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Old 22.06.2010, 13:45
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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I don't know whether TEFL teachers commonly teach the mechanics of the sound - maybe they never remember learning it themselves?
They do.

Anyway, the reason why non-native speakers tend to use "s" in place of the unvoiced "th" is because the place of articulation is not that far away from where it should be (the alveolar ridge as opposed to the teeth, if I remember my phonetics right - hardly an inch away, really).

The "f" of South London is a feature of the accent, and not an "error" in the same way that the non-native "s" might be considered to be. Think about where the sound is made: It's not an approximation of the correct sound - it's a different sound completely.

Incidentally, other languages, such as Russian, have changed the "th" sound into an "f" (Fyodor for Theodore, for example), so it isn't unique to South London.
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  #182  
Old 22.06.2010, 13:53
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

The French with their silen "h" being *angry all the time
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  #183  
Old 22.06.2010, 14:01
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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They do.

Anyway, the reason why non-native speakers tend to use "s" in place of the unvoiced "th" is because the place of articulation is not that far away from where it should be (the alveolar ridge as opposed to the teeth, if I remember my phonetics right - hardly an inch away, really).
Thanks for the confirmation, I thought it would be inconceivable that they wouldn't. Your explanation makes sense

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The "f" of South London is a feature of the accent, and not an "error" in the same way that the non-native "s" might be considered to be. Think about where the sound is made: It's not an approximation of the correct sound - it's a different sound completely.
True, doesn't mean they didn't have to learn th at a relatively late stage, though, so it is certainly possible, but maybe it requires a degree of discipline that isn't present among non-native speakers and would be rude for a native speaker to point out.

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Incidentally, other languages, such as Russian, have changed the "th" sound into an "f" (Fyodor for Theodore, for example), so it isn't unique to South London.
Indeed. First and second sound shift in Germanic languages (incl. English) too
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  #184  
Old 22.06.2010, 15:18
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Yes, I realise that but it CAN be learned and fairly easily. It's not a sound you need to learn when you learn to speak
Says someone to whom it's natural. Yes it sounds easy to me too. Just like '', and '' are common to the German folk.

There are different "th" sounds as well. There's the "silent" version, like in "bath". Then there's the "loud" like "this" and "that" wherein the speaker kind of hums and the sounds buzzes a little.

As stated above, wifey is Czech. They have 'ř', which is like a rolling sound like Spanish but much harder. I really, really have to focus when saying it. I have met German speaker who have the same issue with "th".
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Old 14.03.2011, 15:16
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Re: The Non-native English Common Mistakes Thread

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Says someone to whom it's natural. Yes it sounds easy to me too. Just like '', and '' are common to the German folk.

There are different "th" sounds as well. There's the "silent" version, like in "bath". Then there's the "loud" like "this" and "that" wherein the speaker kind of hums and the sounds buzzes a little.

As stated above, wifey is Czech. They have 'ř', which is like a rolling sound like Spanish but much harder. I really, really have to focus when saying it. I have met German speaker who have the same issue with "th".
I'm unearthing this old, but very amusing thread.

On the subject of the "th" sound: I realized that it was different at 18, after 9 years of English language instruction.
I thought that its pronunciation depended on the word ("thank you" -- tank you, "think" -- fink, etc). But once I realized it was a completely different sound, it wasn't difficult to learn how to make it (actually, two sounds: the voiced and unvoiced variants).

I still have some pronunciation problems, such as the "t" sound in "tomorrow". Mine is too full and Slavic to this day.
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