difficulty with "th" sound

Damian in London SW15   Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:18 pm GMT
***Don't some dialects in England dispense with th, replacing it with "f". maybe using "f" would help?***

That's so true - down here in London it's quite common to hear people use an "f" for the "th" sound - but the vast majority are from a certain background, if that doesn't sound too classist or something, but neverthess it's true - probably much more likely from people off a council estate in Lewisham than from the leafy avenues of Holland Park or Blackheath or Ealing. But you can also hear it round these parts of London - a gang of lads walking down Putney High Steet using "f" in stead of "th" - "fir'y fahsand fevvers on a frush's froat" - not that they're ever likely to be discussing the thirty thousand feathers on a thrush's throat. For some reason in London-speak the "th" sound in the word "feathers" becomes a double v.
furrykef   Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:19 pm GMT
<< A lot of AAVE speakers use [f] and [v] as realisations of /T, D/ in intervocalic and word final position, and they definitely don't sound anything but American. >>

On the other hand, if you try speaking AAVE and you're not black, you'll look ridiculous (much more than you would by merely sounding foreign).
davidab   Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:50 pm GMT
<For some reason in London-speak the "th" sound in the word "feathers" becomes a double v.>

As do other words with intervocalic /D/ when the vowel before it is short



Catskillian   Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:21 pm GMT
<<I am trying to learn American accent ,so it means I have to make the traditional "th" sound if I want to be understood? >>

If you want to learn the typical American accent (at least what you hear around here), you'll have to use both of the classical 'th' sounds (note -- I'm from the Western New England dialect area).

If you just want to be understood, using 't/d' or 'f/v' rather than the classic 'th' sounds is probably OK.
Mirror   Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:47 pm GMT
Put the tip of the tongue between the upper row of teeth and the lower lip like a sandwich. Do not tighten your tongue which will form a sharp rod. It should be like the filling of a sandwich, lay flat. Then try to push some air through. If you put your hand over your mouth, you will feel the gust of wind.

American "r" : Pull your tongue back into the centre (midair) in your mouth cavity. Shouldn't be touching anything at all. There is no need to roll your tongue. Then try to pronounce the "e" in French. The sound should be like someone has cut your tongue out or like a caveman.

British "r" : You will pronounce the "r" if a vowel follows. No "r" when no vowels follow. E.g. pull your tongue for the "r" sound in "far away" and lay your tongue flat for "far gone".
Guest   Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:17 pm GMT
>>I say "Farver, Muvver, Uvver, Eyever, Neyever"<<

Exactly move to London, develop a cockney accent and you'll never have to worry about pronouncing 'th'. You can just just use 'v' in words like 'the', and 'f' in words like 'thick'.