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I don't get to make the "th" sound. What now?!

Howdy! I have a problem. My native language is Portuguese and for me "th" sounds like "t". As you just saw in the title, I don't get to make the "th" sound with naturality. When I try doing it and I put my tongue into my teeth, I feel my tongue is bigger than my mouth :P so when I try speaking any word that's written with "th", I need to speak slowly. To keep my speech not so slow, I use to change the pronunciation of some words, like this.

"Think" becomes "tink"/"fink"

"Then" becomes "den"/"ven"

"This"/"that"... "dis"/"dat"

"Birthday"... "birfday"

and so on.

 

I find all that sounds a bit weird, so what do you think about it? Is there another way to say that words? Do anyone more have that problem?

 

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Comments

'Th' actually sounds like 'f' or 'v'.

 

You don't need to put your tongue all the way through your teeth. You just need to use the tip to clog the space between your upper and lower teeth.

To start practicing 'th', just try to blow all your air out slowly through your front two top teeth.  If you try to do this, your tongue should naturally be in the right position.

This should make a VERY soft 'f' sound. Keep practicing this until it comes naturally.

When you're ready, start by doing the same thing: blow air softly between your front two top teeth, by clogging the gap between your upper and lower teeth with the tip of your tongue. Next, hum for a second (like a 'v') while doing this.Try to make it so all the vibration feels like it is happening between your teeth and your tongue, not in your throat or on the roof of your mouth. You should feel the air stretching your cheeks forward a little.

You won't be able to hum like this for more than a second, because if you do air will be coming out so quickly that you'll have reposition your mouth to let it through.

 

This is essentially the 'th' sound. When speaking, you need to put your tongue in that position, vibrate your throat (ie. hum, like for a 'v') and say the following vowel before your cheeks begin to stretch.

The sound is actually very quick and soft.

Different accents put slightly different emphasis on the sound or their throats vibrate more or less, but otherwise it's more or less the same everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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