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Thread: How to pronounce 't' correctly?

  1. #1
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    How to pronounce 't' correctly?

    Please, answer me - how should be the English 't' pronounced? Could you give the detailed articulation. Does it differ depending on the position?
    Is 't' in 'tent, tea, talk' is the same as in 'hat, foot, can't'?
    Люди с годами не меняются, они просто все больше становятся самими собой.

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    I say my 't' the same in all those words you provided.

    I put my tongue on the back of my two front teeth, where they meet the gums. Then I just move my tongue off of my teeth (a very small distance, just so contact between tongue and teeth is lost) at the same time I move air over my tongue, and a 't' is produced.

    I hope that this is easily understood, as I've never described how to make a sound before.

    One place I can see the 't' making a different sound is when it is before an 'h', then it makes another sound, which I can try to explain if you want.

    Also, before '-ion', such as in position, it makes an 'sh' sound, so it would sound like po-zi-shun.
    Let's all become Circumcellions.

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    Thank you for you detailed answer. Can you tell me how to pronounce 'th' correctly? I also PM'ed you.
    Люди с годами не меняются, они просто все больше становятся самими собой.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfunkel
    Thank you for you detailed answer. Can you tell me how to pronounce 'th' correctly?
    th has a few different pronounciations.

    • the, that - I'm sorry I just can't describe this one. It's just natural to me. It's like putting the tongue under the front teeth and pushing outwards. It sounds like 'L' but with a less defined sound.[/*:m:jljircj0]
    • thaw, bathe - this is like an 'f' or 'ф' [/*:m:jljircj0]
    • thyme - this is pronounced like the word 'time', the 'h' is silent[/*:m:jljircj0]


    Because English has been a leech around other languages there are probably more pronounciations that I can't recall offhand.

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    "Thaw" is pronounced "faw?"

    Really?

    (Not being sarcastic, my English isn't perfect (yet). But I always pronounced it with the same sound as "the" or "that" and people seem to understand me.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Линдзи
    "Thaw" is pronounced "faw?" Really?
    As I said, it's "like" an 'f' but not exactly. The 'th' in this instance is like holding the tongue at the front teeth for a split second as if pronouncing the 'th' in 'the' before pushing out into the 'f' sound.

    But I always pronounced it with the same sound as "the" or "that" and people seem to understand me.)
    I wouldn't worry about it. There's a place in England called Birmingham which supposedly speaks English.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mile-O-Phile
    As I said, it's "like" an 'f' but not exactly. The 'th' in this instance is like holding the tongue at the front teeth for a split second as if pronouncing the 'th' in 'the' before pushing out into the 'f' sound.
    Can you be just more specific, plz? Do you put the tip of your tongue out a bit? Which part of your teeth do you touch with your tongue? I heard there should be a slit between a tongue and the edge of teeth, is it true? Then it must sound more like lisping 's'
    And another question - do Americans pronounce 'th' the same way as the British do?
    Люди с годами не меняются, они просто все больше становятся самими собой.

  8. #8
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    "T" is pronounced differently in certain words.

    "Water" - the American pronunciation of this is "wah-der." I think in some regions they actually say "wah-ter", but I can't stand that pronunciation. There are a lot of words where Americans would pronounce it more like "d", actually.

    "nation" - "tion" is pronounced "shun". You probably already knew that, but I just threw it in to be sure. Sicher ist sicher!

    "th" in "the" most certainly does not sound like "L." It's a voiced dental fricative, or in other words say the "th" in "thaw" with a buzzing noise. Here is how I pronounce it:

    unvoiced "th" - "thaw, thick, thong"
    -----
    Touch the tip of your tongue to the bottom of your front teeth. Your mouth should be slightly open. Then exhale. There should be no buzzing noise.

    voiced "th" - "then", "that", "though"
    ------------
    Touch the tip of your tongue to the bottom of your front teeth. Your mouth should be slightly open. Make a "mmm" sound like you're humming. Your tongue should buzz. The "humming" is not really accurate, but it's the best way I could explain making it voiced. As a more accurate alternative, try exhaling so that when you touch your throat, you can feel your vocal chords buzz.

  9. #9
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    "TH" Voiced

    For 'th' in words such as "This" and "That", I put my tongue so that the tip is bent slightly so that it touches the bottom of my two front teeth. Then I breathe out while I vibrate my tongue.


    "TH" Unvoiced - Like thь I guess...

    For 'th' in words such as "Thespian" and "Theater", I put my tongue so that it is touching the bottom of my two front teeth, with the tip just past the teeth. Then I breath gently out. The air flows over the tongue, and out through the little hole between the two front teeth.
    Let's all become Circumcellions.

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    Pravit, EffMah, thank you both for your help! But when I listen to the speach of an English speaker 'this' and 'think' sound like 'dis' and 'tink' but 'd' and 't' not English ones but rather Russian sounds in 'doroga' and 'toska'! I mean they sound like russian д and т! And I listened to some rap music and clearly heard 'Da best guy in da club' phrase!
    Your comments, please...
    Люди с годами не меняются, они просто все больше становятся самими собой.

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    The rap version of "Da best guy in da club" was literally "Da best guy in da club", sadly. People do tend to talk like that sometimes, so it's slang.

    The people who said 'dis' and 'tink', were they native English speakers? And if they were, what kind of person where they when they spoke (diction, grammar, etc.)?
    Let's all become Circumcellions.

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    Such peculiarities can be noticed among the speech of some Blacks and also those imitating them. They also sometimes do the j/y switch, for example "Joo" instead of "you" and, as you noticed, "d" instead of "th." Some even substitute "f" for "p." You could read Uncle Remus stories to get an idea of what I'm talking about. It's not slang, just the way they pronounce things.

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    Pronouncing "th" as a "d" sound is pretty common in the northern midwest, too. Da Bears! Dey lose every game, dontchaknow!

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    Back to 't' as in 'water' and especially doubled 't' as in 'latter', 'better' (plus 'd' as in 'ladder') In these cases it is also called a flapped t. It sounds close to a single flap of a Russian letter 'р' as in 'рама'.

    As compared to British English, some British actors pronounce 'r' as in 'very' so that Americans hear it 'veddy' and Russians hear it 'вэри'.

    I think that's a good discussion and EffMath gave a good description of how to articulate the letter. I would love to discuss every letter of the English alphabet this way

    And I just found this post:
    Quote Originally Posted by pookie123
    i always wanted to learn a lil polish!
    Sometimes 't' is not even pronounced as in 'little'
    ~ Мастерадминов Мастерадмин Мастерадминович ~

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    Why can't you stand people pronouncing words as they were originally meant to be pronounced, Pravit? Most people in Britain say 'Wah-ter' (or "wa'er"). It isn't written with a T for nothing, you know. I don't mind Americans saying 'Wadder', but there's nothing wrong with 'Wah-ter' either.

    By the way, in American, in words like 'international' and 'internet', the first t isn't pronounced at all (innernashnl, innernet)
    Army Anti-Strapjes
    Nay, mats jar tripes
    Jasper is my Tartan
    I am a trans-Jert spy
    Jerpty Samaritans
    Pijams are tyrants
    Jana Sperm Tit Arsy

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    Not deliberately to sow further confusion, but just to show how complicated it is.. ->
    In the old cockney way of speaking, 'water' becomes something like 'woar!er' . I put the ! in to represent what I think is known as the 'glottal stop'. It's a kind of sudden stopping of the flow of air, not a proper consonant. In the old cockney, 'th' was abhorred and 'f' and 'v' were replacements for the unvoiced and voiced versions.

    Actually I have a lovely little book which goes into great detail describing each of the English phonemes. If anybody needs me to, I can bring it into work and type out something from it. The only thing is it would be great if we could draw diagrams here, and also if we could type the phonetic transcriptions [/i]
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxwing
    Not deliberately to sow further confusion, but just to show how complicated it is.. ->
    In the old cockney way of speaking, 'water' becomes something like 'woar!er' . I put the ! in to represent what I think is known as the 'glottal stop'. It's a kind of sudden stopping of the flow of air, not a proper consonant. In the old cockney, 'th' was abhorred and 'f' and 'v' were replacements for the unvoiced and voiced versions.
    That happens in many parts of Sco!land too

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    @Scotcher: but somehow they don't sound the same. The vowel-sound preceding the t gets elongated and broadened in 'Scottish', and muffled in Cockney.

    Btw, has you name anything to do with the book Pale Fire by Nabokov? IIRC, the poem began something like "I was the shadow of a waxwing slain, blablabla windowpane"
    Army Anti-Strapjes
    Nay, mats jar tripes
    Jasper is my Tartan
    I am a trans-Jert spy
    Jerpty Samaritans
    Pijams are tyrants
    Jana Sperm Tit Arsy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pravit
    "th" in "the" most certainly does not sound like "L."
    Not 'el' but the lower case version 'li'

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper May
    Btw, has you name anything to do with the book Pale Fire by Nabokov? IIRC, the poem began something like "I was the shadow of a waxwing slain, blablabla windowpane"
    YRC
    blablabla = by the false azure in the
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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