Pronouncing TH

chleo   Monday, September 01, 2003, 09:51 GMT
I have often noticed In England (not sure if its just the North west)that people can not pronounce TH at the end or at the begining of words correctly (including myself). Instead of saying Maths it sounds more like Maffs, and instead of saying think it sounds more like fink. I often get into a trouble for pronouncing it like this but I find it very difficult to say TH the proper way. Has anyone else noticed it and how do you pronounce it??
Clark   Monday, September 01, 2003, 10:27 GMT
In the Cockney accent of London, many times the "th" is like an "f" or a "v."

th (as in "thin") becomes: f
th (as in "the") becomes: v
aj   Monday, September 01, 2003, 12:07 GMT
I'll be a very happy man when I can pronounce 'ths' - I always say 'maffs' for maths, unless i try really hard and then it comes out as 'masss'. I never have a problem with 'th' on its own.
Antonio   Monday, September 01, 2003, 12:24 GMT

I think most of us pronounce ´th´as ´f´ sometimes ( if not often ). Personally, i do pronounce ´fank (you)´sometimes, but my ´think´ is never ´fink´.
chloe   Monday, September 01, 2003, 15:35 GMT
sorry my names chloe I typed to quick and miss spelt it
Ryan   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 00:42 GMT
I wonder why so many Britons have a problem pronouncing the sound, since you are in the country from which modern English originated. Americans don't have a problem pronouncing the sound at all except in some African-American accents perhaps.

TH   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 04:03 GMT

Can you say Radiohead's song, "There, There"? =D
Clark   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 04:10 GMT
Ryan, my dear friend; Britons do not have any trouble with the "th" sound. It depends the certain dialect of English that they speak (Cockney).

Plus, I have heard a lot of Cockneys switch over to RP so easily you would have though their native accent was RP.
chloe   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 07:45 GMT
I dont speak the cockney accent and I can never pronounce TH properly. Dont know if its the mancunion accent but I find it hard say it.
Anne   Wednesday, September 03, 2003, 03:40 GMT
English is my first language, and the one we speak the most in my house. Ive lived in English speaking countries all my life, and STILL, for the life of me, cannot properly pronounce the word "sixth." This word is my nemesis, especially since I live on 76th Street!
Brazilian Guy   Wednesday, September 03, 2003, 04:05 GMT
I've noticed that even English native-speakers pronounce "th" in many ways. I've heard /fink/ for "think", /fank/ for "thank", sometimes "the" sounds more like /ve/.
Clark   Wednesday, September 03, 2003, 06:28 GMT
In the Cockney accent of London, many times the "th" is like an "f" or a "v."

th (as in "thin") becomes: f
th (as in "the") becomes: v
Jamie On   Sunday, September 07, 2003, 16:27 GMT
That's true, that people in East / South London who say "fanks" (thanks), and "uh" (the), are totally ABLE to say it the standard way if they need to, for instance if they were emphasizing a word. Hence the fact that most people see that way of dropping THs as just laziness and improper, even though it is dialect. It's true though, that it takes slightly more energy to say those sounds "correctly"!
Ryan   Sunday, September 07, 2003, 22:31 GMT
Right, Jamie. But changing the /th/ sounds is becoming so common nowadays that people are talking that way around their children, and they are not learning the sound like the previous generation did. Just look at the posts of the young Britons above who have trouble pronouncing the sound. I'm sure it will disappear altogether from most British speakers (except perhaps the extremely posh) in a couple of generations, just as rhotic "r" did in the past except among a few regional dialects. I don't see this happening at all in the US as we seem to have maintained these fricative sounds for some reason.

Juan   Monday, September 08, 2003, 00:17 GMT
I am happy that "th" might dissappear because it doesnt exist in American Spanish (as in America the continent). A sound similar to the "th" exists in Spain but it is not identical. I just hate it, I have to concentrate very hard to get that sound right. It makes happy that even native speakers have problems with that sound. Why don't you scrap it altogether. Most other languages in the world dont have this sound.