Simplifying the TH sound

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:

thththth-nnn
thththth-lll
ththth-ttt
thththth-dd

If you have any questions, please post them as a comment below this video.

Good luck,
And get your tongue going!

Hadar

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7 Comments on “Simplifying the TH sound”

  1. Great video! I have been told that I have a very good command of the language, almost to the point that I can fool native speakers into thinking that they are speaking with a native speaker. The only thing that will remind people that I´m not a native speaker is the following:
    the /th/ sound in the middle of a syllable. For example another sounds like anoder, thirsty sounds like tursty.
    Thank you so much for the video, and I´m definitely going to practice on a daily basis until I get it.
    Frank

  2. Firts of all i want to say that I really love your channel in youtube.

    Could you make a video explaining how can I say undoubtedly?

    thank you.

  3. Hello
    Let me tell you that the way you teach is excellent better than a cold beer in summer time..
    IN A couple of minutes I learned how to pronounce the TH I HAVE DIFFERENT WAYS HOW TO DO IT BUT YOURS THE BEST OF THE BEST.

  4. Hello Hadar
    Let me say that you´re an excellent teacher. I´ve been watching a lot of your videos, and let me say that they are great.

    See you.

    RUI MARTINS
    BRAZIL

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