Pronouncing TH

Ryan   Thursday, September 11, 2003, 04:52 GMT
Well, every site I've seen about Estuary English includes as a description of the accent the transformation of voiceless /th/ to /f/ and voiced /th/ to /v/. I'm not going to argue this anymore because I'm not a Brit and if British people are going to tell me differently than what I've read, I'll believe them. I have more knowledge and opinions of American accents than I do about British ones, although I do plenty of listening to British radio in my spare time.

Jamie On   Thursday, September 11, 2003, 13:34 GMT
You listen to our radio? Which stations? That's so great!
...   Thursday, September 11, 2003, 18:56 GMT
ryan, people confuse cockney with estuary english when they write those things on their website. cockney speakers are the ones who do that.
Ryan   Thursday, September 11, 2003, 22:30 GMT
Jamie, I like to listen to Xfm out of London and to Alan Robson off of Metro Radio in Newcastle when I get a chance, but I listened more in the summer when I wasn't busy with school. I like watching British TV too, but most of those people are actors and have more standard trained accents than the ones that average people speak with.

mjd   Friday, September 12, 2003, 07:20 GMT

I find that IDEA website you often speak of to be a good tool to use if one wishes to learn the characteristics of different accents. I checked out the "Estuary English" sample on there to see if I heard the "TH" sound. On the sample given, I definitely hear a "TH" sound and not an "F" or "T" etc.
Jamie On   Friday, September 12, 2003, 12:32 GMT
The best thing for a Cockney / Estuary accent is EASTENDERS. It's a popular soap in Britain set in a square in E. Lon. We have lots of soaps set in different areas of the country.
Ryan   Friday, September 12, 2003, 16:46 GMT
I've watched that show before on BBC America. The character Martin on that show has an especially strong Cockney/Estuary accent and does not pronounce his /th/ sounds at all. Other characters do, though. There's a strong influence from the London Jamaican accent on Estuary as well, I think.

I was watching some of "My Fair Lady" last night on AMC just for kicks and was laughing when Eliza wasn't pronouncing her /th/ sounds either. I think I've read that Estuary is just a word for any accent that is somewhere in between RP or more formal London accents and traditional Cockney, although the rumor is that the accent itself originated somewhere along the estuary of the Thames.

Jamie On   Monday, September 15, 2003, 12:46 GMT
Yes, Martin does speak badly and it says something about the character's personality too - he is stupid, lazy, etc. There are lots of Martins in my town.
Ryan   Monday, September 15, 2003, 16:37 GMT
Martin is not lazy. Right now he is busy at work on an "herbal enterprise." Ha ha! I wish I could watch some Coronation Street too but we only have BBC America here, not ITV America.

My verdict is that British television is much better than American television, although there are some good American shows too (although most of them are on HBO or Showtime, I think). Even the soaps like EastEnders are ten times better although they are not my favorite kind of show to watch. There are too many American television shows that are kind of "dumbed down." People with a good education usually do not watch much TV as a result.

Henry   Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 03:56 GMT
Ryan, you are kidding, right?
Jamie On   Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 08:15 GMT
No, Ryan that's a fair point, it seems like the best American shows come from HBO - like OZ!! God, I love that show! Do you have anything like Countdown? It's a word and numbers game.
Jamie On   Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 08:18 GMT
Ah yes, I thought of something interesting to post on here related to the TH discussion... Take a look at this CD cover...

Ryan   Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 16:55 GMT
In the UK you have the band "Big Brovaz," a Black hip-hop group from South London.

Das Behälter   Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 18:13 GMT
A suggestion to pronounce "THS" properly...

Say the TH sound (with your tongue partially extended between your teeth and softly breathe letting the air escape around your tongue) then slowly retract your tongue and gently close your teeth with your lips remaining open and continue gently breathing.
Starling   Saturday, September 20, 2003, 14:42 GMT
When I was in Dublin, I noticed that the Irish people speak "th" hard.
Ex.: Thursday is pronounced "Tor's day."

I've heard it said that Anglo-Saxon is one of the few languages that has hung on to the hard pronounication of "th."

Sorry if this has already been covered.