English <th> /ð/, /θ/

MarX

Banned
Indonesian, Indonesia
Hi!

Reading this reminded me that the English TH sound, both voiceless and voiced, is rendered quite differently in different accents, including non natives.

In German and French accents of English, it is often pronounced like S and Z, whereas in Indonesian accent it is often rendered as T and D.
In Cockney English it becomes F and V.

How is it in other accents?

Thanks!

Salam,


MarX
 
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  • Joannes

    Senior Member
    Belgian Dutch
    Native speakers of Dutch often keep it at a /t/ or /d/, native speakers of French tend to pronounce a /z/, although I heard in Québec they pronounce a /t/ or /d/.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    There are two different sounds for the TH combination, as in Three and as in This. In some Arabic dialects the former is pronounced t/s and the latter is pronounced z/d.
     

    Tamar

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    Speakers of Hebrew change dh/th to either d/t or s/z, it's quite individual...
     

    MarX

    Banned
    Indonesian, Indonesia
    It is interesting that the Arabic "th" and "dh/th" becomes "s" and "z" respectively in Turkish.

    Ex: Ramadhan becomes Ramazan in Turkish.
    Ramadhan becomes Ramadan in Indonesian.


    Are there no other accents where English th sounds like v/f as in Cockney English?
     

    Kangy

    Senior Member
    Argentina [Spanish]
    In Spanish, the 'hard th' (as in think) is rendered mostly as /s/ (I sink, instead of I think :p). Seldom have I heard it as /f/ (I fink), mostly by children. Other times it's pronounced as /t/ just because of spelling (I tink).
    Then, the 'soft th' (as in then) is commonly rendered as /d/ (Den I saw it, instead of Then I saw it).
     

    GEmatt

    Senior Member
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    Are there no other accents where English th sounds like v/f as in Cockney English?
    Yes. I'm called Matthew. Growing up near Zurich, Switzerland, the 'th' was pronounced 'ff' (or occasionally 'ss'). Since they had trouble pronouncing the open English 'a' as well, I became "Meffiu" or "Messiu".:mad: This is not just the case in German-speaking Switzerland with its various dialects; I notice the same in Germany, too.

    Around the Geneva area (French-speaking), the 'th' tends to be ignored altogether, and I respond to "Matiou".

    (note the "u" of the German is the same as the "ou" in French)
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    When I was starting to learn English, I recall approximating the voiceless "th" as [f], and the voiced "th" as [d].

    I don't recall ever using the [s]-[z] pronunciation, which I always felt was a dead giveaway that the speaker was not a native. For example, in English fiction programmes like Allo, Allo, the stereotypical Frenchman and the stereotypical German will always use this pronunciation. It sounds so conspicuously foreign!

    Another one that stands out a bit, in my opinion, is the pronunciation of the voiceless "th" as [t]. It reminds me of Tweety Bird. :D
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    There are two different sounds for the TH combination, as in Three and as in This. In some Arabic dialects the former is pronounced t/s and the latter is pronounced z/d.
    Just to clarify, Mahaodeh is talking about how some native speakers of Arabic pronounce Arabic words containing these sounds in their own dialects. This has nothing to do with inability to pronounce them, but with the way their dialects have developed.

    I think MarX is asking about how English words with these sounds are pronounced by those who speak English with an accent.

    Because both sounds exist in Arabic, Arabic speakers generally pronounce them correctly when speaking English.
     

    Nanon

    Senior Member
    français (France)
    The French of France may have "s/z" but the French speakers of Quebec have "t/d"
    Then I must be Canadian :D. Funny, I don't recall having this ingredient in my own personal mixture.
    I belong to the DDT club only when I speak in languages without th sounds. But I can pronounce the voiced and voiceless th in English, and now that I am beginning to learn Arabic, I hope I might be close to sounding correct at least for these two sounds...

    Russian: The English th's are transcribed as t/d (т/д).
    However the Greek th (Θ like in Athens, Thessaloniki...) is often translitterated in Russian as f (ф).
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    /θ/ also exists in Spain Spanish so that's obviously the sound we use for voiceless th.

    For voiced th, /d/ is used, which becomes an approximant [ð̞] in quite a lot of phonetic contexts following the rules of Iberian Romance phonology.
     

    Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    - This is German Coast Guard, go ahead!

    - May Day May Day May Day This is British Cargo XYZ - We are sinking! We are sinking!

    - XYZ roger, and tell me, what are you sinking about??
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Theoretically, we Catalan speakers should mispronounce θ as either t or s, following our Italian and French counterparts. And maybe French and Italian Catalans do so.

    But since Catalans in Spain also speak Spanish, mainly the North-Central one in which /θ/ exists, in practice most Catalan speakers will say it properly.

    Things are a bit different regarding the /ð̞/ sound, because both in Catalan and Spanish it only happens among vowels or after l/r, and usually more as an approximant rather than a fricative. So at the beginning of sentences such as This..., expect a /d/.
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    In Flanders, th is often pronounced like a T or D.
    It is always pronounced like a T in Dutch words, for instance "thuis" (home), "thee" (tea) and "theater" (theatre).

    I once had a math assistent from France / Wallonia and he said "sickness" instead of "thickness". Everyone started laughing, it's obviously tickness!
    I have also come across people pronouncing both the T and the H.
    Same here.

    thin [thɪn]
    then [dhɛn]
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    How is it in other accents?

    Thanks!
    In my experience, Russians tend to approximate these sounds as usual Russian dentialveolar velarized [s] and [z] (Mutko certainly does:)). Although I don't really understand Russian speakers who don't even try to articulate [ð] and [θ]. In fact, these sounds simply represent a lacuna in Russian phonology, which can be easily filled, since these sounds relate to Russian [d] and [t] almost exactly how [v] relates to [b], [f] to [p] or [x] to [k] (or common dialectal [ɣ] to standard [g], to that matter).
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Macedonians tend to pronounce them as /t/ and /d/.

    "T" and "d" are also used to transcribe/transliterate English words/names into Macedonian Cyrillic, so Smith is Смит (Smit) and Rutherford is Радерфорд (Raderford).
     
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    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In France Stranger Things (/streɪnd͡ʒɚ θɪŋz/ in AmE) can be frenchified to /stʁɛnd͡ʒœʁ, stʁɛnd͡ʒɛʁ singz/ and The Voice to /zə vɔjs/
    Nice one.

    In Spain it'd be / es'tɾe(j)n(d)ʝeɾ θins/θiŋgs / and /de'βojs/ (<- it'd be said the same if it was The Boys)
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In Greek the problem we have pronouncing English is not the /ð/, /θ/ phonemes but the more "exotic" ones to our untrained ear /d̥ʒ̊/, /ɹʷ/, /ɐ/, /æ/, /ʌ/ etc.
    ...
    Stranger Things
    (/streɪnd͡ʒɚ θɪŋz/ in AmE) can be frenchified to /stʁɛnd͡ʒœʁ, stʁɛnd͡ʒɛʁ singz/ and The Voice to /zə vɔjs/
    For us it's [ˈstrei̯n.ʣ͜eɾ ˈθiŋ.gs], [ðe ˈvɔi̯s]
    ...
    "T" and "d" are also used to transcribe/transliterate English words/names into Macedonian Cyrillic, so Smith is Смит (Smit) and Rutherford is Радерфорд (Raderford).
    [smiθ], [ˈɾa.ðer.fɔrd]
     

    clamor

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Macedonians tend to pronounce them as /t/ and /d/.

    "T" and "d" are also used to transcribe/transliterate English words/names into Macedonian Cyrillic, so Smith is Смит (Smit) and Rutherford is Радерфорд (Raderford).
    In France : Smith [s̪mis̪], Rutherford probably [ʁyt̪ɛʁfɔ̈ʁ̞d̪]
     
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