When I was 23, I worked with a dialect coach in NYC.
One of the first few things she gave me was a list of phrases containing the /th/ sound.
I can still hear her voice in my head (I actually have it somewhere on a cassette tape) saying: “Not in-DE, in-ththththththththe!” with her warm, vibrating /th/ sound. I remember thinking, as I was hurting my tongue working on these practices, Oh crap, this entire language is just one big tongue twister…!
Yes, there are a lot of difficult sound combinations that are challenging for non-native speakers, especially when it comes to consonants we don’t have in our primary language.
In this week’s lesson, I want to show you a great way to simplify and improve pronunciation of the /th/ consonant sound, especially when it appears in difficult phrases.
Now that you’ve watched the video, here’s the daily practice that will help you with TH transitions.
Practice the following consonant transitions:
Pronounce the first consonant sound (t,d,n or l) and shift immediately to the /th/ sound. Keep your tongue connected to the upper palate (if you release it, you’ll hear a vowel sound – something you want to avoid). The /th/ sound should be long.
nnn-thththththth (as in: month, in this, when the)
lll-ththththththth (as in: will they, all that)
ttt-thththth (as in: at the, get them)
ddd-ththth (as in: good thing, width)
And reverse it:
If you have any questions, please post them as a comment below this video.
And get your tongue going!