Great tip for French (and other) speakers on how to make that difficult English TH sound

If you are from a French background here is a great tip on how to make that difficult TH sound.

French Flag

The tip also applies to people from many other language backgrounds who are not used to pronouncing the TH sound.

In an earlier post I wrote about how not being able to make the TH sound caused lots of embarrassment with a man alarming a young woman by telling her she had NICE TEETS! Of course he meant teeth – but he had trouble with the TH sound.

Anyway, I got this great tip from an experienced French teacher – who up until she was 20 didn’t speak English.

I wanted to know how she mastered the TH sound.

I have several wonderful French friends and I listen carefully to them when they speak English.

Zey are highly educated and yet Zey find it hard to say Zis Th sound – because Ze H is silent in French.

Many other languages (Hindi, Turkish and German to name a few) have trouble with the TH sound.

The French teacher I spoke of – seems to have mastered the TH sound – or so I thought.

I asked her how she learned to make the TH sound.

She said she “did something else” to sound like the TH sound!

She says she was aware of how many French people are obvious in making the Z or S sound as in Zem (them), Zere (there), Sinking (Thinking)

The teacher says she substitutes the D sound – but makes it subtle and says it quickly so it sounds more like a TH.

She says she really says Dis, Dis and Dat – but the way she says it – quickly and subtly  -it sounds more like a TH than the usual French Z sound.

Great tip – Thanks!

So, if you have challenges with the TH sound – try saying a D instead.



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tony biancotti


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