you will need to make.

The problem is you see, they way we speak isn’t letter by letter, but often combinations of letters. ‘Ch’ for instance is not the same as ‘Hc’ backwards, and so if you are going to say ‘speech’ backwards it should actually be ‘cheeps’ and not ‘hceeps’. When you are writing you can make this easier then by analyzing each word and making substitutes where necessary. This is great to practice with to start with, but later when you want to talk without first writing everything down you will want to make this change ‘on the fly’ in your brain.


When you get good you see you will be able to read by simply starting at the end of each word and reading it backward. As noted though you will need to know as you read where to swap around the word pairs to create the same the same sound. This also includes ares where to vowels run into each other.


Some of these you can have a very hard time with if you haven’t actually heard what they sound like backward. A great way to get some experience and practice then is to record yourself speaking and then to play the speech back to yourself backwards which you can achieve with any good sound editing software such as audacity. This way you can then listen to what words sound like backward, and it’s a lot of fun too. Practice speaking slowly for the best effect.


You can also practice and listen to yourself in order to see where you need improvement. So record your attempt to speak backwards whether this is after listening to the word backward or whether it’s from reading; and then play that recording backwards. This should then sound like you are talking forward but it will sound somewhat ‘off’. Don’t worry about trying to get it perfect as it rarely will be, but if you can make out the words then you’re doing well. Even if you say the word perfectly, it will be almost impossible to put the inflections and emphasis on the right parts of the word as you speak a sentence so you are likely to sound a little like your Sat Nav at best.

From Your Head

Finally after enough practice you may be able to do this slowly while talking from the top of your head. Visualize each word in your head and break it down into sounds rather than just letters before saying these backwards right to left. If you practice enough you can get quite good and if you carry a recording device then it’s a fantastic parlor trick.

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